The Marte-Chin ‘runoff’ election; Marte can win it!

Christopher Marte is running for City Council in District 1 on the Independence Party line.



Why Marte

Endorsed by a slew of organizations (unusual when running against an incumbent) including The Villager, the Downtown Independent Democrats, the Village Independent Democrats (in the primary election), The New York Asian-American Democratic Club, the Independent Business Alliance and the list goes on and on.

Marte fell sort by only 222 votes, with nearly 12,000 cast in the primary, even with two spoilers in the race, but is on the Independence Party line in this general election, which many feel is a de-facto runoff election and Marte can win it.

Chris is a fresh face in New York City politics, young very smart (internship in China, then London School of Economics). He has a deep understanding of the issues that concerns all of the diverse districts, not just a few favored neighborhoods.

He was born and raised on the Lower East Side, where his immigrant parents owned a bodega. He has been an activist for years. He is on the board of Defy Ventures, helping incarcerated youth start businesses and get good jobs and many other volunteer programs, especially for youth sports and mentoring.

Chris is a strong advocate for limiting the crazy overdevelopment and sheer size of the luxury buildings popping up all over the district and, of course, of saving the Elizabeth St. Garden for open space.

Most important, he advocates for a needed but sensible affordable housing program that recognizes the need for schools, open space and neighborhood infrastructure to expand alongside the increase in population that development brings.

Margaret Chin

She claims and advertises to stand against developers but the reality is just the opposite.

She was the recipient of nearly $300,000 from the Real Estate Board of New York, the main lobbyist group for large developers and landlords.

She sat by silently for nearly eight years while developers bought up land and are building up to 80 stories of “supertall” luxury housing on the East River when zoning constraints could have been put in place.

She stood by as the largest nursing home in Lower Manhattan was somehow sold to a developer to convert to luxury towers when the city lifted its protective zoning designation, although the building had been on the market for years.

She allowed New York University, a university dominated by a board full of real estate individuals, to essentially fully build all that it requested.

Even worse is her record on schools — her discretionary capital budget allocations. The average for all councilmembers throughout the city is $972 per student for capital construction. Chin’s average is $284 — more than one-third less than the average, according to New York City budget documents.

Chin did not mange to get a school at Essex Crossing, the massive urban development project that treads through Grand St., which will create more than 1,000 new residential units by 2021.

She de-facto killed on her own, without prior notice to the community board or anybody else, the new school offered by N.Y.U. as part of its expansion plans

Chin is the engine that drives the destruction of the Elizabeth St. Garden for real estate development of affordable housing, although a much better space about a mile away would generate five times more housing. Yet she curiously rejected the swap.

Aaron Foldenauer, new to New York City from Virginia and a lifelong Republican, is again trying to play spoiler. In the primary, he did not win even one of the 94 electoral districts, and got only some 800 votes — enough, however, to allow Chin to win by a hair. But he is in the general election to act as spoiler again. Don’t waste your vote on him.

Chris Marte is a progressive Democratic running on the Independence line and the only candidate who can defeat Chin. This election will be decided by a handful of votes. Please cast your vote on Tues., Nov. 7.

Gruber is a former chairperson, Community Board 2

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