Anthony Weiner’s usually private wife, Huma Abedin, joined her husband on the campaign trail on Sunday, shaking hands, posing for photos and subjecting herself to reporters’ questions for the first time since her husband jumped into the mayors race.
A top aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ms. Abedin stood by her husband’s side through his sexting scandal. She appeared relaxed and happy as she and Mr. Weiner made their way through a street fair on West 111th Street and then greeted diners and shoppers along Frederick Douglass Boulevard this afternoon in Harlem–often hand-in-hand.
It began outside a subway station in Harlem, where Anthony Weiner greeted–and embraced—New Yorkers on their way to work.
Next, he eschewed the Memorial Day parade in his old district for a sparsely-attended black church service in Southeast Queens and a veterans ceremony in the Bronx’s Co-op City. And this weekend, he slammed stop-and-frisk at Rev. Al Sharpton’s weekly National Action Network rally, earning loud applause from the mostly-black crowd.
Ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner emerged from hiding, making his first appearance on the campaign trail Thursday morning in Harlem with a press spectacle that—at one point—attracted the attention of police officers who asked him to move away from the subway station where he’d been trying to greet voters because of the huge crowd of reporters.
Mr. Weiner arrived just before 7:45 a.m. for the frenzied meet-and-greet outside the station at the corner of 125th Street and Malcolm X in Harlem more than 24-hours after announcing that he was jumping into the crowded mayor’s race with a video posted on a re-vamped campaign website.
When Marc Landis, a leading candidate to represent the Upper West Side in the City Council next year, talks about himself, he often boasts of his long record of fighting for affordable housing in New York City. The attorney and Democratic district leader, praised by his many endorsers for his tenant advocacy, also works closely with Tahl Propp Equities, a large real estate developer that has been sued by Manhattan tenants and accused of “predatory” financial practices in rapidly gentrifying Harlem.
“Tahl Propp was one of the early companies that we and other organizers spotted coming in and buying up large amounts of affordable housing and they weren’t a known actor in the affordable housing or real estate world,” said Emily Goldstein, coordinator of preservation and policy at Tenants and Neighbors, a statewide tenant advocacy group. “In more recent years, I know that they’ve said they care about affordable housing. They’ve said they care about the Harlem community. And yet their actual practices in many of these buildings have been detrimental to low and moderate income tenants, to the physical housing stock and arguably to the community.”
Over the weekend, Thomas Lopez-Pierre, an uptown activist who has been running a Council campaign characterized by a series of angry, racially charged emails sent another missive endorsing Robert Jackson, the man he’s trying to replace. Mr. Jackson is prevented by term limits from running for re-election to his council seat and is instead pursuing the Manhattan borough presidency. However, Mr. Jackson is clearly not eager to have Mr. Lopez-Pierre’s endorsement.
“We totally reject Thomas Lopez-Pierre. Throughout his life, Robert Jackson has been a leader fighting for justice and understanding and against bigotry and intolerance,” Richard Fife, Mr. Jackson’s spokesman, said in a statement. “He has condemned the racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic rants of Lopez-Pierre in the strongest way possible.”
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Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a candidate for an Uptown City Council seat who has been making a series of racially-charged arguments against one of his rivals in the race, Mark Levine, has taken things to a whole other level. In an email filled with racial slurs, expletives and violent rhetoric, Mr. Lopez-Pierre blasted Brian Benjamin, a real estate developer, for deciding “to pick Mark Levine the only White/Jewish guy in the race to raise money for.”
Mr. Lopez-Pierre went on to call Mr. Benjamin an “Uncle Tom” who by joining Mr. Levine’s campaign, “sold out the Black people of Harlem.”
The email was addressed to Mr. Benjamin and over 30 Uptown political figures, including Mr. Levine. Politicker has confirmed the email was sent from Mr. Lopez-Pierre’s address.
Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a Harlem activist with a controversial past who is running for term-limited Councilman Robert Jackson’s seat, circulated an email late last night in an attempt to plan a “private meeting” to “discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.” This morning, Mr. Lopez-Pierre told Politicker he isn’t organizing the meeting himself and is working on behalf of a larger group who became concerned when they read a report on the political blog The Perez Notes that the Upper Manhattan political machine headed by State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has been working to “clear” the crowded field of candidates running for the seat to help Mr. Levine win.
“Now that he actually has a chance to win it’s scaring people,” said Mr. Lopez-Pierre. “So, what started first as a discussion of the blog post has now mushroomed among candidates and community leaders into basically a ‘Stop Levine’ campaign.”
Harlem restaurateur Sylvia Woods was a legendary chef, but she was also a key figure in the Uptown political scene. At her funeral service at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon today, many of the high-powered regulars from Woods’ eponymous restaurant showed up to share their remembrances and pay tribute to Woods as a pioneering African-American businesswoman, an ally in the civil rights struggle and, of course, a superb chef.
“Every protest, every movement, every plan, every law started with a breakfast, or lunch or a dinner at Sylvia’s,” former Governor David Paterson explained.
After 41 years in the House of Representatives, Congressman Charlie Rangel faced the fight of his political life last night and came away with a victory. Mr. Rangel’s 22nd term in Congress was threatened by the changing boundaries and demographics of his district, lingering fallout from a tax and fundraising scandal that saw him censured for ethics violations by his House colleagues in 2010 and health issues that sent the 82-year-old in and out of the hospital for two months earlier this year. In a victory speech made from a makeshift stage set up in front of Sylvia’s restaurant in the heart of his longtime base in Harlem, Mr. Rangel praised his supporters, political allies and family for sticking with him through the difficult campaign. He also had harsh words for the press and the rivals who attempted to end his political career.
The network of Democratic clubs in Harlem that gave Congressman Charlie Rangel his start hope they can secure him a 22nd term. Harlem’s political clubs have spawned several other notable New York politicians including former Mayor David Dinkins, ex-governor David Paterson and Mr. Rangel’s predecessor in the House of Representatives, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. The political landscape in Upper Manhattan has changed quite a bit over the years and the district Mr. Rangel is vying to represent now includes the predominantly Latino areas of Washington Heights and Inwood, which his main opponent, Adriano Espaillat, represents in the State Senate. In a race that’s expected to have low turnout, the members of Harlem’s democratic clubs are working hard to ensure their neighborhood comes out in full force for Mr. Rangel.