They came, they saw and they chanted his name over and over again as Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries officially announced last Sunday on the steps of Borough Hall that he is running for the 10th Congressional District seat.
The expected announcement, before about 100 loyal supporters on a cold and windy day, sets the stage for what promises to be a rough-and-tumble three-way race between incumbent Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns and City Councilman Charles Barron, who previously announced he is also running for the seat.
“People are suffering and we deserve more throughout the neighborhoods in the 10th Congressional District,” Jeffries declared. “There are individuals in significant distress and there are children who are trapped in a failed school system and there are too many guns and not enough jobs.”
Jeffries said his mission was to support and fight alongside President Obama in what will be considered a critical presidential election.
“There are people in Washington who want to destroy Social Security and eradicate Medicare. There are folks on the Radical Right who want to take us back to a very different America; this is why you see civil rights, women’s rights, immigration rights and reproductive rights all under attack. When I get to Washington I’m going to fight for this community, fight for the city and I’m going to fight for our President Barack Obama,” he said.
While his announcement was brief, many supporters stuck around to give their insight as to how Jeffries’ bid for Congress will directly influence the community.
“I think it’s a vibrant thing he’s doing and I think it’s going to revitalize a whole lot of political movements,” said Delroy Wright, who is running for City Council in the 40th District against City Councilman Mathieu Eugene, which is in Rep. Yvette Clarke’s 11th Congressional District. “When you think about it the dynasty in Brooklyn politics I think has to be broken; we need new blood in politics because I think it will help to generate new ideas and a new approach and I think that it will be good for the institution of politics and generate a lot of new aspects,” said Wright.
Prominent attorney Kenneth Thompson was on hand to officially introduce Jeffries.
“I think that we will have a fighter and we will have someone who will stand up for our interests. Look at what he’s done with respect to the stop-and-frisk practices with the NYPD that was controversial and that took courage,” said the trial lawyer who has defended notable clients such as Abner Louima and the hotel maid at the center of the Strauss-Kahn incident.
“I think having Hakeem Jeffries go to the House of Representatives will benefit our community where you will have an intelligent fighter down in Washington. We all can benefit from that. I think that he’s already thinking about the national issues. I mean all politics are local but here’s a man who knows the local issues but who is also going to stand up and fight for us on a national stage. We need that,” said Thompson.
The 10th Congressional District serves various neighborhoods in Brooklyn including Bed-Stuy, Prospect Heights, East New York, Canarsie, Flatlands and Fort Greene/Clinton Hill.