Members of New York City’s Congressional delegation, long relegated to the sidelines of local politics, are increasingly filling the void left by the declining influence of political party apparatchiks.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Brooklyn, home to Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio and his GOP rival Joe Lhota, as well as public advocate runoff contenders Letitia James and Daniel Squadron. The latest trend from the borough of hipsters, Hasidim and Caribbean homelands is the toppling of incumbents with the help of U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Nydia Velázquez.
Ms. Velázquez, who has been staunchly battling the faction of Brooklyn Democrats once headed by disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, continued her fight today, endorsing Stephen Pierson, who is challenging Mr. Lopez’s former chief of staff, Councilman Steve Levin.
“He, like many of us, is tired of the politics of nepotism. He is tired of much-needed resources for our community being allocated outside of the district without any accountability,” Ms. Velázquez said at an event on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall. “On September 10th, the voters of the 33rd Councilmanic district will have a choice for transparency and for reform.”
A jury of his peers may have found George Zimmerman innocent, but–many miles away from the Sanford, Florida case–New York City lawmakers aren’t done with the controversy
The city’s congressional delegation gathered this afternoon in Lower Manhattan to condemn the trial’s verdict, while at the same time, praising the Department of Justice’s willingness to investigate the killing of 17-year-old Trayon Martin.
The Queens Democratic Party is famously unified, as their endorsement tends to come along with most of the county’s elected officials. For former Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s borough president campaign, which was backed by the Democratic organization last month, this has proven to be the case yet again–with a slew of new endorsements announced today.
Current Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez declared their support for the Katz campaign, along with former borough president candidate and State Senator José Peralta, State Senator James Sanders, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubrey.
As he contemplates a run for City Council, scandal-scarred Vito Lopez isn’t getting any more popular just because he resigned from the State Assembly on Monday.
That was made abundantly clear at a City Hall rally yesterday, where a bevy of women legislators and candidates, including Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Councilwoman Diana Reyna, again denounced Mr. Lopez’s candidacy and endorsed the disgraced pol’s would-be rival, Antonio Reynoso.
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez does not forget. And she does not forgive.
Accordingly, Ms. Velázquez is now hoping to unseat Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, who endorsed Ms. Velázquez’s primary challenger last year. And she’s given the maximum contribution to Ms. Gonzalez’s opponent, Carlos Menchaca, part of an overall haul of $40,000 overall in just two weeks.