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.