Two Brown University alumni named Stephen are facing off in a Brooklyn City Council race, but their similarities have not dulled the heat in one of the more contentious downballot contests in the city.
Councilman Steve Levin, facing a re-election challenge from Stephen Pierson, has endured a barrage of attacks from Mr. Pierson since the soft-spoken publisher launched his uphill campaign. The latest involves the Pierson camp claiming that Mr. Levin has been courting the support of a controversial real estate Super PAC.
Vito Lopez protegé and City Councilman Stephen Levin walked into the lion’s den last night, facing the virulently anti-Lopez New Kings Democratic club for the first time.
Mr. Levin, Mr. Lopez’s former chief of staff, was invited to a club candidate forum in a Williamsburg basement decorated with musical instruments, old video games and a pile of stuffed Care Bears, where members sipped beers and passed around pizza slices as candidates spoke. Members described the appearance as “an historic event for a very small group of people.”
Several Council members held a rally along with several members of the Occupy Wall Street movement to call attention to allegedly excessive force used by police who cleared crowds at the Occupy protest in Zuccotti Park Saturday night. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who has been a staunch supporter of the Occupy movement and claims he was the victim of excessive police force when he was arrested during the eviction of the protest from Zuccotti Park last November, said there will be a massive “Day of Action” for Occupy next Saturday, that he is working on a bill to establish a “protester’s Bill of Rights” and that he plans to push Christine Quinn to hold a hearing reviewing the NYPD’s handling of the occupiers.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is mourning the death of 22-year-old City Council aide Hope Reichbach, who was found dead in her apartment yesterday afternoon.
“All of Brooklyn’s thoughts and prayers are with Hope’s parents, Judge Gustin Reichbach and Ellen Meyers, her friends, and of course, my condolences to Councilman Levin and his staff. Here at Borough Hall we had the good fortune of working with Hope, who was a committed and passionate public servant. She truly will be missed.”
One reader emailed me and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so freaked about the death of someone I knew so casually” describing Reichbach as “smart, vivacious, full of life.”
Update: Rep. Nydia Velazquez:
“Today Brooklyn lost not only a rising star but a dedicated civic servant. A natural for public service, Hope Reichbach was a young woman with many dreams and so much promise. My thoughts are with her parents Ellen and Gus and with all those whose lives she touched.”