V.I.D. backs Marte over Chin in primary for Council District 1

Christopher Marte.

Christopher Marte.

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | In a blow to incumbent Margaret Chin, Christopher Marte won the endorsement of the Village Independent Democrats club in the City Council Democratic primary for Lower Manhattan’s District 1.

The vote was last Thurs., April 13. The vote was 21 for Marte and 11 for Chin.

An elated Marte said, “V.I.D. is the oldest voice for reform and the progressive agenda in the neighborhood. Both our campaign and V.I.D. share a clear vision for change in this district, and we are honored to have the support of a club with such a historic legacy, and impactful future. V.I.D. has a history of advancing a progressive agenda in New York City, and their support indicates confidence in my ability to further this mission.”

Marte grew up as an immigrant kid on Forsyth St. and worked in his dad’s nearby bodega. He noted that he is “running on a platform of complete transparency and active community engagement” and that he aims to be “a leading voice for reform in Lower Manhattan politics.”

Chin is seeking a third term in the City Council. She, like certain other councilmembers, is allowed to run for a third term as a “holdover” of the legislative coup orchestrated by former Mayor Mike Bloomberg and former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s in brazen defiance of voter referenda by the people of New York, who backed term limits of two terms for councilmembers and other New York City elected officials.

Members of another local political club, the Downtown Independent Democrats, also like the young Marte, who is just in his 20s, according to Sean Sweeney, a leading club member.

“He’s like the Zelig of Lower Manhattan — he’s everywhere,” Sweeney said. “And he speaks Mandarin, too.”

In addition, V.I.D. endorsed Carlina Rivera for City Council in a crowded field of candidates in the East Village’s District 2. Rivera is a Democratic district leader, the lowest-level party official, and is also currently a legislative aide for City Councilmember Rosie Mendez. Mendez will be term-limited out of office at the end of this year after three terms.

Rivera won 33 votes versus one apiece for Ronnie Cho, a former Obama staffer, and Erin Hussein, an attorney and co-op president.

In District 3, which covers the Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, V.I.D. unanimously endorsed City Councilmember Corey Johnson for re-election to a second term. Johnson does not have a Democratic primary opponent.

For Greenwich Village district leader, the storied club endorsed the female incumbent, leading V.I.D. member Keen Berger. Both Berger and her male co-leader, Arthur Schwartz, face no primary challenge. However, V.I.D. voted “no endorsement” for male district leader because Schwartz ran against club stalwart Assemblymember Deborah Glick last year. Not only that, but after Schwartz dropped out of the race due to concern over his heart condition, he got Jim Fouratt to run in his stead. Fouratt has made waves in the club in the past for his maverick and sometimes-contentious views.

Also, some club members objected that Fouratt did not have to show community support for his candidacy by collecting his own petition signatures to get on the ballot — Schwartz having already done all that work. However, Schwartz giving his petition signatures to Fouratt was perfectly legal, and is allowed in cases where a candidate dies or has a health issue that does not allow him or her to finish the race.

“I was annoyed,” said Schwartz, who is a former V.I.D. member who left to form his own short-lived club years ago. “I go to their meetings each month and report, get a great response, and thought that the old guard had moved past the animosity. Guess not. V.I.D. hasn’t endorsed me since 1999 for anything. I will live on — the Village Reform Democratic Club and Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club will hopefully endorse me, and my main work will continue to be through NYPAN.”

NYPAN, or the New York Progressive Action Network, is a new Bernie Sanders-inspired political movement.

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