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Dems should pick Heyer for the 39th District

The Brooklyn Paper
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Democratic voters in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Carroll Gardens and other parts of the 39th Council District have four extremely qualified candidates for the nomination to succeed Councilman Bill DeBlasio.

• Brad Lander, the former head of the Pratt Center for Community Development and the Fifth Avenue Committee, is a talented community activist and affordable housing developer. None of the others can match Lander’s resume or compare with him on how many fights he’s taken on. Whenever there’s a local problem, Lander is the guy with the five-point plan.

• Josh Skaller is the candidate with whom you want to have a beer. But he’s not just likable; he’s is a true progressive who would make his council office a bullhorn on many issues, such as global warming, national health care, the economy and taxes.

• Bob Zuckerman, the former head of the Gowanus Canal Local Development Corporation, is the most liberal of the candidates, supporting a single-payer health care system, more arts funding, gay marriage, and a Park Slope Food Co-op-style requirement for parent involvement in the schools. And he once led the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, which gives him a small business perspective important to Brooklyn’s identity.

But the candidate we are endorsing for the Democratic nomination is John Heyer.

Some say he’s too conservative for the district. But we take a longer view of labels like “liberal,” “progressive” and “conservati­ve.” If Heyer is conservative, it is only in the sense that he is an old-school, working-class Democrat, the kind that once dominated New York City politics.

We differ with him on his opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights, over which he has taken considerable heat, yet has always been amiable and inclusive rather than divisive.

Indeed, temperament is Heyer’s greatest calling card. Still a young man, Heyer has worked for Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Carroll Gardens) and Borough President Markowitz — and promises to be the kind of councilman who uses the position as a neighborhood resource rather than a stepping stone to higher office.

During debates, including one sponsored by the Community Newspaper Group last month, he was the one constantly steering conversations back to nuts-and-bolts, block-by-block pothole issues, such as the closing of a subway entrance or poor conditions in a local park.

He also promises to fight the abuse of the Council’s “slush fund,” those pernicious member items that are poorly overseen.

And he’s the only candidate in the race who is not ashamed to say that he wants the Atlantic Yards basketball arena built at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, a position that we share.

A fifth officeseeker, Gary Reilly, is likeable and intelligent, but he lacks the professional or political background that his four rivals have.

Updated 3:49 pm, September 4, 2009
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Carroll Gardens says:
I can see that this paper is a Democratic only paper. I realize that the district is mostly democratic but you failed to mention the republican race unless you've written them off as being not newsworthy. Joe Nardiello and George Smith are also running. You've had your fun with George in the past knocking him for his past and present legal problems but he is still a viable candidate. He could win and represent us from a jail cell. After all, he does stand on his convictions; what other candidate can say that?
Sept. 4, 2009, 8:58 am
Jessica from CG says:
Heyer's positions on gay marriage and abortion are the reasons why I won't be voting for him.
Sept. 4, 2009, 10:06 am
Mark from Carroll Gardens says:
Heyer has no life experience that doesn't include politics. I don't trust that. He works for Marty Markowitz and for Buddy Scotto. Amiable, nuts & bolts, and young machine member being put in place. So are you also going to back Vito Lopez' candidate in the 33rd? Might as well be consistent.
Sept. 4, 2009, 10:38 am
Mark from Carroll Gardens says:
Sorry, I see you surprised me and went with Evan Theis in the 33rd! Huh!
Sept. 4, 2009, 10:41 am
Kathleen from Carroll Gardens says:
John Heyer has good family values. He has been a member of the community his entire life and has his finger on the pulse of the community. He knows what we need and I believe that he will do what is right for our community.
Good Luck in the election.
Sept. 4, 2009, 11 am
Sherry from Cobble Hill says:
No doubt about it: we should vote for Heyer because Scotto owns him and the Brooklyn Paper. This child-politician has nothing of substance to offer other than friendship to the over-developers we have in our midst.
Sept. 4, 2009, 5:54 pm
Tom from Carroll Gardens says:
As much as I like John Heyer and his tenaciousness on local 'nut and bolts' issues, too many things about him bother me. Namely, his closeness to Buddy Scotto and Marty Markowitz, the anti abortion and gay marriage stances and the one dimensional aspect of his experience. Also, John is being noticeably silent throughout almost all of the hard-fought Carroll Gardens/ Columbia Waterfront rezoning effort. This is very telling. Shame to Brooklyn Paper for giving Gary Reilly such dismissive treatment here. This race has five strong candidates, not just four.
Sept. 5, 2009, 6:43 am
Chris from Windsor Terrace says:
John Heyer is a hardworking, extremely compassionate, honest person who truly cares about improving our neighborhoods. I am pleased to see that the Brooklyn Paper agrees.

We need to get beyond labeling people as being "too liberal" or "too conservative" and get to the real issues that matter most: improving schools, keeping neighborhoods affordable, eliminating slush funds/wasteful spending by the city council, improving parks, improving public transportation,etc... John Heyer will do all of those things and more if given the chance.
Sept. 5, 2009, 8:36 am
Chris from Windsor Terrace says:
Mark - Respectfully, I must correct one of your comments.

John Heyer has as much real life experience as any anyone: 1) he was born and raised in Brooklyn his entire life, 2) he has worked as a funeral director for the past several years (not just in politics) , 3) his wife is employed as a public school teacher in Brooklyn.

Additionally, you might be surprised to know that neither Senator Charles Schumer nor Congressman Anthony Weiner (arguable two of New York's most effective, popular and dedicated elected officials of this or any generation) never worked a job outside of politics prior to their first being elected to office.
Sept. 5, 2009, 8:58 am
Louise Manus from Cobble Hill says:
"Go Heyer !!!!" My husband and I have known John as he was growing up in our parish community. John has always been a level-headed, focused, determined, demonstrative, neighborhood conscious, and a conscientious young man. He knows how to set goals and go about obtaining them without stepping on the toes of others. He is not afraid to dig in his heels and do what needs to be done. That being so, he is also capable of teamwork and getting people to organize their efforts to accomplish a task. This was true of him as a young child and we continue to see these traits in him today. He and his wife, Maria , (a Public School Teacher ), were childhood sweethearts . Their wedding was a parish event, because of the admiration our parish community has for both of them and for all they have done and do for the parish and our neighborhood. Now expecting their first child, they intend to raise their child with the same values they share and the same love they have for this community. As the Brooklyn Paper's endorsement states: John has the "temperament". He is "amiable and inclusive" . As a City Councilman, John L. Heyer will be focused on making great communities of this city, even greater. So.."Go Heyer!"
Respectfully Submitted, Louise Manus
Sept. 5, 2009, 9:21 am
Paco from Cobble Hill says:
While Gary Reilly may not be a machine candidate bred from typical system that too often dominates our city's local politics, having a mere one liner mention snubs his campaign. Brooklyn Paper, you are allowed to make any endorsements you want but such a meager mention doesn't do his strong campaign justice. I've seen him provide a refreshing voice for livable streets, without corruption and over-development. Within an editorial, you can certainly mention whatever you'd like, but throughout the primary season I can't say I've seen equal attention given to all the viable candidates.
Sept. 5, 2009, 2:57 pm
John Z from Carroll Gardens says:
My wife & I have known John & Maria for many years thru our Parish Church, the Community Board and IND. He is a very hard worker and very determined individual. Being a lifelong member of the community, he knows what is important to his constituents and I am confident that he will strive to accomplish the objectives that mean the most to us. He is the only candidate who concentrates on the issues that a Councilman can do something about; not the Ultra-Liberal issues that are correctly placed in the hands of the State & Federal Legislative bodies. Let us stop questioning our candidates about issues over which they have no control; and rightly so! "Go Heyer", John Heyer!
Sept. 5, 2009, 3:36 pm
Jerry from Carroll Gardens says:
Hey lets not forget George Smith... You should all see his new interview with NBC. I have to say its good

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/politics/George_Smith-_City_Council___39_New_York.html
Sept. 5, 2009, 9:53 pm
Carmine from Park Slope says:
This is why no one takes the brooklyn paper seriously anymore. First they endorse by far the most conservative candidate in a DEMOCRATIC primary. They give Gary Reilly, the ONLY candidate who's really talking nuts and bolts issues on things like subway expansion, a single line of coverage. And they ignore the connection between Heyer, Buddy Scotto, and the brooklyn paper itself. So much for journalistic integrity. What a joke.
Sept. 6, 2009, 10:48 am
Phoebe from Carroll Gardens says:
In light of the BP's other endorsements along with their editorial in favor of superfunding the canal this endorsement is nonsensical and I can only surmise that Gersh wants to generate controversy and comments.

The Heyer-Scotto connection word is spreading and it is definitely not working in Heyer's favor. Is Heyer still using Scotto's funeral home for his address or has closed on the house he said he was buying?
Sept. 6, 2009, 1:39 pm
kopl from Boro Park says:
John heyer has the very best chances and he has the support of 5000 chasidic voters who will take the time staying in line and vote for him he is the next council member of the 39th district
Sept. 7, 2009, 7:58 pm
Mike Curatore from Columbia Street says:
John Heyer and his CG posse are xenophobic, anti-semitic and bigoted. Anyone who knows these South Brooklyn Boys have had a taste of it. I'm sure he'll bring these values into any group he's a part of. I hope it won't be a public office of any kind. I wouldn't vote for him for dog catcher (poor dogs!).
Sept. 8, 2009, 7:57 am

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