Under Cover, Week of June 4, 2015

Odd Politics

It’s literally an

Jenifer Rajkumar last month announcing her district leader reelection campaign. Standing next to her is Public Advocate Tish James, U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (center) and Jerry Nadler (far right)

Jenifer Rajkumar last month announcing her district leader reelection campaign. Standing next to her is Public Advocate Tish James, U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (center) and Jerry Nadler (far right)

odd year for politics Downtown.

There’s usually something interesting in the “evens” — state Assembly and Senate races as well as ones for Congress and either governor or president. Every other “odd” has mayoral and City Council elections, but then there’s years like this one with mostly offices for positions few people know much

Gigi Li, Community Board 3's chairperson, who's running for district leader against Jenifer Rajkumar.

Gigi Li, Community Board 3’s chairperson, who’s running for district leader against Jenifer Rajkumar.

about like Democratic district leaders — unpaid Election Day watchdogs who are also supposed to keep the paid pols in touch with their communities.

A month ago when district leader Jenifer Rajkumar announced her run for reelection with an unusually high-profile event drawing the likes of Public Advocate Tish James and two members of Congress — Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney— she didn’t know if she’d have a challenger in September. But this week, Gigi Li, chairperson of Community Board 3, announced she would try and unseat Rajkumar.

That’s when things got interesting.

Sean Sweeney, a Rajkumar ally and a longtime leader of Downtown Independent Democrats, told UnderCover that in his view, Li was both a “carpetbagger” and a “sacrificial lamb” whom Councilmember Margaret Chin put up to run against Rajkumar, who unsuccessfully ran against Chin in 2013.

We’re not sure of Chin’s role in Li’s decision since the often press-shy councilmember and Li didn’t comment, but it is true that Li faces a tough battle against Rajkumar in part because she lives in a different part of the Assembly district, Chinatown.

Rajkumar, a Battery Park City resident, has previously beaten two B.P.C. residents with strong and longer ties to the neighborhood — Linda Belfer in 2011, and Robin Forst in 2013 — the same primary she lost to Chin.

“Ms. Li does not live in our district and has no connection to or record in our community whatsoever,” Rajkumar said in a statement.  “She and our community would be far better served if she would pursue her ambitions in the Chinatown district in which she actually lives. ”

In an interview, Rajkumar said she takes any election challenge seriously, and Sweeney’s theory about Chin’s influence is “plausible.”

Li is permitted to run in any part of the 65th Assembly district including Part C (much of B.P.C., FiDi, with snippets of the Lower East Side and Soho ) since she does live in the A.D.

For her part, Li, who has taken heat from some Downtowners who think she hasn’t been tough enough on liquor license applications at the community board, did not respond to an interview request.

She sent us a statement saying she offered “genuine leadership experience….I know that together we can make incredible strides and get the real results our community needs. In the coming weeks I’ll be speaking directly with residents across the district about my plan.”

There are at least two challenges in the 66th Assembly district, just to the north and west. Jean Grillo and John Scott, two district leaders, who splintered from Sweeney and the rest of D.I.D, last year, are now being challenged respectively by Terri Cude, a leader at Community Board 2 in the Village, and Dennis Gault, a resident of north B.P.C. and longtime Community Board 1 member.

“It’s been 10 years, I think it’s time for change and new energy,” Cude told us. “I think I can bring a better balance between the south and north edges of the district.”

Grillo and Scott live close to each other in Tribeca. She dismissed the balance argument as phony since D.I.D. endorsed them before she and Scott formed Downtown Progressive Democrats last year.

Grillo said she has always stayed connected to all parts of her part, B. She is proud to have the endorsement of Assemblymember Deborah Glick of the 66th A.D. and Councilmember Corey Johnson, who covers the north, as well as many other pols including Chin, U.S. Rep. Nadler, and State Sen. Daniel Squadron.

Gault, who favors term limits, said he does not look at his campaign as running against Scott, but just as a way to strive toward the democratic ideal.

“One of my lifelong idols is George Washington,” he said. “He said we didn’t fight the English to have another king. He left after eight years as president to let someone else take the leadership role.”

He didn’t compare Rajkumar and her co-leader, Paul Newell, to G.W., but he did say he looks to them as district leader role models for using their positions to raise important issues. Gault, a teacher, wants to focus on education, affordable housing and subway improvements.

Scott did not comment.

We circle back to Sweeney, who unlike Jeb Bush a few weeks ago, had no hesitation saying that if he knew then, what he knows now, he would have done things differently. He said he regrets helping Chin unseat Councilmember Alan Gerson six years ago.

“Yes, everyone agrees [now] Gerson was better — at least he was not vindictive,” Sweeney said. “Gerson was the preferred candidate. He would not have sold us out on N.Y.U. and he would have supported the community’s struggle against the Soho BID.”

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37 Responses to Under Cover, Week of June 4, 2015

  1. Interesting that you note that Gigi Li "did not respond to an interview request." Li never does press interviews (ask the Villager if you want confirmation), because she is terrified about having to defend her abysmal, divisive record as chair of CB3 or of having to discuss her failure to appoint any persons of color to leadership positions at CB3 for nearly 2 full years (until an African-American member of the board called her out on it). Is that someone we want representing our community? NO!!!!!

    • To clarify, she didn't appoint any Black or Latino members. She did appoint Asian members to leadership positions.

  2. Li "did not respond to an interview request"? Seems indicative of her positions on everything. Why did she even bother to enter this race if she won't be accountable for her actions (or lack of action)?

    Jenifer Rajkumar, on the other hand, actually lives in the District where she has been ON THE RECORD fighting for her constituents and defending those in need. The choice is simple.

  3. Ms. Rajkumar's statement that Ms. Li should go back to Chinatown when she has every right to run in any part of the Assembly District is nothing less than racist. It is disgusting and uncalled for from an elected official. I call on every elected official to denounce Ms. Rajkumar for her comments and withdraw their endorsement and support. It is appalling that a civil rights attorney would stoop to that kind of campaigning especially someone who knows the difference.

    Ms. Rajkumar should and must immediately withdraw from her candidacy for District Leader.

    • Ken, really? Playing the desperate "racist" card? And re-writing the statement from Jenifer Rajkumar to do so? Seems that your comment is more in line with what you describe as "disgusting and uncalled for." Jenifer Rajkumar has been a terrific advocate for her District, and deserves the support of all.

      • Certainly you may feel Ms. Rajkumar has been terrific, however, I don't care how good she is, I don't believe racists should be public officials. She needs to resign, it's over.

        • Paskar: It's been said that people cry "racism" to conceal their own.

          • This is NOT about me. For a public official to tell an Asian American to go back to Chinatown when she has every legal right to run in any part of the assembly district where she lives screams racism. I understand you support Ms. Rajkumar she is a very likeable and qualified candidate, but, no matter how qualified a candidate racist statement cannot be tolerated, ever. Ms. Rajkumar is a civil rights attorney for heaven's sake!! She should know better !!

          • OhDoStopBeingSilly

            Writing and saying that Jenifer is a racist is just plain untrue. Jenifer is an Asian American herself, lol. And she is no racist. When she campaigned for City Council (and narrowly lost to the incumbent) her supporters included people from all areas of the community, including Chinatown. They know your comments are false. So please, stop this nonsense. Everyone gets it that you are trying to twist facts, make untrue true…just as certain people keep calling President Obama a Muslim and not a native-born American, hoping that it would stick. You are playing a dangerous and …. unbecoming….game. Stop trying to manipulate us!

            And personally, I like the idea of having someone actually living in my ED to represent me. Where was Gigi in all the BPC fights? Not standing next to Jenifer Rajkumar, who was always there for her district as a leader.

    • Don't twist word! Ms. Rajkumar did NOT say the words you would cynically put in her mouth. Why did you try that cheap shot?

      Instead, Jenifer actually said Li "should pursue her ambitions in the Chinatown DISTRICT in which she actually lives."

      Your inexperience in politics is evident since you are failing to understand that Rajkumar is referring to an ELECTION District, not a "racial" district.

      Jenifer is specifically referring to the Election District, "District Part D" of the 65th Assembly District, which happens to be located in Chinatown. Gigi Li is running in "District Part C", primarily Battery Park City, where Rajkumar lives.

      But you raise the question: Why is Gigi Li running against someone in Battery Park City, a community to which Li has provided nothing, and not in Part D, aka Chinatown, a community that has a myriad of problems that Gigi Li could address?

      No. Li's gambit into Jenifer's community makes no sense, except in terms of a clueless lapdog waging Margaret Chin's hoary grudges.

      • Ms. Li has every right to run in any part of the Assembly district where she lives. I'm not the one who said GO BACK TO CHINATOWN to my Asian opponent. I'm not the bad guy here.

        • Ms. Rajkumar did not say that either. Spin and spin but no one is buying it. Ms. Li needs a better mouthpiece than you. You are the only one in every publication defending her. Where are the rest of her supporters. The one's who believe in her and can shed light on her accomplishments?

        • Take your meds, Ken, take your meds.

  4. Li is running to represent an in which she doesn't actually live?

    Well isn't that rich (read: ridiculous).

    I'm not usually one for Sweeney's theories–but he seems pretty on the money with this one.

  5. Ms. Li lives in the Assembly district which she is running which is in compliance with NY State Law. If you feel that she needs to live in the assembly district part in which she is running you can certainly vote for someone else or change the law. But, Jenifer Rajkumar's statement that Ms. Li should go back to Chinatown is both unconscionable and racist. Time for her to step down.

    • How very desperate Ms. Li looks with you and only you defending her ridiculous (and transparent) decision to challenge Ms. Rajkumar. And now pulling out the racist card! If Ms. Li had any political acumen, she would tell you to shut up!

      I suppose since Ms. Li can't speak for herself other than sending out a press release full of platitudes, she needs a rabid dog like you to bark for her…

      I live in District C where Ms. Li and her pug Victor hail (nauseating that was in the release) and over the years attended CB3 meetings. Ms. Li has been unremarkable on every front. She is a lapdog for the politicos. Anyone that does Susan Stetzer and Chin's bidding lacks scrupulous and integrity.

      Here is a novel idea why don't you arrange a debate? Love a front row seat to that…

      • CouncilDist1Voter

        A debate? Terrific. I am quite confident that Ms. Li will overshadow Ms. Rajkumar, on any topic. Ms. Li actually understands zoning, the issues involved in actually securing affordable housing, the legislative needs of Senior Citizens and of children and families. Ms. Li has actually worked in social service agencies serving children and families throughout Lower Manhattan; she has actually been appointed to the leadership of several boards charged with addressing Lower Manhattan issues and giving guidance to Elected officials and City agencies.

        Ms. Rajkumar, on the other hand, has never met a photo opportunity she didn't like, especially if there is an Elected official around, but when it comes to actually understanding an issue she is a scripted talking head.

        • Please see the Downtown Post article on Ms. Rajkumar's announcement. Here's an excerpt. "Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney praised Rajkumar as "an outstanding leader for her constituency," citing her work to end the contemporary slave trade of human trafficking that has resulted in "the strongest state anti-trafficking legislation in the country." In Battery Park City, said Maloney, Rajkumar has fought "to preserve usable open space in the community and to save the North Cove Marina" and "has built a permanent grassroots network to continue voicing the community's priorities and concerns to the Battery Park City Authority." She also said that Rajkumar had helped to persuade the MTA to restore the M9 bus route linking the Lower East Side to Battery Park City. "Now that's a big thing," Maloney said. "That wasn't easy to change."

          Congressman Nadler said that Rajkumar had "demonstrated time and again her ability and her interest and her willingness and her energy in building diverse coalitions to tackle community problems and to lead."

          Letitia James said that Rajkumar had worked with the office of Public Advocate on a wide variety of issues. "When we focused on the state of our public health system, we reached out to Jenifer," James said. "She was a part of our effort when we sponsored town halls all across the City of New York on mayoral control of our public school system."

          Rajkumar was also endorsed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and by Manhattan County Leader Keith Wright.

          The emcee for the event was Gen. Sidney Baumgarten, a long-time Battery Park City resident. Baumgarten told the crowd, "Jenifer not only supported the Battery Park City CERT [Community Emergency Response Team], she took the courses and became a member of the CERT." He mentioned that Rajkumar is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and "is working for a law firm where she does a lot of civil rights work. She is a very powerful spokesperson for the underprivileged and the disadvantaged in New York."

          Steven Wong, President of the Hotel Chinese Workers Association, also spoke, praising Rajkumar's work helping workers in Chinatown. "She is a strong lady, and she knows the issues," said Wong, pointing out how Rajkumar has used her background as a civil rights lawyer to help Chinese hotel workers fighting wage discrimination.

        • Who conjured you out of thin air? As soon as it is pointed out that Ms. Li has no one going to bat for her but a man on the brink of madness named Ken Paskar, you show up to tout how wonderful she is. This is rich!

          Though of us who know Ms. Li and have had to deal with her can attest thou protest too much!

          Let me assure you photo ops is what Ms. Li does best–be it Shelly, Squandron, Chin, Mendez you will find Ms. Li somewhere in the picture.

          Ms. Rajkumar would dance circles around Ms. Li on any issue especially zoning. If you think Ms. Li should be proud of her role in SPURA you really have no understanding of what a bad deal this was or what affordable housing really means. But more than that, like Ms. Li you are complacent in Shelly's corruption. SPURA has Shelly's dirty hand prints everywhere…

  6. Mr. Paskar: You want to talk racism? GiGi Li is the one who should step down from her candidacy for racism. Li was accused this year of failing to appoint African Americans, Latinos, or Jews to Community Board 3 Chair Positions. This prompted an Equal Opportunity investigation into her leadership of the Board by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Brewer's final report found that Li failed to sufficiently emphasize the values of diversity and inclusion. See the below article: https://www.boweryboogie.com/2014/04/cb3-member-a
    If you are so concerned about racism, you should call for GiGi Li to step down from her CB3 Chairmanship.

    • I absolutely agree that there must be emphasis on diversity and inclusion in community boards, no argument from me. But, that doesn't excuse Ms. Rajkumar's racist remarks nor does it make it right.

      • "Asked if one of the recommended “remedial actions” in the letter sent to her at the investigation’s conclusion was that she undergo E.E.O. standard non-discrimination training, Li told The Villager, “I cannot speak to the Manhattan borough president’s investigation or its results."

        Gigi Li does not deny she had to undergo "remedial actions" regarding racial discrimination under her chairship of CB3.

        Draw your own conclusion, folks, draw your own conclusion.
        http://thevillager.com/2015/01/22/lis-leadership-

  7. The following quote taken from the report in the link which you provided clearly exonerates Ms. Li from any racial discrimination " The first page of a heavily redacted letter from the Manhattan borough president’s office to C.B. 3 member Ayo Harrington, notifying her that E.E.O. investigators found her complaint against Chairperson Gigi Li to be unsubstantiated.".

    There are no conclusions to draw except for the findings of the investigation.

    I think it's rather nice that Ms. Rajkumar has such a devoted following, however, I go back to my original point. Even if you were to find wrongdoing by Ms. Li, which clearly from the conclusion of the report there wasn't any, that wouldn't excuse the racist remarks which Ms. Rajkumar made against her and Asian Americans.

    You can continue to drag me and Ms. Li and others through the mud in the hopes that you can redirect the conversation away from what Ms. Rajkumar said, but it won't work. As every knows, you can't unring a bell. Racism has no place in our government and Ms. Rajkumar needs to step down immediately.

    • You might be stark raving mad? You have devoted so much energy trying to make this racism thing plausible. Yet, you have only succeeded in the opposite, highlighting all of Ms. Li's glaring flaws and weak leadership.

      Ms. Rajkumar doesn't need to step down. She needs to step up and succeed in beating Ms. Li so that our community can move forward toward a more inclusive and representative governance. The days of the Shelly machine are long gone–no matter how desperate you try to cling to them Mr. Paskar.

      Support Ms. Li all you want but please stop trying to find racism where there is none. This dumb down Fox news kind of politicking is beneath all of us, including Ms. Li whom you champion. Do her favor let it go before you dig her deeper in a hole.

  8. You're certainly have every right to your opinions and I have every right to mine. You certainly don't have to agree with me, you can support whomever you wish and can vote for whomever you want. Ms. Li has every right to run in this election in whatever part she wishes within her assembly district. For an elected official who is also a civil rights attorney to tell her opponent who is Asian American to go back to Chinatown is unconscionable and that person should not hold office. I didn't recruit Ms. Li to run and didn't even know about it until last week. This all started out with a myriad of nasty comments against Ms. Li for running against Ms. Rajkumar which I read in The LoDown. I simply replied that Ms. Li has a right to run and if you don't feel she is right for the job don't vote for her. I also stated that the Democratic process works best when the voters have a choice so that we can have discussion and different points of view and let the process bring out the best in our candidates. Clearly I was right. We see what happens when in this instance when a candidate, an incumbent nevertheless, is challenged and her true colors come out. Instead of championing the process and welcoming her opponent to the process and winning on her record she instead tried to argue that Ms. Li shouldn't run against her even though she knows Ms. Li has every right to. Instead of saying that she was opposed to candidates running in parts where they don't live as a matter of policy she was quoted as saying Ms. Li, who is an Asian American, to run in Chinatown where she lives. Clearly, there are more than one neighborhood other than Chinatown in the assembly part where Ms. Li lives, but, she instead made it a point to identify and single out Chinatown. That to me is nothing less than racism. Our district is comprised of many neighborhoods and people from many backgrounds all of whom add to what makes our district so wonderful. From Little Italy, Chinatown, The LES, Tribeca, the Financial District we have seen and been through the worst of times, from the World Trade Center bombing, to 911 and Superstorm Sandy and have come out of all that a much better, stronger and in every aspect a more wonderful district. For an elected official in this district, after all we've been though to be so divisive as to tell an opponent to go back to Chinatown does not have my trust nor ever represent me. This is not only about Ms. Li, but, about the people who live in this district including me who has an opinion and a vote. I'm at peace with my position and if my neighbors in the district wish to disagree with me they certainly have the right to vote for Ms. Rajkumar.

    Mr. Sweeney from Downtown Independent Democrats who clearly understands downtown politics quite well from what I've read (I've never had the pleasure of meeting him) was quoted in this article as saying " …. he regrets helping Chin unseat Councilmember Alan Gerson six years ago". I think in supporting Ms. Rajkumar now considering this new development he might be making the same mistake twice.

  9. – Both women are running for political office. Thus, both are politicians.
    – Both have political ambitions. Both have the right to those ambitions. Women get to do that too.
    – This is about Shelly Silver’s seat should he should step down. (we don’t have to pretend about that).
    – Assembly Districts are gerrymandered – including the 65th Assembly District. Look at the map. 1/3 of it is near Houston Street, a chunk over near Little Italy and a bunch downtown near Battery Park City. There isn’t any one neighborhood to these boundaries. https://gallery.mailchimp.com/b701ca272baa1710e83

    If you are saying this should be decided by the neighborhood you live in …that’s going to be impossible.
    – Li works with her Council Member. You are supposed to if you chair a CB. They often agree on issues (both have been/are community organizers – there are a common bonds around creating affordable housing, equity, small business protections, elders, youth, etc.). You could construe their working relationship as collegial.
    – Chinese people are a diverse and varied community with different political agendas. Go to a meeting with the Chinatown Working Group and you’ll see a very wide spectrum.
    – I assume the people who endorsed Rajkumar meant what they said. And Li wasn’t in the race at the time. Both are true.
    – The Downtown Express and the Villager are both owned by same company. The Villager endorsed Rajkumar in the Council race. The paper has not been a fan of Li. Perhaps her decision not to comment to this paper reflects a concern for that bias.
    – CB3 is one of the most racially and economically diverse Boards in Manhattan.
    – Both of these women get targeted by racism – they know more about it than most of us writing here. I think we can let that one go.

    • K: Your last two bullet points are key here. Yes, CB3 is very diverse, but for nearly her first two full years as Chair, Gigi Li did not appoint a single Black member, Latino member, or Jewish member to chair a CB3 committee (and thereby get a seat of the Exec Board). Gigi Li did her best to make sure CB3's diversity did not extend to its leadership, and she only moved off that position once a complaint was filed against her. You are surely right that both women have been subject to racism, but Gigi Li is responsible for her own racism and anti-Semitism as Chair of CB3. Many of us are not prepared to just "let that one go" as you suggest, and for you, as a white, non-Jewish woman, to suggest to Blacks, Latinos and Jews that they should let it go is way out of line.

      • The Borough President's findings in her report after a lengthy and thorough investigation into this matter concludes that the complaints against Ms. Li for racial discrimination as Chair of CB3 were unsubstantiated. I trust in the Borough President's report, Gale Brewer is a wonderful and trustworthy public servant. As a Latino and as a Jew (that's 2 out of 3) I do not believe that Ms. Li's choices were racially motivated. Thank you K Webster for your balanced and well thought out comments and thank you No so fast for your comments and for your vigilance in keeping our public servants in check. Bravo to both of you.

    • "The Villager endorsed Rajkumar in the Council race. The paper has not been a fan of Li. Perhaps her decision not to comment to this paper reflects a concern for that bias." You are such a Li apologist, and everyone in the community knows it. Perhaps the papers are biased against Li because she doesn't speak to them? Perhaps the papers are not a fan of Li because she has run CB3 into the ground (25% of CB3's members quit last year)? Every consider those options K? Surely not!

  10. Lora Tenenbaum

    I live in ED 65, Part C. I would hate to lose the outstanding representation of the two incumbent District Leaders. While I know and respect Gigi Li, her focus has not really been on any area of Part C. She doesn’t even reside in it. Granted, Part C is ridiculously gerrymandered. The way we voters have handled it is that one district leader (Paul Newell) is from the part in the LES and the other (Jenifer Rajkumar) is from BPC. Together, they cover most of the district…. and have proved they truly know it (even the the free-floating 4 blocks of SoHo and the two disparate blocks of Little Italy). Gigi cannot claim that.

    My vote is going to be for incumbent Jenifer Rajkumar.

    • Fair enough Lora. I will just add that as the CB3 chair Gigi has focused on the sections of this Assembly District that are in CB3 – as is the job. As representatives, either candidate would, I assume, represent the sections their district included.

    • Extremely valid points and I respect your choice and you may very well be right. Keep in mind that every candidate brings something else to the table. Something to think about.

  11. Anne Johnson

    Isn't it interesting that Gale Brewer endorsed Rajkumar when she has done everything to pump up and protect Gigi Li. Brewer even had the audacity to not reappoint Ayo Harrington to CB3 when it was Ayo who pointed out Gigi Li's abysmal record of appointments to committee chairs. There seem to be several elected officials who have gathered around Gigi Li in an attempt to protect her and pump her up so she can run for office in the future. It is as though she is the Taylor Swift of CB 3. Giving her advice to run against an incumbent District Leader in an area where she is not known, is not good political advice. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this race.

    • I'm not exactly sure what the problem is. Why is there something wrong with supporting someone else to run for office? That's what elections are for. Why is it bad advise to run against an incumbent? Ms. Rajkumar ran against two incumbent district leaders in the past and against the incumbent City Council Person. I didn't think there was anything wrong with it then and I don't think there's anything wrong with it now. If people want to run for office they should and people should be free to support whomever they want even if it's your opponent. In the end, what's supposed to happen happens, the people vote and someone wins. That's how it works.

  12. Susan L. Yung

    As an artist in Lower East Side and documenting alternative jazz musicians, I get a lot of "racist" comments i.e. "Go back to Chinatown" all due to my Asian face. Actually, I am a monolinguist–born American. My home state is Portland, Oregon. My great grandfather worked on the railroads during the Civil War. My father served in North Africa as a munition bearer. I grew up in Chinatown & LES more than twenty years and observed the Chinatown Working Groups efforts to divide this Asian community between small business owners and social service programs for newly arrived immigrants. To make Chinatown inclusive in Lower East Side's cultural affairs has been a painful sacrificial unpaid job of further ostracisms and racial disunities encouraged by gentrifiers, developers and corporate workers. In addition, I realize the LES once had social commentating murals in the 70s & 80s for social changes when there was an influx of Puerto Ricans, Blacks & Jews in the neighborhood. Now the Hispanic community is pushed towards Aves C & D; even the diverse cultural artists are becoming extinct in LES and Chinatown (i.e. Asian Arts Centre, University of the Streets, Charas, Seven Loaves, A Gathering of the Tribes, CityArts, Basement Workshop) all due to landlord buyouts, developers, yuppies and CB members sanctioning bars, burlesques, fancy dining restaurants as well as installing hotels/motels, chain convenience stores and high end boutiques.

    The race card is utilized constantly in any political arena as I witnessed from city to federal govts. via news medias to personal working experiences as a city worker.

    A lot of these issues are not presented by local political candidates because they are shoved aside for "progress" and allowing increases in racial crimes (i.e. Black Matters), homelessness, joblessness, and unhealthy conditions to thrive in such neighborhoods.

    As Clayton Patterson (a local LES residential activist artist) states: " Not long after we got the old heave-ho (exclusion from 7th Precinct Community Council), on my block, across the street from an elementary school, and right next door to a fully licensed club, we ended up with an illegal strip club, an illegal bottle club, group street brawls, shootings, stabbings, drunks and so on."

  13. Hi Paskar,

    You're quick to condemn others. Fine. Haters will hate.

    But what have you to say about your strong support for your own political club's candidate in the last district leader race in Part C in 2013, Jeff Galloway? (Folks: Paskar is VP of Galloway's political club)

    Galloway pleaded guilty this week to 6 years of felony tax evasion of millions of dollars – and is going to jail.

    So, in 2013 you backed a tax-dodging felon, Galloway, and this year you are backing Li, a woman accused of racism by her peers, investigated by the borough president, and who banned community groups from CB3 meetings, and is a stooge of Margaret Chin.

    You sure know how to pick 'em.

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