Grimm shouted down by libral-leaning Bensonhurst residents

Bensonhurst residents accuse him of being a Tea Party Republican

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Rep. Michael Grimm’s new Bensonhurst constituents aren’t welcoming him with open arms.

More than 20 members of the Bensonhurst West End Community Council — a group that represents neighborhoods which fall into Grimm’s new, expanded district — slammed the Republican Bay Ridge legislator for his political views on Monday when he showed up to introduce himself.

Council members demanded to know how Grimm would fight for the interests of Bensonhurst, which they called a liberal-leaning neighborhood.

“How can you represent us, when the overwhelming majority of us here are Democrats and you are a Tea Party Republican?” asked one woman, who wished not to be identified.

Grimm was about to answer, but the woman pelted him with more questions, until he interrupted her.

“You asked me a question, let me answer it,” Grimm snapped. “I’ve earned that respect.”

Grimm admitted that his core beliefs were the same as the Tea Party, but said he was first and foremost a champion of New York City’s needs.

“I am fair and I am pragmatic, and I will fight for what’s good for the community,” Grimm said.

Grimm’s cross-harbor district was limited to Staten Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and a small amount of Bensonhurst until March, when senate Republicans expanded his domain to include most of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and portions of Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay.

Yet Bensonhurst may not be as liberal as some at the meeting may think: in 2008 Sen. John McCain won Bensonhurst over President Barack Obama, according to the city’s Board of Elections.

The Marine and former FBI agent said he showed up at the Bensonhurst West End Community Council to show that he was not a Staten Island legislator.

“You will have a Brooklyn congressman, not just a Staten Island congressman,” Grimm said. “Just because I live in Staten Island doesn’t mean I won’t represent your needs,”

But some meeting attendees remained suspicious.

“Most of the people here are Democrats,” said resident Harriet Goldstein. “Because of the Tea Party and because he’s from Staten Island, which is more conservative, he can’t relate to us.”

But there were a few willing to give him a chance to prove himself.

“He speaks well, and I’ve heard good things about him from people who live in Staten Island,” said Maria Messina-Walsh. “I don’t care what he is or where he’s from, as long as he keeps his promises.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: