Friday, May 10, 2013

Ben Franklin Democratic Club

Riverdale Report
By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, May 10- The all-powerful Ben Franklin Democratic Club in the 81st Assembly District has held the balance of power in the Northwest Bronx once current Councilman G. Oliver Koppell was elected to the New York State Assembly. 

Adding to the huge line up of elected officials endorsed by the club has not always been so easy. Now with term limits many more candidates seem to be running for office as was the case in past citywide election before them. A candidate citywide needs to achieve a percentage of over 40 percent in a citywide race where there are more than two candidates or there is a run off election between the two top finishers. This happened in the 2009 Democratic primary for City Comptroller and Public Advocate. For Comptroller, John Liu received 38 percent of the vote and was in a run off election with David Yassky who got 30+ percent. Two other candidates split the rest of the vote. For Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio received 32+ percent of the vote and was in a run off election with Mark Green who got almost 31 percent. Three other candidates split the rest of the vote.

This year there are six democratic candidates running for mayor, and it is expected that former Congressman Anthony Weiner may make it seven. In the Democratic race for Public advocate there are four candidates. In the Republican race for mayor there are three candidates running for mayor, and Adolfo Carrion who is trying to be like Mike Bloomberg without Bloomberg's clout or money. In all probability there will have to be a run off election for the Democratic choice for mayor as previous front runner City Council Speaker Christine Quinn who never got over the 40 percent margin in early polls is now falling short of 30 percent. That is why the endorsement of the Ben Franklin Democratic club is so important to all of the Democratic candidates for mayor.

I will have a recap of the 53rd Annual Ben Franklin Dinner in next weeks column as it is taking place after our deadline. You can however check my blog at for a recap of just who attended the dinner, and see the many photos that I took of the dinner. The Ben Franklin Club will be hosting a mayoral candidates forum on Thursday May 23rd, and I will have more on the mayoral forum in next weeks column.

Saturday May 18th “Its My Park Day” activities will be going on at Ewing Park. Volunteers can clean up, paint over graffiti on the park benches, do plantings, move wood chips, among the many other activities that can be done to fix up a park that has not seen much maintenance. The time is from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the West 232nd area to start. This event is co-sponsored by the Parks Department and Community Board # 8 who say to wear old clothes to this event.

On Sunday May 19th from 12 – 4 p.m. you will be able to walk on Riverdale Avenue from West 256th Street to West 259th Street as it is closed to traffic for the North Riverdale Spring Festival, sponsored by the North Riverdale Merchants Association. There is a bouncy castle, live music, clowns, face painting, children's activities, delicious food, shopping specials, and we are told much more to be expected.

You can check my blog for the latest listing of weekly events going on at Wave Hill that are too many to list here, and other upcoming events.

If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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