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Her masterly questioning of the former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen before the House Oversight and Reform Committee last year helped reveal the extent of Mr. If, as we hope, she wins a second term, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez should devote energy and resources to constituent services, one area where her community is hungry for more of her attention. Vernon, Yonkers, New Rochelle and Rye : The current representative — Eliot Engel — has been in Congress since , and his connections to the district seem to have frayed.

He was criticized for not returning home even as the coronavirus raged through communities he represents, particularly New Rochelle.


His main challenger is Jamaal Bowman , an educator for more than 20 years and a fierce advocate for public schools. Bowman helped found a public middle school in the Bronx, the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action , and promises to work for all of the district, including sections he says have been neglected during Mr. Bowman says he wants to see the United States adopt a kind of Marshall Plan for climate change, jobs, housing and education. In a district that needs new energy, Mr. Bowman will bring it. The best candidate to replace her is Mondaire Jones , an official in the Department of Justice in the Obama administration and a former lawyer in the Westchester County Law Department.

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For Mr. Jones, policy is personal. The child of a single mother who relied on food stamps and lived in Section 8 housing, he eventually graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and he supports universal child care and tuition-free college. Jones is a candidate who can finally bring representation to every part of this diverse district, which spans Rockland and Westchester Counties, and includes great wealth as well as pockets of deep poverty.

A former deputy assistant secretary of defense specializing in Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, Ms. Also among the leading candidates is State Senator David Carlucci, who is backed by powerful unions like Teamsters Local , a union that represents bus drivers, construction workers, warehouse workers and more.

Carlucci promises to expand tenant protection and create mixed-use housing across the district.

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In early photos, the reader can spy an occasional box truck or wagon in a vast, unmotorized expanse. Later photos show a vastly different scene — crowded thoroughfares in which curvaceous cars of earlier epochs compete for road space with trolleys. The fences on view in many of the early photographs delineate more than property boundaries. Running lazily along the lengths of a thoroughfare, they clearly demarcate the divide between developed and undeveloped, largely giving way in later pictures to ribbons of sidewalk that impose a geometric regularity to what had been, not that long before, empty land.

The pictures of the commercial strips are particularly fascinating.

Nostalgic return to ‘Pigtown’ days

Within their boundaries can be seen not simply the irregular skyline of shopping streets such as Church and Utica Avenues, and the business signs evocative of another age, but also a kaleidoscopic view of changing fashion — in clothes, in vehicles, even in baby carriages — all framed by the rhythmic placement of telephone poles and the tautly strung trolley wires overhead. To see further evidence of how times have changed, flip to a photo of a gas station at the intersection of Utica and Clarkson Avenues, taken in While numerous cars are pulled up to the filling station, few others are to be seen in the wide roadway, where a trolley can be espied in the distance.

Pedestrians are few and far between too, just a few waiting at one street corner, and another, in the distance, crossing the street. The street fixtures also look different. Elegant curlicues act as brackets for the street lights; as for the traffic lights, each side has only two, harking back to a simpler era when the choices were simple and straightforward, either stop or go. Bain, who met Williams as an undergraduate at Brooklyn College and now serves as his budget director.

He used to have a big rock on his neck. He said he and Williams share some fundamental understandings, despite their different upbringings. Williams asks questions when people talk to him and appears to legitimately listen; he has a big, slow laugh. Williams has focused his career in politics on issues that affect communities of color, like his district in Flatbush: public education, housing issues, gun violence, and police accountability.

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  8. And those are the imbalances I would love to affect. Williams is some ways the political child of the recession, which has thrown inequality in New York into even starker relief. Williams himself is up for re-election for a second term, and is expected to win. He is a powerful orator, capable of whipping a room into a frenzy with a potent mix of righteous anger and cautious optimism. Take a recent night in Flatbush, for example. The hearing had already started and several teachers and sixth graders had already gotten up to speak, all against the plan, when the freshman councilman arrived wearing jeans and a sport coat, his braids pulled tightly back.

    Immediately, he headed for the microphone up front. I wish it were today. The whole city wishes it was today! The packed auditorium, a predominantly black audience, cheered and clapped. Williams continued. It is wide-reaching! So I hope you guys are ready to get down for the fight! I want to look behind me and see all the Brooklyn parents behind me!

    And the audience was still roaring by the time he left the auditorium, pausing to shake a few hands outside before slipping out. Later, people in the audience whispered of the speech.

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    A couple weeks after the hubbub at Hudde, the co-location proposal was withdrawn by Brooklyn Prospect. The potential charter school tenants had pulled their proposal at the last minute, before the city-appointed Panel for Educational Policy, which controls school closures and co-locations, could even vote on it. The charter claimed it had found a better home at a private location. But Williams has channeled his charisma in front of a crowd and knack for the theatrics of protest into an unusually high-profile first term for a lawmaker.

    By thrusting himself into the center of many of the most controversial issues in recent memory in the city — the Occupy movement, the effort to reform the NYPD, and most recently, rallies against the police shooting of the teenager Kimani Gray — Williams has become a citywide figure.

    New York Voters Can Send Some Promising New Faces to Congress

    But before all of these things, Williams was catapulted into the larger consciousness of the city by events mostly out of his control. As the parade wound down Eastern Parkway, Williams and a friend, Kirsten John Foy, an aide to Public Advocate and current mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, peeled off near the end of the route and with permission from an officer entered a barricaded area around Grand Army Plaza to head back to a private event at the Brooklyn Museum. The two quickly found themselves surrounded by police, who asked why they were behind the barricades and ordered them to leave.

    Williams was wearing his City Council pin, but soon found himself handcuffed. John Foy was thrown to the ground, pinned and handcuffed by three cops, a moment captured in a jarring video that went viral. Both were taken to the nearby Union Temple, where they were held until de Blasio showed up. Even the New York Post wrote a tersely worded brief on the incident.

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    The next day, Williams and John Foy held a press conference on the steps of City Hall, flanked by more than two dozen lawmakers, where they argued that race both are black had been the primary factor in their detainment. Williams now says he was shocked by the turnout at the press conference and attention the story generated. Williams is in the middle, dressed in black linen and holding a Grenadian flag, surrounded by cops outside the Brooklyn Public Library.

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    John Foy stands across from him conversing with an officer. Less than a month after the incident at the parade, Williams found himself in the middle of another controversy involving the NYPD, though this time by choice.

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    He was one of the first elected officials to visit the rag-tag Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park, mingling with activists ten days after the protest over economic inequality began on September 17, During the police raid that broke up the Zuccotti Park encampment in the early hours of November 15, , Williams was one of the first people to publicize the arrest of fellow councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.

    The arrest was widely cited in news stories, many of which quoted Williams the next morning. It seemed Williams had settled into a perfect expression of his politics, mixing it up in the middle of another contentious event while drawing attention from around the globe.

    Within weeks, the City Council had scheduled a hearing to examine problems with the policing, something it did not do in the aftermath of the aggressive policing of Occupy. The practice of stopping and searching individuals on the street is not new.