WHAT’S GOING ON

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9/13 NY PRIMARY

The 9/13 NY Democratic Primary winners are: NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James, who will make history as the first woman and first African-American in NYS when she wins the November election. She runs against African-American Keith Wofford in November.

Tongues are still wagging about the upset victories for Robert Johnson, Upper Manhattan; John Liu, former NYC comptroller; Queens Attorney Zellnor Myrie, Brooklyn, who ousted the NYS renegade senators known as the Independent Democratic Conference, who caucused with GOP senators, keeping the chamber conservative, often working against Democratic imperatives. WGO did predict their ouster last week. NY real estate developers are unhappy with the defeat of former IDC senators.   Johnson, Liu and Myrie will win in November. With a loyal Democratic majority, Andrea Stewart-Cousins becomes Senate Majority Leader and joins the omnipotent “three men in a room” club: NYS Governor, Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader.   Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is African-American.

Alas, Jumaane Williams, Brooklyn City Councilman, lost his bid for Lieutenant Governor, which is basically a ceremonial title.  His electoral numbers were good, losing to Hochul by seven points. Downstate, he can join the dozen politicos, including Melissa Mark-Viverito and Christine Quinn, who covetously eye the Public Advocate’s office when Letitia James departs.

THE BLACK PAC

A year ago, the NY Times Sunday Business section published a cover story about African-Americans organizing to develop a PAC (Political Action Committee), which would support candidates conversant with Black economic and political issues. According to the 9/10 USA TODAY story, “EXCLUSIVE: Black Executives: PAC Backs 14 candidates in Quest to Boost Economic Might” by Fredreka Schouten, the mission was accomplished. The COLLECTIVE PAC, referenced in the NY Times piece, is up and running, having raised more than $3.5 million to date, with almost $2 million used for Black American Andrew Gillum’s gubernatorial race in Florida. The COLLECTIVE also supports African-American Stacey Abrams’ Governor’s race in Georgia and African-American Ben Jealous’ Governor’s race in Maryland. The COLLECTIVE has a wonderful PRIMARIES track record, having its finger on the right pulse, outperforming the Democratic Party lineup.  Now for the hard part, the November elections.

A truncated list of the COLLECTIVE’s Who’s Who includes Tony Coles, biotech entrepreneur; Charles Phillips, Infor; Marva Smalls of Viacom; Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments; Michael Steele, former Republican National Committee Chair; former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.   The nonpartisan group has endorsed 14 House, Senate and gubernatorial races for the midterms. It has a better track record than the National Democratic Committee.

Jahana Hayes

The COLLECTIVE supports the following list of politicos: Mike Espy, former Congressman, former US Secretary of Agriculture for US Senator, Mississippi; Stephen Horsford, former US Congressman, Nevada for Congress; Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Council member for Congress; Antonio Delgado, Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Law School grad, NY for Congress; and Jahana Hayes, former teacher in Connecticut for Congress. In addition to African-American candidates, the COLLECTIVE supports Representative Beto O’Rourke, who is running against GOP hard-liner Senator Ted Cruz.   The COLLECTIVE’s success is a function of high-voter turnout in our community…….and, well, lots of money.

[Visit the COLLECTIVEPAC.ORG website] Make a donation.

TALK OF THE TOWN

The 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly convenes on   September 18.   New Yorkers welcome heads of states and other dignitaries who will attend the session.

The 2018 African-American Day Parade (AADP) opening reception at the Schomburg on 9/14 was quite an elegant affair. Co-hosted by Manhattan Boro Prexy Gale Brewer and the AADP Committee, the party honored 23 community cultural icons, including Dr. Debra Ann Byrd of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival; Ty Jones, Classical Theater of Harlem; George Harrell, CB10; Professor Michael Downie, Renaissance in Motion; Professor Gregory Hopkins, Harlem Opera Theater; Monique Martin, Harlem Stage; Yuien Chin, Harlem One Stop; Ade Williams, Apollo Theater exec and Lloyd’s son. The reception had all of the right trappings, good ambiance, impressive honorees and a movable feast of hors d’oeuvres and fine wines catered by Norma Darden’s Spoonbread.

The Jazz FOUNDATION will host its 27th Annual Jazz Loft Party, A NIGHT FOR THE SOUL, honoring Roberta Flack, will be held on October 13 at the Hudson Studio, 601 West 26th Street, Manhattan. Hosted by Danny Glover with Steve Jordan as music director, the party will be filled with many pleasures from jazz, R&B, salsa, plena, blues and soul featuring music legends like Valerie Simpson, Emme Kemp, JaRon Eames, Eddie Palmieri, Randy Brecker Quintet and the Joe Lovano Quartet. [Visit JAZZFOUNDATION OF AMERICA]

NEWSMAKERS

RIP: Ruth Clark, 76, died last week. The Harlem-born entrepreneur founded CUP (Clark Unlimited Personnel), the city’s first temporary employment service owned by a Black woman, in the 70s. A visionary risk-taker, Clark had a client list filled to the brim with Fortune 500 firms, Wall Street investment banks, movie studios, Black-owned businesses and legion foundations and social services organizations. Her business exposure and success led invariably to community engagement. Clark was co-founder/president of the Support Network (SN), a group of African-American professional women who curated fundraisers which would benefit community projects.   The SN would host a New Year’s Eve Awards Gala, which was “THE place to be” to ring out the old and to rub shoulders with local Black elites/honorees like Mayor David Dinkins, Percy Sutton, Byron Lewis, Charlie Rangel, Dr. Harold Freeman, Hazel Dukes and Dr. Roscoe Brown. The Harlem Hospital Neonatal Unit was one of the repeat SN New Year’s Eve beneficiaries. The SN summer outing, GALA ON THE HUDSON, provided scholarships to private school students K-12.   Ruth Clark’s funeral service will be held at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 West 138th Street, Harlem, on September 25; the wake is at 5-6:30 pm. Homegoing Service begins at 6:30.

FALL PREVIEWS

 BROOKLYN MUSEUM: SOUL OF A NATION: Art in the Age of Black Power with works by more than 60 Black artists in a traveling show, SOUL OF A NATION, is housed at the Brooklyn Museum, filling two floors of special exhibition space. It originated in the Tate Gallery in London and “begs questions about art.” This art began in the early 60s when 15 African-American artists, known as the Spiral Group, consists of Charles Alston, Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis. Most of the works were executed between the 60s to 80s.

King Cole

NAT: “The Life and Times of Nat King Cole,” a one-man play with live music written and performed by Verlon Brown, director by Rome Neal, creator of ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT fame, at Theater for the New City, located at 155 First Avenue, from September 20-30. Special opening night gala on 9/22. [Call TNC 212.254.1199 or e-mail: romekyn@earthlink.net]