The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Simple Machine

The lever. That's a simple machine, no? The idea of "pulling a lever" for a candidate is now officially a metaphor only. There are no more levers, or even those little metal thingies you'd flip to the side. Filling out a circle with a number 2 pencil feels strangely even MORE anachronistic than the bizarre Byzantine NYC election contraptions that were, until very recently, what I associated with the Brooklyn Political Machine.

Tomorrow we vote. No, not THAT vote. But why not get your circle-filling-fingers in shape for the big day in November, when the national character truly lies in the balance? It is remarkable just how powerful is the presidency of the United States, and yet, it's such an imperfect process to get the gig. I've heard many people lament that they'll leave the country if fat man (yes, he's fat, but no one says it, while trouncing on Hillary's shoes) gets the gig. But that's bullshit, y'all. When things get tough the chicken-shit get going. Listen bub: you stay, you double-down, you work harder than ever to put the country back on track. Sheesh, when did my compatriots become such a bunch of whiners? It's not like other countries are just dying to take us in, anyway. Hell they're fighting crackpot right-wing insurgencies of their own. Did women scram when they didn't have the right to vote? Did abolitionists decamp? Did gay rights activists just pull up stakes and move to...I dunno, Canada? Okay, maybe a couple or three. But still, you fight to create a more perfect union, no?

Tomorrow though you'll have some very, very strange but beautiful levers (sic) to pull. My favorite choice by far is that you will get to vote for Barbara Rogers and Carmen Castillo-Barret as two of the three members of the Kings County Democratic Committee from some subsection of the 43rd Assembly district. What does that mean exactly? Well, since they're pals of the Q I asked. And while it has something to do with choosing candidates and taking votes about stuff that the electorate is too dumb, busy or uninterested to handle on its own, even THEY'RE not exactly sure, but I'll hold them to the promise to check in and tell us all about what goes down at those shenanigan shindigs, or meetings or whatever they do...square dances maybe?

If you want to know who's on the ballot just go to, wait for it,...Who's on the So far it's one of the only reliable places on the web to find such basic information. Oh, a coupla ladies are running for Civil Court judges, but nobody's heard of them and, you know, what's a judge but a person who decides who's right and wrong? Not a big deal or anything.

After the past few years of rubbing elbows with folks, I'm shocked that I actually know most of the people running for the obscure Democratic Party positions. And I'm certainly happy to endorse most, especially those aforementioned "Mad Mommas," one who's an astute real estate broker and bold commenter here and on other social media (that's Barbara Rogers) and the other the creator of Kiddie Science, a wonderful out-of-school option for young people interested in the goo and guts of science (that's Carmen Castillo-Barret). Lots of the other names on your ballot (depends on where you live precisely) are cogs in what is surely "the simple machine" that runs the world as you know it. The fact that they are cogs should not be construed as an insult - the Machine abides. But the fact of the matter is that most folks have no interest in any of this, and so the elected leaders of today were chosen from the primordial ooze by just these sorts of folks, and the future leaders, and the judges, and corrupt disgraced candidates of tomorrow, because by the time a person gets to the general public's attention it's really too late to do much about it. Snooze or lose, as they say. Oh, and don't dare knock the Top Dogs. You'll never make it in this town as you so much as sneeze in the presence of the Clarence Norman, Jr.'s and Vito Lopez's and Frank Steddio's and Eric Adams and on and ons. Not that they differ much from you on the ISSUES per se. It's all in the family, right? Just a big table of Democrats eating turkey, some white meat, some dark, some fatty some lean.

Are these the best candidates to do our business? Who knows? There is virtually no real competition, and almost zero interest from the public.

And so to my friends in the 42nd Assembly district, whose state ass rep (sic) is Rodneyse Bichotte, be sure to consider this, and please note the fact that I don't know squat about him or his challenger. Josue Pierre (leave out the last "H" for Haitian) has been named a "rising star" in politics, a West Indian American to watch, and he is running for something known as the District Leader, an unpaid position that allows you to win an election, run a few things, then get it together to run for something bigger. Many of your electeds were originally District Leaders (Jesse Hamilton for instance, not too long ago).  The interesting thing is - that puff piece about Josua being a "rising star" that pops up in many a feed was written in a insanely butt-kissing rag called Kings County Politics that is known for accepting $$$ for good ink. Also, the former DL Ed Powell just so happened to step down at the right time, so that Pierre was "unanimously" named to replace him by a bunch of people you don't know including Powell himself, obviously to help catapult Pierre to the seat against a lovely seeming man by the name of Victor A. Jordan. Josue also likes to post things to the neighborhood Facebook page making him appear much more important than he currently is. But no matter. While none of us are looking he's like to actually beCOME someone quite important without anyone giving a shit.

Here's to Josue, to Victor to Babs and Carmen and all the true patriots who remind us that this is both the greatest, and the sorriest, democracy on the planet.

Outgoing District Leader Ed Powell Hands the Baton to Josue Pierre - So You Don't Have To!
And the guy running against Pierre, who clear as mud does NOT have the love of the machine needed to win in this town, Victor A. Jordan. (He's even also running against Bichotte herself for Assembly. The NERVE of that guy!)

Victor A. Jordan, running against in Pierre AND Bichotte, in the 42nd


ElizabethC said...

I've met Josue on a few occasions and he seems intelligent, knowledgeable, and dedicated to the neighborhood.And clearly, somewhat adept at politics but I'm not going to hold that against him.

babs said...

Just seeing this now - been rather busy, but thanks for the endorsement! Carmen and I are both in, so we'll keep you informed as to the goings-on.