New Kids on the Bloc
With just three weeks to go before Election Day, Muslim leaders and activists gathered in Brooklyn to rally for Bill de Blasio today, hoping their various grievances with the Bloomberg administration would be addressed by a more sympathetic mayor.
Advocates hoping to swing the election by urging voters to elect “Anybody but Quinn” gathered across the street from the closed St. Vincent’s Hospital this evening for a get-out-the-vote rally they billed as an early “retirement party” for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
The event–which included the presentation of a series of mock parting gifts in honor of Ms. Quinn’s desired departure, including a “term limit-less watch from Rolex, so that Quinn will be reminded that her time is up”–came just hours after the release of the latest mayoral poll, which cast Bill de Blasio as the clear front-runner in the mayor’s race, with 36 percent of the vote, versus just 21 percent for Ms. Quinn. Attendees greeted the news with glee.
“I got tears in my eyes,” said Brian Gari, 61, who was one of the more than 100 supporters who turned up for the event and cheered as the results were announced. “I’m thrilled beyond belief.”
The Israel-Palestine conflict once again reached New York’s political scene today as elected officials and other activists gathered to denounce Brooklyn College’s political science department for their controversial decision to sponsor a February forum calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. To say the press conference was heated would be an understatement as it was chocked full of charged rhetoric including multiple references to anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and al-Qaeda.
“Let me tell you, it brings back a lot of memories,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the emcee of today’s denunciation, began. “I studied here towards my B.A. and got my Master’s at Brooklyn College, a lot of very fond memories. I stand here very, very disappointed, … students and the organization [are] holding a lecture next week with two viciously, viciously, anti-Israel [speakers]. And when I say ‘viciously,’ I mean they call for the destruction of the state of Israel. They think Hamas and Hezbollah are good organizations. I would assume they feel the same way about al-Qaeda. These are individuals who are extreme radicals.”
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries’ house and electoral base were removed from the court’s draft map for the congressional district he is seeking to represent, but he said this afternoon his plan is to continue his campaign for the 10th Congressional District held by incumbent Congressman Ed Towns.
After a rally in front of the federal courthouse urging the courts to modify their proposal, The Politicker asked if he would be willing to shift his campaign to the Congressional District he would live in under the court’s map, setting up a primary with Rep. Yvette Clarke instead of Mr. Towns.
“Well, again, that’s hypothetical,” he responded. “My plan is to move forward under the 10th congressional lines as they currently exist, or as they’re proposed.”