Musical Chairs NY Congressional Districts Gives Us de Blasio Not Democracy, Still No Bklyn Jewish Seat, Maybe None in NYC - The Jewish Voice
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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Musical Chairs NY Congressional Districts Gives Us de Blasio Not Democracy, Still No Bklyn Jewish Seat, Maybe None in NYC

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By Gary Tilzer

Fair districts mean the people decide who runs the government, not the politicians. How is former Mayor de Blasio running for congress in the new Brooklyn, lower Manhattan district evidence that the people are running the government?  The man institutionalized the pay-to-play shadow lobbyist take-over of City Hall, the man who wasted billions on shelter providers and his wife’s billion-dollar slush fund, ThriveNYC, while the homeless mental health army on our streets grew bigger and more dangerous. The former mayor ignited the current city’s crime wave by using his lobbyists like Berlin Rosen, Red Horse, and Hill Top to elect left-wing council candidates who voted to defund the police and the no bail law. After five months out of work, oversleeping de Blasio can’t find a job, so he is running for public office again.

The Editorial Board of the Daily News which claimed the court ordered changes to the congressional maps enhance democracy, were not on Twitter late Friday waiting hour after hour for the Special Master, Jonathan Cervas, to release the court ordered final competitive districts maps. The words nonpartisan and getting rid of unconstitutional maps sound great, but online waiting for the new district were the few hundred elected officials and their operatives who run NY politics, not the people looking for their democracy.

A second primary on August 23rd required by the time needed to redraw and petition for the new Congressional and State Senate district will assure lower turnout and less challengers to elected officials already in office. Candidates only have five days from the time the new Congressional and State Senate lines were released on Monday, to start collecting petitions, not an easy task for challengers. Only incumbents and political insiders have the funds, political resources, and experience to quickly put together a quick campaign, a successful petitioning effort and create a winning campaign. Jewish Voice New Yorkers are Blind to How Albany Weakens Their Voice

The election law and the campaign finance law are designed to cut out the public. There is no better way to understand how the public is cut-out of NY politics than to listen to former Councilman Sal Albanese who ran against de Blasio in 2017 and who the media ignored then and now. Albanese believes that the political class controls politics, to protect their jobs, very good paying jobs, that come with a lot of prestige. He believes the only way to disrupt the insiders control of politics is to reform the state’s election law and campaign finance law. (See below for Albanese’s plan to restore democracy in NY)

The big winner in redistricting was Staten Island/Brooklyn Republican Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis who actually received a less competitive district by the NY courts. Staten Island does not have enough population for a congressional district. Albany Democrats connected Staten Island to very liberal Park Slope to create a competitive district to knock off the only GOP Congressional member in NYC, with Max Rose.  After the NYS Court of Appeals declared the one-party political drawn lines as unconstitutional, the lines made into law by Steuben County Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister where the GOP brought their lawsuit against the lines, gave Malliotakis a district that favored Republicans. Trump won the new district for the Staten Island congresswoman 55% to 45%.

If as expected, food and gas prices continue to go up and the U.S. House turns Republican after the midterms, Malliotakis becomes the highest-ranking federal office holder in NYC, a major power broker in NY, because the rest of the city’s congressional delegation are Democrats. The little-known Staten Island congresswoman will be in the same role as Senator “Pothole,” Al D’Amato was in the 1980’s under President Reagan and as Chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, when he used his influence to deliver programs and funds, especially transit money to NYS.

Boro Park Escapes de Blasio in the Final Redistricting Maps, But More Importantly, Brooklyn Still Lacks Its Traditional Jewish Congressional Seat

 

During the Friday night final readjustment of the congressional lines, Boro Park was moved out of the new Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and lower Manhattan district that former Mayor de Blasio is running in and placed into the 16-year incumbent Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke district, which runs into Brownsville, Flatlands, and Crown Heights.

Assemblymen Simcha Eichenstein, Met Council head David Greenfield took credit Saturday night for the change, which made Clarke’s new 9th Congressional District more Jewish. Currently there are no Jewish candidates running against the long-time minority congresswoman, who in the past has received Jewish leader’s support.

Twitter @SethBarronNYC “Actually there is a very high probability that NYC, with more than 1 million Jews, will have no Jews in its congressional delegation.”

If Nadler is defeated by Carolyn Maloney in the combined east-west Manhattan 12th Congressional District. Brooklyn now has three minority congressional incumbents seats – Clarke, Jeffries and Velazquez, a Staten Island spillover seat and the new de Blasio Brooklyn/Manhattan seat. It is possible that as NY Times reported, Antisemitic Attacks in New York Are at Highest Level in Decades, and there are no Jewish Congressional members to come up with federal solutions.

Asian leaders also took credit for including all of the growing Asian community of Sunset Park into the new 10th district that de Blasio is running in. An Anti-communism Army vet will take on de Blasio in the new Congressional district that includes Park Slope and other areas of Northern Brooklyn that have elected socialists and possible communist to government. Yan Xiong stood up to the communist government in China as a young pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protester — now he wants to take down former Mayor de Blasio in the race for Congress. Nearly 20% of the population in the newly drawn 10th Congressional District is Asian American, taking in Chinatown in Lower Manhattan, as well as the large Chinese immigrant community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

“De Blasio ignored Chinatown and Asian American community,” Xiong said.

“The Chinese community will not be ignored if I’m elected to Congress.” Maybe Xiong will connect the horrific murder of Daniel Enrique Sunday night on the Q Trains and the murder of Michelle Go on the de Blasio administration’s failure to fix the city’s homeless, mental illness and crime crisis, the media won’t. There is a disconnect on how the media covers campaigns and the reality of what is going on in NYC.  Park Slope voted for neighborhood leader, the late Assemblyman Joe Ferris, over the corrupt Bklyn machine years ago. Will they vote for de Blasio after all the damage he has done to the city? Update: NY Daily News: 80-year-old former NYC lawmaker Elizabeth Holtzman considering run for Congress in same district as de Blasio. The first woman to ever serve as Brooklyn district attorney and New York City comptroller in the 1980s and 1990s is talking to lobbyist George Artz to run her campaign. Holtzman is looking for the progressive voters in Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and Lower Manhattan who were born after she left congress in 1981 and was defeated in 1982 by Al D’Amato for Senate

Twitter @PeterMoskos Just your occasional reminder that five years ago there were _zero_ murders on the subway. And then de Blasio’s office told the NYPD to stop enforcing many subway rules.

It is not clear what the Boro Park community can expect from their new little accomplished Congresswoman if the Nancy Pelosi party loses control of the House. The Jewish community in Brooklyn is divided into three congressional districts that have incumbent minority congressional members.  The final redistricting changes have the Brooklyn Jewish community divided into eight different Assembly Districts.  The Russian-Jewish community is divided into five different Assembly districts. Finally, the Brooklyn Jewish community has been divided into five different State Senate districts.

Despite the fact that Brooklyn has over 600,000 Jewish residents, one in every four, it lost its traditional Jewish Congressional seat that goes back to 1923, when Emanuel Celler became the first. The Brooklyn Jewish seat was eliminated in 2012 after its Congressman Anthony Weiner used his computer for sexting to underage women. Currently the Brooklyn Jewish Community, while expanding in numbers, is divided into many Brooklyn’s congressional districts.

The First Brooklyn Jewish Congressman Emanuel Celler Helped Create the Nation of Israel Demonstrating the Importance of A Jewish Seat

How a forgotten Brooklyn Congressman helped start the US-Israel relationship. Celler convinced a reluctant Truman to recognize Israeli independence. Courtesy of Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Congressman Emanuel Celler (1888-1981) rose from peddling wine to running a legal practice before becoming active in politics. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, which cites the American Jewish Historical Society, Emanuel Celler’s service in Congress for over 49 years represents “the second longest term in Congressional history.” His election victory in 1932 brought power to Brooklyn Jewish communities and to Jewish interest worldwide. Congressman Celler played an important role in pushing the White House to support the creation of the Jewish state. On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into two independent states. Displayed here is Brooklyn Congressman Emanuel Celler’s tally sheet, which he used to keep track of the vote; it also includes his handwritten notes quoting from the delegates’ speeches. According to the long-time late Manhattan district leader James McManus, Celler worked with the Irish gangs on the westside of Manhattan to supply guns to Israel before it became an independent state.

During World War II, Celler strongly supported help for Jewish refugees fleeing Europe, and as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. In the 1940s, Celler opposed both the isolationists and the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration by forcefully advocating that the United States relax immigration laws on an emergency basis to rescue those fleeing the Holocaust. In 1943, Congressmen Celler called President Roosevelt’s immigration policy “cold and cruel” and blasted the “glacier-like attitude” of the U.S. State Department. Celler used his congressional position to build bridges between the Afro-American and Jewish communities by ushering through the House the major Civil Rights Movement legislation in the 1960’s.

Manhattan Will Lose One of its Two Powerful Committee Chairs this Year Because of Court-Ordered Redistricting

In Manhattan, two long-serving powerful house chairs, Reps. Jerrold Nadler, and Carolyn Maloney, are on a collision course after the court’s map drawer Cervas united their once separate Upper East Side and Upper West Side districts. Whoever wins it, if the U.S. House is taken over by the Republicans the entire Manhattan delegation that is Democrat will lose their powerful committee chairs, which means they will have little power to bring federal funds to balance the state and city budgets like they did this year. NYC’s badly damaged economy will soon be on its own. There is the possibility that they can both lose to newcomer Suraj Patel, who lost to Maloney by 4% in 2020, in a three-way split. But less likely since the section of Queens when Patel did well in was taken out of the Manhattan district.

Suburban Westchester County Democrat Congressman Mondaire Jones was bullied out of his district by Sean Patrick Maloney, who was cut out of his own district because of court redistricting. Maloney, who controls millions as the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, gave an offer to Congressman Mondaire he could not refuse. Mondaire is not running in the new Brooklyn/Manhattan district against de Blasio and Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou who hopes to win the Asian and progressive vote in the district.

More Lawsuits More Changes to the Lines and Primary Date Changes Possible

A federal lawsuit seeking to combine the state’s primaries in August was filed on Thursday by the League of Women Voters. That suit argues that the Board of Elections unlawfully certified primary ballots for statewide races, including the governor’s race, since candidates collected signatures based on the since-scrapped congressional maps. If this lawsuit succeeds, former Governor Cuomo could enter the Democratic Primary race for governor.

Another lawsuit that has been delayed in the state court by Judge Marks and several judges excusing themselves from the politically hot case involves declaring the State Assembly districts unconstitutional. The good government NYU Brennan Center said “the selection of NY judges are made neither by the voting public nor by elected officials. Instead, unaccountable political party leaders control every step of the judicial election process.” The party appointed judges who run the NY courts, finally found a judge to hear the case according to the Daily News:

Daily News 5/23/22 “Larry Love is a man of the house, the Assembly, where he served for two dozen years as a top aide to Queens Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, her entire tenure. When she left to become Queens county clerk, a high-paying plum, Love was installed by the Democratic machine in 2012 as a Civil Court judge, unopposed in the primary or general, the way they like in Queens. In 2018, the machine gave him a 14-year term on the state Supreme Court.”

When the state’s highest court ruled the Congressional and State Senate lines must be redrawn by the courts, because they redistricting lines drawn by the Albany Democrat’s unconstitutional. The Chief Judge said, “that the Assembly lines were drawn by the same biased process but were not declared unconstitutional because nobody brought a lawsuit against them.” The whole of the redistricting is rotten at the core, as Chief Judge Janet DiFiore wrote, she and the majority only spared the Assembly maps for lack of a plaintiff. More than two week ago three New Yorkers filed a lawsuit to declare the State Assembly lines unconstitutional, a hearing is scheduled for Monday.

The Sal Albanese Plan to Restore Power to New Yorkers and the Neighborhoods They Live In

  1. Albanese Supports Democracy Vouchers, which puts New Yorkers in charge of which candidate gets matching funds, thus reducing the number of consultant generated candidates, who waste millions of the city’s money, while having no chance of winning. Under the Democracy Voucher system, the government gives four $25 vouchers to registered voters and asks voters to assign their vouchers to their preferred candidates, leading to money disbursed to candidates. It makes every eligible participant in the city worth the same amount to a candidate, whether they’re a bartender or a bank president.”
  2. Albanese Supports Nonpartisan Elections for one-party controlled NY. Currently, over two million registered voters in the city cannot vote in the Democratic primary which elects 95% of the elected officials in the city, because they are not registered in the Democrat party. Excluding two million registered voters in the State of Georgia would be called voter suppression by the party in power.
  3. Albanese Supports a Ban on Any Lobbying for at least five years for ex-elected officials and high-level political appointees.
  4. Albanese Supports a Professionalize Board of Elections to eliminate incompetent management and patronage. Too often the BOE becomes the gatekeeper for incumbents keeping challengers off the ballot.
  5. Albanese Supports Independent Redistricting Even after the election chaos and damage to NY’s democracy caused by the one-party unconstitutional drawing of NY’s political district and after the court’s redrawing of the lines, only Sal has called for a real independent redistricting committee to be created modeled after California.

 

More Forgotten Brooklyn Jewish Congressional History

When he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1974, Steve Solarz finagled a seat on the foreign affairs committee with the idea that he could appeal to his largely Jewish district by attending to the needs of Israel. He immediately threw himself into foreign policy issues, visiting leaders of Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria his first month on the job. He soon became a leading voice in the House on foreign affairs.

Few people remember Congressman Steve Solarz’s work a generation ago to bring tens of thousands Soviet and Sephardic Jews to Brooklyn. Both groups are now strong and living the American Dream.

Conclusion: The 2022 redistricting of the Congressional districts is completely discriminatory against the Jewish Community. There is a real possibility that there will be no Jewish Congress person from NYC in the House in 2023. This appears to be on purpose. In our woke culture of sensitivity to every group, we have completely disenfranchised the Jewish community. This will have a profound impact not only for the Jewish community, but also the state of Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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