Council rival now backing Johnson, and so does Glick

Alexander Meadows, left, shaking on it with Corey Jonson, says he will be “working hard in the trenches” to get Johnson elected.

Alexander Meadows, left, shaking on it with Corey Johnson, says he will be “working hard in the trenches” to get Johnson elected.

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON  | Citing “personal and family reasons,” Alexander Meadows on Monday dropped out of the City Council District 3 race.

He then promptly endorsed Corey Johnson over Yetta Kurland for the seat, which is currently held by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

The following day, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, New York State’s first openly gay legislator, told The Villager that she, too, is throwing her support behind the Community Board 4 chairperson.

“I am endorsing Corey,” Glick told the newspaper. “I think that his experience chairing the community board — which has many diverse personalities, as all community boards do — has been a great training ground. When you work with the community board, you work with a lot of people with different interests and different perspectives, and that is what you have to do in the Council,” she noted. “I think that he has done a good job [on C.B. 4].

“I have faith in his ability to work with people and work in a positive fashion — which may set him apart from his opponent,” Glick added, putting the stress on “positive.”

“I’ve made a decision that I’d like somebody who could be effective in government,” Glick added, pausing for emphasis, which highlighted her choice of the word “effective.” “And I think that person is Corey,” she said.

Asked if it was a tough choice for her, she said no.

“I’ve watched him over the last year or so,” she said. “You don’t pay that much attention” to political races until they really get into full swing, she noted.

“Two years ago, people thought it was going to be a very different race — Brad Hoylman, and discussions of Andrew Berman. ‘Will he? Won’t he?’ — Hamlet on the Hudson,” she quipped.

Asked directly for her thoughts on Kurland, Glick said, “I’m not sure she could be effective or work in a collaborative fashion. There’s no evidence that leads me to believe she would be a good councilmember.”

Asked about Kurland’s signature issue, protesting the closure and then the loss of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Glick charged that the way Kurland hammered elected officials on the issue “borders on demagoguery.”

She accused Kurland of blaming local politicians “who worked very hard to turn that around [i.e., tried to save St. Vincent’s],” but ultimately failed.

“You’re playing on people’s reasonable concern and fear of not having a hospital, but don’t offer any solution,” Glick charged of Kurland’s M.O. on St. Vincent’s.

On Monday, Meadows endorsed Johnson in a statement, saying, “After much thought and consideration, I have decided to end my campaign for City Council in the Third District. While it was a difficult decision, I believe the best way for me to serve the community right now is to continue my work on Community Board 2 and as a local Democratic activist — and to help elect Corey Johnson to the Council.

“I am endorsing Corey today because, over the course of the campaign, I have seen him really listen to voters and show a deep understanding of the issues,” Meadows said. “He is intensely committed to our community — and I know he’ll deliver real results for us. I will be working hard in the trenches to ensure he is elected to the City Council.”

The Villager could not reach Meadows by telephone, but he sent an e-mail response, saying, “I am confirming my quote about ending my campaign and endorsing Corey.”

Regarding Meadows backing him, Johnson said in a statement, “I am honored to have the support of former Council candidate Alex Meadows. He has been an advocate for the progressive causes that inspired my campaign, and I look forward to partnering with Alex in our community and on the City Council.”

Meadows, a first-generation Cuban-American and gay rights activist, has lived in District 3 for seven years and been a member of C.B. 2 since 2010. He’s also a member of the Village Independent Democrats, and is an officer of the political club, corresponding secretary.

Johnson has chaired Community Board 4, which covers Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, for close to two years, and has been on the board since 2005. He has been a resident of Chelsea for the past 10 years.

Kurland, now his lone opponent in the race, is an activist and civil rights attorney.

Johnson has already racked up an impressive list of political endorsements, including Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, former state Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal, state Senator Brad Hoylman and the Working Families Party.

He has also been endorsed by about 10 political clubs, among them, Village Independent Democrats, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, Lower Manhattan Democrats, Village Reform Democratic Club, Downtown Independent Democrats, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats and Stonewall Democrats.

Johnson has heavy union support, as well, including the United Federation of Teachers, 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, the American Federation of Musicians Local 802, Teamsters Joint Council 16, the Retail Wholesale Department Store Workers Union and about half a dozen others.

Kurland’s endorsements include a number of New York City ex-politicians, including former Mayor David Dinkins, former Borough President C. Virginia Fields and former Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, plus Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and state Senator Eric Adams, among others. Former C.B. 3 Chairperson Harvey Epstein has also reportedly endorsed her. Like Johnson, she also has support of unions, including District Council 37 and Transport Workers Union Local 100. As for political clubs, the McManus Democratic Club and Chelsea-Midtown Democratic Club are among the organizations backing her.

In February, The Villager first reported that Meadows, who currently lives in the West Village, was entering the field for District 3.

The Third Council District covers the West Side from Canal St. up to 63rd St., including Hudson Square, Soho, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, part of the Flatiron District and Hell’s Kitchen. In recent years it’s been known as the Council’s “gay seat” and is currently represented by openly lesbian Council Speaker Quinn, who faces term limits at the end of this year and is running for mayor in a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

Speaking this week, Glick said it would be hard to gauge the impact of Meadows leaving the race.

“He’s a nice young man,” she said, “but I don’t think he had a strong candidate profile at this point. I didn’t hear of anybody supporting him. So it’s hard to say if he was drawing from one candidate or another.”

The Villager asked Kurland’s campaign for comment on Meadows’s endorsement of Johnson, as well as on Glick’s remarks about Kurland — namely, that Kurland wouldn’t be positive, effective or collaborative in the Council and that she has been a borderline demagogue on St. Vincent’s.

Kurland spokesperson Rodd McLeod responded to Johnson’s endorsements by going on the attack on a different subject:

“No matter which politician endorses him, Corey Johnson owes New Yorkers an explanation of why he worked for real estate developer GFI, a shady company whose principal executives have close ties to [Assemblymember] Dov Hikind and other anti-L.G.B.T. politicians,” McLeod said. “GFI was sued for housing discrimination by the U.S. Department of Justice. West Siders deserve an honest explanation from Johnson, and they’re still waiting.”

As for Glick’s criticisms of Kurland’s character and the candidate’s position on St. Vincent’s, McLeod countered, “Yetta is a coalition builder who had the courage to stand up for the community when St. Vincent’s Hospital was closed.”

However, Glick characterized the recent focus on Johnson’s having worked for GFI as “an odd act of desperation.” Johnson’s position with the company, as Glick understood it, was as an “intergovernmental representative.”

“It’s like blaming someone who is working at N.Y.U. as a department administrator or student affairs coordinator for the policy of the university,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”

In response to Kurland’s comments about Johnson, RJ Jordan, his campaign manager, called them “a hollow smear attempt.”

“Voters in the Third District know well Corey’s history as a role model and tireless activist for L.G.B.T. rights,” Jordan said, “as well as his record of accomplishment as a progressive community leader, and they won’t be fooled by absurd suggestions to the contrary. He has a strong record of standing up to overzealous developers — whether in opposing the N.Y.U. land grab or the Chelsea Market expansion or the Rudin plan at St. Vincent’s — as Community Board 4 chairperson. These are among the reasons why Corey has been endorsed by leaders who symbolize the values of the West Side, like Jerry Nadler, Deborah Glick, Tom Duane and now Alex Meadows.

“This is a hollow smear attempt, with no basis in truth, by a desperate candidate, and frankly, West Siders deserve better,” Jordan said of Kurland’s accusations. “Corey’s opponent has given bizarre reasons for owning a handgun — saying that [her school was licensed] by the Department of Homeland Security [and that she had] to protect students at [that] English as a Second Language school, and also because she’s an attorney. Come on — we’ll put Corey’s record of results up against Yetta’s rhetoric any day of the week.”

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20 Responses to Council rival now backing Johnson, and so does Glick

  1. I'm still amazed how Yetta justifies carrying a gun. She lives in a posh luxury doorman building in Chelsea and travels thru the crime ridden neighborhoods of lower Chelsea, West Village, Soho and Tribeca to get to her posh law firm office in the Financial District. As for her need to protect her language school… I'm sorry… but did she sit at the front door of the school with her gun 7 days a week? Or better yet, if there was a "disturbance" at her language school would the red phone in her law firm ring and would she then run up to the school holding her gun up in the air? I mean come on. As for her being an "officer of the court" (aka lawyer)…. I'm sorry… but there are approx 75,000 "officers of the court" in New York City alone. Delusion knows no bounds. Yetta's long awaited reality check will start to set in on September 10, 2013.

    • It's called the Second Amendment, Bonnie.

      • Mr Smith & Ms Wesson

        It's called this, Jason:

        Please forward to Yetta.

        • Corey Johnson worked for GFI–a pioneer in credit derivatives–at the same time that that company was supporting notoriously anti-gay Dov Hikind and Noach Dear. He did public relations for a building that converted from residential to luxury hotel. Tenants were denied services at that building–including water and heat–in order to get them to leave. This company was also investigated by HUD for unfair lending practices. District 3 needs a real advocate–Yetta Kurland–not a real estate guy.

    • Amazed that Corey Johnson worked for The GFI Company–a pioneer in credit derivatives–and that during that time GFI gave over $40,000 to vicious anti-gay candidates Dov Hikind and Noach Dear. Amazed that the department Johnson worked for–Real Estate–denied services to hold out tenants, including heat and water. Amazed that HUD investigated GFI for unfair lending practices too.

  2. It's always fun, and by fun I mean stomach churning, to watch the power structure figure out how to protect it's own. Quinn and Bloomberg's very own Corey Johnson, lobbyist for real estate firm and dealer in 'exotic derivatives', is sure that he will do a great job of getting things done. Of course he will. And they will be the kinds of things that the elite power brokers in the city want done.
    Still waiting for answers from Derivatives Man and his campaign:

  3. Have voters in Manhattan ever elected a council member who had solely a high school diploma, and no type of other education? Never.

    • Voter Who Remembers

      Wrong as usual, Chris. But since you are asking questions, let us ask you a couple.

      Still bitter with us voters after getting trounced in the 1999 Council race with a mere 11% of the vote?
      Still associating with your 1999 campaign manager, Simon Valenzuela, the guy you hired despite his being arrested for coke, heroin and gun possession?
      Still bitter from selling out to Giuliani?
      Still associating with slum lords?
      Still "house counsel" for crack dealers “Baby Sam” Edmondson drug gang? (The Feds words, not mine)
      Ever been investigated by the Feds?
      Still demoting whistle – blowers who revealed your cronies' corruption?
      Still threatening cops with Internal Investigation for refusing to harass one of your opponents?

      Btw, of what use was your education in making you the worst Taxi & Limousine and DOT Commissioner in NYC history?

      Learn more about Lynn, who thinks a college degree buys honor, integrity and honesty.

  4. Sarah Jessica P.

    Lets see…Dedicated civil right attorney advocating for the community against hospital closures, high rents and an anti-corrupt government OR a real estate executive who's sole job was lobbying local politicians and community groups…tough choice.

  5. Yetta nother wacky set of candidates for the west village. Either way we lose.

  6. I'd be embarrassed to represent any of you who call Corey a "real estate executive". Shame on you for perpetuating false accusations when the guy tirelessly represents you and your community. You deserve less.

  7. Yael Greenberg

    The biggest crock of shit is branding Yetta a civil rights attorney. That might be the biggest fraud around and so damn offensive to those who actually are civil rights attorneys and fight for the rights of others – particularly the LGBT community. I still don't know one thing she's accomplished other than be a blowhard behind a megaphone or a TV camera. Oh wait… lets call a spade a spade… she ran St. Vincents into the ground and refused to come to the table to find a REAL viable solution. Oh wait, and she held a megaphone at Occupy Wall Street. Wow. The liberal gun wielding Rush Limbaugh. Fabulous. Just what this district needs.

  8. I truly believe that an individual's record speaks for itself. That being said, I also tend to judge people by what they do when nobody is really watching. Its the individual that donates money to charity "anonymously" that I find most admirable. A few weeks ago, I sat at a certain westside club where Corey and Yetta talked about their campaigns. It became crystal clear that Corey knew every single issue that faces this district. He was "fluent" in the district. It was also apparent that Yetta only knew a few issues. And it was especially odd – she talked about federal issues that have no relevance in the city council. That being said, final straw was when I saw Yetta sneak a ballot into the basket. It raised a bit of a commotion. It was sad. I was told by a board member that it was not her home club and/or apparently she had already voted in another club. Was one additional vote really necessary? That's how you judge character. I will not be voting for Yetta.

  9. As a person who lives in this district, reads local media, and knows and likes both candidates personally, I'd like to say that these kinds of ad hominem comments serve no constructive purpose. The two candidates are both good people who share many of the same opinions on a range of different issues. They both have a number of good and different qualities. The elected officials, all of them progressive, clubs and unions that have chosen to endorse one or the other have their reasons, which they've tussled with and presented in the traditional and honorable ways of our political process. Can't we all do the same and let the people of this district decide in a rational and straightforward manner, without ugly comment and innuendo? There are two months to go in what should and can be an honorable campaign for the privilege of representing the people of this district.

    • Well said, Kate. Thank you.

    • I agree with everything you've said, but it sees like the mud slinging started with someone in Kurland's campaign accusing Johnson of guilt by asociation with anti-LGBT characters at his former employer. I like Yetta K's comment above, and wish she would denounce the baseless smear campaign against Johnson and tell everyone else to also stick to the issues.

  10. Village resident

    If you want more of Quinn and Bloomberg, the choice is for Corey Johnson. As chair of Community Board 4, he simply rubber-stamped luxury towers and office buildings.

  11. B. Evangelist

    It appears you are a supporter of Corey Johnson and/or have a problem with Kurland. I guess that's okay, but you should be clear in your articles that they are editorials. At least try to be a little balanced with the coverage of each candidate's campaign. For instance, you list 7 unions who endorsed Corey, and only two of the 10 unions that have endorsed Kurland.

  12. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have been married for 16 years, which is considered a lifetime in Hollywood.

    But this New York couple isn't spilling their secrets when it comes to making a relationship work. Actually, Parker said she and her husband would rather not talk about their marriage at all.

    During the launch party for Parker's Hallmark greeting card collection at the Press Lounge in the Ink48 Hotel in New York on Jan. 16, the 48-year-old mother-of-three explained that she and Broderick simply keep their private life, well, private.

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