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Scooby Scoop: Jumaane Williams, AOC PAC back Arthur Schwartz for City Council

Arthur Schwartz is racking up some key progressive endorsements in his bid for City Council District 3 in the June 22 primary election.

On Saturday, the candidate tipped off The Village Sun that he has been endorsed by city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. He said Williams is expected to announce his support on Monday.

Also on Saturday, Schwartz was among the slate of City Council candidates in races across the city recommended by Courage to Change, a PAC officially affiliated with progressive firebrand Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Candidates were asked to answer a questionnaire on issues like the Green New Deal, abolishing ICE, environmental justice and reducing police department budgets. The PAC-endorsed contenders all got a “perfect score” on the questionnaire.

With ranked-choice voting in effect this election season, the PAC picked Phelan Fitzpatrick as its No. 2 choice in District 3, which includes the Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

Courage to Change did not endorse any candidates in Council Districts 1 or 2.

AOC spoke in City Hall Park on Saturday at an event with candidates who have “taken the Courage to Change pledge.”

The PAC’s Web page states, “Across the country, working-class candidates and progressive leaders face systematic disadvantages in our electoral system. Corporate interests, elite donors and insular party power structures disincentivize many potential leaders from running for office.

Mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, left, was personally endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the Saturday City Hall Park event. Meanwhile, Council candidate Arthur Schwartz, right, was recommended by Courage to Change, an AOC-affiliated PAC. (Courtesy Arthur Schwartz)

“Courage to Change seeks to reward challengers and incumbents who display political courage — people who refuse to bow to establishment pressure, who advocate ferociously for working-class families, and who have lived the same struggles as the people they seek to represent.”

Finally, Schwartz, who is an activist attorney and longtime Democratic district leader in Greenwich Village, said he has another big progressive endorsement coming soon. … Think mittens meme.


  1. mary reinholz mary reinholz June 6, 2021

    West Village District Leader Arthur Schwartz appears to be in a tough race for the City Council seat up for grabs by five other candidates to succeed term-limited Corey Johnson. Johnson’s former chief of staff, Erik Bottcher, who has been endorsed by Johnson and Rep. Jerry Nadler along with the VID, seems to be the front runner. Anything can happen, but Bottcher reportedly has the most donations, making him eligible for matching public funds. That gets him the 3 requirements for a political winner: money, money, money.

  2. Bill Weinberg Bill Weinberg June 6, 2021

    As for “pedestrian” being an insult. I hate to tell you, but words can have more than one meaning. It’s called homonyms.

    2. adjective: pedestrian
    lacking inspiration or excitement; dull.

  3. Bill Weinberg Bill Weinberg June 6, 2021

    I said nothing in defense of Citi Bike, which is corporate colonization of public space. But you want bicyclists to stay off the sidewalks — fine! ADVOCATE FOR BIKE LANES! Simple as that.

    But if you’re gonna oppose bike lanes and then complain about bikes on the sidewalk… not interested.

  4. Harry Pincus Harry Pincus June 6, 2021

    I once told Scott Stringer that I don’t like the bikes, and he said, “So don’t ride one.”

    I guess the Comptroller doesn’t like them either, because the next time I ran into him, on Sixth Avenue, he had just alighted from a luxurious black SUV, with a personal driver waiting to carry him forth. I wonder where he parks the thing!

    I guess he’s more “progressive” than I am, but then again, not everyone enjoys sharing the sidewalk with the Citi Bike concession. I assume that highly profitable corporate enterprise is padding the pockets of our “progressive” politicians, while subjecting the rest of us to wheeled mayhem from all angles. I just love it when a speeding vehicle whooshes past me, so close that it seems to brush my arm, and I realize that I didn’t even hear it coming.

    When did paying off Citibank become more “progressive” than just taking a walk?

    In a larger sense, living in a great city should mean respect for each other’s space. If you buy a ride on a subway car, you should not be regarded as a captive. You should be left alone to your thoughts.

    Sidewalks are for pedestrians. These days, if you Google the word “pedestrian,” it says, “Is pedestrian an insult?” If so, why do we have feet instead of wheels?

    Neighborhood sidewalks were meant for people, and not profit. Now it seems that every square inch of public space is pumped with ads, outdoor restaurant shacks and wheeled vehicles on the sidewalk.

    What could be more needed than the human right to just take a walk, without dodging waiters, diners and Citi Bikes? If I sound like, “Hey, kid, get off of my lawn,” then all I can say is I don’t even have a lawn. All I’m asking for is respite from the clang of the almighty dollar.

  5. Bill Weinberg Bill Weinberg June 6, 2021

    So Jumaane and AOC are like “fuck bicyclists”? Disappointing.

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