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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Primary Postcard: Is Foster Being Complacent?


This e-mail came from Michal Bergdale, a 16th District resident who lives on the Grand Concourse.

I wish there was more news about our local council race. I really think we could see an upset from Carlos Sierra. I have not received a thing from Helen Foster, and she is not held in high regard in the neighborhood. Carlos Sierra has plastered the voting areas with signs and flyers. He also sent out mailers to all the voters just this past week. He is also the only one of the two to setup an election website. I have seen a ton about Carlos and have not seen hardly anything about Foster. With light turnout, the most motivated people to vote are going to be those who want to throw out the incumbent. We will see, but I think our council race could be close.

Regarding the flyers and signs, we've noticed the same thing. On Jerome and East Tremont avenues, Sierra's face is everywhere, Foster's nowhere. I wonder, is she being complacent? Or does she know something we don't.

See here and here for short profiles of the two candidates. In a nutshell, Foster says her willingness to criticize the powers that be (the Yankees, the NYPD, the mayor, etc.) is one of her strongest attributes. Sierra says he's eager and hungry, and would be a "full-time councilmember." He questions Foster's work ethic and says she's rarely seen in the community.

A couple of additional points:

Last year, Foster told the Highbridge Horizon that she would consider taking a position with the Obama administration if he was elected and if a job was offered. A couple of weeks ago, in her district office, I asked her what became of this. She said:
Half of his cabinet is not filled. If we look at the Clinton/Gore White House it took almost two years before the bulk of the positions were filled. I was smart enough to know that it wasn’t going to be something, you know, [when] he gets sworn in on the 20th [January] and I get a call on the 21st.
So is she still interested?
It would require discussion with my husband, step-daughter, my family. It would have to be the right move.
I guess that's what you call keeping your options open.

Fundraising-wise, Foster is streets ahead of Sierra. And she's been endorsed by most of the key unions and the Bronx Democratic Party (she says Party Chairman Carl Heastie asked her not to run against again Ruben Diaz, Jr. in last spring's borough president race, and instead run for reelection.)

But Sierra's picked up one endorsement that's raising a few eyebrows (or mine at least). In an editorial, The Amsterdam News, the long-standing weekly geared towards the African-American community, wrote:

Carlos Sierra will serve the community well. He is committed to becoming a City Council member devoted to effectively representing his constituents. His experience as the chairman of the Bronx Department of Youth and Community Development for Neighborhood Youth Advisory Board No. 4 and board member of Bronx Community Board #4 will provide him with a sound foundation as a Council member. He is aware of his community’s needs and will fight to bring resources and services to his district. That is why we endorse Carlos Sierra in the Democratic primary for City Council in the 16th District.

It'll be fascinating to see how close things get.

1 comment:

  1. More coverage of the 16th Council District race...http://www.boropolitics.com/stories/1/8/01_08_foster.html


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