It’s Time to End Sheldon Silver’s Reign of Shame, Part I [OP-ED]

Posted on: June 30th, 2015 at 9:30 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: Arlene Schulman

He stalled development for nearly half a century in exchange for locking down Grand Street votes and securing his position as an unchallenged political power broker. In addition, the latter enabled Silver to deliver Grand Street to fellow Democrats running for office both city- and statewide.

As Grand Street waned from the Jewish diaspora following the privatization and selling off of the co-ops, he cut backroom deals in Chinatown with AAFE, U.D.O, and Chinatown Chamber of Commerce (among other local groups) to gain a foothold in this vote-rich area. He curried favor with NYCHA voters in large part with showy displays of funding to residents and community programs serving youth and seniors, yet substantive improvements to NYCHA housing stock languished. The developments became ripe for predatory privatization by developers that would include those linked to Goldberg & Iryami, the law firm Silver received referral fees in the hundreds of thousands.

In heavily gerrymandered districts like the 65th Assembly District, pols like Silver were able to remain a powerhouse by choosing their voters instead of voters choosing them. Despite the corruption charges, Silver is banking on staunch support from Grand Street, Chinatown, and the NYCHA complexes, specifically, Laguardia Houses, Rutgers Houses, Hernandez Houses, Meltzer Towers and Smith House.

The bottom line here is that our democracy has been so critically wounded that we need to turn up the volume and come out in droves to the voting booth in September in support of incumbent District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar in her race with the Silver-compromised challenger, Gigi Li.

To Be Continued, Part II: Gigi Li’s CB3 Reign of Shame…

This story has multiple pages:

Recent Stories

Revisit Martha Diamond’s ‘Urbanist Art’ and Life on the Bowery Since 1969

In case you missed Martha Diamond’s show at Magenta Plains on Allen Street back in January, the career-spanning exhibit at the Lower East Side gallery is now online. For a limited time, visitors to independent.org online viewing room will gain access to not just the past exhibit, but also an overview of Diamond’s career. There’s a […]

The Shameful State of Sara D. Roosevelt Park [OP-ED]

The following editorial was written by longtime Lower East Sider and lifelong New Yorker Arthur Karpati. When I moved to the Lower East Side in 1999, I did so because of the dynamic nature of the neighborhood. Long one of the city’s great cultural crossroads—from Chinatown to Little Italy to Loisaida—it has also, in recent […]

Uncapped: The Making of The Unauthorized Biography of Ree 2

Boogie Fam! It sure has been a while. Have you checked out the Bowery Boogie Uncapped (BBU) Podcast? Launched during the pandemic, we are now three seasons deep and chock full of interviews with graffiti pioneers, street artists, Boogie affiliates and most recently, a song debut. You know that country we emancipated from in 1776? […]

Teenager Attacked by Panhandler Asking for Dollar in East Broadway Station

The East Broadway subway station bolsters its reputation as haven of crime this week with reports that a teenager was attacked by an aggressive panhandler. According to police, at 8:15am last Sunday (September 12), an unknown man approached a 16-year-old boy asking for a dollar. When the teenager refused, the suspect followed, and muttered racist […]

Woman Threatens Customers with Stool at King Dumplings on Hester Street

Wednesday evening, a woman was spotted harassing customers at King Dumplings on Hester Street. Our tipster says that the belligerent demanded $10 from the group, and when she was ignored, grabbed a stool and threatened violence. Prior to that incident, the woman jumped on the hood of a livery cab. She also grabbed a person […]