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Friday, December 10, 2010

Bronx CM Cabrera on His Gang Prevention Resolution; Plus Two Cabrera Stories

[Video: Councilman Fernando Cabrera discusses his new gang violence prevention resolution.]

Two quick, random and unrelated stories from my day with first-year (he doesn't like the term "rookie") Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who introduced a resolution Wednesday calling on Congress to pass a bill that would fund gang violence prevention programs.

In the elevator heading up to Cabrera's office on the 17th floor of 250 Broadway, across the street from City Hall I asked Cabrera if he, as the new kid on the block, got stuck with the worst office.

Actually, Cabrera said, it wasn't all that bad.

That's when Charles Barron, the Brooklyn councilman who challenged the leadership of Christine Quinn earlier this year and has been suffering from the fallout ever since, looked over with a raised eyebrow and the slightest smile.

"No," he said. "I have the worst office. That's what happens when you fight with the speaker."

Later on, Cabrera received a call from California, where, incidentally, he went to high school and met his wife. It was Tony Cardenas, a Los Angeles councilman who created a community-based gang intervention program that is the model for the Congressional bill Cabrera wants the NYC Council to support through his resolution.

Flipping between English and Spanish, the two had a lively conversation about the resolution and other seemingly unrelated topics, like the neighborhoods Cabrera lived in when he lived in SoCal and their respective ages.

"Awesome," Cabrera says, smiling, toward the end of the call. "We gotta hook up."

After he put down the phone, he looks over to his two top aides, Greg Faulkner and Zellnor Myrie, and says: "You know what, he went to high school with my wife."

Note: More on Cabrera, his first year in office and his gang intervention resolution next week.


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