The annual 9/11 ceremony on the Veterans American Pier was as usual well attended. Bay Ridge and Southern Brooklyn as a whole are communities that suffered greatly on that awful day. The numerous, well-attended events culminating with the event on the pier at 69th Street are an indication that we have collectively kept what for many was a solemn commitment to never forget.State Senator Marty Golden whom I serve as chief of staff — created and has hosted the pier ceremony over the years. When he was a city councilmember in 2001, his office organized many convoys of supplies and close to 1,000 volunteers over a seven-day period that worked out of his Bay Ridge office or went directly to the World Trade Center site.The creation of the CERT system in New York City was in part due to his call in the weeks after the attack for what he called a 21st century civil defense system. Bay Ridge appropriately is served by CERT NYC 1, which was active at the pier ceremony.In addition to the many hundreds of individuals who crowded the pier were Councilmember Vincent Gentile, Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, Fran Vella-Marrone representing Congressmember Michael Grimm and Colonel Eluyn Gines of Fort Hamilton Army Garrison. Bill Guarinello was the master of ceremonies. The Xaverian High School Band provided music.***Joe Lhota had a comfortable 12-point win in his three-way Republican primary. Now, for Joe — who also has the Conservative Party line — the real work of winning in November begins.Journalists often mention that the city has elected mayors on the Republican Party line for the past 20 years. It can also be just as accurately said that they have rejected candidates on the Democratic line for same 20 years, despite the city being better than six-to-one Democratic in enrollment.Thus, the key for Lhota is to show the voters on a citywide basis as he did in the primary that he is uniquely qualified to be mayor. And it will be equally important for Bill de Blasio to be himself the most extreme, left-leaning Democrat since David Dinkins to be on the Democratic line for mayor.To date, de Blasio deserves a lot of credit for standing squarely behind his promises to raise taxes, blow out the city budget, dismantle key Ray Kelly anti-crime strategies and expand government giveaway programs.The overwhelming majority of voters in New York City have not yet been heard. I suspect the next few weeks will catch the publics interest and give us all an exciting campaign season.***I guess it should come as no surprise, based on my writings, that I believe the Democratic primary voters in Brooklyn made a mistake in selecting Ken Thompson over Joe Hynes for district attorney. I feel that Thompsons views on the criminal justice system will result in the dismantling of successful programs created by Hynes and a change in attitude that will weaken the role of the police.Hynes remains on the Republican and Conservative Party lines. Thus, despite the medias desire to anoint the winner of Democratic primaries in our city, voters will still have a choice.***Public employee as well as private sector unions did poorly, as indicated by the likely primary win by Bill de Blasio. Although de Blasio did have several major endorsements, some of the biggest–including the UFT — went to Bill Thompson. And at least one big union, DC 37, went with John Liu.In politics, perception can become reality. And perception as well as the apparent reality is that union endorsements carried very little weight in this years Democratic primary.
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