We the People: One man’s take on the local City Council race

With patience and fortitude, we definitely shall see a time when the contrarian policies of the Republican Party are recognized as wrong-headed by the people. That is not to say that every Republican policy is wrong or that every Democratic idea is wonderful. However, the person in the White House has yet to display the brilliance of which he boasted or policies that actually help the citizens of the United States.

We must work for change while we wait and make good decisions along the way if we expect any improvement from the present state of governance.

In Brooklyn, several persons are vying to take the reins from Vinnie Gentile and represent the people of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst in the City Council. The race may be entertaining news to the number of candidates but the stakes in the race to replace our term limited incumbent are certainly not.

Kevin Peter Carroll is one of five Democrats running for the seat in the 43rd District. Justin Brannan, Reverend Khader El-Yateem, Vincent Chirico and Nancy Tong are also candidates for the nomination of the Democratic Party.

Carroll is a local district leader and senior staffer for City Councilmember Stephen Levin and he received the endorsement of former Councilmember Sal Albanese, a local legend in Bay Ridge politics.

Albanese, a Democrat, who is running for mayor, served in the City Council representing Bay Ridge from 1982 to 1997. The educator and attorney who occupied the seat which nine people would love to occupy remembered Kevin as an elementary school volunteer in his City Council races. Republican Marty Golden replaced Albanese and Gentile succeeded Golden.

Albanese called Kevin an advocate for the people and a protector of the public interest. The Democratic Party district leader in the 46th Assembly District Dilia Schack also has endorsed the young dynamo whose family has deep roots in Brooklyn political history.

Kevin moved from Park Slope to Bay Ridge at the age of 10 and began his political life in earnest by joining the Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee while still in high school.  He recognizes that all politics is local and that by being involved you are empowered and that you can only make a difference when you are empowered.

Kevin said, “If you organize at a local community level you will effect change.” He understands first hand from working on the staff of a vital and energetic city councilmember what is needed to be effective and how to deliver from the city to your community.

He announced that updating the city’s infrastructure, especially mass transit and especially the R train, will be good for the citizens and for the economy. He advocates reforming city government especially by increasing accountability and transparency while safeguarding education and public safety.

He promises to amend the City Charter to require all prospective appointments of commissioners of departments to be subject to the advice and consent of the City Council and to improve our subways and buses so that they are more accessible and reliable. Carroll has suggested abolishing the MTA and having the city’s Department of Transportation to take control of the transit system.

As a member of the 68th Precinct Community Council, he learned first-hand how vitally important it is for people to feel safe on the streets and subways of this great city. As a staff member to a senior councilmember, he understands how things can get done in City Hall.

As a member of Community Board 10, he learned what is important to the people of our community and how to handle issues and solve problems for everyone who works and lives in the community.

The winner of the Democratic Primary on September 12 will face the winner of the Republican Primary in the November 7 general election. The Republican primary also has a crowded field with candidates Bob Capano, Liam McCabe, John Quaglione and Lucretia Regina-Potter vying to be the GOP candidate for the seat.

When we have councilmembers pushing for free legal representation for undocumented immigrants facing deportation who committed violent crimes and crying because every bar and tavern in Brooklyn is not a dancehall or a nightclub, then we need a practical and knowledgeable councilmember to represent the needs and interests of the working people of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Bensonhurst in City Hall.

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