Brooklyn residents divided on hosting the DNC in 2016
Brooklynites are divided about bringing the Democratic National Convention to the Barclays Center in 2016.
But the local residents amNewYork spoke with in the vicinity of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Park Slope home were united in their dislike of the open letter Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins wrote telling the DNC chair that the city is not safe and that organizers should select another venue for their nominating party.
"I feel very safe here," said Flandrew Thompson, 31, who owns an art store in Park Slope and lives in Bed-Stuy. While Thompson is ambivalent about 30,000 or more people descending on his borough, he called Mullins' statement that the city is "lurching backwards to the bad old days of high crime" self-serving.
"It seems crazy to me that a person in the department that is responsible for our safety would claim the city is unsafe," Thompson said.
Mullins' attempt to "flex his union muscle," has backfired badly and reflects poorly on him "and his organization," added Sean Meade, 37, a waiter and bartender who lives in Prospect Heights. Meade dismissed Mullins' letter as "a load of hogwash."
While Meade dreads the crowds, transportation difficulties and inconvenience a convention would bring, he acknowledges that money delegates might spend "would be a boon to the city."
The convention might result in an uptick in profits for the bar Jonathan Stan, 34, owns near Barclays, "but that's outweighed by the fact that I live here," which is why he opposes the convention.
Yet, he, too, was put off by Mullins' letter, noting that the exile of protestors to blocks away from the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in 2004 and the harsh treatment of protesters and bystanders by cops "was an embarrassment," to the NYPD and New York. (In January, NYC paid $18 million to settle lawsuits connected to that convention brought by protestors and passersby but admitted no guilt.)
Apparently, the head of the sergeants union "can't martial his troops!" to provide proper security, exclaimed Danielle Leon, 53, a prop shopper who lives in Park Slope and is game for the convention, even though "it will be a traffic nightmare."
Mullins' claims smacked of politics to Sarah Fader-Van Luyn, 34, a writer, mom and ardent Boerum Hill Democrat who is so excited about a DNC convention coming to the borough, she is willing to volunteer to help make it a success.
Mullins telling the DNC to find another venue "sounds like a cop out to me -- it sounds like he doesn't want to show support for the Democratic party," said Fader-Van Luyn.
A DNC convention "represents the politics of Brooklyn," Fader-Van Luyn continued, and having the Barclays Center as a host site would help redeem a contentious piece of construction that polarized the borough, she contended. "Finally," she said, "that Barclays Center might be put to good use!"