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Carlina Rivera and Christopher Marte pile up votes versus third-party challengers

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Updated Nov. 3, 4:15 p.m.: Democrats romped over independent-party upstarts in local City Council races Tuesday.

In the East Side’s District 2, incumbent councilmember Carlina Rivera won 79 percent of the vote, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. Allie Ryan, running on the Neighborhood Party line, got 12 percent, and Juan Pagan, the Independent Party candidate, took 8.5 percent.

Tuesday night two hours after the polls had closed, with only 80 percent of precincts having reported results by that time, Ryan told The Village Sun she was not ready to give a statement on the election results yet and was waiting for more numbers to come in from the poll sites.

Rivera, meanwhile, declared it a “decisive” victory and called the results “a clear mandate.”

“As it was in the June primary,” she said, in part, in a statement, “our victory is decisive and shows a clear mandate for more of the progress we’ve worked so hard to make since I first took office in 2018: fighting for workers’ rights and dignity, increased access to culturally humble healthcare, safer and more livable streets for our communities, robust climate resiliency in all five boroughs, the protection and expansion of affordable housing, and a just and equitable pandemic recovery.”

Perhaps the climate resiliency in “all five boroughs” comment and use of the word “citywide” hint at Rivera’s aspiration of becoming City Council speaker, for which she is reportedly a leading contender. A large amount of turnover in the City Council right now due to term limits has Rivera well positioned to win the post. She added she is excited to soon be working with the first-ever “women-majority City Council.”

Gale Brewer, who is term-limited as Manhattan borough president and easily won election to the Council on Tuesday, is also said to be a leading contender for Council speaker.

“To all of District 2: Thank you for your continued faith in this Puerto Rican girl from the Lower East Side,” Rivera concluded. “I’m so proud to serve you, and I can’t wait to keep working together in pursuit of progress for the communities and the City we love.”

She signed off with “¡Pa’lante!” (“Onward!”)

In October, Chris Marte, left, received the endorsement of Mark Levine, right, who went on to win election as Manhattan borough president on Nov. 2. (Photo by Dashiell Allen)

In Lower Manhattan’s Council District 1, Democrat Christopher Marte comfortably fended off two challengers. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, he won 71 percent of the vote. Maud Maron, running on the Independent NY Party line and Republican Jacqueline Toboroff both got 14 percent. Maron also ran in the June Democratic primary in a crowded field, in which Chinatown District Leader Jenny Low finished second to Marte.

Marte posted a celebratory photo with supporters the day after the election.

Usually in New York City, candidates have a better chance of winning a Democratic primary election than they do in a general election running as a third-party candidate, since many voters automatically “darken the oval” for the Democrat.

Case in point, four years ago, Marte nearly upset the current District 1 councilmember, Margaret Chin, in the primary election, losing by a mere 222 votes. He then decided to run against Chin in the general election as a third-party candidate but faired worse, losing by more than 3,100 votes.

In this District 2 election cycle, though, Ryan chose to sit out the Democratic primary, instead focusing her energies against Rivera in the general election. Pagan, for his part, had tried to run in the Democratic primary but was knocked off the ballot by a petition signatures’ challenge by Michael Farrin, the East Village’s former Democratic State Committee member and a Rivera ally.

Farrin figures he has knocked Pagan, a perennial candidate — or attempted candidate — off the ballot at least a half-dozen times in the past for shoddy ballot petitions and says he is “annoyed” that Pagan keeps running.

Meanwhile, Erin Hussein, running against Rivera in the June primary, did a bit better than Ryan in the general election, winning 27 percent of the vote.

In District 3, covering the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, Democrat Erik Bottcher, who handily won June’s primary election, faced no opponents in the general election.

Speaking right before voting ended Tuesday night, Alex Bonine, a poll worker at the Theater for the New City on Election Day, said turnout at the venue, at First Avenue and 10th Street, had generally been pretty low except for a bit of a rush around midday.

The election’s big story, of course, was Brooklyn Borough President Erik Adams’s victory, by a margin of more than 2 to 1, over Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa to become the city’s next mayor. Bill de Blasio must step down at the end of the year due to term limits.

In other races, Brad Lander won for city comptroller, Jumaane Williams was reelected public advocate, Alvin Bragg will be the next Manhattan district attorney and Mark Levine won the Manhattan borough president race with 85 percent of the vote.

In addition, three out of five ballot measures failed, with New York State voters rejecting proposals on election and ballot reform, including changing the redistricting process, plus allowing same-day voter registration and “no excuses” absentee voting. On the other hand, proposals to ensure clean air and water, as well as expand the cases that the Civil Court can hear were approved.

In the District 2 Council election, Ryan’s main campaign issue was saving East River Park from the destruction of the East Side Coastal Resiliency plan. Many of Ryan’s supporters were passionate and extremely fired up on the issue. On Monday, on the eve of the election, the candidate was arrested for doing civil disobedience at the East River Park tennis courts as city workers started to dismantle the site’s fencing to clear the way for the area to be demolished as part of the park project’s phase one.

Under the city’s plan, the existing East River Park would be buried under from 8 feet to 10 feet of fill soil and all of its nearly 1,000 mature trees felled.

But the fight over E.S.C.R. isn’t ikely going away just because of Ryan’s defeat in what was her first run for office. On Election Day, Village activist attorney Arthur Schwartz filed a motion in State Supreme Court seeking a stay on construction work in the park pending the Appellate Division’s decision on his lawsuit appeal that he made on Wed., Oct. 27. Schwartz said he expected to be in court Wednesday trying to obtain the stay.

The lawsuit argues that because the expected five-year-long resiliency plan’s main goal is to turn the park into a floodwall — which is not a park purpose — the project must go through an “alienation” vote by the state Legislature. The de Blasio administration, however, according to Schwartz, more recently changed its tune and is now trying to argue that E.S.C.R. is really being done for a “dual purpose” — to “save the park,” plus protect the surrounding neighborhoods from flooding. But the attorney says the city only made this switch of terms to try to skirt an alienation vote in Albany.

Rivera is a steadfast supporter of the resiliency plan. In a statement to The Village Sun on the eve of the election, she said, “We’re ensuring access to green open spaces for generations to come, while also maintaining what neighbors love about the park now. East River Park will never fully close [during construction for the E.S.C.R. project], additional green recreational spaces will open in the community, and most importantly, we will protect our neighbors from the most devastating consequences of the climate crisis.”

Farrin, the former State Committee member, who is a member of CoDA (Coalition for a District Alternative), Rivera’s home political organization, speculated on where opponent Ryan got most of her support. He said it was likely from “Avenue B to the river” and that the park issue was significant for these voters.

“I was interested in looking at [the election results for] Village East Towers,” he noted, “because that’s always been a stronghold, but a lot of them got into the resistance over the park.”

But that concern over the resiliency project was not felt throughout the rest of the district, he said. East River Park’s northernmost point is E. 13th Street.

“That issue doesn’t resonate above 14th Street,” he said.

In fact, Farrin said, it was during Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, when he saw Rivera, then an organizer for GOLES, out on the street with a bullhorn assisting people and helping get food to the elderly, that he grasped her potential as a political candidate.

“During Sandy she was a hero,” he said. “She really, really took control of things. It was then I realized, ‘This woman has some leadership skills.'”

11 Comments

  1. LES3025 LES3025 November 3, 2021

    I’m sure everyone from the other post will solemnly accept that the voters have spoken and overwhelmingly endorsed Carlina’s support of ESCR.

    • David R. Marcus David R. Marcus November 3, 2021

      Why do you hide between numbers and letters if you are so convinced you are so smart and know everything? I cannot help but notice you often have lots to say but are not man/woman enough to stand up and be counted.

      With all Carlina’s lies, betrayals and mountains of negative comments about her, it is shocking she was reelected. Instead of misleading percentages, look at the actual vote count and see the only reason she was reelected was on paltry turnout and a handful of votes. Statistics are a poor measure of support.

      She lied about her willingness to exact landmark protections in return for her vote on the 14th Street Tech Hub and lies about the need for ESCR to favor her special interests. She long ago abandoned the will of her constituents.

      People like you with wax in their ears cannot hear the hue and cry against Carlina’s evil ways from the communities she lies to and whom she threw under the bus.

      • LES3025 LES3025 November 3, 2021

        Low-turnout elections are how upstart candidates take down incumbents (see, AOC). Losing by 70 percent in a low-turnout election hurts your point rather than helps it, and shows how deep in the minority you are on this issue. Look at Chin and Marte’s two elections in 2017 if you want to see what it looks like when the constituents really turn on their elected official.

        • David R. Marcus David R. Marcus November 4, 2021

          Since you hold yourself out as expert on almost everyone and everything, I would think you would have the courage of your convictions and opinions to come out from the anonymity of letters and numbers as the rest of us who are unashamed to publicly stand by our views.

          Elections aside, you continue to avoid the fact that time and again Carlina has lied and betrayed the constituents she professes to represent and refuses to meet with them. Surely you could not have missed the hue and cry against her betrayals over the 14th Street Busway, 14th Street Tech Hub without promised landmark protections and her most unpopular support of the ESCR boondoggle, where in each and every case she ignores the will of the vast majority of residents, which should not include outside interlopers and zealots who cry NIMBY and parking spaces for lack of substantive reasons why the community does not have a right to shape the fabric of the neighborhoods where they live and work.

          No, LES3025, whoever you are, it is you and your brethren that are in the minority of opinion but likely affiliated with powerful forces that steamroll over the people’s will and the right of residents to enjoy their communities, while pointing the finger at others.

          • LES3025 LES3025 November 4, 2021

            Look man, you can keep ignoring all the objective evidence that you are in the minority on all the issues you mentioned if you want. I can’t stop you. And if you find a way to measure the “hue and cry” (whatever that means), I’m happy to reconsider my position.

            But “the community” absolutely does not have a right to “shape the fabric of the neighborhood.” You shouldn’t get to choose who is allowed to be your neighbor. You shouldn’t get to choose whether your neighbors’ homes get flooded. We elect a government, and the government makes policy. We don’t delegate decisions to whoever is able to show up at a community board meeting on a weekday or which one of the ones who does yells the loudest. It’s an absolutely vile sentiment wrapped up in self-righteousness.

  2. LES3025 LES3025 November 3, 2021

    Hey, Village Sun, did Schwartz actually file the motion on Election Day, like you say he did and, if so, was he in court today? I was curious so I tried to check, but didn’t see any new motion on SCROLL. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place.

    • The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | November 3, 2021

      Yes, he did. Arthur Schwartz’s response on Wednesday: “No news from court today. Motion pending. Court was closed yesterday.”

      • LES3025 LES3025 November 3, 2021

        Got it, thanks for the response. Maybe it didn’t upload yet.

  3. Jan Jan November 3, 2021

    Carlina Rivera got more votes in her race than Chris Marte got in his. So is his win equally suspect?

  4. Chris Flash Chris Flash November 3, 2021

    Rivera + CODA’s “win” is OUR loss.

    So, after years of betrayal, we find ourselves with another 4 years of Rivera and control of District 2 by Rivera’s clubhouse bosses at CODA.

    Having ALLIE RYAN’s name stuck in hard-to-find locations on the ballot certainly helped Rivera to “win.” (Several people I canvassed leaving a polling site at Bowery and Fifth St. told me they had intended on voting for RYAN but could not see her name anywhere. That was cute.)

    Running Juan Pagan as a spoiler dividing the RYAN vote against Rivera also helped Rivera to “win.”

    WHO tallied the votes in the polling places before the results were sent Downtown? In the past, we caught the tallier inverting vote counts to favor the opposition candidate. Who’s to say that CODA personnel didn’t arrange for the same thing to happen last night in favor of Rivera?

    Rivera’s “victory” speech was politician hogwash. What “progress”? What has she or CODA done in the way of “fighting for workers’ rights and dignity, increased access to culturally humble healthcare, safer and more livable streets for our communities, robust climate resiliency in all five boroughs, the protection and expansion of affordable housing”?

    Here’s what they HAVE done: Among other transgressions, and betrayals, the three CODA clubhouse politicians, from Lopez to Mendez to Rivera, who have consecutively held the seat “representing” the Lower East Side in the City Council since Antonio Pagan had to go due to term limits, have sacrificed community gardens by cutting deals with Antonio Pagan’s real estate vulture partner Donald Capoccia to build “market rate” apartments on them, have been silent while Mayor Bloombucks wiped out zoning restrictions, leading to hyper-gentrification with record overbuilding of “luxury” and “market rate” housing throughout the LES, went along with Bloombucks’ violation of the referendum on term limits, which was passed into law by voters TWICE, because he paid councilmembers and because they too got an extra term out of it, posed for a photo-op at the Astor Place cube as long-term residents of a row of middle-income apartment houses along 11th Street, across from Webster Hall, were evicted in order for a hotel to be built on the site, approved Mayor de Blasio’s absurd “Tech Hub” project on East 14th Street, supported de Blasio’s Governors Island bonanza for developers to create an island for the filthy rich there, and approved the ecologically criminal plan pushed by de Blasio to DESTROY East River River Park, which was only recently renovated after 10 years at a cost of millions of dollars, in order to take advantage of federal funds before they expire, by raising the entire park level by 10 feet, allegedly to stop future flooding of the Lower East Side.

    Never mind that a THOUSAND trees will be taken out and that large portions of the park will be unusable by those of us who do not have a country home or a place in the Hamptons to get away to in the summer, like politicians who pretend to “represent” the Lower East Side.

    Never mind that Rivera backed the mayor, though her constituents have made it CLEAR that they do NOT support the outgoing lame-duck mayor’s plan for East River Park, which was shoved down our throats with NO public hearings, input, review or oversight.

    It is clear to those with EYES that the “new and improved East River Park” being touted by a mayor who will be out of office in just two months, leaving us with his mess, will be designed for incoming monied transients attracted to former city housing along Avenue D and the FDR Dtive that will be renovated into “luxury” apartments that Rivera and the CODA crew are getting privatized by a group of developers who include Antonio Pagan’s partner DONALD CAPOCCIA.

    They have already handed Capoccia a large chunk of Campos Plaza at 12th Street and Avenue C, where he is creating market-rate units where poor residents used to live. According to their plan, by the time that East River Park is finished, most, if not all, residents of city housing projects will be replaced by a more “desirable” demographic.

    From what we have seen, there has been NO difference between Antonio Pagan’s DAC club and Rivera’s CODA club. BOTH have served their gentrifying real estate masters and mayors, who work for developers and banksters, well and BOTH have been rewarded handsomely after selling their souls and betraying us.

    Long after de Blasio is gone, Rivera and her CODA crew will have to answer for what they have done.

  5. Herman Hewitt Herman Hewitt November 4, 2021

    I would like the Village Sun, if it has the opportunity to get an opinion from the elected mayor-to-be, of what is his position on the former El Bohio (Old P.S. 64.)

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