Local Political Club Endorses Carlina Rivera For City Council in 2017

Carlina Rivera on Stanton Street, 2013.

Carlina Rivera on Stanton Street, 2013.

The next City Council election isn’t scheduled until 2017, however, one Lower East Side contender took an initial, but important, step toward running over the weekend. Carlina Rivera sought and received the endorsement of CoDA, the progressive political club covering Council District 2.

Rosie Mendez is serving her third and final term as Council member in an area covering a sliver of the neighborhood below East Houston Street, the East Village and Murray Hill. Rivera is Mendez’s legislative director. She previously worked for Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), the housing advocacy organization, and was a member of Community Board 3. Rivera currently holds a volunteer elected position, that of district leader in the 74th AD (Part A).

During an endorsement meeting on Saturday, the lifelong Lower East Side resident said of the community, “It’s where I went to school. It’s where I made my closest friends, and it’s where I fell in love (Rivera was married to fellow neighborhood activist Jamie Rogers last year). Needless to say, I know how precious the LES is. It’s everything to me, absolutely everything.” She promised to help lead the battle for tenant rights, for the survival of small businesses and for the sustainability of public housing. “I’m a fighter,” said Rivera. “I plan to work hard every single day.”

An official announcement regarding the Council campaign is likely months away. CoDA’s endorsement, however, is significant. It means Rivera will be able to count on the organization as a political base, following in the footsteps of Rosie Mendez and Margarita Lopez (who served as LES Council member from 1998-2005). A potentially crowded field is expected to compete for the District 2 seat.

CoDA weighed in on other campaigns this past weekend. The club decided it won’t make an endorsement in the April 19 special election to replace Sheldon Silver in the 65th Assembly District. Alice Cancel, the Democratic nominee, was fighting off a flu bug and did not attend. Rosie Mendez spoke on her behalf. Yuh-Line Niou, who’s running on the Working Families Party line, did make an appearance. She faced a withering series of questions from club members (we’ll have more about this in an upcoming story regarding Niou’s candidacy). Nydia Velazquez (7th Congressional District) and Carolyn Maloney (12th Congressional District) both received CoDA endorsements.

The organization also selected new leaders. Jamie Rogers and Marquis Jenkins were elected co-presidents. Rogers, owner of Pushcart Coffee, is also a member of Community Board 3.


Chin, Rajkumar Seek Support in City Council Campaign

margaret chin, jenifer rajkumar

Margaret Chin (left), Jenifer Rajkumar (right).

This past weekend, two candidates vying to represent the Lower East Side in the City Council made back-to-back appearances before one of the neighborhood’s more influential political clubs.  Members of CoDA (Coalition for a District Alternative) heard from first-term Council member Margaret Chin and Jenifer Rajkumar, a downtown district leader.

Rajkumar has not officially announced she’s running, but the young West Side activist has raised nearly $67,000 and is almost certain to compete in the Democratic Primary for the District 1 seat.   Lower Manhattan’s political clubs won’t make their endorsement decisions for awhile, but Saturday’s “Q & A” session was a chance for local activists to size up the candidates.

Bus Seats Available for Saturday’s “One Nation March”

Liberal groups hoping to narrow the “enthusiasm gap” with the Tea Party and other conservative organizations before Election Day are mobilizing for a big rally in Washington D.C. on Saturday.  Donna Elleby, president of CoDA (Coalition for a District Alternative), asked us to pass along the following:

Seats are available on a bus leaving from Avenue A and East 7th St at 6AM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 for Washington, DC. The cost is $10 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. One Nation Working Together is a broad coalition of movements for peace and justice that is coming together to march for: Jobs and Sustainable Economic Recovery, Funding of Community Needs Not Militarism, Civil Rights and a Renewable Energy Future. Please email: ted8717@gmail or call CODA 212-777-9404 and leave your name and contact info to reserve a seat.

Kavanagh Less Than Thrilled with Election Year Tactics

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh

In the past week we’ve linked to a couple of items about State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s lawsuit aimed at keeping his Republican opponent in the 64th Assembly District race off the September Primary ballot. Comically, the New York Post portrayed the challenger, Joan Lipp, as an impoverished widow being bullied by Albany’s most powerful politician.

Meanwhile, there’s also a petition challenge in the neighboring 74th Assembly District, currently represented by Brian Kavanagh. But Kavanagh is not the one doing the challenging.  Instead, State Committeeman Michael Farrin, a longtime activist in the downtown political club, Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), has filed an objection with the Elections Board.