Category Archives: politics

Unsavory Campaign Tactics

Here at CHB, we usually leave the political reporting to other sites.  However, we received a compelling email in the inbox that seemed worthy of discussion:

I’m a Clinton Hill resident and I’m somewhat interested/involved in local politics. Today, I was enjoying some coffee along Fulton Street, and I didn’t believe what I saw. Around 3:00pm, I saw around 10-12 young women carrying Delia Hunnly signs in front of Tish James’ campaign office. None of these girls could have been over 16 years of age, and they were a loud, rude, gyrating crew. I didn’t see from which direction they arrived, but they were walking back and forth maybe 2 blocks of Fulton (that included Tish’s campaign office), so I couldn’t imagine they were there for any other reason but to heckle Tish’s campaign people.

It seems really disrespectful, unprofessional, and a bit sad that Delia has to resort to sending children to taunt her opponent [and they did taunt, I overheard them saying, “You should work for Dee! She pays gooood!” to the office, who as far as I could tell ignored the entire event]. Furthermore, this is really disrespectful to the neighbors and businesses to send these loud children into our community for this foolishness. Delia should be thoroughly embarrassed, because I am embarrassed for her. I am not a hard “Tish supporter”, but this has made the choice for me. I have attached photos I took on my cell phone as proof, and I am sending this email to all the media I could find online or had already, because this kind of behavior needs to be exposed.

By the way, the word in the street is that there are constant “poster” problems with Delia’s campaign persons (probably these children or ones like them) ripping down posters of Tish and the other opponent. As a resident, I can attest that the “support” as far as storefront visibility changes drastically on a daily basis.
delia
Have any other readers seen anything like this?  What did you think?
(For the record, Lesterhead is a Tish supporter.)

Tish James Wants to Name Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station after Michael Jackson

Thanks to neighbor Kath for sending me this story via the HuffPost:

NEW YORK — A New York City lawmaker wants to see Michael Jackson honored at a subway station where the star made the music video for “Bad.”

Councilwoman Letitia James wants a plaque placed at Brooklyn’s Hoyt-Schermerhorn station – or to have “Jackson” added to the station’s name.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Kevin Ortiz said Monday it’s unlikely. James, undeterred, plans a petition drive.

jackson

I know that station is not in our neighborhood, but many of us use it every day on the way to and from work.  I was just asking my fiance where he thought Bad was filmed last time we saw it on TV.

Local Politicians Support Equal Rights

On Thursday, April 17, our Governor introduced a bill to legalize same sex marriage, likening the cause to the abolitionist movement of the 1800s.  He promised to personally lobby for passage of the bill, saying “we have a duty to make sure equality exists for everyone.”

So where do our State representatives stand on this important issue?  Hakeem Jeffries voted for it when when a similar bill was introduced in the State Assembly in 2007, and has voted for every measure supporting gay rights since, so there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t support it.

I sent an e-mail to our State Senator, Valmanette Montgomery, on a recent evening to find out what her stand is on the issue.  I immediately got an auto-reply saying that correspondence is always answered by US mail, so I figured it would take a while to get a reply from her.  Then when I woke up the next day, I saw I had received an e-mail from Senator Montgomery at 3:24 AM with the following touching message:

“Dear Neighbors,

On April 16, 2009, New York State again started the long overdue process of providing equal civil rights to all its citizens. This is not a political issue; it is simple, equitable justice. The right to marry as two people see fit is a fundamental civil right that should be enjoyed by all New York’s citizens. It cannot be limited by legislation. It cannot be denied to any to accommodate the limiting exclusions of others. It is simply the right thing to do. This is what I have always believed, my entire life.

In 1977 when my friend Gary Deane became the first openly gay man to run for New York City Council, Ruby Nottage (at the time a District Leader) and I worked on his campaign. We worked hard because he was our friend and would have been a terrific City Council member. His narrow loss was the first of many steps toward making sexual orientation a non-issue in the public arena. Today we are taking another significant step for equality for all New Yorkers.

I am looking forward to receiving an award from the Lambda Independent Democrats next month, an organization started by Gary Deane, Peter Vogel, and other friends. And I am looking forward to working with State Senator Tom Duane, as I have always done before, to see that the civil right to marry is finally available to all New York citizens. It is simply the right thing to do.

And when that civil right is finally law, it will be a wonderful day. And I am very much looking forward to it!”

As am I, Senator Montgomery!!  I look forward to having equal civil rights as my heterosexual Clinton Hill neighbors!

Our Local Reps React to the Proposed Budget Cuts

Last week I attended the Society for Clinton Hill monthly meeting because Letitia James was scheduled to present about the Mayor’s proposed budget (and Sisters of Mercy were scheduled to speak about their plans for the site).  However, schedules being subject to change, the SOM decided not to show up, but NYS Assembly member Hakeem Jeffries spoke along with Ms. James.  Here’s a quick summary of what I learned.  I should preface this by saying I have a very intimate knowledge of the City’s budgeting process, as I spent several years working as a budget analyst for the Mayor’s budget office and at a City agency.  As a result, I became extremely cynical about our local politicians because I learned firsthand how they grossly spin facts in order to appease the voting public.  To be honest, I was not expecting much from Ms. James or Mr. Jeffries.

However, I was very impressed with both of their command of our local issues and what appeared to me to be a genuine, passionate commitment on their part to the needs of our community.

Summary of Hakeem Jeffries’ remarks:

Income Taxes:

Although we find ourselves in difficult times, the middle class and the poor should not have to bear the burdens of the sacrifices that need to be made, and  he supports an increase in the income tax of the wealthy in this State (in opposition to our Governor).

MTA cuts:

The MTA has serious credibility issues, especially given that not too long ago they were found to be keeping two sets of books.  It is not a cost efficient agency, and the proposed cut to the B25 bus line does not make any sense.   The G train serves the neighborhoods that are showing the most growth in the City, and therefore should be maintained at current service levels.

Summary of Letitia James’ remarks:

The Bailout:

Disgraced AIG gave Barclays $400 million to purchase the naming rights of the proposed Atlantic arena.  ‘Nuff said right there.

Budget cuts:

The police department will not hire the previously planned 1,000 officers.  The 88th precinct is already down in staffing, so this will not help matters.

A reduction of 15 EMS tours and 1 firefighter from each fire company.  Also not good.

Libraries will be cutting hours and laying off 170 employees.  35 libraries will reduce hours to 5 days a week.  Museums and cultural institutions will be reduced by 20%, on top of a 14% cut that was already taken in November.  Very bad.

The proposed cut of the B25 line:  the rationale was for this was that the C line goes along the same route.  However, this does not help the elderly or disabled for whom it is difficult to take the subway (mayven aside: there are certain days when I’m tired or have a lot to carry when I wonder how anyone who is NOT absolutely physically fit negotiates the NYC subway).

Federal stimulus funds will only go for brick and mortar projects, which will help the construction industry but not the City or State budget woes.

Neither had a lot of time for their remarks, and there weren’t a lot of time for questions, but the audience seemed very receptive to and appreciative of their efforts.

Celebrate the New Prez

In addition to the exciting deals on DeKalb, other area merchants are having sales and special events to celebrate our new president:

  • Greene Grape: we’re sampling an inauguration cocktail from 5-7 pm at the wine store (765 Fulton) inauguration night (tues, jan 20).  The recipe is Inspired by the rumor Obama likes margaritas.  It incorporates lime, Tito’s Vodka (an All-American spirit made in Texas as a nod to the outgoing President), pineapple juice (in tribute to Obama’s Hawaii connection), a dash of bitters (recognition of the bitter economic pill we are taking) and triple sec (because just a spoonful of sugary orange liqueur will make the economic medicine go down, medicine go doooooown, medicine go down).
  • Le Grand Dakar: YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND AN  INAUGURAL BALL AT LE GRAND DAKAR ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 20, FROM 7 PM TO 3 AM.  Join the celebration which will herald in a new era of conscientious social & environmental awareness and humanistic considerations ­ a.k.a Our Wish for Change.  DJ Ayo will support a cast of live drummers with 70s social consciousness funk with Aniyikaye Yoruba Talking drummers and singers ­ Fuji, Juju, Apala, waka, and Jojo Kuo afro-beat trap drummer duo.  It will be fantastic.
    Le Grand Dakar Restaurant, 285 GRAND AVE, FORT GREENE (Lafayette Ave/Clifton, BROOKLYN, NY 718 398 8900 www.dakarcafe.net
  • Tamboril: January 20, 2009 Doors open at 5:30.  Couldn’t make it to washington?…then don’t miss the inauguration day celebration at Tamboril!  Obama slama $6 cocktail special the whole night and our famous food sampler at reduced price of $12.99.  2 for 1s happy hour 5:30 to 7:30pm.  Watch inauguration coverage on any of our three flat screens.  Still time to reserve the lounge area but it won’t last!  RSVP info@tamborilnyc.com, 527 Myrtle Ave.
  • Bar Olivino: Inauguration celebration @ Bar Olivino!  Tuesday, January 20th – Yes we did!!!!!! Complimentary bar snacks all night long!  Bar Olivino, 899 Fulton Street (Between Clinton & Vanderbilt)

breaking news

Celebrate Inauguration on DeKalb

I received this amazing press release a few days ago.  Neary every vendor on DeKalb Avenue will be offering a special discount or deal to celebrate Obama’s swearing in from Friday through Tuesday.  What a cool way to create unity in the neighborhood, give people a lot of great reasons to celebrate locally, and give discounts at a much needed time!  I can’t believe the day is almost here.


FORT GREENE’S DEKALB AVENUE MERCHANTS CELEBRATE HISTORIC
INAUGURATION WITH PROMOTIONS ALL WEEKEND LONG

Obama-inspired special menus, drinks, discounts and other offers.
Friday, January 16-Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brooklyn, NY-January 8, 2009  Twenty-eight restaurants, cafes, boutiques and retail stores of the Dekalb Avenue Merchants’ Association in Fort Greene, (a Brooklyn neighborhood long known for its multi-cultural diversity) invite you to “Celebrate the Inauguration on Dekalb” and continue the electrifying celebration that began in the streets on election night and continues right through Inauguration Weekend, Friday, January 16-Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

Participating Dekalb Avenue businesses will be offering discounts, coupons, reduced-price prix-fixe menus, drink specials, vouchers for discounts on return visits or 2-for-1 specials all weekend long. Plus on the day of the Inauguration, locations with big screen TVs will be opening early to broadcast the ceremony and will have live music, DJs and even more specials throughout the day.

The list of participating merchants and their offers include… 20% discounts to celebrate the 20th of January, 2009… 44% discounts to celebrate the Inauguration of our 44th President… special menu creations reflecting President-elect Obama’s multi-cultural background… plus coupons, vouchers and other special offers.

ALSO:  “Obama” posters created by students at Dekalb Avenue’s Ronald Edmonds Learning Center, Middle School 113, will be exhibited in windows up and down Dekalb during the celebration weekend. Come see the work of these young artists who have been so profoundly inspired. Plus students from the school’s Academy of Performing Arts Choir and Band will be performing at select locations on Inauguration Day.

This event re-launches the Dekalb Avenue Merchants’ Association (DAMA). The Association covers Dekalb Avenue from Washington Avenue to Ashland Place, plus businesses on intersecting side streets. The association is about businesses working together on issues of mutual interest, connecting with the community and promoting this vibrant strip in the heart of one of Brooklyn’s great neighborhoods.

PARTICIPATING BUSINESSES AND OFFERS

CELEBRATE THE INAUGUATION ON DEKALB AVENUE
Friday, January 16-Tuesday, January 20, 2009 (unless otherwise noted below)

NORTH SIDE OF DEKALB FROM VANDERBILT TO FORT GREENE PARK
* Indicates locations also showing the live broadcast of the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

BONITA
(243 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-622-5300)
Special Menu Item: Tacos Al Pastor with a shot of tequila and blood orange juice, $12.00.

BROOKLYN SPORTING GOODS
(241 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-638-2537)
10% off all baseball caps and other gear (Sat and Tues only)

KIKI?S PET SPA
(239 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-857-7272)
25% off grooming Fri-Mon. 44% off grooming on Inauguration Day.

IMPRESSIONS SALON
(233 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 917-704-9237)
10% discount on all Salons Enhancement Services offered (Fri and Sat). Monday: Beauty in the Body Belly Dancing, 6:30pm-9:00pm (participation a must). Inauguration Day: 20% off Haircuts, Regularly $40. Appointments recommended (selected stylist only). Call 917-704-9237 for information.

THE GENERAL GREENE
(229 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-222-1510)
Inaugural Luau – January 20, 2009
$20.09 Suckling Pig Dinner: Suckling Pig, Sweet Potato Mash, Grilled Pineapple,
Coconut Banana Cream Pie. $5 Mai Tai?s all weekend.

MALCHIJAH HATS
(225 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-643-3269)
10% off in-stock items. Free T-Shirts to first purchasing customers, Fri-Mon (while supplies last). Inauguration Day: 20% discounts.

THISTLE & CLOVER
(221 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-855-5577)
10% off all non-sale items

KIF*
(219 Dekalb @ Adelphi / 718-852-7273)
Lunch: $15 Prix-fixe menu with Free Mimosa or Bloody Mary – 11am to 5:30pm. Dinner: Prix-fixe 3-courses $20.09. On Inauguration evening:  $5 Special B’amatini

CHEZ OSKAR
(211 Dekalb @ Adelphi / 718-852-6250)
Prix-fixe for Peace:  3-courses prix fix menu Monday to Friday from 11-5:30 pm – $20.09 plus a very special cocktail menu consisting of: Rotten Republicans, Dirty Democrats and Yes-we-can-ohitos… all at $5 each

HIDE OUT LOUNGE*
(266 Adelphi @ Dekalb / 718-855-3010)
10% off all drinks 7pm-9pm on Friday/Saturday, 7pm til closing Sunday. Closed on Monday. On Inauguration Day: 10am-4pm, complimentary coffee, tea, juices, and sandwiches. 10% off all drinks 7pm til closing.

SUSHI D
(207 Dekalb @ Adelphi /  718-858-0058)
Special $4 Hawaiian and Indonesian appetizer menu.
Free glass of sake w/entrees.

MADIBA RESTAURANT *
(195 Dekalb @ Carlton Avenue / 718-855-9190)
Free Obama Mama Cocktails, Bloody Mary or Mimosa with lunch or dinner. Inauguration Day: Open at 11am, live music and drink and lunch specials.

SMOOCH*
(264 Carlton @ Dekalb / 718-624-4075)
20% discount on all items

THIRST WINE MERCHANTS
(187 Dekalb @ Carlton /  718-596-7643)
20% off Champagne, to celebrate the 20th.

URBAN SPRING
(185 Dekalb @ Carlton / 718-237-0797)
Free cup of “Brownstone Beans” coffee with the purchase of a homemade muffin.

SOUTH SIDE OF DEKALB FROM VANDERBILT TO ASHLAND PLACE
* Indicates locations also showing the live broadcast of the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

TILLIES OF BROOKLYN
(248 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-783-6140)
15% discount on everything.

ICI
(246 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-789-2778)
Diners receive a voucher for 30% of their check total to use on next visit.

ALIBI
(242 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-783-8519)
$4 Pints of Stella (20% off) Sat-Tues

TWO STEPS DOWN
(240 Dekalb @ Vanderbilt / 718-399-2020)
2 for 1 drinks (Fri-Mon, excluding private party times). Inauguration evening: music, dancing and light buffet for customers, free.

BLACK IRIS
(226 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-852-9800)
Complimentary Loomi citrus drink (Sat-Tues)

MARIOS PIZZA
(224 Dekalb @ Clermont / 718-260-9520)
20% off

RED BAMBOO*
(271 Adelphi @ Dekalb / 718-643-4352)
$10 coupon for your next visit. $5 drink specials. Inauguration day: complimentary hors dourves, DJ.

CATHERINE?S CAFÉ
(184 Dekalb @ Carlton / 718-858-3712)
Breakfast: 44% off small coffee/tea with a koblihy pastry. Lunch: Brooklyn Omelet for only $5 (reg. 7.50) plus free soda or bottled water.

BITTERSWEET
(180 Dekalb @ Carlton / 718-852-2556)
Free 10 oz. latte or cappuccino coupon when you spend $10 (good for next visit)

RICE
(166 Dekalb @ Cumberland / 718-858-2700)
$11 pre-fixe brunch special (Sat-Tues). Wine, sake and beer specials at dinner and free drink coupon for next visit.

SPECIAL GIFT OCCASSIONS
(114 Dekalb @ St. Felix / 718-855-5870)
Purchase one custom-made hat at regular price, get 2nd hat at 44% off.

CAFFE e VINO
(112 Dekalb @ St. Felix / 718-855-6222)
Free bottle of wine for tables of 3-4 people. Free glass of wine or beer for each person at tables of 1-2 people.

GREEN APPLE CAFE
(110 Dekalb @ St. Felix / 718-625-1248)
2 for 1 “Black & White” Cookies. 2 for 1 “Obama Latte” (Chocolate & Vanilla)

YES WE DID

I know many people in our neighborhood volunteered their time to help get Obama elected, and I send them a sincere thanks for their efforts.  It paid off, bigtime.

Here’s to 2009!

breaking news

Election Day Events!

This is the most exciting election I’ve ever lived through, and I intend to show some solidarity locally.  I’m sure many of you are looking to do the same.  Despite my call for election events, no one sent me anything 🙁  Here’s the info I DO have:

Tamboril: election party, live DJ, starts at 5:30pm
candidate cocktail specials all night: obama slama, mccain “maverick” juice, biden bounce and the palin “i could see russia from my house” martini.
2 for 1s happy hour 5:30 to 7:30pm

Moe’s:
In ’04, this was the place to be.  They already have signs up.  Check it out tonight!

Le Grand Dakar: PIERRE THIAM INVITES YOU TO HIS PLACE TO VIEW ELECTION NIGHT RESULTS.
WHERE:          LE GRAND DAKAR
285 GRAND AVENUE
CLINTON HILL, BROOKLYN
718.398.8900

WHEN: TONIGHT AT 7 PM UNTIL

WHAT:            WATCH HISTORY UNFOLD AS SOON AS THE VIRGINIA POLLS CLOSE AT 7
DJ AYO  provides a long set of socio/politico commentary/satirical danceable funk from the 70s and 80s before embarking on the celebratory AfropunkSalsaElectroreggaefied disco sound system

Long Lines to Vote!

I left the apartment at 6:15 this morning, thinking I could potentially beat long lines closer to commute time.  I even brought gym stuff, assuming I could zip on over to the Y before work.

However, this is what greeted me (and a few other neighbors who walked over with me):
6:15 am

A line, stretching ALL THE WAY DOWN WAVERLY AVENUE!!

While I might normally be annoyed (I mean, really, the voting system in NY State is inefficient!), it was an awesome experience.  I saw several neighbors, everyone was chatting and taking photos, people were thrilled to see those long lines.  There were even families taking photos together inside the gym to mark the historic moment.  Folks were also looking out for their elderly neighbors and allowing them to move up to the front of the line since the wait was so long.

Clinton Hill is the place to BE for this election.

VOTE!!!!