Wednesday, August 31, 2005


For most Americans, this is not an election year, or the upcoming elections involve only the county coroner and other local offices that no one pays much attention to. But not in New York City, whose population is larger than 40 states', and where a City Council district is larger than a State Assembly district. The odd years are where the action is (second only to the even years)!

The NYC primary is less than a fortnight away, and in a one-party city like New York, the primary is the only election that matters (except in the mayoral race).

This afternoon, I'll be back at the subway handing out flyers for Melissa Mark Viverito. Melissa is running for the open City Council seat in the 8th District, which includes East Harlem above 96th St, a chunk of the South Bronx, and the West Side from 96th to 110th (plus Central Park and Randall's & Ward's Island"s", but those don't have many voters). She has been endorsed by the New York Times and El Diario, and has picked up many other endorsements including former Gov. Cuomo, Rep. Rangel, Rep. Nadler, the United Federation of Teachers, SEIU, and the Working Families Party. I don't live in the district, so I can't vote for her, but perhaps you can!

My City Councilperson is unopposed in the primary, so nothing interesting is happening there. However, I remain open to being swayed in the Democratic primaries for mayor, public advocate, Manhattan borough president, and Manhattan district attorney. (But I'm definitely not voting for Bernie Goetz for public advocate.) Feel free to post comments about why I should vote for a particular candidate.

In the general mayoral election I'm voting for whoever wins the Democratic primary, because I haven't forgiven Bloomberg for the Republican Convention, and because I believe that Blue America should elect leaders who reflect our blue values (if we're not going to be as successful at the national level for now). That said, I don't have the same singleminded focus on this as I did in the 2004 presidential election ("Anyone but Bush") or any congressional election ("A vote for [moderate Republican senator] is a vote for Bill Frist"). Bloomberg's reelection wouldn't be the end of the world the way Bush's election and the Republican control of Congress are shaping up to be. Therefore, I feel freed up to vote in the primary based on who I think would be the best mayor, rather than who has the best chance of beating Bloomberg in the general election. This primary isn't going to turn into the clusterfuck that was the 2004 presidential primary, with everyone swallowing multiple levels of meta to vote for the candidate deemed to be the most "electable".

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