Reverend Billy Talen on the Debate

Rev Billy Talen, Green Party candidate for New York City Mayor, sent out this recap of the debate that wasn’t…

Three weeks to go to the election. Last night I interrupted Mike Bloomberg’s opening statement in the debate. We’re trying to poke through the $65 million TV screen that weighs down on us in Gotham City. My prayer for bravery was posted with you earlier yesterday, “…there is something powerful in a quiet voice when the words are whole.”

I warmed up my voice shouting in the street before they opened the El Museo del Barrio to those of us who had political connections or groundling tickets like me. The hour before the debate, on the edge of Central Park in the twilight, Savitri and I hosted a Coney Island sideshow – a shoe-tossing with an effigy of Mike Bloomberg. We had debated all week about throwing a shoe at him during the debate, or maybe even a light-weight not-injurious Chinese flat-heel, but lawyer friends explained assault charges and the likelihood of being shot before I could get my missile out of my hand.

I was stopped by cops as I walked from that human comedy into the stately Museo, but I had my ticket. We decided to dress me in the full costume and dare them to kick me out. The leader of the Campaign Finance Board, Amanda Konstam, approached with a “We’re glad to see you here Reverend!” …the dismay on her face betraying feelings of dread. Meanwhile, as I sat in my seat glowing in my suit and hair – the corrupt political class of New York City was preening and greeting all around me.
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Rev Billy Speaks Up, Kicked Out at Debate – Coverage Around the Web

At the NYC Mayoral Debate last night, the public were only allowed to hear from two candidates. Reverend Billy Talen, the Green Party candidate, took part in protests outside, before attending the function. Bloomberg got one sentence out before Rev Billy stood up and shouted out in a well heard “disruption” – caught at the beginning of this Youtube video.

At Independent Political Report, Kimberly Wilder has a great write up on the story with press coverage:

Billy Talen, an activist and performance artist who uses the name “Reverend Billy” is running for Mayor of New York City on the Green Party line. Reverend Billy and other third party candidates were excluded from the October 13th Mayoral debate. Reverend Billy attended, heckled, and was escorted out of the venue. A commenter at the NY Times site says that two supporters of the Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate Frances Villar were also thrown out. Reverend Billy received extensive press coverage, including: The NY Times; The Daily News; Gotham Schools and Ballot Access News.

Some press snips:

Gotham Schools:
Thompson and Bloomberg spar over their education records in first mayoral debate
by Anna Phillips

“Nothing the candidates said during tonight’s mayoral debate was more surprising than the Rev. Billy Talen’s spirited heckling, but a few choice comments were made about the city’s schools and mayoral control…”

The New York Times:
Bloomberg and Thompson Spar in First Mayoral Debate
By Sewell Chan AND Michael Barbaro

A Heckler Interrupts [a Subheading of the article]

7:02 p.m. | Mr. Bloomberg’s opening statement was interrupted by a jeering heckler — later identified as the Rev. Billy Talen, a Green Party candidate for mayor — who shouted epithets attacking the mayor’s support of legislation last year extending term limits to allow himself to seek another term.

“Eight is enough” he shouted. “Mike, what are you doing here? We voted for term limits.”…

Also, on the NY Times blog, in the comment section, posted by reader “FrancesFan” was the following (thanks to Ballot Access News for the tip):

Also with Rev. Billy, two supporters of Frances Villar (the first woman of color on the ballot for mayor) were thrown out. The coverage of this debate and the 3rd party candidates in general have been so skewed. Stop ignoring the other candidates standing outside demanding their right to be part of the debate! Frances Villar for mayor of NYC!!

Daily News:
Mayor Bloomberg, Bill Thompson slug it out in first debate for Mayor of NYC
by Celeste Katz, Erin Einhorn and Adam Lisberg

[Note: The Daily News story includes a picture of Reverend Billy, dressed in his shocking blue suit with white collar, being dragged away by someone in a uniform.]

…”The debate went briefly awry during Bloomberg’s opening statement, when the Rev. Billy Talen, the Green Party’s mayoral candidate, jumped up from the audience and shouted at Bloomberg about term limits.”

The Village Voice (thanks KW) summed up the debate with the headline: “Bloomberg-Thompson Debate Blah Blah Blah Who Cares It’s Over We’re Fucked”. The VV said:

At least Green Party candidate Billy Talen heckled the Mayor from the audience: “What are you doing here, Mike? We voted for term limits!” In a statement Rev. Billy said, “The missing voice tonight was the voice of New York City’s neighborhoods, which Bloomberg and the Democrats have victimized in their lust for the bubble-based economies of tourism, chain stores and Wall Street…”


Rev. Billy Talen: “War Has Finally Captured Peace”

In a message today, the Reverend Billy Talen, who is running for Mayor of New York City on the Green Party line, had this to say about Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize:

Now we have to change all our words around.

I never thought of Peace as a word that was moveable. All our words have been shifted by Consumerism and Militarism. Democracy is gone, America and Freedom are gone. Peace always stayed there in one place.

Peace patiently waited for us to notice the best things about ourselves. Peace always stayed with us. Peace was ignored by the governments and the powerful but it was still there – the monument that is made of the sky and the wind, our memories of a face and our loving touch. But now we have to change our words around. They have taken the word Peace and we’ll have to make up a new word, a secret signal.

Predator drones will be released tonight destroying the word we always depended on. The flying bomb will go out over the villages, sailing over the sleeping children and prayers and friends stopping for a laugh. The bombs will float and hesitate and change direction from computers in Florida and Missouri and the soldiers at the computers will know that Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. And so they will be consumers of a war that is now being marketed as a product named Peace.

So – it has come to this. War has finally captured Peace.


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)


Rev. Billy Talen: A Peace Activist Thinks About G20 Again

Green Party candidate for NYC Mayor Rev. Billy Talen recently made national news by rallying protesters at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh. His post-G20 reflection is well worth a read:

September 26, 2009

We’re flying home for a labor rally in front of Goldman Sachs as G-20 continues Friday afternoon. The last 24 hours in Pittsburgh leave me with a shudder. The miles of concrete and steel fencing, and the thousands of Robo-Cop imitators have come into all of us. We deal with the lock-down in Pittsburg with a mix of awe and comedy. And sadness: President Obama’s turn away from the leadership of peace has accelerated in these last days. He makes his graceful entrances, but he has disappeared into his 20 nations, throwing up hard walls as he retreats. Continue Reading


Rev. Billy Talen and the anarchists

This AP article says that several hundred people have been protesting at the G-20 summit currently underway in Pittsburgh. The reporters, Daniel Lovering and Michael Rubinkam, write that

The hundreds of marchers included small groups of self-described anarchists, some wearing dark clothes and bandanas and carrying black flags. Others wore helmets and safety goggles.

The article goes on to illustrate several other signs that anarchists were involved, such as American flags and “Don’t tread on me” banners.

Near the end of the article Lovering and Rubinkam report that

The march had begun at a city park, where an activist from New York City, dressed in a white suit with a preacher’s collar, started it off with a speech through a bullhorn.

“They are not operating on Earth time. … They are accommodating the devil,” he said. “To love democracy and to love the earth is to be a radical now.”

The activist, Billy Talen, travels the country preaching against consumerism. He initially identified himself as “the Rev. Billy from the Church of Life After Shopping.”

That of course would be our Rev. Billy, candidate for Mayor of New York City.


Reverend Billy at Busboys and Poets in DC, Sept. 29

From VoteRevBilly.org:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 8:00pm

Reverend Billy and the Life After Bloomberg Gospel Choir

Busboys and Poets: 5th and K Street, Washington DC
Tuesday Sept 29, 8 PM

Medea Benjamin, Code Pink co-founder, hosts the fundraising part of the evening.
Rev Billy Talen is the Green Party candidate for mayor.

Admission is free — we appreciate your on-site donations to support our campaign!

http://www.busboysandpoets.com/about_5th.php Continue Reading


Get Rev. Billy on Bill Maher!

In June, popular TV host Bill Maher asked, “Shouldn’t there be one party that unambiguously supports cutting the military budget, a party that is straight up in favor of gun control, gay marriage, higher taxes on the rich, universal health care — legalizing pot — and steep, direct taxing of polluters?… what we need is an actual progressive party to represent the millions of Americans who aren’t being served by the Democrats.”

Let’s introduce Bill Maher — and his national audience — to Reverend Billy Talen, the Green candidate for mayor of New York City.

Rev. Billy is an eloquent spokesperson for the Green movement.  He’s smart, dynamic and hilarious too.

Will you ask Real Time with Bill Maher to have Rev. Billy on the show?

Rev. Billy just turned in more than 18,000 signatures to earn a spot on this November’s ballot to run against the “billionaire mayor,” Mike Bloomberg.

Can you help Rev. Billy spread his message that we need Green solutions to create vibrant, diverse neighborhoods?

Yes, I want Green voices in the media – I’ll contact Real Time With Bill Maher today!

For more on Billy Talen’s campaign, take a look at VoteRevBilly.org.


We was robbed/The Rise of the fabulous 500 neighborhoods

In the below almost four minute video produced for broadcast by WNBC in New York City, Green Party mayoral candidate Rev. Billy Talen explains how the City of New York and it’s people were robbed by Wall Street speculators, how the Wall Street economy crashed when the stock market went into a nose dive, and how what he calls the “fabulous 500 neighborhoods” represent the sort of real economy that will sustain New York while saving the air New Yorkers breath, the homes they live in, the shops they own and shop at, and the very sense of community that makes a city an organic entity rather than an “economic machine”.


Reverend Billy Talen: Subway tour and Bajao benefit concert

There is never a shortage of exciting news about Reverend Billy Talen’s Green Party campaign for mayor of New York City – especially since campaign volunteers submitted 2.5x the signatures they needed to get Billy on the ballot. Nevertheless, 2 events on Friday August 28th seem to merit special attention.

Subway whistlestop tour: 2 Train for 2 Terms!

Join Reverend Billy and the team as we sing, preach, smile and talk with New Yorkers on the subway about this campaign for Mayor. Democracy is when we talk to to each other in public, amen? This week: we’re riding the 2 Train, talking about how Mike Bloomberg and the City Council should’ve stuck with 2 terms, as decided (twice) by NYC voters at the ballot box!

BAJAO out the vote for a new NYC mayor!

Reverend Billy will be giving Midnight Mass at Club Exit’s Bajao-themed Brooklyn Summer Stomp (Bajao, from the Hindi word meaning To Play/Play Hard/Playing like never before /in a Playful Spirit)! Reverend Billy needs no introduction to New Yorkers – but did you know he’s running for Mayor? BAJAO out the vote with us and get registered! His volunteers will be with us all night to get you on the rolls.

Also, check out Billy Talen’s latest blog, a spot-on indictment of Bloomberg’s power grab entitled “It’s our Democracy, Stupid!”