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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Election day: Measured. But hope nonetheless


11/5

Election day.  Sending out the word that we’re in. And thanks to all who got us through. Including Gale, our city council member running for Manhattan Borough President.

The Bread and Puppet people still buzzing.

I spend the night back and forth between two parties, Gale and Helen who’s running for Gale’s old seat.

Interesting contrast. Helen’s is in the back of the Firehouse, an old after session meeting hang out place back in the day. Typical neighborhood spot. Sports bar atmosphere. A Syracuse jersey above the bar. Helen’s party is in the back. Up front there’s a trivia game and  basketball on TV. In the back, they’re pulling up the election coverage on WCBS. Almost immediately after the polls close, Bill Di Blasio, Democrat and Working  Families candidate for Mayor has already been proclaimed the winner.

Helen’s serving up wings and nachos and pitchers of beer and well drinks. And her trademark cookies. Even though she’s been an insider, Community Board chair and all, she had to run against the machine, the local clubs. It wasn’t her turn. And much to our amazement, the one who’s turn it was supposed to be, wound up with the Working Families nomination. Not Helen. So no straight WFP vote for me.

Marc, Gale and Bob
Four blocks down the street at Corvo Bianco, a trendy Italian restaurant, Gale has taken over the whole place. Lists are checked. Black ribbons for drinks. Waiters with bruschetta and flat bread with pesto and meatball sliders.  A screen with streaming New York 1 coverage.  The liberal establishment making its rounds. As well as activists whose causes she has championed like Marc and others from the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing. And more than a few former Occupiers who lived at West-Park who have embedded themselves in city electoral politics.  I make the rounds, offer my congratulations. And thanks. Wondering what Gale’s first victory party was like back when she first began her political career.

Decide to finish the night back at Helen’s. She’s finally arrived. And has won handily. A very well done campaign. Her young volunteers in their blue Helen shirts give it an energy like winning a big game on a campus. Helen renews her promise to turn her attention to West-Park. And her aides-de-camp talk about getting  an early meeting with local clergy and faith community leaders to hear our concerns and agenda.
Helen and Bob

I walk up the street with a sense of hope. Measured. But hope nonetheless.

Tomorrow we’ll learn that  WFP has taken the top three city elected positions and at least 9 city council seats.


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