From the Gotham Gazette:
Located on the middle floor of a storage facility that's practically on top of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, it's an elusive setting to kick off a run for the city's top office.
When I visited last week, the Prince Street sign teetered on its hinges, the Q train crossing the Manhattan Bridge rumbled in the distance and a likely homeless man marched in the vacant lot next door, dragging a large wooden stick. Just flights up inside, a quote from Mahatma Gandhi hung in one room, a bubble-lettered campaign schedule in the other. Another hand-written poster read: "Viva Avella."
Earlier this month in Williamsburg at the Italian Festa del Giglio, the candidate weaved through the crowds, undaunted by the smell of cannolis and the sausage and peppers sizzling.
While making his way through, Avella turned to his campaign confidant, Phil DePaolo. "You know my crowd," he said with a smile.
"That's why I wanted you to come," DePaolo, president of the New York Community Council, replied.
Just a half hour before, Avella had been attempting (emphasis on attempting) to court the voters of Williamsburg disembarking from the Bedford Avenue subway stop. Note: The young and hipster laden population seemed far more interested in getting to the local watering hole than shaking Avella's hand.
But here on North 7 Street, flooded with Catholic Italians, Avella felt right at home.
If there are any areas that Avella will be able to carry come this fall's primary, it's the ethnic enclaves, said one city political consultant. They won't carry him into the general election, Mercurio says, but Avella might be able to win the votes of New Yorkers who, whether they want to admit it or not, would not vote for a black candidate, like Thompson.
Wow, the Citizens Union is entertaining the suggestion that "ethnic enclaves" won't vote for a black candidate (Besides, did they forget that some of the largest ethnic enclaves in the city are black or Hispanic)? Why would CU infer that Tony Avella only feels comfortable around Italians? Why would Dick Dadey's group allow unchallenged the notion that most of Avella's voters won't make an informed vote for him?
Well, it turns out ol' Dick has got a long history as a gay activist and is Christine Quinn's buddy from way back. Despite now heading a "good government" group, he has never truly criticized Chris (or the mayor) and he never will. He was eerily quiet when she hired an expensive lawyer with taxpayer money during the breaking of the slush fund scandal and didn't exactly respond vociferously when term limits were extended. But when she wants help getting revenge on people she doesn't like, she knows exactly who to call!
Just so you guys know the real story.
Quote: “Citizens Union has been pleased to work over the past couple of years with reform-minded individuals like Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn,” Dadey said.
And check out CU's "recommended community development" page! Ratner's Folly! West Side Stadium! Hooray!
If you can't count on good government groups to look out for your interests, then who can you trust? Looks like only Tony Avella...
The Village Voice wrote something funny:
Some council colleagues call Avella "crazy" because "he is apparently the only one who has returned his parking placard," which is totally nuts; also, "he often acts, they say, as if he is the smartest person in the room," which, if you've looked at the city council, actually seems a reasonable assumption.