no cars go
After more than 11 years of new bike lanes and public plazas, pedestrian advocates are getting nervous.
Few of the mayoral front-runners, they fear, have openly embraced the issues they care about: more traffic-calming speed bumps, neighborhood slow zones, plazas, bike lanes and more thorough crash investigations.
“I think a lot of the candidates have sort of danced around the question of complete streets and plazas and bike lanes and things like that,” said Park Slope community activist Eric McClure, one of the board members of the newly-registered political committee StreetsPAC, which officially marked its launch Thursday with an event on the Flatiron Plaza.
Late in this year’s election cycle, Mayor Michael Bloomberg suddenly announced the creation of a “super PAC,” Independence USA, through which the billionaire mayor could funnel unlimited sums of cash to candidates who support his political agenda of gun control, gay marriage and education reform. Looking at the federal races Mr. Bloomberg aimed to influence through the new political action committee, however, a majority of his candidates narrowly lost last night.
For example, in western Connecticut, moderate Republican Andrew Roraback suffered a 48%-to-52% loss to Democrat Elizabeth Esty, despite Mr. Bloomberg spending more than a million dollars on Mr. Roraback’s behalf. Similarly, in another suburban seat, Mr. Bloomberg dropped roughly a million dollars boosting GOP Rep. Bob Dold in Illinois, only to see him lose by less than 1%. And, down in Florida, he spent more than $2 million in an attempt to vanquish Republican Congressman Dan Webster, but the incumbent still beat back a strong challenge from Val Demings, 52% to 48%.
Election Day is coming up, and New York City wants everyone to vote–including residents who don’t have a permanent residence. Accordingly, New York City Campaign Finance Board is partnering with the Department of Homeless Services to make sure the city’s homeless population can help participate in the upcoming presidential election. Every day this week, Homeless Services will provide voting assistance at each of its 230 homeless facilities to encourage maximum electoral participation.
Supporters of State Senator Adriano Espaillat are calling for a federal monitor to step in and oversee the counting of votes in his congressional race against longtime Congressman Charlie Rangel after reports of uncounted votes emerged yesterday. Mr. Rangel was initially declared the victor by the Associated Press and in unofficial totals from the Board of Elections after the election on Tuesday, but the AP subsequently published a report claiming results from 33 of the 506 precincts in the Upper Manhattan district remained uncounted. Mr. Espaillat’s supporters announced their push for a federal monitor at a press conference in front of Mr. Rangel’s office in Harlem where some of the attendees also made allegations of voter fraud at the polls Tuesday.
“I’m here today to call for a federal monitor on the Board of Elections. It is unacceptable that 48 hours after the elections took place….we don’t have the outcome of this election,” said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a close ally of Mr. Espaillat’s. “We also have a lot of concerns that still the Board of Elections has not received [results from] a number of election districts. We don’t know where they are, they don’t know where they are.”
Voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide the Democratic and Republican nominees in key federal races across the state, and for those races in heavily Democratic districts, tomorrow’s election will effectively be coronations. For hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, our next congressional representatives will be determined Tuesday night.
My colleague David Freedlander has already weighed in with some thoughts, which you are more than encouraged to do as well by emailing him at dfreedlander [@] observer.com.
Here’s some of what I’m watching:
Governor Cuomo gives himself high marks.
Tomorrow’s top races.
Tom Allon is the first of the 2013 Mayoral candidates to hit the airwaves.
Alan Hevesi’s life behind bars.