Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mayoral hopeful Scott Stringer stresses his local ties

Here's a story from this week's Riverdale Review and Bronx Press.

Stringer has been on the campaign trail, coming to Riverdale twice in a month.
By Brendan McHugh 

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer toured the Riverdale Y last week, making his second trip to the neighborhood in less than a month. 

Following in the footsteps of other 2013 prospective mayoral candidates, Stringer schmoozed with the seniors at the Riverdale Y during their Friday lunch on Jan. 13 with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. 

Previously, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn toured the facilities with City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and City Comptroller John Liu followed Dinowitz through the Y. 

But Stringer, a suspected candidate for mayor, has an extra connection to the area that his opponents do not: his mother is a Kappock Street resident. Stringer showed off pictures of his five-week-old baby, Maxwell, and talked to the seniors about saving critical services in the upcoming budget. 

“There is a real vitality in the area, especially among the seniors in this community,” Stringer said. “We need to mobilize seniors to prevent budget cuts to vital services.” 

He quickly won over the crowd, aided by the introduction of Dinowitz, a prominent figure in Riverdale’s senior community. Former colleagues in the Assembly, Dinowitz told the crowd of around 100 that Stringer “was a leader on so many issues,” while in the state Legislature. 

Dinowitz said afterwards that it was not an endorsement of the borough president for mayor and that instead he just wants “people to see what we have going on in our district.” 

Stringer told the crowd, all seniors, that they are the “backbone of the city,” and they deserve to enjoy “the fruits of [their] labor,” and not have their services destroyed through budget cuts. 

“Every time I see him, I think he’s truly for the people,” Riverdale resident Roberta Singer said. Singer said she used to live across the street from the Stringer’s over 35 years ago in Washington Heights. “I remember him very well,” she said. 

Stringer came to Riverdale on Dec. 21 to speak at Chabad of Riverdale’s menorah lighting at the bell tower, where he joined students from P.S. 24 and local Jewish leaders. 

As he was in the crane, lighting the 30-foot-high menorah, he joked to the crowd, "12 days ago my wife gave birth...she asked what I'd be doing in the Bronx...I told her I was only lighting a menorah...if only she could see me now!"

He quickly got back on track, playing to the crowd: "It's great to be in Riverdale—a wonderful, vibrant Jewish community."

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