NYC Greens shaking up fall election

In New York City, city council races used to be considered over after the Democratic primary. But this year, Green Party candidates are breathing some life into previously stagnant local politics.

Lynne Serpe of Astoria has been making the news regularly for campaigning hard and out-fundraising the incumbent. One voter who attended a candidate forum called Serpe the “clear winner of the event” and added “I was impressed to hear about her prior experience working on clean and fair elections, especially when the incumbent voted to extend term limits.”

A blogger at the Daily Gotham, who is still bitter about Nader’s 2000 campaign, nonetheless admits that David Pechefsky would be better for Park Slope than the problematic incumbent: “Pechefsky, from what I can tell, fits the district perfectly in where he stands on issues. He is honest and up front and personable”. Pechefsky also took part in the Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn Walkathon, siding with a large number of residents who oppose undemocratic development. At a debate sponsored by the Brooklyn Paper, Pechefsky said he wouldn’t back a speaker who voted to overrule the voters’ decision on term limits, while the incumbent refused to take a clear position.

Walter Nestler of the Southeast Bronx has also made the news for out-fundraising the incumbent in his race. He has made improving environmental quality and getting city funding for local green jobs his main issues. When asked how the Bronx Green Party compares with the dominant Bronx Democratic Party, Nestler remarked, “Maybe the Green Party has no experience. No experience with indictments.”

Evergreen Chou of Flushing outlined his platform in a candidates forum at the Flushing library.

On Friday Oct. 23rd, Green mayoral candidate Rev. Billy Talen will join Serpe and Chou at a benefit called “Party with the Greens in Queens”.


Four Greens running for New York City Council

New York City politics have been a lot more lively this year thanks to Rev. Billy Talen’s campaign for mayor with the Green Party. Meanwhile, four hard-working Green candidates for NYC city council are hoping for a breakthrough in this overwhelmingly Democratic-voting city.

David Pechefsky, who spent twelve years working for the city council, is now running to represent District 39, Park Slope – Brooklyn. He has made a major issue out of reforming the city council so that the speaker doesn’t have all the power, as this short video explains nicely. To learn more about David Pechefsky and donate to his campaign, check out his website (donations to NYC candidates from residents of the 5 boroughs can be matched 6-1 by the city’s public funding program – so please help out NYC’s 5 excellent Green candidates!).

Evergreen Chou, a Green stalwart in Queens since the 1996 Nader campaign, is running to represent District 20, Flushing – Queens. Chou’s proposals include a requirement that 1/3 of new housing be allocated for low-income earners, a city survey of pollution-related conditions like asthma, new bike and pedestrian paths along Flushing’s waterfront, and posting the city budget online for greater transparency in how tax money is spent.

Lynne Serpe, an energy efficiency expert, community organizer and urban gardener, is running to represent District 22, Astoria – Queens. Her comprehensive platform focuses especially on the link between the environment and public health. Lynne Serpe is calling for sustainable development with thriving small businesses and green jobs; more public space, including community gardens and waterfront access for all; an improved transportation network; and energy-efficient, affordable housing. She recently penned an editorial for the New York Daily News calling for instant runoff voting in New York City.

Walter Nestler, a landscape architect who has served as an environmental watchdog on Community Board 9, is running to represent District 18 in the Southeast Bronx. He promises to fight the city’s habit of using the Southeast Bronx as a dumping ground for hazardous waste. Like Reverend Billy Talen, Nestler seeks to protect local businesses in a city that he sees as “becoming increasingly hostile towards” small business owners.

New York City – still the world’s leading example of strength through diversity – needs a strong Green Party to advance social and economic justice and sustainable development. With some innovative thinking, New York can lead the way to America’s future, but it is in mortal danger of succumbing to its worst demons – real estate speculation, disneyfication, and the Wall Street speculation that took down the global economy last year. By donating to Billy Talen, David Pechefsky, Evergreen Chou, Lynne Serpe, and Walter Nestler, you can help to turn the Big Apple Green.

(Pictured: L – Billy Talen and Lynne Serpe, R – Walter Nestler (L))

Billy Talen and Lynne SerpeWalter Nestler (left)


NYC Green Party update 7/10

In an article for the Brooklyn Paper, Gersh Kuntzman describes David Pechefsky’s mission to get on the ballot as the Green Party candidate for NYC City Council in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The article highlights how Greens have the odds stacked against them in the onerous process of gaining ballot access:

He has one month — starting from yesterday morning — to collect 2,700 signatures, and got his first 34 in about two hours. (Democratic candidates need only collect 900 names.)

Of course, there’s a catch: To be considered valid, the signature cannot appear on anyone else’s petitions — and the five Democrats in the race have already spent a month seeking every last John Hancock.

Evergreen Chou has also thrown his hat in the ring as the Green candidate for City Council District 20 in Flushing, Queens.

Hot Indie News carried Green mayoral candidate Reverend Billy Talen’s response to the undemocratic Working Families Party candidate forum.

The July 2nd mayoral candidate forum hosted by the Working Families Party –with only Mike Bloomberg, Tony Avella and Bill Thompson– hurts New York City and hurts us all. The threesome represents the Republicans and Democrats. No mayoral candidate from any other party was invited, despite our own efforts to reach WFP, and so we’re stuck with these three guys.

The Working Families Party leadership has still not clarified why they excluded Billy Talen from their mayoral forum, as we reported earlier.

In other news, NYC Greens came away from a June meeting with a plan to establish a citywide Green committee. The newly formed Green Party of NYC represents the first effort to coordinate Green Party activities in all 5 boroughs of New York City. On July 20th, representatives from each borough will meet and work out the details. For more information on this exciting venture, keep an eye on http://greenpartynyc.org/.


Rosa Clemente Rocks Brooklyn

When Cynthia McKinney first announced that Rosa Clemente was going to be her running mate, many greens (myself included) zipped over to The Google to find out just who the heck this woman was. What exactly is a hip hop activist? Upon reading about all of her obvious connections in the hip hop world, I began to envision the possibilities of her ‘crew’ reaching into neighborhoods and communities that Greens have often thought were a natural fit for the party’s message, but somehow have not been able to make the connection.

I’m the first to admit it – I’m about as white as they come. Sure, my musical tastes run to a pretty wide variety, and I’ve been told that I have pretty good rhythm for a white boy, but when it comes to hip hop artists, I’m pretty clueless, and was definitely not a big fan….until tonight.

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