Liu addresses economic gulf
City Comptroller John Liu this week said the major underlining issue facing New Yorkers in the upcoming mayoral campaign is bridging the growing economic disparities between the wealthy and everyone else.
Liu hammered home on that theme at Hopeland Restaurant, 320 Atlantic Avenue, in a fund-raiser for his mayoral bid.
Chris Owens, the male 52ndAssembly Democratic District Leader, hosted the cash bash, which also highlighted a growing coalition of black, Latino, Asians and independent white support that could make Liu the city’s first Asian mayor.
Among those in attendance were former Congressman Major Owens and Sen. Velmanette Montgomery.
“We’re fourteen months away from a big election marking the end of an era and an ushering in of change,” said Liu. “Our biggest challenge will be addressing economic equality. The wealth gap in the city is far greater than in the rest of the country. Look at the numbers. The top 1% saw their income rise and the bottom 99 percent couldn’t keep up with inflation.”
Liu said while addressing economic discrepancies is the overriding issue, public schools and education remains an important part of the mix.
“The DOE (Department of Education) has been taken over by the private sector with a factory mentality of running schools,” said Liu, noting an independent arbitrator recently overturned the DOE’s decision to shutter 24 schools, lay off half the teachers and reopen the schools with a different name.
According to the city’s Campaign Finance Board, Liu has about $1.6 million in his mayoral campaign war chest. However, this figure does not include numbers for the next filing period, which is due next week.
Montgomery endorses Ola
State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery is supporting Olanike (Ola) Alabi in the upcoming Sept. 13 primary to succeed Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries for the 57th Assembly District seat. Jeffries is going to Washington as the borough’s newest congressman.
Ola, who is the current Democratic female District Leader, is facing Walter Mosley, the male Democratic District leader. This primary promises to be a bruising battle with both front-running candidates lining up significant heavyweight support.
Mosley is a protégé of Jeffries, and Ola will step down in her role as district leader to concentrate on the race.
Interestingly, the race to succeed Ola as female District Leader will be quite the undercard featuring longtime community activists Renee Collymore, who supports Mosley, and Faye Moore, who supports Ola.
Odds & Ends
When 1st District Municipal Court Judge Sally Krauss suddenly resigned recently it opened the door yet again for a battle between Kings County Democratic boss Vito Lopez and those declaring themselves independently minded Democrats.
Lopez is backing attorney Lara Genovesi, daughter of the late Assemblyman Anthony Genovesi, who rose out of Canarsie’s Thomas Jefferson Club to become one of the borough’s most powerful Democratic political leaders.
Kings County Democratic Party reformers are backing attorney Richard Montelione, who is out of Park Slope’s LAMBDA Club, which serves the borough’s
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.
Chris Owens, the male 52nd Assembly District Leader and son of former Congressman Major Owens, alleged that Lopez’s pick of Genovesi smacks of a backroom deal, but Lopez countered that he doesn’t know Krauss nor did he know she was resigning.
“I never spoke to the woman who resigned,” said Lopez, noting if she would have resigned a month later, the Democratic Party could have appointed a judge and now it will be an election.
Lopez said that Montelione was put up by Owens and paid political consultant Peter Weiss and other powerbrokers in the Downtown Brooklyn area. He also questioned if Montelione was screened by anybody or lived in the district.
“Lara Genovesi and some of her people came to me and asked for my support and I said I would,” said Lopez. “This was an open vacancy and Lara has been a law secretary for 15 years and has lived in the neighborhood the past 15 or 20 years.”