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Former Councilmember Kathryn Freed to back Chris Marte for District 1

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Updated June 13, 6:45 p.m.: Former Judge Kathryn Freed has deliberated on the City Council District 1 primary race and her verdict is — Christopher Marte.

Freed will join Marte on Monday, at 10 a.m., in Tribeca at Greenwich and Chambers Sts. outside of Washington Market Park and P.S. 234, two of her legacies in the district from when she was its councilmember from 1992 to 2001.

Known for being a tireless defender of Lower Manhattan, Freed fought to protect affordable loft housing in Soho and to landmark parts of Tribeca before skyscrapers could take it over. The same issues Freed took on as councilmember are now in the fore once again as Mayor de Blasio is trying to ram through the Soho/Noho rezoning in his final months in office.

Megatower development in Two Bridges — and the displacement pressure on local tenants and businesses that it would cause — is another hot-button issue facing District 1.

Freed was first elected to the bench in 2004 and was most recently a New York State Supreme Court justice — until last Friday, when she was forced to retire. Last October, Governor Cuomo announced that, due to a $14.5 billion state budget deficit caused by the pandemic, he was cutting 46 judges over age 70 to save $300 million.

Candidate Marte, a native Lower East Sider, said he’s honored to receive her support, adding that Freed has not made any local political endorsements since leaving the City Council.

“She built P.S. 234,” he said. “She built Washington Market Park. She helped create the Loft Law. She’s done a lot of good work. I really appreciate her legacy and that she’s doing this.”

Fighting overdevelopment is a key plank of Marte’s campaign — a fact not lost on real estate powerbrokers. Common Sense NYC, a real estate super-PAC funded mostly by Stephen Ross and Ronald Lauder, recently spent $12,500 on a negative mailer in District 1 attacking Marte.

Correction: The original version of this article stated that Kathryn Freed is still a judge, but her last day on the bench was last Friday.

4 Comments

  1. Georgette Fleischer Georgette Fleischer June 13, 2021

    I attended the June 2nd Council District 1 debate over Zoom sponsored by Village Preservation, during which Chris Marte stood head and shoulders above the other candidates.
    In addition to his unwavering solidarity with the communities of Lower Manhattan against stupid, destructive development, Chris declared his independence from neighboring Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who has sold her constituents, and other New Yorkers, down the river in order to march in lockstep with New York’s most incompetent and self-serving mayor.
    As I write this, Petrosino Square has been taken over by loud amplified music, illegal sales of mass-produced merchandise, drinking from open containers, clouds of pot smoke, and swarms of skateboarders terrorizing the young and others not fleet of foot.
    I cannot wait for this nightmare into which the city and Council District 1 has descended to be over.

    Georgette Fleischer
    President, Friends of Petrosino Square

  2. Martin Connor Martin Connor June 13, 2021

    Kathryn Freed is a retired justice. Sitting Justices are not permitted to be active in politics and are forbidden from endorsing candidates.

  3. Lora Tenenbaum Lora Tenenbaum June 14, 2021

    Kathryn Freed was the last truly great council member we have had in the First District. Chris Marte has the potential to be as great, if not greater.

  4. Eric Richmond Eric Richmond June 14, 2021

    I hope Kathryn Freed was a better councilmember than judge.

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