Photo credit: DNAinfo/Paul DeBenedetto
Inauguration Ceremony Brings Out Mayor Bill de Blasio and Many Other Elected Officials.
By Stephen Witt
Calling for the need to reduce unemployment and vowing to bring Gifted and Talented programs
in public schools back to the district, newly elected 36th District City Councilman Robert
Cornegy took the oath of office last Saturday at a packed Cornerstone Baptist Church, 574
Madison Street, in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Also in his inaugural address, Cornegy said reducing underemployment is equally important to
unemployment and vowed to work with the local nonprofit community to bring the job skills of
the district’s working class up to par with the current labor market. He also vowed to keep
Bed-Stuy and the Crown Heights portion of his district affordable to live in and stem the tide of
the working class being priced out of the community.
Additionally, Cornegy said his priorities would include continuing the fight to keep Interfaith Hospital open and addressing such Central Brooklyn health issues as infant mortality, asthma and obesity.
This includes addressing the violence issue, which is as much a health care issue as it is a crime
issue, said Cornegy.
“Firstly, I’m going to use the bully pulpit of the office in declaring 2014 as the year of mentoring
service in Central Brooklyn,” said Cornegy.
Campaign finance records show that Cornegy has also put his money where his mouth is by
spending with many black-owned businesses and consultants within the district. This includes
several local restaurants that were hired to cater the inaugural ceremony. Besides drawing hundreds of residents and dozens of members from Cornegy’s college Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the inaugural ceremony drew a crème de la crème of elected officials. This included Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Congress members Hakeem
Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
While several of these officials appeared in attendance to pay homage to the retiring Al Vann for
his many years of public service, there was a strong hint of political intrigue in the air.
The inauguration came just days before the newly elected City Council was to vote on a new
speaker, and City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, the front-runner for that position and
who de Blasio supports, was also in attendance.
Among the others in attendance who support Mark-Viverito were the City Council’s new
Progressive Caucus co-chairs, Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams – although both came late and