Davis was V.I.D. guest speaker


A little under two weeks before he was killed by a onetime political rival at City Hall, James Davis was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Village Independent Democrats club.

Chad Marlow, V.I.D.’s president, had met Davis at a forum at Pace University several months ago at which Marlow was a panelist and they struck up a friendship, with Marlow inviting him to speak to the political club at the July 10 general membership meeting.

“He was such a breath of fresh air, and I wanted to introduce the people of Greenwich Village to him,” Marlow said in an e-mail message.

According to Marlow, Davis at V.I.D.’s “Running for City Council” forum at the meeting described how he became a City Councilman, by route of being a police officer, including overcoming being unfairly fired from the Police Department and being without an income for 18 months; his history in the Council, especially regarding his decision to vote against the property tax and how, he said, Council Speaker Gifford Miller threatened him before his vote and punished him after; and about the importance of fighting for what one believes in, regardless of the personal consequences — that a councilmember serves his or her constituents, not the Council leadership.

“He was exceptionally well received,” Marlow said, adding Davis’s talk had been “refreshingly independent and candid, filled with humor, kindness and true concern for the needs of all New Yorkers.

“A man like James Davis does not come along in politics too often,” Marlow continued. “Whether you agreed with him or not, he fought for what he believed in, and never hesitated to put the needs of his constituents over the advancement or protection of his own career. When James Davis came to the V.I.D. 13 days ago, I hoped it would mark the beginning of a great relationship between him and the residents of Greenwich Village. As it turns out, that beginning was also the end. He will be sorely missed.

“His loss due to the same senseless violence he worked so hard against will serve as a bitter reminder that Councilman Davis’ work was not yet done,” Marlow said.