Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s pitch as a feminist, boundary-breaking first-woman president was clear Monday night from the beginning of her speech in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park, a location she indicated she chose not because it was named for a famous male president but because it was near the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
“We’re not here because of men at all,” she said to cheers. “We’re here because of some hard-working women.”
The Massachusetts Democrat then launched into a brief history about the tragic fire and how that 1911 industrial disaster led to the death of many female employees. At the end, she returned to the fire and one particular woman: New Yorker Frances Perkins, who had been in the vicinity of the fire and witnessed it, later going on to be FDR’s secretary of labor and the first woman in any president's cabinet.
It was a skillful blend of feminist and labor history that name-checked Warren’s economic progressivism while also reminding voters that she has a chance to break the presidential glass ceiling.
That’s a good narrative for the media and maybe resonates in a week when Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is back in the news. But Warren is also pitching key women voters. A new Siena poll finds Warren trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden among 2020 hopefuls for New York State registered voters, with room to grow with women. Slightly more men support her, and Biden commands a greater share of the female vote.
That vote may be crucial in the suburbs, where Warren actually outpaces all candidates, according to the Empire State poll. Nationally, female voters and candidates were a major force during the 2018 midterms.
A focus on being a boundary-breaking woman has not proved definitively useful in presidential races: see Hillary Clinton’s on-again-off-again fondness for that focus, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s early exit from the 2020 race.
But Warren seems to hope that adding feminism to economic progressivism will be a better recipe.
- Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
Gonna get blustery for LI offshore wind projects
It’s shaping up to be a big week for wind on Long Island.
New York State’s offshore wind team will hold three open houses this week in Brookhaven (Tuesday), Southampton (Wednesday) and Long Beach (Thursday). Each event has the same purpose. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority staff will present details of two recently awarded projects — 880-megawatt Sunrise Wind to be located 30 miles from Montauk and 816-megawatt Empire Wind to be sited some 15 miles from Nassau County’s South Shore.
But the tenor of questions likely will vary by location. Attendees at Southampton, for example, presumably will be concerned about where cables will come ashore, if the ongoing battle royale over the 130-megawatt South Fork Wind Farm off Montauk is any indication. Locals argue the relative demerits of landing the cable in Wainscott or at Hither Hills State Park. There also is new intrigue surrounding Sunrise Wind. Orsted, the Danish giant behind both the South Fork and Sunrise projects, had said its Sunrise cable would connect to a LIPA substation in Holbrook; now the company says it is evaluating options.
In Long Beach, concerns likely will focus on whether the 850-foot-plus turbines can be seen from shore, and if they can, under what conditions and how much of them will be visible.
“We might get useful answers, it all depends on what people will ask,” Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Long Island, told The Point.
Raacke and his group are part of a coalition of environmentalists and labor unions that has made the case for offshore wind. Raacke said attendees at the three events need to keep one thing in mind.
“The governor signed the climate change act, and offshore wind for Long Island and the State of New York is an integral part of reaching those climate targets,” Raacke said. “Without it, we can’t reach those goals.”
- Michael Dobie @mwdobie
"How I came to love the bomb"
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Calling out the FAA over air traffic noise
It’s been three months since the Federal Aviation Administration delayed changes to flight patterns that would’ve limited the noise above parts of Long Island, claiming an environmental review was needed. So far, nothing has changed.
But after pressure from Rep. Thomas Suozzi, and other members of the “Quiet Skies Caucus” — congressional representatives focused on potential solutions to aircraft noise problems across the country — the group has secured a meeting with new FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, a source with knowledge of the meeting told The Point.
That session likely will be about far more than Long Island’s troubles, since the caucus includes 44 congressional representatives from 15 states. However, six New Yorkers — including Suozzi, who serves as co-vice chair, and Reps. Kathleen Rice and Gregory Meeks — are part of the group, and the region’s issues are sure to come up at the gathering.
To raise those local concerns, Suozzi, Rice and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran went public Monday, releasing a statement calling on the FAA to move forward with the new plans for air traffic over Long Island. While the statement wasn’t tied to the meeting, it could help push Long Island’s needs to the top of the agenda.
The efforts come after months of increased air traffic noise, especially over North Shore communities, as far as 20 miles or more from Kennedy Airport. Suozzi had worked with FAA officials to come up with some solutions, including changing altitude requirements and minimum elevation regulations. In June, however, the FAA said the ideas needed “additional internal evaluation.” And a conference call last week between FAA officials and staffers representing federal and state elected officials didn’t resolve anything, a source with knowledge of the call told The Point.
Hence the more public salvo on Monday.
Perhaps the louder voices, and the meeting with Dickson, will be enough to give Long Islanders some peace and quiet — at least in terms of the planes.
- Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall