Two Bay Ridge political leaders on opposite sides of the aisle will be setting aside their ideologies for a good cause tonight — aiding Hurricane Sandy victims.
Justin Brannan and Liam McCabe grew up side-by-side, but found themselves being pulled toward different ends of the political spectrum as adults: Brannan became president of the Bay Ridge Democrats and an aide to Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) and McCabe went to head up the Eugene Walsh Conservative club and is now a staffer to Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge).
But the two men say they’re setting aside politics — and the ongoing debate over this month’s Presidential election — so they can host a special fund-raiser at the Corner Kitchen and Bar at 67th Street and Fifth Avenue called “Brooklyn South United.”
“Democrat, Republican — right now, it doesn’t matter,” said Brannan. “What matters is that we’re all coming together to help our neighbors get back on their feet.”
For just $25 — which will go straight to Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund — people can enjoy unlimited drinks and food from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
Both men have sent out invites to members of their political clubs, and McCabe said that Democrat and Republican legislators might swing by the strictly non-partisan affair.
“We’re not doing this as political operatives, we’re doing this as ourselves,” said McCabe. “It’s a great cause, and we’re inviting our friends.”
McCabe said the idea for the event came about as the two talked about all the measures being taken to get relief to areas left devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
“If it was really off the cuff. We were doing everything under the auspices of our positions in government, and we said, ‘why don’t we do something together on our own?’” said McCabe, who added that the owner of the Corner Kitchen and Bar jumped at the chance to be part of the event. “It’s just two guys who grew up on the same streets of Brooklyn, who ended up on different sides of the aisle, but decided to do something for their fellow citizens.”
This is not the first time that borough Democrats and Republicans have worked together in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath.
When the storm flooded out Democratic Councilman Michael Nelson’s office in Sheepshead Bay, Republican state Sen. David Storobin offered him the use of his office on Avenue U. The two worked side by side until Nelson’s office reopened last week.
Brooklyn South United for Hurricane Sandy Relief at the Corner Kitchen and Bar [6725 Fifth Ave. at 67th Street in Bay Ridge, (347) 560-6232] Nov. 21, 7:30 pm. $25.