Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Levin loves Lopez

From the NY Post:

Before being elected to the council in 2009, [Steve] Levin, 30, was chief of staff to Assemblyman Lopez, and his critics -- pointing to this and other episodes -- say the freshman lawmaker is still Lopez's lap dog.

Levin, a Brooklyn Democrat, generously allocates taxpayer money to the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, a nonprofit organization where Levin once worked which is at the core of Lopez's Bushwick-based political machine.

The group, located outside Levin's waterfront district, gets a larger share of his discretionary funds than any group within his district, which extends from Greenpoint to Brooklyn Heights and includes part of Park Slope.

Ridgewood Bushwick is under investigation for the unusually high salaries it pays to Lopez's girlfriend and campaign treasurer -- the group's two top officials.

Of the $64,000 Levin personally earmarked for the group in the June budget, $12,000 is reserved for its annual picnic in Long Island, which critics say has turned into a partisan event that Lopez controls.

Levin also co-sponsored council measures to send an extra $275,000 to Ridgewood Bushwick, an earmark other council members signed onto.

Levin also singlehandedly allocated $800,000 in capital funds this year toward building a pro posed Ridgewood Bushwick low- income housing development on Willoughby Avenue -- about a dozen blocks outside his district, The Post has learned.


Vito P. Battista, low income housing advocate said...

Low income housing built some blocks outside his district can still benefit his constituents.

Applicants are never restricted to individual council districts and neighborhood boundaries do overlap.

It is not like there are affordable building sites to be found in Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope.

The poor have to live somewhere, it might be a good thing that this young man is supporting low income housing nearby, if not right in his district.

Anonymous said...

Yes but there are plenty if groups within the council district that build Low income housing and Levin didnt give money to. This is especially problematic because generally people who live within the community board where the low income housing is built get a preference for a certain percentage of the housing. If Levin funded the groups within his district, his constituent would be guaranteed a certain percentage of the housing, by funding it outside of his district he is ensuring that his constituents are blocked out of a certain percentage of the housing he is funding and instead Vito's constituents get that housing.