The Crown Heights State Senate Race
  • Tuesday, August 12 | 6:30PM-8:00PMBRIC House Ballroom
    647 Fulton Street | Brooklyn, NY 11217

    Video/ flyer:    

    The district doesn't exactly match Crown Heights, but it is close enough...
  • The race is for the seat vacated by Eric Adams, District 20.    Here are the three candidates:   http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140513/crown-heights/meet-state-senate-candidates-vying-replace-eric-adams

    The Democratic primary is on Sept 9th, and -because we live in Brooklyn and the other parties won't put up a formidable challenge- that means the election is effectively Sept 9th.
  • Here's a map of District 20, which is more than a little gerrymandered:

    image

    Or, inspired by a 4 year old.
  • BRIC sure has been spending a lot of time in my neck of the hood. They should have looked a little closer at the district boundaries though -- neither of the two CH locations in the videos above are within District. Oh and I've decided it looks like and excavator. 

    construction-equipment
  • Or, the Big Dipper
  • @bklyn50 -
    You seem to be into this sorta thing. Do you have a favorite candidate?
  • I have been a strong follower of NY state politics for more than 20 years. The present senate is a clusterfart. The corruption throughout the house and senate might have seen some mitigation if the Moreland commission had been allowed to do what it was created for. Thus, it seems that at least two branches of our government are screwed.

    I don't live in the 20th CD. I have lots of family and friends that do. And because the politics/politicians that come out of central Brooklyn are all tied together, I want the best* candidate to come out of this district.

    *intelligent, collaborative, moral, visionary, and cognizant of the past failures of state politics and the changes that are necessary to serve ALL the people, not the monied few (i.e. Real Estate Board, hedge funds, the big 4/6 banks).

    Who seemed to you to be the candidate of the three: Dorancy, Hamilton III, or Philpotts, who came closest to meeting the checklist of best*?
  • Also, note the lack of interest in this thread, which has been demonstrated by

    1. The attendance and demographics (seems mainly family and friends of the candidates attended)
    2. The amount of interest in this thread.

    All politics are local.
    Maybe if one of these candidates ran on a platform of "universal bike lane, unlimited coffee shops, and death to people who put Ajax out to harm dogs", then there would be stimulating and informative discussion.

    Very few people demonstrate by their actions, the importance of STATE politics. NYC gets funding from/thru the state first, and sometimes directly from the federal government.
  • There is very little interest in local politics in general.

    In the recent race for Tish James' seat, I remember articles about how around many people (around 16,000) voted, and how Laurie Cumbo won with around 6000 votes.

    http://www.thenabe.me/blog/2013/09/11/laurie-cumbo-likely-wins-the-35th-district/

    Needless to say, only a tiny % of the people in the district voted in the election. I expect the election for District 20 to have even less interest.

    It was kind of depressing for me to listen to their takes on affordable housing: None of them seemed to realize that affordable housing will not be built unless it is the best option for the owners of the land.

    And, making it the "best option" in District 20 will be very expensive in terms of $, density, and/or foregone taxes.

    In NYS, when a politician is elected, they tend to stay in office for life or until they are indicted.

    I predict Hamilton III will get the job for D20.
  • I have often thought about running for a government office, but it seems like the doors are closed to all but the people who are part of the Brooklyn Democratic machine. How do you even get involved, to begin with?
  • The first steps seem to be wearing a suit to Democratic machine events, and being able to state you are part of a large local church.

  • While less strong than they were 30-40 years ago, the local political clubs are the easiest way to get into the game. You go to meetings, get a coalition to take over a club (or in some cases, set up a new one when the old one becomes defunct), become a district leader, get named to the county committee, and take it from there.

    One interesting thing about local politics is that for many years, Brooklyn Democratic politics were ruled by black and latino politicians with white pols that represented the few majority white neighborhoods or had successfully developed crossover campaigns (see Marty Markowitz). Brooklyn Republican politics were split down Brooklyn ethnic and religious lines with Irish, Italians, Jews and Catholics rotating control with Blacks (and to a lesser extent Latinos) serving as the swing block. In the late 80's and 90's many strong Democratic leaders opted not to groom young sucessors, but instead hand-picked family members to take over their seats upon retirement. These folks weren't necessarily the best or brightest, and some of the chaos we see in the city council and state legislature today stems from those decisions.
  • I'm not part of a large local church...unless you count the church of the CSA. Guess I'm out!
  • I'm likely out as well: In addition to avoiding wearing a suit and going to church, I am constantly cast as being against affordable housing merely by understanding the rights and motivations of property owners.

    A lot of people on Staten Island might like me if I lived there, but -in general- I don't like them or Staten Island.

    So, I think I should just observe. Tuesday's main observation was as follows:

    As a result of Eric Adams becoming BP, the D20 seat has now been vacant for something like six months. 

    I wanted to point out on Tuesday that, "if my employer saw no effect from a position being vacant for 6 months, they'd consider eliminating the position all together", but I decided not to.

  • In this case, the employer (Gov. Cuomo) seems to have little interest to bring another strong Dem to the current clusterfart that is the state senate.

    If I lived in SD20, I would have been made some inquiries into this. The people who live within SD20 own the fault for the poor response to their vacant seat.
  • Given the circumstances, I think its quite understandable that the only noise about filling the seat came from those seeking lifetime employment with the employer, not the employer's alleged clients/customers/constituents.
  • whynot_31 said:

    Tuesday's main observation was as follows:

    As a result of Eric Adams becoming BP, the D20 seat has now been vacant for something like six months. 


    I wanted to point out on Tuesday that, "if my employer saw no effect from a position being vacant for 6 months, they'd consider eliminating the position all together", but I decided not to.



    I'm not sure this is fair. The decision to have a special election has a steep cost. It's cheaper for all of us if the race to fill the seat is done during the regular election cycle rather than mobilizing off cycle. Presence or absence of this Senator isn't going to change the majority which is why the Governor isn't going to lay out $s to make sure the position is filled until September.
  • I agree that a special election would have been wasteful, and not changed anything. I didn't want one.

    My thought was far more "efficiency" related. I was headed in the OPPOSITE direction than a special election.

    Here we have a district that has no real identity, and doesn't seem to care about not having a representative.

    I often wonder what would happen if we had "less representation" or "less democracy", and if the cost savings would be worth it.

    As a result, the question would have been more broad than those addressed (or NOT addressed, but asked) at the debate.

    ...and I chose not to ask it.

    The Observer covered the debate: http://observer.com/2014/08/dorancy-and-hamilton-clash-in-brooklyn-senate-debate/

    And, provides a link to televised version:
  • @whynot_31  Your level of cynicism amazes me!
  • I'd guess that less representation would be acceptable only to those that remain represented in the shakeout.
  • Homeowner-
    yes, I can't think of a way to reduce this aspect of government fairly.

    bklyn50-
    Thanks. I usually keep such thoughts to myself because I don't want people to think I sympathize with the Tea Party.

    Those guys are nuts.
  • bklyn50 said:

    In this case, the employer (Gov. Cuomo) seems to have little interest to bring another strong Dem to the current clusterfart that is the state senate.

    If I lived in SD20, I would have been made some inquiries into this. The people who live within SD20 own the fault for the poor response to their vacant seat.






    homeowner said:

    I'm not sure this is fair. The decision to have a special election has a steep cost. It's cheaper for all of us if the race to fill the seat is done during the regular election cycle rather than mobilizing off cycle. Presence or absence of this Senator isn't going to change the majority which is why the Governor isn't going to lay out $s to make sure the position is filled until September.



    This is more or less what Hamilton told us (i.e. my neighbors) once at a tenants meeting. Gov. Cuomo didn't feel like having the seat filled once Eric Adams vacated it. I think Hamilton had been helping out de facto at the office anyway. (The office at 1669 Bedford Avenue is still occupied even though the seat is vacant. LOL) I know he had arranged for a mobile legal clinic to come to the neighborhood for a couple of days this month.

    @whynot_31, these candidates have to give lip service to affordable housing, even though you think it represents ideals that are very pie-in-the-sky. They would probably risk alienating a sizable amount of their constituents if they didn't.
  • I understand why they give lip service. I just find it depressing that

    1. The aspiring politicians actually think it is easy to create and/or

    2. The voters are so naive that they believe them.

    Affordable housing is possible. It is just expensive and difficult.
  • The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corp is sponsoring its own forum on August 27th:


    The State Democratic primary election is Tuesday, September 9. This year, two legislative seats representing Prospect Heights are open, with no incumbent running for re-election. 
    Hear from candidates hoping to represent the 52nd Assembly District and the 20th State Senate District at PHNDC's 2014 Candidates Forum, to be held Wednesday, August 27 at Duryea Presbyterian Church, 362 Sterling Place (corner of Underhill Avenue), beginning at 7:30PM.
    The 52nd Assembly District includes the blocks of Prospect Heights west of Underhill Avenue, St. Johns Place and Plaza Street East, and south of Prospect Place. The candidates are:Doug BivianoPete SikoraJo Anne SimonThe 20th State Senate District represents Prospect Heights blocks south of St. Marks Avenue. Candidates are:Rubain DorancyJesse HamiltonGuillermo PhilpottsAll candidates have confirmed participation in this event.The Assembly panel will begin at 7:30PM. The State Senate panel will begin at 8:30PM. Both panels will be moderated by WNYC economic development journalist Janet Babin.Community members may submit questions for the candidates using Google Moderator. All questions will be reviewed and compiled by the forum organizers prior to the event.
  • whynot_31 said:

    I understand why they give lip service. I just find it depressing that

    1. The aspiring politicians actually think it is easy to create



    As Eric Adams said at that open forum on 626 Flatbush a few months ago, "Build, baby, build!" ;)
  • I suspect part of my alienation stems from the fact the winner of this election will (unless indicted) have a job for life.

    I would love a job for life. I would totally make my kids dress up in church clothes and attend candidate forums if I could score that.
  • Mr Hamilton was outside the Brooklyn Museum 2/3 stop this AM.
  • I also saw a post for an upcoming 20th Senatorial District tenants forum. (Mr. Hamilton's name is on the flyer somewhere too.) 

    At the BK Museum stop? Good and strategic place to campaign. :) I wouldn't be surprised if his people were to pop up at the Prospect Park train station soon. 
  • Yup. He was handing out this flyer. Him with, um, one group of kids on one side and then a different group on the other side. I couldn't help but think "that's a lot like D20"
    image
  • What does running for such a seat entail?

    Jesse Hamilton stated on his facebook feed that he and his staff went to 24 Block Association Parties, and 6 Churches this weekend alone.


    I assume his main competitor, Dorancy is putting in similar effort.
  • I also saw a post for an upcoming 20th Senatorial District tenants forum. (Mr. Hamilton's name is on the flyer somewhere too.) 


    At the BK Museum stop? Good and strategic place to campaign. :) I wouldn't be surprised if his people were to pop up at the Prospect Park train station soon. 


    @whynot_31 - I was right! Jesse Hamilton was there at the Lincoln Rd entrance of the Prospect Park station this morning. Eric Adams was there with him to help him campaign. :) 

  • That's good news. That means he thinks that riders at that stop are likely to vote, and therefore worth his time.

    I assume Dorancy will be there soon, if he hasn't been there already:
    http://www.dorancy4senate.com/launch/
  • I did stop this morning ( I normally don't b/c I am usually rushing to work LOL). I did say, "yes, I recognize you because you came to [my apartment complex]" (which is true). 
  • I might go to the candidates forum/debate on Wed Aug 27th sponsored by PHNDC (see Aug 15th post above), if only to see how they change their pitch in response to a different audience.

    At the BRIC event, the audience was mostly die hard supporters and family members, so the "real audience" of undecided voters who would see the show on TV had to be imagined. In my view, the candidates seemed to imagine them as lower income folks who wanted government to mitigate macro economic changes.

    However, at the Aug 27th event, they will be debating in front of a CIVIC club in a neighborhood (Prospect Heights) that is now pretty wealthy.

    As a result of advertising the event more effectively than BRIC, my sense is that they may get an actual audience.

    ...One which has is different than the TV one they imagined, in that it has a different focus and is less susceptible to blatant populist appeals.
  • Needless to say, this one on Thursday (Aug 28th) at the United Lubavitch Yeshiva should also be a sight to see:


    image
  • @whynot_31, say hi to Tim if you go. :)

    Would you bring cards? 
  • Press:   http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-political-honchos-fight-tip-scale-fight-open-state-senate-seat-article-1.1916497

    Summary:   One candidate is endorsed by Eric Adams, the other is endorsed by Bill DeBlasio.


  • Threads collide!

    Women dressed in jeans and other "immodest" attire attend a Candidates Forum held in a Crown Heights Lubavitch Schul.

    ....the earth does not quake. I don't think anyone even notices.

    Nor am I surprised.

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/44402/crown-heights-dress-code#Item_80
  • This press about the event pretty much matches what I experienced:


    Lot of photos.
  • This seems like a very inexpensive way to imply "in group" support....
  • This flyer states that the orthodox community of Crown Heights is behind Dorancy.   However, I do not perceive their support to be as united as implied.    

    And, the guys in the photo did not assemble for said endorsement:

     
    dorancy
  • That endorsement is interesting. I wonder what the rationale is.
  • Presumably they have reason to believe he will be more amenable to representing their interests than his opponent.
  • Or, from the perspective of the Dorancy campaign:

    -They believe that the Lubavitch will vote in great enough numbers that they are worth courting.

    -They believe that the Lubavitch have a strong enough "group loyalty" that merely stating that Dorancy has been endorsed, will cause Lubavitch to vote accordingly.

    Remember, only about 20% of eligible voters are expected to vote tomorrow.


  • I was at a meeting when someone brought up the issue discussed in this article this to Rubain Dorancy:




    A candidate for the 20th District State Senate Seat accused his foe of ignoring six complaints of rape and assault at a senior home during a heated debate Thursday — yet had little information to substantiate the claims, DNAinfo New York has learned.
  • I attended that debate, and perceived it as really desperate move by Dorancy.

  • BTW, this may be the main reason Dorancy has earned their support:  


    BxCuom-IgAARKPl
  • This article seems to confirm what I stated above, ie the Lubavitch community is not united behind either candidate:

    http://crownheights.info/communal-matters/452682/conflicting-endorsements-from-crown-heights-groups/

    ...but each group/candidate wants the undecided voters to believe that the research on who will serve them best has been done for them, and reached a clear conclusion.


  • -Jesse Hamilton will replace current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as State Senator of the 20th district, in Brooklyn, defeating Rubain Dorancy by about 65-30%.

    http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5303-primary-election-results-2014-cuomo-hochul-teachout-wu

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