With the City Council due to vote on new district lines before Dec. 7, some folks are wondering if the NYC Districting Commission bent to Council Speaker Chris Quinn’s will – or the newest Bronx councilwoman is just being a whiner.
The word gerrymander is in the air after the commission’s final draft lines, based on the 2010 Census, push all but 35 blocks of Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s East Harlem district up into a major chunk of Mott Haven and a southern piece of Highbridge.
Until now, her 8th C.D. only had a small thumb sticking into a mostly industrial stretch there.
Some quarters argue the new lines essentially create a whole new South Bronx council seat.
Melissa argued that the lines hack up her longtime homogeneous Hispanic district, but hey, we hear there are some Latinos in Mott Haven….
Some of the conjecture, of course, is that this is a deal Quinn cut with Bronx Dem Party chairman Carl Heastie for the party’s support when she runs for mayor next year.
One savvy council-watcher suggested “Blame (west Harlem Councilwoman) Inez Dickens, who didn’t want Melissa poaching on her territory.”
And for future politics, two questions arise with the new district:
•Which county leader – Manhattan’s Keith Wright or Carl in the Bronx – would have the bigger say?
•And with Melissa limited to one more term, which borough does the next candidate come from?
Elsewhere in the Bronx, other council districts would be only slightly redrawn by a few blocks to balance out the population count – a nip here, a tuck there, as a tailor would say.
No word on any gripes from Mott Haven/Hunts Point Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo.
Nor from term-limited Highbridge Councilwoman Helen Foster, who won’t be around after 2013.
The highly respected Quinnipiac poll was NOT good news for Adolfo Carrion last week, early on in his quest to become mayor.
In fact, it pretty much muddied the political waters for him.
While the ex-boro prez has crossed to the dark side, leaving the Democratic Party to run for mayor as an independent seeking the Republican line, his numbers don’t look very appealing. In fact, they’re in the basement.
The poll found he’d lose to any unnamed Democratic mayoral candidate by 62% to 11%.
On his home turf, the former BP would only pull 19% against a Democrat’s 61%.
And the poll found that only 12% of his fellow Hispanics across the city see AC as alcalde material.
If Morris Heights Dem district leader Yudelka Tapia is serious about running for term-limited Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera’s Tremont seat, she may have some ‘splaining to do to the city Campaign Finance Board.
The CFB recently fined her $47,774 and ordered her to repay $59,930 out of the original $78,828 in matching funds she received in a 2009 primary for the Morris Heights council seat won by Fernando Cabrera.
But unless she satisfactorally explains what she did with the unaccounted-for CFB bux, no more matching funds for her.
To help clear up that little matter, she held a “birthday” fundraiser Friday, Nov. 30, with the evening’s sponsors state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Nelson Castro and Councilman Fernando Cabrera, as well as north Manhattan state Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.
Maybe those supportive Manhattan electeds are a message to neophyte council hopeful and fellow Dominiquen Raquel Batista, former exec director of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, that she won’t find any support there.
Assemblyman-elect Luis Sepulveda likes to think ahead.
He hired political consultant Scott Levenson to do his fundraising in his campaign for his first elective office in Parkchester/Castle Hill’s redesignated 87th A.D. Now he’s keeping Scott to raise funds for his next race two years from now – or does Luis already have some bigger dreams? Quien sabe?
WAVING THE FLAG
Morris Park and Belmont are decorated big time this week, thanks to Albanian pride.
DOZENS of Albanian red and black flags with the symbolic eagle have sprouted all up and down Morris Park Avenue, Williamsbridge Road, and Arthur Avenue in honor of the 100th annniversary on Wednesday, Nov. 28 celebrating freedom from the Turks.
Leading up to the anniversary, the Vatra Federation held a celebratory dinner at Maestro’s in Morris Park, with some fresh added pride – Mark Gjonaj as the first Albanian-American state assemblymember.
With Riverdale electeds hogging the ribbon-cutting line for the Nov. 19 grand opening of the ice rink in Van Cortlandt Park, Tony Perez Cassino, head of the park’s Conservancy and early mover on the project, kept to the side, instead pushing Bryant Park Corp. head Dan Biederman into the line.
“Dan was really helpful and donated $120,000 to the project,” said Tony, who doesn’t exactly get along with the Ben Franklin Dem Club legislators.