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BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Alexander Meadows officially announced his campaign for the 66th Assembly District two week ago. He’ll be challenging longtime incumbent Deborah Glick on Tues., Nov. 4.
The 66th District includes the West Village, Hudson Square, Tribeca, Soho, Noho, the East Village west of First Ave. and a small part of Battery Park City and Union Square.
Meadows, 37, is running as the candidate of the Progressive Party, a line he created specially for the election. As such, his name will be at the far right-hand side of the ballot.
A resident of the West Village for seven years and a member of Community Board 2 for six, Meadows ran for City Council last year against Corey Johnson and Yetta Kurland. However, he ultimately dropped out of the contest.
He is openly gay. Glick, 63, was a pioneer as the state Legislature’s first openly gay member.
Meadows said that, if elected, he wants to take the long view on issues.
“Everyone’s reactive,” he said. “I think it’s time we had someone who is proactive. I want to look beyond the old guard — and [Assembly Speaker] Shelly Silver — and look 10, 15, 20, 30 years down the road.
“She was great when she started,” he said of 24-year incumbent Glick. “I don’t think she has used the power that has been given to her to be effective for the district.”
Meadows intends to attack Glick on the legislation that was secretively passed last year — without any public notice or review — to allow the transfer of development rights from the Hudson River Park across the West Side Highway.
“We’re going to have another Superstorm Sandy, and there is someone in Albany who just wants to put more housing over there,” Meadows scoffed. “All she did was take the problem from the park and move it across the street. Now we’re going to be in litigation for the next 10, 15, 20 years for every project.”
Meadows supported the long-shot upstart Zephyr Teachout for governor, while Glick — like other elected officials — backed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who won the primary and continues to be the prohibitive favorite.
Meadows said he hopes to have at least one and possibly two debates with Glick.
He added that, if elected, he would speak out strongly against sexual misconduct in the state Legislature — charging that the Assembly’s current leadership has enabled it — and said Glick has not done enough to condemn or change this culture.
“They allowed women to be sexually harassed,” Meadows said of Silver and the Assembly leadership. “I would be speaking up a lot louder than she is,” he said of Glick, who he accused of being “afraid of rocking the boat” of Albany’s “good old boy network,” which he charged she is, in fact, a part of.
“She has to say, ‘Look, Sheldon, this is where we part ways.’ “
Meadows even went as far as to blast Glick’s prolific tweeting about football, her favorite sport, stating that she should be using her Twitter handle more forcefully to condemn the National Football League’s epidemic of domestic violence.
“It’s great that you want to tweet that someone made a great play,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, transgender — you should just speak up for zero tolerance of violence against women.”
Domestic violence is something Meadows said he knows first-hand from having grown up with an abusive father.
“I grew up with domestic violence,” he said. “As soon as that Ray Rice incident came up — that was my mom.
“On my birthday, my dad broke my mom’s nose and set her clothes on fire. … Once he held a gun to my head.”
At the same time, he conceded of Glick, “I would love for her to be an NFL sports announcer or ESPN announcer.”
Meadows acknowledged that Glick is a staunch opponent of violence against animals, such as feral pigs and even squirrels. Glick has condemned Upstate “canned hunts” of feral pigs, as well as “killing contests.”
As for whether Meadows stands a chance in the “big game” against Glick in November, who knows? He said he has raised $30,000 so far toward his run. “This is going to be a grassroots campaign that’s built on community support,” he said.
Isn’t his announcement, well, coming a bit late with only a little more than a month left in the race?
“As for the timing, it’s perfect, everyone really starts to pay attention to the races from now until Election Day,” he said.
Asked to respond to Meadows’s opening salvos, Glick said, “I’m going to go directly to the voters and tell them — remind them — what I’ve done and ask for their support. And I’m confident that at the end of the day, I’ll be re-elected overwhelmingly.”
“I’m not going to be negative in my campaign. I think we’ve had enough negative campaigning,” she said, adding, “My opponent should probably spend more time talking about what he’s done and what he has to offer.”
As for debating Meadows, she said, “That’s not a discussion we’ve had. He just announced.”
On Meadows’s saying she hasn’t adequately condemned sexual harassment in the Legislature, Glick retorted, “I have an excellent record of speaking up and out for women on a wide range of issues, including sexual misconduct.”
She also defended herself against Meadows’s attacks on the Hudson River Park development rights-transfer legislation, saying the new law is a good thing — and that it won’t damage both the park and the Village, as he contends.
“Absolutely, I’m proud that I protected the park from luxury high-rise development, and at the same time provided a potential source of revenue to maintain the park,” she said.
How about her opponent’s criticism that she hasn’t used her tweets to put an all-out blitz on the N.F.L. on domestic violence?
“Oh, please,” she said, exasperatedly. “It’s grasping at straws on his part. If this is what he has to offer people of the 66th as a representative in the Assembly, I’m even more confident.