Rep. Velazquez Speaks Out Against East Broadway Bar

Velazquez at Primitive Christian Church on Sunday. Photo: WNYC.

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez was on the Lower East Side yesterday, campaigning during the final weekend before Tuesday’s Democratic Primary.  In an appearnce at Primitive Christian Church on East Broadway, she injected herself into a hyperlocal issue: a proposed bar at 221 East Broadway.

The pastor at the church, Marc Rivera, is an outspoken critic of the bar, whose owners are trying to persuade Community Board 3 to support their liquor license application. About three dozen members showed up at a recent CB3 committee meeting to speak out against the bar. People on both sides of the issue (quite a few residents also support the proposal) are girding for a battle before the full board tomorrow evening.

According to WNYC, Velazquez sided with the bar opponents yesterday. “When we organized, when we show up at the meetings, when we go to the community board, it takes more than the Congresswoman expressing herself and telling them you shouldn’t do that… It takes an entire community,” Velazquez said, speaking from the pulpit.

Velazquez faces  spirited opposition from City Councilman Erik Dilan, political newcomer Dan O’Connor and former district leader George Martinez.

 

5 comments to Rep. Velazquez Speaks Out Against East Broadway Bar

  • BelowGrand

    So, a bar is an issue for a congresswoman? Doesn’t she have more important issues to deal with? Are the bar and the church even in her new district?

  • The proposed bar, located at 221 East Broadway, is just barely in the new 7th Congressional District:

    http://gis.nyc.gov/vote/ps/index.htm?number=221&street=east+broadway&borough=Manhattan&lang=en

  • David

    OK, made up my mind, not voting for her.  This is over the top pandering. 

  • Turk_182

    For a politician to get involved in such a granular and local issue, at least meet with both parties to discuss the topic before lending your voice.  Guess she figures this is low hanging fruit for her to mine votes from the Primitive Church congregation. This is the act of a desperate politician. At the very least, I would have hoped that she could broker a compromise of sorts. But, this would require that she would have to do the real work of keeping an open mind and actually meeting with the bar proprietors and people in the neighborhood who have very compelling reasons for seeing this place become a reality.  With only one bar on all of East Broadway, this stretch of New York is harldy saturated with bars.   But it is now obvious that Ms. Velazquez is not willing to do the leg work that fairly balanaces the concerns of the neighborhood.  She just lost my vote. 

  • Neighbor208

    Well, I’d like to know if the persons who have just commented were actually at the church when the Congresswoman said what she did.  It is, of course, their right–(this is America, after all)–to voice whatever opinion of the Congresswoman’s character they want.  But common decency would mean, before one calls someone else a “panderer,” or someone out after “low hanging fruit” (whatever that snide and contemptuous phrase might imply about fellow human beings), that one gets a solid picture 1st of how much the Congresswoman may actually already have a well-rounded picture–from both sides–of the issue.  I, myself, don’t know.  But to prejudge her the way these earlier writers have strikes me as indicative of a less than fully serious use of one’s mind.

    Incidentally, the comment by Turk 182 on the bar situation in the neighborhood, while technically correct (there is only one other bar–at 169 East Broadway), could give a wrong impression.  Actually there are four establishments with liquor licenses already within two block or so of where this proposed new bar would be.  In addition to 169 East Broadway, there is 171 East Broadway.  It was open earlier as Broadway East, then as LTO, and is soon to reopen–continuing what it always had: a license to serve all forms of alcohol.  And then, not far away, is another bar:  La Flaca–on Grand, just a bit west of Clinton.   These are all “hard liquor” establishments.  But there is also Cafe Petisco, at 189 East Broadway, even closer to where this bar hopes to be.  It has a beer and wine license.