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Eat your loyalty
Democratic Socialists of America rise up
Will the political upheaval of 2016 power a 2017 resurgence of the far left? The relative success of the Labour Party in Thursday’s U.K. snap election is already being hailed as such. Closer to home, this fall’s race for an open New York City Council seat in south Brooklyn may be worth watching, given the fundraising strength of Democratic Socialists of America member the Rev. Khader El-Yateem.
El-Yateem has raised more than $90,000 in contributions, just behind opponent Justin Brannan, who works for the district’s incumbent council member.
On Saturday, NYC DSA will launch its campaign for El-Yateem for the Democratic Party nomination. El-Yateem, founder of the Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, has pledged not to take contributions from real estate developers.
It will be the first time the local Democratic Socialists party has endorsed a City Council candidate since 1997, and the first time the group will actively campaign for a candidate for any office, according to a party representative. Unsurprisingly, some of the people involved got experience on the campaign of another progressive with New York roots: Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Off to the races
Saturday’s Belmont Stakes will mark the premier race’s 149th year, but it’s not true that the stop-and-start process to redevelop and revitalize the track and the surrounding area has been spluttering along that whole time.
It just feels that way. There is no lack of visions for what could be done at Belmont, but at the moment there is no process. The state says a new request for development proposals will be released soon, but developers, local politicians and communities are frustrated with the erratic nature of the proceedings.
There will be no Triple Crown this year. And with the winners of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness avoiding Saturday’s race, no horses will be seeking a second Triple Crown win. Even so, as many as 60,000 people will head out to Belmont Park for what is usually a great day. Many will look around and wonder why they don’t come more, and why there isn’t more going on there.
Just don’t bet on when more will happen.
Deadline changes track
The train will be delayed a little bit longer.
The MTA’s Capital Program Review Board has until midnight June 30 to veto the agency’s amended capital plan, which includes nearly $2 billion in funding for the Long Island Rail Road’s third track and related improvements, a spokesman for the authority told The Point.
Originally, third-track supporters had pinned the deadline as June 23 — 30 days after the MTA board approved the amended plan on May 23. But that plan wasn’t submitted to the review board until May 31, so the 30-day clock didn’t start until then.
And there is only one person who might execute a veto: Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Golden, the GOP representative to the review board. The Point is told that he doesn’t want to veto the amended capital plan because it’s chock full of goodies for the subway riders in his district. However, Golden is likely will do what Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan wants.
And Flanagan, for the moment, is listening closely to the two GOP senators who oppose the LIRR third track plan — Elaine Phillips and Kemp Hannon. Newsday’s editorial board will have something to say about their opposition on Sunday.
Randi F. Marshall