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Occupy Sunset Park
Worst GOP Victory
Turner beat a Democrat in September to take Anthony Weiner’s vacated congressional seat, the district’s first Republican representative since Andrew Petersen lost in 1923. National news media tried to frame it as a rejection of Obama, when in truth it reflected local demographic changes: many Jewish voters strayed from the Democratic party and voted with the already-conservative Irish and Italians.
Second-Worst GOP Victory
Nine months after Bob Turner, Republican David Storobin (finally!) won the race for Carl Kruger’s state senate seat, proving that Turner was no fluke—the Republican party is now a serious player in southern Brooklyn politics.
Best GOP Challenger
While the Republicans gain traction in the borough’s south, they may possibly be slipping, too: State Senator Marty Golden, who represents a swath of Brooklyn from Bay Ridge to Marine Park, is thought to be uniquely vulnerable this cycle. His challenger, the fresh-faced progressive Andrew Gounardes, is at a fundraising disadvantage, but if Golden continues to blunder (as he did when he planned an event to teach local women skills for landing a job like how to “walk like a model”) he may just lose the job he’s had since 2003.
The noted Mugabe apologist, homophobe, Jew-baiter and City Councilmember’s unsuccessful congressional campaign, in a district encompassing Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill, and also Bed-Stuy, East New York and Brownsville, invited the wrong kind of media attention, overshadowing his message of economic populism and unapologetic minority empowerment, and left plenty of room for “Obama Democract” Hakeem Jeffries, a fine candidate whose qualifications include depressingly inevitable ties to Wall Street and charter schools.
Best Local Occupy Group
Occupy Sunset Park
With no disrespect to Occupy Brooklyn, Occupy Kensington, Occupy Bushwick, or the movement’s other local outposts, the Occupy that’s most captivated our attention lately is #OSP, which as of press time was still hosting nightly vigils in support of a rent strike on 46th Street, through which 51 families in three contiguous buildings are protesting hazardous and unsanitary conditions in their homes.
Best Grassroots Neighbor-Hood Movement
Green Beans Not Walgreens
Following the closure of the Key Food in Windsor Terrace came the announcement that it would be turned into a Walgreens. This was met with dismay in the neighborhood: the store had been the only full-service grocery store within a mile radius. Seemingly overnight, the community was transformed into a food desert. Not content to take this lying down, residents have banded together in impressive numbers to protest and potentially boycott the large chain drugstore. Their group was formed to make sure that the cause will continue even as the initial furor fades. The objective is simple: make sure that fresh produce and quality food is readily available and affordable for neighborhood residents. Is that really too much to ask?