Tuesday, September 09, 2014

In Senate race to succeed Adams, the BP's successor (Hamilton) vs. one (Doraincy) backed by Jeffries, de Blasio

Primary Day is today... In the 20th Senate District, vying to succeed the seat (parts of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Brownsville, Gowanus and Sunset Park), formerly held by now-Borough President Eric Adams, the race is between educational administrator Rubain Dorancy and lawyer Jesse Hamilton, and a bit of a fight between Adams and Mayor Bill de Blasio/Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for primacy in Central Brooklyn.

Doraincy, as noted by the Brooklyn Eagle, is endorsed by de Blasio, Reps. Jeffries, Yvette Clarke, and Nydia Velazquez, and Council Members Jumaane Williams and Antonio Reynoso.

Hamilton, Adams's longtime counsel, is endorsed by several teachers' groups and has been endorsed by Adams, state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, former Congress member Ed Towns, former BP Marty Markowitz and Council Members including Brad Lander and Steve Levin. Note that Adams has his eye on the mayoral race in 2012 (if not sooner).

The Daily News endorsed Doraincy, as did Citizens Union. Here are links to their Citizens Union questionnaires and below are their top campaign goals. The Hamilton camp (and shadowy Doraincy opponents) have pointed to Doraincy's family living in Mill Basin, saying he has fewer ties to the community.

Here's Brooklyn Eagle coverage of the debate I attended, including differences over charter schools (Doraincy more sympathetic) and thus differences in fundraising. Here's an NY1 debate.

Atlantic Yards evasions

Atlantic Yards is an issue for the district--and one Adams occasionally grandstanded on--but clearly not a big one.

At a debate I attended in Prospect Heights, both were asked the same question asked of the Assembly candidates: did they approve of the compromise that led to a new Atlantic Yards deadline but also resulted in an announcement that the next two all-affordable towers would skew toward middle-income households.

"The original CBA agreement--the carrot that they dangled before many residents the community was that there would be a large affordable component, and many people bought into that concept," Hamilton responded. "Right now, we haven’t seen any affordable housing being built... As state Senator, I want to have more transparency, I want to have more accountability. I want to make sure we have claw back provisions."

"You get $800 million and you don't build housing, Because the Empire State Economic Development Corporation [sic] gave them the money, and basically said, do want you with the money, with no oversight," said Hamilton. 

Actually, there were arena subsidies and tax breaks from both the city and Empire State Development Corporation, while affordable housing subsidies and tax breaks come from the city.

He added that $90,000 is "a nice salary" and suggested more affordable housing was needed for those in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 a year. So he didn't really comment on the compromise, or note that he affordable housing he seeks is low-income housing, which represents 900 of the 2250 subsidized units.

"No, I did not, for many of the same reasons Mr. Hamilton raised," Dorancy responded. "We have not seen any affordable housing built. There has been “no real honoring of the professed commitments in terms of job creation."

He went on to say things "need to be done legislatively, and on the administrative side" to make sure contracts are clear and there are mechanisms for enforcement. 

So he didn't really answer the question either.

Campaign promises: Doraincy

Campaign promises: Hamilton

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