At a birthday fundraiser last night in East Harlem, friends and supporters gathered to toast City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s re-election bid for a redrawn district. But for the two-term progressive rabble-rouser, there is far more at stake than keeping her seat.
“We want to see her Speaker!” shouted one supporter as the group crowded around Ms. Viverito at the cozy El Kallejon on East 117th Street to hear her remarks.
Councilman Robert Jackson has racked up the endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers in his bid to be Manhattan’s next borough president. UFT President Michael Mulgrew announced the endorsement, which was voted on by the members of the teacher’s union, in a statement today.
“For more than 30 years, Robert Jackson has fought for New York City’s public school children and has been their champion and advocate,” Mr. Mulgrew said. “He understands personally the power of education and has fought to make sure every child has the chance for the best education possible.”
Julie Menin, the former Chair of Community Board 1, formally announced her campaign for Manhattan Borough President today on the steps of City Hall. And, in addition to touting Democratic staples like addressing economic inequality, Ms. Menin, who’s hoping to replace outgoing Borough President Scott Stringer, made sure to point to her stances on controversies she’s had to deal with in Lower Manhattan, including Occupy Wall Street and the so-called “9/11 Mosque.”
Councilman Robert Jackson is rolling out his high-profile allies in the Harlem political establishment to help him celebrate his birthday and raise money for his bid to be Manhattan borough president later this month. Former Mayor David Dinkins sent out an email this afternoon announcing a fundraiser and birthday celebration for Mr. Jackson that he will be attending along with Congressman Charlie Rangel, State Senator Bill Perkins and Councilwoman Inez Dickens on December 17.
“Robert Jackson is an effective and energetic fighter who understands the challenges we face in this borough and has proven that he can get the job done,” Mr. Dinkins wrote. “He has been a strong, hard-working, progressive leader in the City Council, and I have great confidence that he will continue to advocate for measures that promise to improve the lives of all the people of the Borough of Manhattan.”
At the “2012 Women For Obama” fundraiser this morning at the Hotel Pierre the vast majority of the audience who turned out to hear First Lady Michelle Obama speak were, naturally, women.
“Are there any men here today?” Ms. Obama asked as she began her speech.
The handful of men in the crowd responded with a smattering of cheers.
“A few good men,” Ms. Obama said. “There you go–stand proud. Stand proud.”
The United Federation of Teachers is set to hand West Harlem City Councilman Robert Jackson their most prestigious honor at their annual spring conference.
The award–the John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education–has also been conferred upon such luminaries as Bill Clinton and Martin Luther King, but it may have more some immediate political relevance.
Mr. Jackson is the chair of the City Council’s education committee, but he is also locked in a tight race for Manhattan borough president, and it is a race that a powerful union like the UFT could play a large role in.
Councilman Robert Jackson is ramping up his fundraising efforts in his bid to be Manhattan Borough President. On April 17, Mr. Jackson is having a fundraiser in an apartment adjacent to Lincoln Center. Mr. Jackson has good reason to step up his efforts to draw donations. As of January, he had a much smaller war chest than two of his rivals in the race for the borough presidency.
a campaign brewing
Veteran Upper West Side Councilwoman Gale Brewer is jumping into the race for Manhattan Borough President.
“I’m going to definitely do it I. haven’t gotten myself organized, because I’m working on so many different issues, but I will,” Ms. Brewer told The Politicker last night at a public forum hosted by Police Reform Organizing Project at the LGBT Community Center.
Ms. Brewer is entering a crowded field. With current Borough President Scott Stringer gearing up to run for mayor next year, Councilman Robert Jackson, Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin and Councilwoman Jessica Lappin have all already begun campaigning for the position.
After a press conference on improving college readiness for black and Latino students this afternoon, The Politicker caught up to Councilman Robert Jackson to ask him about the likelihood he’ll fully enter the Manhattan Borough President race. The current Borough President, Scott Stringer, is expected to run for Mayor.
Mr. Jackson jogged in place as a response. “Look at me, what I am I doing now? What am I doing? What am I doing?” he repeatedly asked. “I’m running. I’m running.”
Julie Menin, a candidate for Manhattan Borough President who has served as Chair of Lower Manhattan’s community board since 2005, cited Lower Manhattan’s post-9/11 revival when asked for her pitch to voters.
“Well, I think it’s important to have people who have a strong track record of results and strong leadership, particularly in very tough economic times,” she began in an interview with Roberto Perez. “In Lower Manhattan, we faced one of the most arduous times any community can face. And we were able to turn this neighborhood into the fastest growing residential neighborhood in the City of New York, with over 30,000 new residents in the neighborhood since 9/11. We’re the fourth largest commercial business district in the country. We’re one of the few areas of the city that’s actually experiencing job growth.”