BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | In an interview with The Villager on Thursday, Alexander Meadows officially announced his campaign for the 66th Assembly District. He’ll be challenging longtime incumbent Deborah Glick on Tues., Nov. 4.
Meadows, 37, is running as the candidate of the Progressive Party, a line he created specially for the election. As such, his name will be at the far right-hand side of the ballot.
A resident of the West Village for seven years and a member of Community Board 2 for six, Meadows ran for City Council last year against Corey Johnson and Yetta Kurland. However, he ultimately dropped out of the race, throwing his support behind Johnson, the eventual winner.
Meadows is a member of the Village Independent Democrats, which is also Glick’s home political club.
He is openly gay. Glick was a pioneer as the state Legislature’s first openly gay member.
Meadows stressed to The Villager that he plans to be proactive, taking the long view on issues.
“Everyone’s reactive,” he said. “I think it’s time we had someone who is proactive. I want to look beyond the old guard — and [Assembly Speaker] Shelly Silver — and look 10, 15, 20, 30 years down the road.
“She was great when she started,” he said of 24-year incumbent Glick. “I don’t think she has used the power that has been given to her to be effective for the district.”
Meadows intends to attack Glick on the legislation that was secretively passed last year — without any public notice or review — to allow the transfer of development rights from the Hudson River Park across the West Side Highway.
“We’re going to have another superstorm Sandy, and there is someone in Albany who just wants to put more housing over there,” Meadows scoffed. “All she did was take the problem from the park and move it across the street. Now we’re going to be in litigation for the next 10, 15, 20 years for every project.”
He’s raring to go head to head with the assemblymember on the issues.
“I’m hoping we get to debate. I certainly don’t want a repeat of the Cuomo-Teachout,” he said, referring to how the governor ducked debating primary-election opponent Zephyr Teachout.
Meadows supported Teachout, while Glick — like other elected officials — backed Cuomo, the prohibitive favorite.
Meadows said, if elected, he would speak out strongly against sexual misconduct in the Legislature — adding that the Assembly’s current leadership has enabled it — and said Glick has not done enough to condemn or change this culture.
“They allowed women to be sexually harassed,” Meadows said of Silver and the Assembly leadership. “I would be speaking up a lot louder than she is,” he said of Glick, who he accused of being “afraid of rocking the boat.”
“She has to say, ‘Look, Sheldon, this is where we part ways.’
Meadows even blasted Glick’s prolific tweeting about football, her favorite sport, charging that she should be using her Twitter account to more forcefully condemn the National Football League’s epidemic of domestic violence and the league’s anemic response to it.
“It’s great that you want to tweet that someone made a great play,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, transgender — you should just speak up for zero tolerance of violence against women.”
Domestic violence is something Meadows said he painfully knows first-hand from having grown up with an abusive father who beat Meadows’s mother.
At the same time, he conceded of Glick, “She’s a great football announcer,” adding, “I would love for her to be an NFL sports announcer or ESPN announcer.”
As for whether Meadows stands a chance in the “big game” against Glick in November, who knows? Or as they say, “On any given Tuesday.”
He said he has raised $30,000 so far toward his run.
“This is going to be a grassroots campaign that’s built on community support,” he said.
Asked why he chose to announce his campaign in The Villager, Meadows said, “Because I like you guys. You guys are a newspaper. You guys are like home. This is a local race. You’re fair. You’re balanced. You’re tough. You guys are the outlet — you’re the forum.”