Sections

►Audio

On BPR: Bklyn advocate candidates stump for seat

Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Brooklyn Paper Radio

Subscribe:

iTunes · Stitcher · Spotify · Google Play · RSS

They’re their own best advocates!

Two Brooklynites running in the 17-person race to fill the city’s vacant public advocate seat campaigned for their candidacy on Brooklyn Paper Radio this week, ahead of the Feb. 26 election to fill the office.

Bushwick Councilman Rafael Espinal and civil servant turned community activist Tony Herbert, who grew up in Prospect Heights, pitched themselves for the citywide watchdog position to co-hosts Anthony Rotunno and Johnny Kunen, and Brooklyn Paper political columnist Kevin Duggan, who is keeping a close watch on the race and joined the special show.

Both Espinal, who is running on the Liveable City party line in the city’s first nonpartisan election, and Herbert, who is running on the Residents First party line, blasted those pols and critics who claim the seat should be abolished because it is a waste of taxpayer dollars, with the councilman dismissing legislation introduced by a colleague — which if passed would create a ballot referendum to let voters decide whether or not to axe the office — as nothing but funny business.

“I thought it was a joke,” Espinal said of the bill introduced by Councilman Kalman Yeger (D–Midwood). “From the moment it was introduced, I didn’t believe it was a viable bill.”

The two also explained how they, as public advocate, would have worked to bring more transparency to the controversial — and now kaput — deal to bring tech behemoth Amazon to Queens, a courtship Espinal noted he opposed from the get-go.

“If you look at the impact Amazon has had on Seattle, just on the overall livability of the city, when it comes to the cost of living and the infrastructure, it has been a big problem,” he said.

Both men positioned themselves as fighters for whom they called real New Yorkers, with Herbert — whose resume includes administrative positions in Council, state government, and at city do-good groups and private companies — recalling his family’s own experience with gentrification amid the redevelopment of his native Prospect Heights over the last decades.

And the activist — who will not participate in the final public advocate debate on Wednesday — fired back at Rotunno when he questioned whether he had the name recognition to land a victory.

“For the last ten years, I’ve been in peoples households utilizing the tool that has made me the advocate that I am — media — thus making myself somewhat of a household name,” Herbert said.

The episode wasn’t all politics, however. National treasure and Arts Editor Bill Roundy again joined the show to share his picks of where to go and what to do in Kings County in the coming days.

But for those picks, and to learn more about Espinal and Herbert’s campaigns, you’ll have to listen to the full episode — which you can do right now! And don’t forget to check out the latest episode of our sister podcast Power Women when you’re done.

Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded at our studio in America’s Downtown, debuts new episodes every Tuesday, and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.

Posted 3:17 pm, February 19, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Gary Popkin Fan says:
I am writing in Gary Popkin who was unfairly thrown off the ballot. Enough with the establishment candidates. Here is an opportunity to put someone in who is a true voice of the people.
Feb. 21, 11:56 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: