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.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is throwing her support behind City Councilwoman Tish James’s bid for public advocate.
“Once in a long while, a special leader comes along who has an uncanny ability to empathize with the plight of everyday people and the courage to fight for them. Councilwoman Letitia James is that leader,” said Ms. Clarke, who represents Brooklyn, in a glowing statement.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke went on The Colbert Report last night, where she argued some questionable points regarding her borough’s history. Notably, Ms. Clarke contended that the Dutch continued the practice of slavery in Brooklyn in 1898.
However, the Netherlands lost control of its colonies in the area to England in the 1674 Treaty of Westminster. Also, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution officially outlawed slavery in 1865.
View the transcript and the video below:
winners & losers
After much tension and circumstance, today’s primary elections for federal elections have come to a close, and there were few surprises to be found.
In each congressional race, the candidate of the conventional wisdom emerged victorious and all incumbents that sought to return to Washington D.C. next year are now set to do so — at least in parts of heavily Democratic New York City where primary elections are the actual contest.
The list of primary champions includes Reps. Charlie Rangel, Nydia Velázquez and Yvette Clarke, with open seat contenders Hakeem Jeffries and Grace Meng added in as well.
A number of New York City and State elected officials are in Washington D.C. this afternoon to address their concerns about the NYPD’s controversial stop and frisk policy. They are calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk as a civil rights violation. The NYPD stopped a record number of people last year, the vast majority of whom were minorities.
“New Yorkers are fed up with this policy that continually targets our communities,” Assemblyman Karim Camara, Chairman of the New York State Black Puerto Rican Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus said in a statement. “The numbers tell a tragic story. One recent report said that more young black men were stopped than actually lived in the city. We cannot get away from the fact that there is implicit racial bias in this tactic used by the NYPD. Since City officials refuse to listen, we are taking our cause to Washington. It’s time for some high-powered back up to advocate for the civil rights of New Yorkers.”
After Crain’s Insider reported Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was eyeing a run against Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, sources close to Mr. Markowitz walked back the campaign to City & State, saying although he had “strongly considered” the run, he was not moving forward with his campaign.
This afternoon, Mr. Markowitz’s office released a statement saying the Borough President was furthermore endorsing Ms. Clarke for reelection.
marty for congress?
Possibly confirming rumors that Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is thinking about challenging Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Crain’s Insider reported today, ”Sources close to Borough President Marty Markowitz confirm he’s mulling a run for Congress,” against her.
Update: City & State reports although sources close to Mr. Markowitz admit he had “strongly considered” the race, he will not ultimately be taking the plunge.
After much anticipation, the federal courts have released new congressional maps for the State of New York tonight. Assuming the Legislature can’t come to a last minute agreement, the boundaries below will likely represent the redistricting landscape on the federal level for the next ten years.
Last week, the court presented a draft map which contained a number of substantial changes to the electoral landscape. Notably, Congressmen Bob Turner, Maurice Hinchey, and Gary Ackerman saw their districts dismantled. Two of these districts inevitably had to be cut, as New York is required to lose two Congressional Districts this cycle. The plan additionally created a new Asian-plurality district in Queens that Mr. Ackerman has vowed to campaign for.
(Mr. Turner may be currently exploring a possible run for the U.S. Senate and Mr. Hinchey is retiring.)
target on yvette
Sylvia Kinard, an attorney and the second wife of the Democrat’s 2009 mayoral nominee Bill Thompson, is pushing forward with her efforts to unseat Central Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. Two days ago, she registered a committee with the Federal Elections Commission that will allow her to formally raise and spend money for her campaign.
She also has the beginning stages of a campaign website set up, and from the biography on the site, it seems she will emphasize her business and legal experience in the campaign: