Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Political calculations


After my morning neighborhood lectionary meeting, to the church. I review with Danielle last night’s political visits. First, to Gale Brewer’s victory party. I go to her campaign headquarters just in time for her victory speech. Yes, we’ve had our differences. Yes, the as of yet unfilled promises still hurt. She had a chance to help us pull through the barren season of summer, but her campaign was her primary concern. We pulled through, as always, by the skin of our teeth. On our own. No politicians. No denomination. No philanthropists. On our own. Again.

Still, we made a political calculation. It is better to have her now in the position of Manhattan Borough President with the knowledge that there is still an unpaid debt, than someone we don’t know, have no relationship with. We found the old article from the Daily News reporting her vow to raise 10.5 million. We’re still waiting. 

Still, I looked around. Many of my progressive friends like Marc G from the Interfaith Assembly on Housing and Homelessness and other housing activists were there. A who’s who of liberal Democrats from around the city.And as always, the common folk of the district who always found her door open. Gale is not a charismatic leader or skilled rhetorical polemicist. BUT, she has been one of the hardest working and effective politicians in the city. Tireless. And usually on the right side. She entered late but played it smart, played it wise. Avoided taking sides in the divisive mayor’s race. And won. I get my face time. My hug time. She promises we’ll work together. Her people tell me how important we are to the community. I offer my congratulations. Sincerely. But we’re not going away.
Then hearing Helen Rosenthal was about to be declared the winner, down to her party at the Firehouse. Of all the contestants for Gale’s City Council seat, she was the only one to openly speak of how the community had let us down. And to promise to hold their (amplifying adjective here) feet to the fire. She was not the machine candidate. It was, as they say,  not her turn. But she ran  a strong and wise grass roots campaign. Hers is a younger crowd. A bright and idealistic crowd. Again face time, hug time, congratulations. Accountability will come later. We were with the winners this time. (Including come from behind furthest left -- relatively speaking -- mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio who Deacon Pat introduced me to weeks ago at a meet and greet where I pushed him on income inequality..)

Now for the general elections in November...

Dennis is in for logistical work  for the Assembly’s panim al panim (face to face) life skills program that we’ll welcome to West-Park keeping our long connection with the IAHH alive.

Mid afternoon I skype with Zeljko,still amazed at seeing someone a world away in Serbia on my screen  as we strategize how co connect with peace centers across the country.

Coffee with Jane to catch up with Sanctuary’s plans. And reflect on our two years of living together at West-Park.
Then to Mac's to talk with Michael S about securing a place for RL in the house long term.  We'll catch up with RL at the Gate.

Tomorrow, off to Pittsburgh.

Had to remind myself, today was the 12th anniversary of 9-11.


  1. time for pastor bob to ask iahh to visit the steps and hand-hold them inti benefits and housing before asking the 24th to roust. beat and move them on. the devil you dont know can be worse!

  2. next time someone leaves food on the steps--call me! am short of food and money and cannot cook for myself due to diabetic neuropathy!

    have microwave will travel!