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What’s at stake?
It’s about the future of politics in Brooklyn. Will the Machine stomp out every progressive activist and replace him with a yes man? Or will neighborhood residents come to the polls and stand up for the guy who has been standing up for our neighborhood? The gentleman challenging me has been spearheading efforts to impose a moratorium on liquor licenses for new bars and restaurants in North Brooklyn. He tried to shut down the Williamsburg waterfront concerts, and even led a war on Sunday brunch! I think focusing on these issues works to divide our changing community, and we need a more nuanced perspective to bring people together.
How will Vito Lopez’s recent censure by the Assembly for sexual harrassment, and his decision to step down as Brooklyn’s Democratic Party chairman, affect your campaign?
The Machine still controls a big block of votes—especially in the Hasidic community. The revelations that Vito is a sexual predator have brought even more attention to this scandal-scarred figure and his corrupt reign atop the Brooklyn Democratic Party. His [political] demise represents an opportunity for us to build a new Brooklyn Democratic Party that finally reflects the values of Brooklynites. If we are ever going to create a national Democratic Party we’re going to be proud of, then we should be forging the model in a bastion of progressivism like Brooklyn.
What’s wrong with the DemocraticParty in Brooklyn?
The old Democratic Machine has been more focused on maintaining its patronage mill than addressing the needs of our neighborhoods. What we’re trying to prove is that progressive elected officials committed to the reform values of transparency, accountability, and integrity deliver better results for our community.