Where does the good go

Fight for Brooklyn’s Congressional 11th

The good news is I was born and raised in Brooklyn’s 11th district.
That the incumbent Congressman Owens, the only congressman I have ever known (DeLauro was a congresswoman, after all), was retiring and the race to replace him had turned into the most contentious and controversial Congressional campaign was pleasing. Good, it’s about time somebody was fighting to represent the ECB. I didn’t know who I would vote for, but since I was moving it didn’t much matter.
Bad news is, it turns out, move or no move — I still live in Brooklyn’s 11th.
Seriously, I’ve looked at the map of this district it spans like seventy blocks in either direction, people!
In fact, wherever you may be reading this post from, might also be in Brooklyn’s 11th. So, listen up.
The dirty facts are these: Major Owens has represented this district since time immemorial.
(Ever watch the Cosby Show? Elvin is his son.)
Well, no surprise, his other son has stepped up to replace the dad.
Not so fast.
A long time member of the Brooklyn Democratic party scene, Carl Andrews was all “hold up, it’s my turn!”
“I’ve represented the people of Brooklyn for twenty odd years, you’re not just going to waltz in and take your dad’s seat.”
What’s that voice out there?
Oh helloooo, Yvette “did I say college graduate?” Clark.
She’s all “Ok, I know I lost two years ago against Major Owens, but I think I can do it this time.” (Note too that Yvette took over her mom’s seat on the city council after her mom decided to take on Major Owens in 2000. That Clark also lost.)
So there you have it, another Owens, another Clark and the mainstay Andrews battling it out for the one chance to represent me and mine in Washington.
Let’s get ready…
What’s that? Who moved where now?
“Hi, David Yassky, nice to meet you. I just bought the house next door.”
Indeed, Mr. Yassky represents the good people of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and some schmancy ass place called DUMBO. In order, a place once described as filled with the “most white people I’ve ever seen in my life,” “off-whiteyville” and well…dude who else would live in a place called DUMBO but misguided hipsters?
Oh, did I forget to mention that Yassky was white.
Cause if I did, I’m the only one. No article about Yassky gets much past his first name before saying “only white candidate.”
So, this is a head scratcher.
No love for the ECB, and now we’ve got more candidates than we know what to do with.
Well, my mom knows what to do with them.
A couple of weeks ago, she went down to the Social Security office to get her papers in order for retirement.
She had called ahead and found out all the proofs of identification she would need.
She brought that with her and was met with a detached, preoccupied federal employee.
“That’s not enough, we need your original birth certificate,” so-about-to-be-sorry-federal-employee tells my mom.
She tries to explain that she called ahead and had brought all the papers she was told to bring by the person on the phone.
“Well, I don’t care what they told you on the phone, I’m telling you, you need to bring the original birth certificate,” she said between smacks of bubblegum and taking personal calls on her cell phone.
Oooh, how sorry is this woman about to be?
Let’s see.
My mom leaves the SS office and goes home.
She calls her congressman’s office.
She explains the situation.
They tell her there’s nothing they can do.
“Nothing you can do? There’d better be something you can do. There is an election coming up and if this is how you treat constituents, you can bet I have voted for my last Owens. In fact, I’m voting for the white guy.”
Yassky, mom. His name is Yassky. Then you can say the white guy.
Well, one hour later, a representative from Congressman Owens’ office was at the SS office, with mom straightening out the whole mess.
In the end, bubble gum chewing woman, who my mom made certain to point out how rude it was of her to be smacking gum during their conversation (She tells me the same thing all the time.), was asked to shut off her computer for the day and “bring her things,” to the supervisor’s office.
Since then, my mom has cornered Chris Owens about his plans for the ECB youth, (a disappointing “my kids go to public school” was his response) and “the white guy” on “what he plans to do for the seniors” (she liked his answer, but I don’t remember what it was.)
But since my mother now votes for crazy Republicans, I figured it was time for me to make my own decisions.
Enter the NY1 debate.
I have to say I was very impressed with Chris Owens.
He’s much older and distinguished than I thought. And he’s an Old LLP alum.
He is against the new Nets stadium and the move to kick a hundred thousand people out of their neighborhood by virtue of eminent domain.
I agree with him, although I do think it’s more of a state issue than a federal one.
Yvette Clark is not even a consideration. She wanted her mom’s council seat. She got her mom’s council seat. She can stay in her mom’s council seat.
And this latest revelation that she didn’t get her fricking undergraduate degree clinches it for me.
Despite what Ken says, my congressperson is going to have a college degree. In Greenwich they have college degreed congressmen, the ECB will have no less.
What do you think this is?
Carl Andrews…
Now, if ever there was a man that has paid his dues and followed the party line…tis he. Unfortunately that party line that he towed was written by the multi-indicted Clarence Norman. I know it’s probably unfair to judge a man by his friends, but…
I don’t know. I guess I’d just rather my congressmen not come pre-corrupted. He should take the bribes and get indicted after a couple sessions, like the rest of the districts get.
And then there’s the white guy. I mean Yassky.
First off, if you see Al Sharpton can you please tell him that “Yassky is white,” is not an argument. Oh, and tell him that if I hear him utter the words “you wouldn’t want a black person to move into a white district and run,” he’ll be getting a strongly worded kick to the junk. (After all, my whole Summers 2020 presidential bid starts with winning the Wyoming House seat.)
So, my issue with Yassky isn’t that he’s white. Who cares.
My issue with Yassky is simple. Would he have moved to the ECB or whereever in Brooklyn’s 11th that he lives, if Major Owens wasn’t retiring?
If so, why didn’t he move sooner?
Why doesn’t he represent my neighborhood on the city council?
Now, before anyone asks whether I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2000, I’ll say upfront that I did.
However, the situation is completely different.
And hinges on one question: do I believe that Hillary Clinton would have moved to New York if there was no Senate seat available.
And I do.
(Now, whether they would have moved to Chappaqua…)
I’m fairly certain that whoever wins the seat will move to D.C. and will only be heard from every two years. With that in mind, it’d give me comfort that they had some background and time in the area. That they known the historical Congressional 11th, not just the utopic 11th that the gentrifiers have wrought. And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for gentrification — bring it on. But bring it in context without removing the people that were there before.
I really shouldn’t have more history with the district than my congressman. Otherwise, I should be the congressman…hmmm…how long till the primary?

24 Responses to “Fight for Brooklyn’s Congressional 11th”

  1. Sam L. Says:

    So, Owens it is?

  2. Alceste Says:

    Why is it so odd that he lives in Brooklyn Heights? (And how do you know he just moved in – he’s been council member and he taught at the law school a couple of blocks away from his current place…) Just curious is all…

  3. Alceste Says:

    And to clarify, he is in the one little part of Brooklyn Heights that is in the Eleventh District.

  4. Chugarte Says:

    Also, Chris Owens went to an awesome high school (but a mediocre college.)

  5. Chugarte Says:

    He did move to be in the disctrict, Alceste. When he announced his candidacy he lived in Brooklyn Heights but not within the 11th.

  6. F-Train Says:

    My district too! Some white dude was handing out flyers in front of the subway yesterday morning for Yassky. As per my usual, though, I declined to take the propaganda.

  7. Alceste Says:

    Transcript is kind of funny – if he’d just given the first answer (it’s three blocks away) and last answer, then it’d hopefully be a non-issue.

    In any event, it’s a funny looking district. Was the little bit on the west side where it gets parts of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill added to ensure there were more whitefolk in in?

  8. Sam L. Says:

    As I said in the last thread, I’m pretty sure the district was designed to be majority-minority, so I doubt they went out of their way to add in white people.

  9. Alceste Says:

    Well, aren’t there instances where they might add whitefolk to ensure constitutionality of a majority-minority district (such as when necessary to make the demographics of the district more closely reflect that of the larger geographic area while still maintaining the majority-minority status)?

  10. Chugarte Says:

    The truth is that the 11th isn’t crazy … when compared to the 12th. I think that before it was ruled unconstitutional, Velazquez’s district stretched far enough to include a piece of Westchester.

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    And to clarify, he is in the one little part of Brooklyn Heights that is in the Eleventh District.

    You know, that’s even worse. If you’re going to be an opportunist — do it right. I know the former crack house across the street from my mom’s building is for sale…buy it, move in and be all “what? i’m in the eleventh, bitch!”

  12. F-Train Says:

    Yeah, except for that little handle sticking into my neighborhood, the 11th is fairly reasonable. The 12th is just bizarre.

    Also, I find it interesting that the people across the street from me are in a different district. I suppose the lines have to be drawn somewhere, but one block further west is the BQE, a more natural dividing line.

    Who am I kidding. There’s nothing natural about any of these lines.

  13. Karol Says:

    I thought you were for the Nets stadium?

  14. Michael Says:

    Just FYI – I’ve seen your blog a few times now, and tonight we’ll be using part of your post on RNN’s (Regional News Network) Real Politics Live. It’ll be in the Blogger Beat segment on the 11th District race. 8-8:30pm, Cablevision ch. 19 / Time Warner ch. 91.

  15. Dawn Summers Says:


  16. Karol Says:

    Wow! Go Dawn!

  17. Chugarte Says:

    “And next, here’s what the crazies are saying…”

  18. Chugarte Says:

    I know the former crack house across the street from my mom’s building is for sale…buy it, move in and be all “what? i’m in the eleventh, bitch!”
    Yeah. I did it! (Though I didn’t rehab a crack house; it is still across the street. I think.)

  19. Dawn Summers Says:

    Nah, you’ve got the SRO across the street. Very different, insofar as that’s where the customers go after the crack house.

  20. Chugarte Says:

    That’s fine then.

    By the way, when is your mom having us over for dinner? Some welcome committee that the ECB has. (FYI, I’m bringing the rest of the white folks with me.)

    Also, there is this.

  21. Dawn Summers Says:

    hahahahahah…that article is funny as hell! hahahahahahaha “just do it inside”
    my mom would much rather come see the inside of your house!

  22. deadprez Says:

    “I’m all for gentrification….” shows a pretty ignorant view of what happens to communities of color when “gentrifiers” start to move in. If you’d like a better perspective, take a look at the U Street section of DC or the formerly Black communities of Hayes Valley and Western Addition in San Francisco. Black folks get scattered like so much sand.
    Whites don’t come in respecting who or what was there before them. They come in more like colonial settlers prepared to reshape an area in their likeness. Sadly this is usually done with the aquiesence of Black middle class folks who act as their lap dogs.

  23. Gerard Says:

    I don’t know if I can claim to have grown up in that district, since my family actually lived within the boundaries of that strip of land that fell within the domain of publicity whore Hall of Fame inductee Charles Schumer, who was our congressman at the time, but I was raised in Flatbush, and still have immediate family living in either East Flatbush or Flatbush.

    The thing that really annoys me about this race is that Yvette Clarke is actually favored to win. At least, had been before the revelation that she had defaulted on her college loans, and didn’t even have a scrap of paper from one of those diploma mills, came to light.

    Aside from being the completely inept, incompetent spawn of a completely inept, incompetent political hack-like mother, like daughter-she has predicated her entire campaign upon a set of assumptions that are completely inimical to quintessential American values.

    Screw meritocracy!

    You should vote for me because I have two x chromosomes, and was born in the West Indies, and am black.

    Forget the fact that all of these things were completely out of my power, and I have no record of my own to brag about.

    Even if these sentiments were expressed sotto voce they would still be repulsive, and yet the bitch beats you over the head with them!

    Again, and again, and again.

    I don’t know what could be more offensive.

    Oh yeah, the fact that she actually did graduate from Murrow. So she’ll be the second-most famous alumna from my old high school, provided she actually did graduate from Murrow. I honestly hope she’s lying about that too. It’s embarassing enough that our most famous graduate to date is Marissa Tomei.


    I would probably vote for Owens-if I lived in the district, and was a Democrat-even though his philosophy is 180 degrees out of sync with my own.

    Probably for the same reason, i.e. he’s the only one gutsy enough to stand up to the expansion of Ratnerville.

  24. Pete Says:

    Depressing choices. I guess Ratner project shouldn’t be issue in Congressional race but I hate to give the anti-Ratner folks pleasure by voting for Owens. Yet I might have to.

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