Notes from the Neighborhood

Written by Megan Finnegan Bungeroth on . Posted in News Our Town, News Our Town Downtown, Notes From the Neighborhood west side spirit, Uncategorized.


Encapsulating the Past: With officials looking on, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney, City Council Member Jessica Lappin and former Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, construction workers help place a stainless steel time capsule with memorabilia relating to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island.

Candidates for 4th Council District Emerge

While none have officially declared their candidacies or filed paperwork with the state, several people’s names have been circulating as potential candidates for Council Member Dan Garodnick’s 4th District seat. Garodnick has officially confirmed his run for comptroller, so his seat will be wide open. Community Board 6 Chair Mark Thompson has confirmed that he’ll be filing for a campaign committee shortly.

“I’m looking forward to running for office and representing the East Side,” said Thompson in a recent interview. “I’ve actually been working with the City Council for many years now, most recently as chair of the Community Board; I’ve worked very closely with the City Council and city agencies, getting things done.”

Thompson works for government and community relations firm Capalino + Company and holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He said he plans to focus on quality-of-life issues as well as small business, transportation, developing the waterfront and senior and education issues in his campaign.

Another name that has been floated in political circles is that of Brice Peyre, currently deputy chief of staff and press secretary for Rep. Carolyn Maloney. When asked if he was considering a run, Peyre said in an email that the prospect was interesting and mentioned his years of government service and local residency.

“I have been encouraged to run by many community leaders who think that I could make a meaningful contribution to public service in a different capacity, and that my experience and abilities give me an instinctive feel for the issues that most concern District 4 residents,” Peyre wrote. He would only say that he is “considering all [his] options carefully”; of course, there’s still ample time to make those kinds of decisions and for other candidates to emerge in what is shaping up to be a long race.

 

Local Democratic Leader Mulls Runs for City Council

David Menegon, president of the Lenox Hill Democratic Club, is considering a run for the Upper East Side’s 5th District City Council seat, Our Town has learned.

The bid for the council seat, currently held by Jessica Lappin, who is very likely running for Manhattan Borough President, has already attracted three declared candidates: NYU professor Hill Krishnan, attorney and activist Ben Kallos and Domenico Minerva, attorney and president of the Lexington Democratic Club.

While he hasn’t made any official moves to register a run for the seat, Menegon said that he’s talking with friends and potential supporters about a possible run.

“I’ve spoken to a couple of friends about this. I’m interested. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years,” Menegon said. “I haven’t filed any paperwork, I haven’t made a decision—it’s very preliminary.”

Menegon is an Army veteran who served for two years in Iraq and has worked in sales at the Xerox Corporation for the past 20 years. He said that his time overseas working on development and infrastructure would be useful working on Upper East Side issues like the Second Avenue Subway construction and the opposition to the East 92nd Street Marine Transfer Station.

“I think I have some skills to be a good advocate for people in the community,” Menegon said. “It’s a 50/50 thing right now.”

 

Republican Steps Up Against Maloney

This Sunday, local financial analyst Christopher Wight formally announced his congressional campaign, running as a Republican against Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the newly redrawn 12th District. Wight chose the site of the National Debt Clock in Times Square as the location for his press conference to declare his candidacy, using it as a jumping-off point to criticize Maloney’s fiscal record.

Wight, who has worked for Wall Street firms and has been endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties and the Independence Party of New York, has emphasized his banking credentials and is already throwing jabs at Maloney for her voting record on fiscal issues.

“Our country has been on the path to bankruptcy and Carolyn Maloney has paved that path,” Wight said at the press conference. “When I look at Carolyn Maloney’s voting record, her priorities, I see a record that threatens the future my parents worked so hard for.”

Only time will tell if jabs will be enough to defeat a powerful incumbent. Maloney herself ousted a Republican incumbent when she first won national office representing the district in 1992 and has since won re-election nine times. Maloney defeated a Democratic challenger in 2010, Reshma Saujani, who went on to work for Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and is now considering a run for that office.

 

‘War on Women’ Forum at CUNY

Local elected leaders and advocates are joining forces to hold a public forum to discuss feminism, the political attacks on women’s rights happening across the country and what citizens who are opposed to those campaigns can do to fight them. State Sen. Liz Krueger and the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the CUNY Graduate Center will host several speakers, including author of Full Frontal Feminism and founder of Feministing.com Jessica Valenti, vice president of The Women’s Media Center Jamia Wilson, professor at the CUNY Graduate Center political science department Joe Rollins and author and activist with Soapbox Inc. Amy Richards. The forum, entitled “The War on Women: An Evening of Basic Training,” will be held Tuesday, April 24, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Elebash Auditorium, 365 5th Ave. RSVP to spasquantonio@gmail.com or call 212-490-9535.

 

UES Walking Tours

In celebration of their 30th anniversary, the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts will be hosting a series of walking tours through each of the six historic districts under its protection. The first walk will be Sunday, April 29 in the Henderson Place Historic District. The districts’ homes, built in 1881-82, were designed by the architectural firm Lamb & Rich in the Queen Anne style. The district became the center of German, Hungarian and Czech immigrant communities in the 19th and 20th centuries. The tour will be lead by Franny Eberhart, preservation committee chair, and Sarah O’Keefe, education director. Meet at 1 p.m. at the northwest corner of East End Avenue and East 86th Street. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Call 212-535-2526 or visit www.friends-ues.org/events.


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