On a cold and rainy evening, the Lower East Side’s key political leaders and representatives from many of the neighborhood’s non-profit organizations descended on a meeting room at the Seward Park Co-op last night for a neighborhood information fair.
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Margaret Chin, the Democratic nominee for City Council, all made appearances at the event, sponsored by the Seward Park Co-op, but open to the public.
Seward Park is the first of four cooperatives that stretch from Essex Street all the way to the East River, on Grand Street. Noting that he and his wife lived in Seward Park years ago, before moving to another complex down the street, it was clear Silver was in his element last night. Throughout the day, the man dubbed “New York’s most powerful politician,” was at the center of the state’s budget battles. But after announcing plans to hold public hearings on Governor Paterson’s deficit reduction plan, Silver headed back home – where no one lets him forget his humble roots. As Silver began delivering informal remarks, one woman bellowed, “speak up!” Silver, who acknowledged he’d known the woman since he was a boy, promised to “project.”
Later, he and Margaret Chin, who defeated Councilmember Alan Gerson in last month’s Democratic Primary, exchanged greetings, and walked around the information tables together, shaking hands with constituents. Chin, who spent the day crisscrossing the district, river to river, has been reaching out well beyond her natural base in Chinatown. Daniel Squadron, a fixture on Grand Street during his successful bid to unseat another incumbent last year, also stopped by. Squadron made reference to a meeting he organized in the neighborhood earlier this week with the new leadership of the State Liquor Authority (SLA). He said a larger town hall meeting with SLA officials would be announced soon.
Last night’s information fair was a first-time event. It’s part of the Seward Park Co-op’s efforts to assume a higher profile in the community. Representatives were also on hand from the LES Business Improvement District, Gouverneur Hospital, the United Jewish Council, the NYPD’s 7th Precinct, the Educational Alliance, Primitive Christian Church and the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project.
The Lo-Down had a table at the fair. It was great to meet everyone last night!