FLASHBACK: Jackson stumps at Gay and Lesbian Center in ’88

BY GABE HERMAN | The Villager’s front page on April 21, 1988, featured an article on a Village event for Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign.

Jackson held a pre-primary rally in front of the Gay and Lesbian Center on W. 13 St. between Eighth and Greenwich Aves that drew 5,000 people.

The rally was organized by the co-chairpersons of Gays and Lesbians for Jesse Jackson.

In his remarks, Jackson addressed many issues, including calling more AIDS funding, better education, equal rights for all races, sexes and sexual preferences, and more daycare and prenatal services. He also spoke for more housing and jobs, and curbing drugs.

The Villager article, by Lili Wright, said Jackson discussed issues in vague terms.

“He talked no particulars, no actual policies, no agenda,” the article said.

The photo that ran with The Villager’s coverage of V.R.D.C. honoring two women who helped lead the push for a crackdown on drugs in Washington Square Park. (Photo by Lili Wright)

Jackson reminded the crowd that he participated in person at the Gay and Lesbian March in Washington. Jackson told the audience, “Testing for AIDS must be voluntary and confidential.” And he said we must “remove hysteria and bring in education.”

Another front-page article was about West Village residents being suspicious about a Department of Transportation plan to repave and rebuild Greenwich St.

C.B. 2’s Traffic Committee followed the lead of 200 residents who spoke at a meeting and opposed D.O.T. plans to widen the street and address water pooling that occurred at the street curbs.

Residents expressed environmental and construction concerns about the proposed project. But the biggest fear was a possible “secret agenda” to funnel traffic from the Holland Tunnel onto Greenwich St., using it as a bypass, or temporary West Side Highway.

The C.B. 2 committee asked why this project was a high priority when other nearby streets were in greater need.

“Since there is no demand for reconstruction at all,” said Traffic Committee member Tim James, “it makes us wonder if they have an unscheduled agenda.”

A Page 3 article reported on the Village Reform Democratic Club honoring five women who were instrumental in the campaign to drive out drug dealers and buyers from Washington Square Park. Mayor Ed Koch was among the officials at the event.

One of the award recipients was Lucy Carney, a member of the C.B. 2 Parks Committee and founder of Mothers and Children of Washington Square Park. She initiated a proposal to ban glass objects in the park, making Washington Square the first no-glass park in the city. Carney thanked C.B. 2, the police and the Parks Department. She said that, with a serious new influx of crack dealers in the Village, “We are lucky we did what we did when we did it.”

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