The Crazy World of Politics, by George Fiala

Politics headIt’s March and the 2014 races are getting closer. Word is that a Mexican American is looking to do to Assemblyman Felix Ortiz what Carlos Menchaca did to Sara Gonzalez in the city council. Nydia’s 10th two year Congressional term is up at the end of the year, and despite all her off year work for City Council candidates, there are murmurs of Democratic primary opposition again. We’ve already seen a campaign flyer for her.

The brochure touts her work for public housing, her work to bring jobs to the Brooklyn waterfront, her hand in the locavore movement as well as rebuilding from Sandy. She is on the small business committee in Congress, and the brochure finishes with some legislative achievements in that area, including help for women owned business; a credit availability act for small businesses, and H.R. 2451, the “Strengthening Entrepreneurs’ Economic Development Act,” which she claims spurs entrepreneurship throughout her district.
After checking on that last bill, the website http://www.govtrack.us informs us that the bill was sent to committee last June, and stands a 1% chance of being enacted. The six page bill proposes a lending fund for small businesses (fewer than 20 employees) to apply for a maximum $150,000 loan to be repaid in six years, although an amendment to the bill authorizes higher loans. Despite the fact that the brochure claims that her bill “spurs entrepreneurship,” the fact is that will occur only in the small chance that this bill becomes law.

Steve Levin gave an impressive talk at a recent Gowanus CAG meeting. Rather than railing against the possible closure of the Double D pool (on 3rd Avenue between Douglass and DeGraw) while holding tanks for sewer overflows are installed, as per the suggestion of the EPA, he intelligently discussed what should happen in the eventuality that this route is taken by the city and the EPA. He pointed out that the pool was threatened with closure due to budget cuts five years ago, which the community successfully fought. His argument to the CAG was forward thinking: to ensure funding is in place to rebuild the pool if it comes to that. Refreshing to hear a real idea, rather than one of many platitudes often heard from our government representatives.

Last month, Velmanette Montgomery split from the rest of our local pols by endorsing a plan by Brooklyn Hospital to take over part of LICH. Lander and the rest continued to petition SUNY Downstate for a new RFP, which became the agreement finally reached in the year-long court case. The consequence for Montgomery came at the laudatory City Hall press conference announcing the agreement where she was not present.

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