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NYT Endorses Corey Johnson, Mel Wymore, Carlos Menchaca in City Council Race

The NYT made some endorsements of LGBT candidates yesterday in the NYC City Council race.

JohnsonAs a resident of District 3, I enthusiastically agree with the Times' endorsement of Corey Johnson, a former contributor to Towleroad, and the strongest candidate in this race.

MANHATTAN’S DISTRICT 3 (Chelsea, the West Village and Clinton): In this race to replace Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is now in the race for mayor, Corey Johnson, a gay rights activist and community board chairman, is running against Yetta Kurland, a civil rights lawyer. Mr. Johnson, who has worked in public relations, has helped tenants faced with eviction by landlords who wanted to raise rents. He has been involved in bringing public schools to the neighborhood and fought to scale back growth in commercial developments that threatened to overwhelm the area. These accomplishments make him a better choice. We recommend Corey Johnson for this seat.

WymoreMANHATTAN’S DISTRICT 6 (Upper West Side): There are plenty of good candidates in this race to replace Gale Brewer, now running for Manhattan borough president. They include Helen Rosenthal, a former official in the city budget office; Marc Landis, a lawyer and Democratic Party leader; the education activist Noah Gotbaum; Debra Cooper, an advocate for women’s issues; and Ken Biberaj, a businessman. But the leader in this field is Mel Wymore, who in recent years has headed the local community board and the West Side Y. Mr. Wymore, a systems engineer and entrepreneur, was instrumental in persuading a developer to build a large school as part of a housing project, and he helped develop new zoning regulations that limited the ground-floor width of stores to help small shops survive. We prefer Mr. Wymore in this race.

MenchacaBROOKLYN DISTRICT 38 (Red Hook and Sunset Park): This race is between the incumbent, Sara González, whose enthusiasm for the job seems to have waned, and Carlos Menchaca, a 32-year-old Mexican-American who has worked in city government over the last decade. Ms. Gonzalez has had a spotty attendance record and very few legislative successes in her 11 years on the job. Mr. Menchaca, who grew up in public housing in Texas, promises to work for better public housing in his district and to improve schools, especially after-school programs. When Hurricane Sandy flooded much of this district, Mr. Menchaca energetically organized volunteers. We endorse Mr. Menchaca.

Check out all the NYT endorsements here.


NYC City Council Candidate Corey Johnson Comes Out as HIV-Positive in the NYT

NYC City Council candidate Corey Johnson has come out as HIV-positive in a NYT article which casts Johnson's political pursuits in the footsteps of his predecessor Tom Duane, who was also out, gay, and HIV-positive:

JohnsonMr. Duane famously won the district that covers much of Manhattan’s West Side below 59th Street (currently represented by the mayoral candidate Christine C. Quinn) in 1991, during the height of the city’s AIDS panic, as one of the first openly H.I.V. positive political candidates in the country. Lending his friend his valuable endorsement, Mr. Duane told me he phoned Mr. Johnson not long ago to talk about the campaign, asking him first, “How are we going to handle your H.I.V. status? Have you told your mother?”

Times have changed since then, however, though not completely:

When Mr. Duane joined the Senate in the late ’90s, he said, there were people in Albany who would not shake his hand. He cries talking about a little boy upstate who was denied admission to his community pool because of his illness. “I’m the bearer of many people’s secrets about H.I.V.,” Mr. Duane said.

Mr. Johnson has many friends with H.I.V. who fear telling employers. “There’s still so much stigma and people don’t realize it,” he told me.

And there is still more to be done for those who do not share the advantages of white men living in Chelsea — budget increases for the city’s H.I.V./AIDS Services Administration, for example. Mr. Johnson is eager for a chance to have the fight.

More here...

Note: Johnson is Towleroad's former political director.


Gay NYC City Council Candidate Corey Johnson Releases Campaign Video: WATCH

Johnson

Out NYC City Council candidate Corey Johnson released a campaign video for the 2013 race in which he's running to succeed Christine Quinn.

Johnson will be running against out lesbian Yetta Kurland. Gay City News wrote about the race last week:

“I’m looking forward to a spirited race focused on the issues that affect our neighborhoods and residents of West Soho, the Village, Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen,” he wrote.

Like Kurland, Johnson said he was uncertain whether anyone else might jump into the race, adding, “I’ll be running on a long record of service and accomplishments both as an activist and in leading a community board.”

Johnson has scrambled to an early lead in campaign fundraising, reporting just under the legal limit of $168,000 in donations, which will allow him to gain the maximum public match of $92,400. According to the city’s Campaign Finance Board, Kurland has raised more than $75,000, or about 45 percent of Johnson’s private donations. She, too, will be eligible for the city’s generous public matching funds program.

Watch Johnson's campaign video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Note: Johnson is Towleroad's former political director. I am a personal supporter of Johnson's race and was named in a list released by the campaign over the summer.

Continue reading "Gay NYC City Council Candidate Corey Johnson Releases Campaign Video: WATCH" »


NYC Updates, h/t Corey Johnson

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BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

New York City Council candidate Corey Johnson has been an incomparable source of information in Sandy's aftermath. He was not only on location when the facade of a building broke off in Chelsea yesterday, but throughout the entire hurricane ordeal, he has kept everyone in New York City updated on damage, progress, and status of the recovery through his public Facebook page. I encourage you to "Like" his page and follow his updates. Also, follow him on Twitter at CoreyInNYC.

His latest update gives us the full range of what is going on in New York right now, available here:

NYC UPDATES --

Thank you to all of our first responders, police officers, firefighters, utility workers, volunteers and medical professionals who have been working non-stop the past 24 hours.

ConEd says power to be restored to all customers within 4 days. Very spotty cell service in Lower Manhattan or Dumbo. Texting seems to be working though.

Penn South / Mutual Redevelopment Houses in Chelsea has power because it runs off of generators and not ConEd. 

The rest of Chelsea below 29th Street, the West Village, Greenwich Village and Soho are still without power.

Hell's Kitchen did not lose power. There is a shelter in Hell's Kitchen at the High School of Graphic Arts if anyone needs supplies, food, water or a charge for their phone.

Expect most subways to be down for the rest of the week; Some City buses now running with no fares (free) and busses will become more available starting at 5 PM.

23 fires still burning; 4,000+ trees reported down; 6,000+ in emergency shelters; LGA completely under water.

Over 80 homes were completely destroyed in Breezy Point, Queens from a massive fire.

Coney Island is still dealing with major flooding.

Queens Midtown, Holland and Battery Tunnels remained closed.

East River Bridges are open. Rockaway Bridges remained closed.

To volunteer to help the city clean up please email nycservice@cityhall.nyc.gov.

 

ed note: Corey Johnson is Towleroad's former political director and has been a longtime friend and contributor to the site -mg


Corey Johnson Breaking Fundraising Records in NYC Council Race

NYC City Council candidate Corey Johnson's campaign coffers are flowing with record-breaking fundraising totals in advance of a September 2013 primary, the NYT reports:

CoreyMr. Johnson’s estimated total, $166,000 — which does not include the $92,500 in matching money he expects to get under the city’s campaign finance system — represents one of the earliest, and strongest, fund-raising starts to any Council campaign.

The closest any NYC Council candidates have come to Johnson's amounts are a current candidate on the Upper West Side, Ken Biberaj, who has raised $130,000, and John C. Liu, now the comptroller, who raised $100,000 in 2000, according to the paper.

Johnson is seeking outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn's seat:

In one of the most closely watched races for City Council — the Chelsea seat now held by Ms. Quinn — Mr. Johnson has seized the upper hand, financially, over two other likely candidates. He also has some residual name recognition; a decade ago, when he was the co-captain of his high school football team in northeastern Massachusetts, his decision to tell his teammates that he is gay drew national news coverage.

“I didn’t always want to be known as the gay football player,” he said. “Now if people meet me they have no idea; they just know me as a member of the community board.”

(disclosure: Johnson is a personal friend and sometime staff member of Towleroad, and I have made a personal donation to his campaign)


Corey Johnson Exploring Run for Christine Quinn's Seat on NYC City Council

Corey Johnson, who has worked as part of our team at Towleroad in past years, is exploring a run for NYC City Council, NY Observer's Politicker reports:

CjCorey Johnson, the chair of Community Board 4, has officially registered a campaign committee to run for term-limited Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s seat in 2013. Mr. Johnson, who is one of the youngest Community Board Chairmen in the city, previously worked as deputy director for programs at GLAAD.

He was among the expected candidates in the potential field that includes Yetta Kurland, an attorney who hosts her own radio show, Brad Hoylman, the chair of Community Board 2, and Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation.

Said Johnson: “I think any candidate who opens up a campaign committee is definitely exploring the race. I’m setting things up to be able to have the resources when things ripen a little more. 2013 is a long way away, we still have to get through the state and presidential elections.”


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