• What Happened on Election Day?

    A little after 9:30 pm this past Tuesday night, the election results started becoming clear and a rare race which excited our community was ending with a whimper. Before writing this, I attempted to reach out to people involved in all four of the campaigns, but was only moderately successful in my efforts. Written by Yosef Hershkop • Full Article

    Written by Yosef Hershkop

    A little after 9:30 pm this past Tuesday night, the election results started becoming clear and a rare race which excited our community was ending with a whimper.

    Before writing this, I attempted to reach out to people involved in all four of the campaigns, but was only moderately successful in my efforts. Therefore, as most of what I’m writing is my personal opinion, I look to your comments for feedback and fresh ideas on how we can work together to accomplish our shared mission.

    Diana Richardson and the WFP (Working Families Party) won their first race in NYC without also being on another party line. Although the WFP are known to have a powerful and effective GOTV (Get out the vote) machine and lots of Union backing, they still play second fiddle to the Democratic Party’s establishment. Her win can’t be properly dissected until we see the detailed voting results.

    However, it’s clear that from the four candidates she had the best stage presence and ran a very Obama-like campaign, which helped energize her base. She also didn’t neglect the non-Crown Heights parts of the district, and according to media accounts, won big numbers in the Lefferts Garden area. Her huge win, combined with Jesse Hamilton’s even bigger win in the State Senate race earlier this year, make it a tie ballgame in the Eric Adams vs Yvette Clarke power struggle. Over the next few years we’ll see who is the clear Leader of Brooklyn.

    Mendy Raitport ran his best campaign yet, and his only real one since he first ran for public office in 2010. He successfully got a Who’s Who of the Jewish community to back him, even hiring a professional team to manage his campaign. But numbers don’t lie, and Raitport only managed to increase his vote-count by a few hundred votes, his higher percentage (going from less than 5% to over 20%) came from the extremely low turnout district-wide coupled with the increased Jewish turnout.

    This race’s uniqueness provided Raitport with his only opportunity, and in order to win, he’d have needed to launch the strongest GOTV campaign ever seen in NY politics. On top of that, Raitport would have needed to make at least some efforts to reach out to the non-Jewish community, where at least some Church leaders and Private School parents would be receptive to his message. Lastly, running only on the Republican and Conservative lines was a mistake — he should’ve also tried getting on an additional party line.

    Shirley Patterson and her team, led by Eric Adam’s inner circle, thought they had this locked up. But when other campaigns picked up steam, they didn’t know how to successfully implement the Bibi “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls” fear campaign. Her natural supporters didn’t think this race was very important, and we can assume that many of them stayed home. Her being more of a policy wonk and less of a Made-for-TV personality also hurt her. To her credit, she leveraged her connections within the Crown Heights Jewish community and managed to make a case for our vote even though she respected our want to vote in one of our own. She still keeps her prominent District Leader position, which should keep her in the political game for some time.

    Geoffrey Davis… what can I say? He’s run in multiple elections since his brother’s murder and never come close to winning. He’s only won one minor race (Democrat District Leader). He’s a friendly guy who actually really knows the Crown Heights Jewish community but his personal baggage and his lack of a real power base makes it hard for him to even be a serious candidate. His future power may actually lie in his ability to endorse others.

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    1. We need a candidate who will unite all of crown heights across all spectrums. We all want an end to violence, affordable housing, vouchers for parochial schools, lessening of the abnoxious alternative side parking, end to ticket quotas, more assistance for the elderly, more afterschool and summer programs to keep kids off the streets and to help the kids who are struggling, less red tape for small businesses. As long as we play into the racist canard that we are only for our own community we have lost. We all agree we want the drugs and gangs off the streets- but the best way to stop gangs is to give kids worthwhile alternatives to joining them.

      Mom in crown heights
    2. I used the terminology ‘our community’ only because I’m targeting this report at us to show what we need to do better in order to be more politically active.

      Your spot on that most issues are bothersome to all Crown Heights residents.

      Yosef Hershkop
    3. We must also “normalize” voting for ALL memebers of the community.

      There are those who think that voting is “not Chassidish” – its nit enough that that is patently false, but we must also go on a campaign of enlightenment…

      We should take pictures of our Rabbonim and eltere chassidim going to vote and post them all over, we should have the BADATZ sign a letter telling everyone that they should vote, and we should start respecting our community leaders and Askonim in a most public way.
      We should give them respect at all public events, be it a Lag Baomer rally, a Siyum Harambam, etc.

      If that still doesnt work, perhaps we ought to establish a JCW’esqu organization who will go around shaming anyone who didn’t vote….

      JustSaying
    4. The problem is the branding. If mr. Raitport came out as I am for ALL crown heightzers he would have had more support. He made a show for jewish crown heightzers and only focused on us. He didn’t reach out to the other communities or make an event for them. If we had a candidate that had an adopted black skinned child ( not mandatory but would help) and who regularly took part in intercommunity dialogues like the police precinct meeting that happens once a week – we would stand a greater chance of getting one of our own in politics. All these years after the riots it’s still a hate simmering us vs. them community. We have enough people outside the community that are stirring the couldron of hate for their own benefit. We need someone with a proven record of speaking the language of ALL of crown heights. The political version of dr. Laz – he doesn’t compromise on Halacha but he can speak to each community.

      Mom in crown heights
    5. Parts of your comment are extremely offensive and I truly hope you didn’t mean to sound that way.

      Yes Dr Laz would make a great candidate sadly I believe he happily lives in Florida. Luckily we have several other great choices, I just think its pointless to name them at this point 🙂

      Yosef Hershkop
    6. Interesting summary, a little more juice could have made it more interesting. As everyone noticed Richardson won over %50, so all going together would not have made a diff. What is important is to register… then we are numbers, then we have a say.

      Moishe W.
    7. Yes Richardson would’ve most likely won but in a one on one match her chance of winning would be significantly lowered.

      Stay tuned IY”H part 2 will address the need for massive voter registration numbers.

      Yosef Hershkop
    8. Looking forward to part two. Thanks for responding.

      Moishe W.
    9. At the end if the day, we need an all-year effort to register every single resident. But beyond that, and perhaps more important, we need to show people why they should care.
      The average CH’er has no clue what effect, if any, these election, or any elections, can or will have on our community.
      We must show people “what’s in it for them” and make them care, and therefore part of the process.
      Until we show people how it effects them we will stale away in this cycle of apathy and amaratzus

      JustSaying
    10. I hope your starting to educate among your friends and family. That’s how I started and look today i’m writing articles on Chabad.info 🙂

      Yosef Hershkop
    11. How about Rabbi Israel Francis? He’s a Jew and an Afro-American.

      Boruch Hoffinger
    12. ‘ He’s a Jew and an Afro-American’ why should that be the qualifying factors? From the members of the Francis family whom I know personally I agree any of them would make a well qualified and exciting pick but not because of their skin color.

      Maybe the best candidate will be an Hispanic female? or Iraqi immigrant ? who cares what the candidates race or religion is? Most important is who can serve the community best.

      Yosef Hershkop
    *Only proper comments will be allowed
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