Dear Governor Cuomo,
Wassup? Have you grown indifferent to Downstaters this year as you ready a campaign for re-election. More than 700,000 Brooklynites remain disenfranchised, without any legislative representation, in the NYS Assembly and the Senate. Most of the disenfranchised are people of color, including lots of Black folk. The affected Brooklyn Assembly districts are 54, 55, 59; and the Senate district in Crown Heights, Brownsville, Prospect Heights, Park Slope and Sunset Park, which was vacated by Eric Adams, who is now Brooklyn Boro prexy.
Are we disenfranchised Brooklynites not as important as the charter school demonstrators for whom you bent all sorts of rules about mayoral control of public schools and gave them all for which they petitioned. They got a ban on rent for NYC Charter Schools, the protection of Bloomberg approved co-locations……and their numbers are so small. The NYC school deal has Bloomberg and big business interests written all over it. The number of politically disenfranchised Brooklynites is 700,000, just about 400,000 shy of the NYC school population, most of whom cannot vote. The charter school population cannot be rounded out to a whole % point. Brooklynites need your ears, attention and action.
Gov, is former City Councilman Charles Barron from Brooklyn , the real reason for your failure to call special elections for the 12 vacant Legislative seats in Albany? We know that Mr. Barron is not one of your favorite politicians. He ran against you in the 2010 gubernatorial race. And people are still talking about how he interrupted you a few months later while you, as NYS Governor, were delivering a speech during a Caucus weekend. Guess that he does not know how vindictive you can be, on occasion. ……
Barron filed paperwork with the NYS Board of Election to run for the assembly seat vacated by his wife Inez Barron, who is now a NYC Councilwoman, having won the seat Charles vacated because of term limits. She seemed secure and has gotten impressive committee assignments, even a chairmanship, if memory serves. Wonder how long that will last because of bad blood between Charles and the NYC first couple. This week not only did Barron heckle Mayor de Blasio at a ground- breaking ceremony in East NY, Brooklyn, he intruded himself and his wife on the lectern, forcing a commissioner to leave, and commented at length about the origins of new building development. A NY Times reported that Barron said in 2009 that Bill de Blasio exploits his Black wife, Chirlane, to appeal to Black voters. Duh? This is politics.
It seems that Mr. Barron is often short on political protocol. It is hoped that he is not the real reason for your failure to call special elections. That would be petty. His arrival at Albany is inevitable. Wonder how Barron would transform Albany and the three-now -four men in the room culture?
Another question, Governor Cuomo…… What does Capital Tonight mean that according to a Siena poll, you are losing some ground to Astorino, the GOP opponent in your 2014 re-election bid? Capital Tonight also said that progressives like the Working Families Party are uneasy about your swing to center/right and that it could support some other progressives like Letitia James to run for Governor, as an Independent. Piece also says that James, virtually unknown outside of NYC, could erode your 61-26 lead over Astorino by 13% . Talks persist about Democrats to oppose you in your re-election bid.
BROOKLYN: Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has created a Public Integrity Hotline that citizens can call to report public corruption. Thompson says. “My office is committed to rooting out public corruption in Brooklyn and we take every complaint about corruption seriously.” DA Thompson, doesn’t Brooklyn need more pro-active, community-centered actions by your office. Consider the creation of a SAFE PASSAGE TEEN HOTLINE where people could report Brooklyn teen gang activity, neighborhood dysfunction and violence. On March 21, a senseless gun incident , on an MTA Brooklyn bus, took the life of Angel Rojas, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who came to NY for a better life, four years ago. The death was a gang-related action. Consider a SAFE PASSAGE FOR TEENS Hotline, which is far more important than public corruption, which is a lifestyle here to stay.
CENTRAL HARLEM: April 10 is when three Democrats hold the first debate for Charles Rangel’s congressional seat. The April 10 Debate fireworks will be held at Abyssinian Baptist Church, on West 138 Street at 7 pm. Congressmen Rangel, Reverend Michael Waldron, Sr. Pastor of the First Corinthian Baptist Church, and NYS Senator, Dominican Republic-born Espaillat. Charlie’s Congressional district is about 52% Latino, a mix of Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, with the rest being Blacks and whites. Former Latino political colleagues are throwing their support behind Espaillat, who is running as a kinder, gentler opponent this year. Reverend Waldron is African American whose church congregation is north of 9000. Representative Rangel got endorsements from US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer and Congressional minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
Since 2012 media reported about four NYPD precincts in Central Harlem which were manned by as many African- American commanders – Captain Steven Griffith, 26th Precinct; Deputy Inspector Kevin Williams, 28th Precinct; Ruel Stephenson, 30th Precinct; and Inspector Rodney Harrison, 32nd Precinct. All of these appointments were made during Commissioner Ray Kelly’s watch, and represented a first in NYPD history. However, he never named a Black commander to a precinct below 59 Street in Manhattan.
In 2014, new NYPD chief Bill Bratton re-assigns 5 of 10 commanders, who led precincts north of 96 Street, to other posts. Four of those commanders are African Americans who were assigned to Central Harlem precincts, a first in NYPD history. The four Black commanders were named during the NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s watch. He never assigned any Black commanders to precincts south of 96 Street, Manhattan .
AL SHARPTON: Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network is Harlem based. However, the NAN Annual Conference is headquartered downtown in the cavernous Sheraton Hotel on Times Square, from April 9 to 12. The 2014 NAN Conference is without equal. It seems that Valerie Jarrett, Special Adviser to POTUS, is the event planner. The headliner is President Barack Obama. Other American A-listers, who will attend as honorees, presenters or panelists, include NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo; NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio; John Rogers of Ariel Investments; Randi Weingarten; Deborah Wright, Carver Federal Savings Bank; USAG Eric Holder; Reverends A.R. Bernard and Floyd Flake; Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree; Jonathan Alter; and Desiree Rogers, ousted White House, social secretary. It is unfortunate that Smoking Gun Media elected to dig up dirt and publish info about Rev Al’s association with the FBI and the mob, more than 30 years ago on the eve of the biggest NAN event ever. What motivated this media smear? Was it intended to rain on the NAN Conference parade; to malign POTUS via associations; or to disrupt talks about the COMCAST/Time Warner Cable merger currently being mulled by Congress; all of the above? Rev. Al works for MSNBC, a Comcast station with progressive leanings?