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Incumbent James deserves re-election in the 35th District

The Brooklyn Paper
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Councilwoman Letitia James has represented Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights since winning a special election after the assassination of James Davis in 2003.

She is a talented community leader who has shown gutsy independence by breaking with the city’s power elite when appropriate.

That she is running against two unqualified challengers sealed our endorsement of her in the Democratic primary, which is tantamount to election in the heavily Democratic 35th District. But we would find it easy to support her even if her challengers were more up to the job.

James is the model of what a councilmember should be: one who spends time in the neighborhoods she represents, rather than holding meaningless rallies on the steps of City Hall. When an uptick in crime worried her constituents, for example, she demanded accountability from the 88th Precinct, rather than swallow the NYPD’s constant claim that crime is down. Her constituents knew better.

She also led the charge against the elimination of the two-term limit. And her support for David Walentas’s Dock Street project, while politically damaging to her with the anti-development crowd, was the right thing to do.

And where many of her colleagues have used their “member items” to dole out political favors to well-connected insiders, James’s list of community groups that received her earmarks is replete with soup kitchens, precinct community councils, senior centers and small arts groups — the very groups for whom such grants were designed.

But above all, Letitia James has consistently been ahead of her colleagues in criticizing much-hyped development projects that don’t create as much affordable housing or community benefits as promised.

As a reward for her various fights, James finds herself in a tough struggle for re-election. Her opponent, Delia Hunley-Adossa, is a strong supporter of the Atlantic Yards project, which has allowed her to raise enough money from the construction trades and other allies of the development to wage a serious campaign.

James has had to raise her money the old-fashioned way: by hitting up members of her community for small donations.

Despite her large war-chest, Hunley-Adossa offers little else but her support for Atlantic Yards. In a debate sponsored by the Community Newspaper Group, the parent company of this newspaper, Hunley-Adossa was uninformed on land-use issues and unconvincing that she would be available to the community if elected. She has run a secretive campaign and has complained that reporters have called her on her cellphone and home phone after she has not returned calls at her campaign office.

A third candidate, newcomer Medhanie Estiphanos, is too arrogant and hostile to warrant consideration for our endorsement, but we do hope he will take the time to learn the district, as his fiery spirit will certainly shake up future elections.

For all these reasons, we heartily endorse Letitia James for the Democratic nomination in the 35th District.

Updated 5:14 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
I respectfully disagree. This politician deserves unemployment. Standing at city hall with Jed Walentas to support a blight on the Brooklyn Bridge, which is located outside the confines of her district, shows she is another corrupt rubber stamping politician who does as her minders tell her. Now she is supporting renaming a subway station outside her district, while her own district is being ruined by Ratner. Sorry, time to go.
Sept. 4, 2009, 8:33 am
sam from downtown says:
Sorry, but as the only politician in the city who has stoop up to Ratner, Bloomber and a rash of Governor's on Atlantic Yards, we need more like her.
Sept. 4, 2009, 9:46 am
sam from downtown says:
wow, that was a lot of typos.
stood up, Bloomberg and Governors
Sept. 4, 2009, 10 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Although I respectfully disagree with Tish about Dock Street, she is absolutely deserving of reelection. I do resent being called anti development. Just because you think the Brooklyn Bridge is more important than an inadequate school doesn't make me or any one anti-development. BTW she has dropped the renaming of the station and is supporting a plaque, which she will eventually get.
Sept. 4, 2009, 10:31 am
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
Coming to America was also filmed on that station, and so was Crocodile Dundee 2, don't Eddie Murphy and Paul Hogan also deserve an acknowledgement? Shouldn't we also acknowledge that the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station was designed to be connected to the original 2nd ave Subway plan? Shouldn't Bergen St on the F get a plaque in honor of Tim Robbins who filmed a scene of Jacob's ladder (btw, Macaulay Culkin's first role)?

This station naming thing is one example for the esteemed councilwoman's inability mind her own business on her own district. Yeah, she 'stood up' to Ratner in her own district, but parroted a developer in another district. Typical NIMBYism.
Sept. 4, 2009, 11:20 am
sam from downtown says:
by that logic you should be minding your own business as clearly you don't live in her district. right? i mean purity is the ideal, so go for it.
Sept. 4, 2009, 11:23 am
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
I am not a politician in charge of any district.
Sept. 4, 2009, 11:52 am
Liam from Clinton Hill says:
Please "Fourth Estate," first of all, no one's considered journalists the fourth estate in decades, so stop with that right now.

Secondly, council districts are not separated by steel walls, what happens in a neighboring district affects the people in the 35th! When there is a need for schools in BOTH districts, the councilwoman has a responsibility to work to make that happen. That is her jobs, and she did what some councilpersons (cough, cough) did not have the cajones to do, create an alliance that was not in HER best interest, but in the best interest of HER COMMUNITY.

And what exactly is the argument against Dock Street? That if you stand at a specific degree, close one eye, and hop a little to the left your view of the Brooklyn Bridge is slightly obscured?!?! Give me a break! Think about people other than yourself for 1.5 seconds.

And who is really trying to memorialize Crocodile Dundee? Did that foolishness have some cultural impact outside of your mind?
Sept. 4, 2009, 12:11 pm
Carol Stroman from Ft. Green/Clinton Hills says:
Ms. James has done an outstanding job. She deserves to stay in office, whereas Ms. Hunley Adossa is not being honest with the people she is getting support from, She should let them know she supports Ratner. She has no compassion. If she did she would not want to displace people and distroy their homes. Latita James all the way. I pray that the people open their eyes and see the Gem in Ms. James for the work she has done and still doing.
Sept. 4, 2009, 12:28 pm
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
@Liam

I'm not a journalist, I can choose my screen name as I want, and so can you, and I don't take orders from you.

And if you don't understand the argument against dock street, and judging from your petty, amature attempt to belittle the argument, then you have no clue about generations of Brooklyn history and how previous generations understood the significance of the Brooklyn bridge and built new buildings around the bridge with regard to it. If you can't see that, then I am sorry for you as you have lost the ability to appreciate art.

No one is trying to memorialize Crocodile Dundee, my point is if a video is all that is needed to get a plaque, then every movie made in a subway station should get the same. The A train should be renamed the Ellington-strayhorn express. Other than a video, why should MJ get a plaque?

And Liam, please, if you actually believe that Tish's constituents will have any benefit from Walentas and dock street, then you are living in a fantasy. You obviously have no clue about walentas and his list of broken promises.
Sept. 4, 2009, 1:30 pm
Deep Throat (Liam) from Clinton Hill says:
Fourth Estate, it's called sarcasm. It's a thing. Chill.

You're welcome to wax poetic about Brooklyn history (or your very narrow view of it), but as far as I am concerned, your insistence that this specific history completely eclipses the needs of people today shows that you really really don't get it. I may have "lost the ability to appreciate art," but you're completely out of touch with reality.

The suggestion that the station be memorialized because an international musical icon and major cultural figure made some of his most amazing art (that thing I don't get) there, actually is not the same thing as suggesting that we recognize everything that's ever been done there. I'm sure you actually get the difference, and it's actually okay for you to just say..."I disagree. I don't think the station should get a plaque"...instead of resorting to ridiculous and nonsensical comparisons.
Sept. 4, 2009, 5:13 pm
Brooklynite from Hoty/Schermerhorn says:
"The suggestion that the station be memorialized because an international musical icon and major cultural figure made some of his most amazing art (that thing I don't get) there."

Did he molest children and do all of his drugs there too? Let's not forget that Michael Jackson is hardly an upstanding role model.
Sept. 9, 2009, 3:03 pm

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