In The Heights
Northern Manhattan, the highest point of the island, largely escaped the kind of devastation Hurricane Sandy caused elsewhere in the five boroughs, however residents and politicians from the area are pitching in with a storm relief telethon this afternoon that will be broadcast on La Mega radio station and at least three Spanish-language cable television outlets. The telethon includes planned appearances by the New York Yankees’ star second baseman Robinson Cano, several of the likely 2013 mayoral candidates and a slew of area politicos.
“Although Upper Manhattan has been spared by the storm, we recognize our responsibility to help fellow New Yorkers,” State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who organized the event, said in a statement. “The Uptown Cares Telethon will directly help raise funds for victims on Staten Island and around the City.”
Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz is offended by the plan to keep Congressman Charlie Rangel in Washington by dramatically changing the contours of his district to include parts of The Bronx and Westchester.
“What a joke! What a farce! What a lack of respect to Sheldon Silver, to the rest of the Assembly members and to the people of the Bronx!” Mr. Diaz said in a statement sent out today. “We do not need Charles Rangel to come to the Bronx.”
The Politicker first reported the proposal to change Rangel’s district after Veteran Assemblyman and Harlem powerbroker Herman “Denny” Farrell revealed it at a town hall meeting last Friday. Mr. Farrell said the plan would give Mr. Rangel “a district that can be won” because his longtime stronghold in Harlem is “no longer black.”
Assemblyman Keith Wright said the Department of Education’s plan to close the middle school at Wadleigh Secondary School of Performing Arts is the final straw that has convinced him to propose a bill that would repeal mayoral control of city public schools.
“People are up in arms. They are quite frankly tired of the dictatorial and despotic policies coming out of City Hall where they just arbitrarily and capriciously decide that they’re going to close schools,” Mr. Wright told The Politicker. “This is the Alamo as far as I’m concerned right now. This is the absolute Alamo and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
The contours of Charlie Rangel’s congressional district are expected to change dramatically this year, moving upwards into The Bronx and Westchester, according to Herman “Denny” Farrell, a longtime assemblyman and Harlem powerbroker.
Mr. Farrell revealed the new district lines at a town hall meeting on 147th Street last night where he said the rest of New York’s federal legislative lines have been held up as the State Assembly tried to figure out a way to create a district that would set up Mr. Rangel to win a 22nd term in the House of Representatives.
“The main issue we have is the question of Charlie Rangel’s district,” Mr. Farrell said. “The problem we have is that Charlie Rangel’s district is no longer black.”
Mr. Rangel’s district has been synonymous with Harlem for generations and nurtured several of New York’s most important political figures, including not just Mr. Rangel, but his predecessor, Adam Clayton Powell. The district must change because of sweeping demographic changes that have led to an influx of white and Hispanic voters. Mr. Farrell explained how the problem was eventually solved and said Mr. Rangel is definitely going to run for re-election in “a district that can be won.”
City Councilman Robert Jackson posted a dismal fundraising number in the most recent filing period, reporting having raised under $10,000 for a possible borough president run. By comparison, two other likely candidates in the race, Community Board 1 chair Julie Menin hauled in close to half a million dollars, City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin posted nearly $150,000 and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has over $100,000 in the bank.
But Mr. Jackson, who represents West Harlem up to Washington Heights, appears to be rectifying the problem.
Next month, Assembly member Denny Farrell will host a low-dollar fundraiser for the councilmember in honor of Mr. Farrell’s 80th birthday party–or, as he calls it, the 40th birthday celebration of his 40th birthday.
Longtime uptown Assembly Denny Farrell told a crowd at a block celebration in Harlem on Sunday that he predicts Inez Dickens will soon hold the speaker’s gavel in the New York City Council.
“Our City Council woman is doing a fantastic job,” Farrell said, while he was flanked by both Dickens and Congressman Charlie Rangel. Read More