A battle for Bay Ridge may be shaping up in a City Council race this fall.
John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff and press secretary for GOP State Sen. Marty Golden, told Politicker he’s “strongly considering” challenging Councilman Vinnie Gentile, a Brooklyn Democrat who has represented the area in some capacity since 1996.
This won’t be the first time Mr. Golden and Mr. Gentile have been on opposing teams, however, as then-Councilman Golden won his seat in the State Senate by defeating Mr. Gentile after last decade’s redistricting cycle. Mr. Gentile subsequently won a special election to replace Mr. Golden.
The typically mild-mannered Councilman Vinnie Gentile went to town on a particular cut Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed to the Out of School Time program in a sharply worded press release this morning, entitled with the phrase “Bloomberg is declaring war on children!”
The program, described by the city government as a free service providing “a mix of academic, recreational and cultural activities for young people (grades K-12) after school, during holidays and in the summer,” would reportedly be cut in about half with the proposed budget released in February, and advocates have been rallying since.
bay ridge's honor
Elected officials and community members rallied against the upcoming reality show “Brooklyn 11223″ this afternoon, lambasting the show as demeaning to women and calling on the Oxygen network to take it off the air.
Councilman Vinnie Gentile, who organized the event, told The Politicker the show “hit such a nerve in Bay Ridge and we had such a reaction from the locals that they wanted an avenue, a way, to speak out.”
And speak out they did. Carlo Scissura, representing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, took the largest broadside to the network for hosting the show.
“What amazes me is the hypocrisy of this network. This is a network that brands itself as looking out for the interests of women, and yet they do something that completely disparages women, particularly Italian-American women,” he said, before calling for the community to rise up. “If the show’s filming in one of the restaurants, stop going there, period. If the show’s coming out here and they’re wrecking the streets or taking up parking spots, call the police.”
a parade for vets
Bay Ridge Councilman Vinnie Gentile is calling for the Oxygen network to take off the air a new program called, “Brooklyn 11223,” a show that has been called “as trashy as “Jersey Shore.”
Oxygen’s announcement of “Brooklyn 11223″ said the series will offer “a voyeuristic look into the lives of a group of twentysomething friends whose once rock-solid friendships have been torn apart by betrayal.”
The exact nature of the betrayal isn’t completely clear, but Oxygen teases that it will involve “one friend [who] may have betrayed another by seducing a boyfriend.”
mom and pop shops
New Yorkers may be celebrating the New York Giants Super Bowl win in the streets today, but Councilman Vinnie Gentile, who sits on the Council’s Committee on Veterans, is asking why New York City isn’t hosting a parade for returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan as well.
“I think we can all agree that the New York Giants deserve a parade for winning the Super Bowl,” he said in a statement. “I’ll be there today cheering them on along with everyone else. But if a football team gets a parade, shouldn’t our veterans? Are they not the real giants here?”
bay ridge battle
After GOP activist Andy Sullivan declared his intentions to challenge Councilman Vinnie Gentile last week, charging that the incumbent has done nothing to help small businesses, the Councilman doesn’t look likely to cede this ground to his opponent. He blasted out a statement this afternoon entitled “CM GENTILE VOWS TO END CITY’S ASSAULT ON SMALL BUSINESSES.”
“My district office in Bay Ridge is a storefront on Third Avenue. I am surrounded by restaurants, small retail stores and other mom & pop businesses. I hear what they’re going through with City agencies and they are not happy,” Councilman Gentile said last week to a room full of business leaders at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “There’s a place for enforcement of consumer rights and health standards but there is absolutely no place to turn enforcement responsibilities into revenue collection responsibilities. I am very concerned that the Departments of Health and Sanitation have become little more than extra tentacles for the City’s revenue collection.”
Andy Sullivan, a construction worker and community activist, officially registered a committee to run against Brooklyn Councilman Vinnie Gentile today. In a brief interview, Mr. Sullivan said his campaign would be focused on helping small businesses.
“I feel that nothing he has done has helped small business within the area,” Mr. Sullivan said of Councilman Gentile. “I think the Democrats in general are more concerned about creating programs and entitlements that are being funded by taxpayers, making it inhospitable for the mom and pop small businesses.”