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Monday, September 12, 2005

NYC-CC/PA: Election Day Tomorrow

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Tomorrow is primary day in New York City, and there are two elections that have caught our eye over at Swing State Project. If you are from the area, please vote. If you are so inclined, pleased consider voting for the following two candidates for City Council and Public Advocate in NYC:

Gur Tsabar for City Council
Last November, Gur Tsabar found himself fighting for traction in what has to be a very difficult race for City Council in New York City. Looking for new and original ways to campaign, he stopped by Swing State Project and dropped some comments and exchanged ideas in a post I wrote.

Seven months later, Gur received an endorsement from the New York Times in large part because of his unorthodox campaign style. Tsabar has taken to the streets of New York, preforming acts of community service with volunteers as a foundation of his field operation. I like to describe it as Dean Corps on steroids.

If I were in NYC, I would be offering my time to Gur's progressive vision for the city, and probably have the same enthusiam and nervous anticipation for the election I had as an Ohioan waiting for the results of Paul Hackett's campaign.

Andrew Rasiej for Public Advocate
Andrew Rasiej has captured the imagination of many in the online community including Joe Trippi, Bob Brigham, Jerome Armstrong, and the good people over at Personal Democracy Forum... and for good reason. Rasiej is running in large part on a platform that highlights the need to turn NYC into one giant wireless network.

From a New York Times profile on Rasiej:

For Mr. Rasiej (pronounced ra-SHAY), being public advocate - the person who succeeds the mayor if he or she is incapacitated - is not just about triaging complaints from the public. It is also about fostering a revolution in the way people and government exchange information.

“The traditional model is that we elect a public official and they’re going to solve all our problems,” said Mr. Rasiej, 47. “I don’t believe that model works anymore. I don’t believe that one politician can solve the problems of eight million New Yorkers. I do believe that eight million New Yorkers can solve their own problems.”

And there it is. Can't say it much better than that. For Rasiej, the Internet is the only mechanism for mass communication available by which his ideas can be achieved. It's not just that he wants all people to have availability to high-speed wireless access, it's that he has a compelling vision in how to use such a network in governing. Completely revolutionary. If elected, it would be like New York City immediately had 8 million people truly representing themselves in the Apple.

I am not sure how much we can accomplish to help out these deserving candidates in the waning hours of their campaigns. I guess we get a couple hundred visitors from the area a day, so if we can inform a few of them about Gur and Andrew, that is a start. If those people would please email their lists, ask their co-workers, family, and friends to cast their ballots for the two of them, we can take an even larger step in creating an online component to Ken Mehlman's neighbor-to-neighbor strategy.

Posted at 07:26 PM in New York | Technorati


So wireless internet for NYC is cute and all. But personally I would prefer a public advocate who was head of the NYCLU and has the record to back him up when it comes to raising questions that need to be raised, and truly representing the public interest.

When their were questionable detentions at pier 57 during the RNC, norman siegel went to court to fight them. He has fought for gay rights, a woman's right to choose, and has represented the families of 9/11 for years now in their quest to find answers about why firefighters did not (and still do not) have properly working radios.

You can go into anywhere in NYC and get free wireless anyway (granted you buy a cup of coffee or bubble tea). I would rather support a truly progressive candidate with a record to show than a publicity stunt.

Posted by: Ferris [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2005 09:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree with Ferris, for the reasons he listed, and also...

Tim, did you notice Rasiej mentions RALPH REED as one of the speakers at the annual conference for the "Personal Democracy Forum"? Let's hope it's a DIFFERENT Ralph Reed...

Posted by: progressivemuslimnj [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2005 10:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment



Posted by: Eric Loeb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 13, 2005 02:11 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It's a little late, but I think you'd like Eric Cesnik as well. He's a Dean alum and a thoughtful progressive that is willing to look for solutions to the city's problems, rather than engage in knee-jerk NIMBY posturing.

Posted by: Bill [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 13, 2005 10:21 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment