Saturday, September 9, 2017

Previously endorsed

There's a primary in New York City on Tuesday, for the mayoral and city council elections, and not much reason for most readers to get excited—Bill de Blasio will win the Democratic spot, and that's all you really need to know at a national level, to run in November against Staten Island assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Fox News candidate (she spends so much time on their air I think she may be auditioning for a full-time gig there after she loses). But there's a fun piece of rhetorical flimflam in a brochure from the council race in my district on the Upper West Side, pictured above.

In which "previously endorsed by The New York Times" means, in point of fact, not endorsed by The New York Times, which has come out for the incumbent, Helen Rosenthal. They endorsed Mel Wymore four years ago, when Rosenthal won, and Rosenthal this year.

I would have been voting for Rosenthal myself in any case, because I think she has done something slightly big and brave in her first term, working for a re-plotting of school catchment zones for three local schools in such a way as to alleviate the creeping racial segregation of the neighborhood, to the anger of residents in the luxury Lincoln Towers development, whose mostly white kids are getting thrust together with the mostly nonwhite kids of the Amsterdam Houses. And she was alone among local politicians in taking the side of integration, without help from such liberal stalwarts as my beloved congressman Jerry Nadler.

Wymore seems to have allowed himself to be commandeered into representing the Lincoln Towers protestors, and there's another bit of flimflam in the way he represents it, according to the City Limits website (which is a good place for you to go for the details and a fair representation of the opposing positions):
In an interview with City Limits, Wymore eschewed mention of white opponents of the plan, saying his concern was that “minority communities” in Amsterdam Houses did not have their voices heard in the process. (There is no indication in any coverage of the CEC3 controversy that any opposition emanated from Amsterdam Houses.) What’s really needed, Wymore told our interns, is a full rezoning of the entire district as well as a citywide “housing plan that will diversify our neighborhoods.”
Actually, a rezoning of the district as part of a citywide housing plan is what de Blasio has been offering with his mandatory inclusionary housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposals, with very active support in the city council from Helen Rosenthal, and not so much from the Lincoln Towers contingent and others, who have characterized her in what I think is a really unfair way as "voting with the developers", when she's in fact voting, where she has the power, to force the developers to build apartments for lower-income people.

Wymore is a pretty interesting candidate at a personal level—he's a transgender man who would be the city council's first transgender member, and he has a long history as a member of the community board of working in defense of small local businesses and for affordable housing, I can't judge how effectively (except to note that if he's been on the community board for 22 years I'm not seeing a lot of results in those areas in particular, where the blight of boarded-up storefronts on Broadway has been going on the whole time)—but I'm really kind of disturbed by those dishonesties, and urging all four of you (maybe more!) to vote for Helen Rosenthal next week.

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