Way to go, Google! Google honored Jane Jacobs, the legendary Village urban planner and activist, on the 100th anniversary of her birth on Wed., May 4, with an illustration on its main search page. Jacobs, who led Villagers in defeating Robert Moses’ highway and development plans that would have bulldozed much of the historic neighborhood, died in April 2006 at age 89. Sometimes the Google search thingies are a bit annoying, but this one we loved.
A hill o’ Hillary supporters: Greenwich Village was definitely Hillary Country on April 19 during the Democratic primary. As the maps of the results show, Hillary Clinton completely swept the Village. Bernie Sanders — as we suspected he would — did much better in the East Village, winning a slew of districts in the heart of the hood, and also won some pockets in Soho and around Gramercy, plus had strong support in Stuyvesant Town. In their mayoral primary faceoff in 2009, Bill Thompson won in the East Village while Mike Bloomberg romped in the West Village, and we figured that kind of pattern would hold true in Hillary vs. Bernie — namely, the establishment candidate winning in the west and the upstart, more progressive one in the east. Anyway, the area around the P.S. 41 poll site was aswarm with Clinton backers on April 19. Danielle Sandow, who had actually voted at the L.G.B.T. Center on W. 13th St., was sitting on a bench outside the Kikkerland novelties and toy shop on Sixth Ave., her tattered Hillary Clinton sign from her failed 2008 campaign propped beside her. Sandow, 86, a Villager since 1958, founded the Middle 13th St. Block Association in 1973 and ran for Congress in ’74. “I support Hillary because she’s been around the block a lot,” she said. “She’s talked to every dictator and despot in the world. And this whole thing about Bernie going after Wall Street — Wall Street fuels about 40 percent of what happens in New York. How many people own stock? It’s a participatory thing. Young people in their 30s feel if they just scream a lot, they’re going to get what they want. There aren’t going to be free schools,” she declared, slamming a key Sanders plank. “That’s right!” a man passing by called out, liking her Hillary sign. Children’s book writer Carol Snyder and her husband of 54 years, Michael, both sporting Hillary buttons, also espying Sandow’s sign, stopped by to say hello. “She can get things done,” Carol said of Clinton. “He has great ideas. I don’t disagree with his ideas, but she’s gotten things done all these years. She knows the presidents of all these different countries personally; she doesn’t have to learn them. It’s not that we just want a woman president. We want this woman president. She’s earned it.” Like Sandow, Carol said young people need to get some more issues. “We had the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the war — and this generation, all they’ve come up with is Wall Street,” she said. “It’s good that they’re active,” she conceded. We were doing some exit / entry polling outside P.S. 41, when Elizabeth Butson, The Villager’s publisher in the 1990s, came by to do her civic duty. “I’m going for Hillary. It was not a tough decision,” she told us. “I love a lot of the points Bernie Sanders makes because he’s right, you know. The country really needs to fix a lot of things. But Sanders’s view is a bit…utopian. I do not think he has the qualifications to be president. It’s a little ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ Hillary has been through baptism by fire. And I think she knows how to compromise. And to tell you the truth, life is one big compromise. Like the French say, ‘You have to put a little water in your wine.’ ” At the same time, she gave it to Sanders for having charisma, noting, “He really knows how to deliver a message.” So wise…it’s a shame Butson isn’t running for president! Bridget Griffin, 30, who works in risk management, voted for Clinton partly out of skepticism about Sanders. “I don’t think Bernie has a plan to break up the banks,” she said, adding, “I think there needs to be regulation. But banks are also an important part of the economy. ‘Let’s break up the banks’ — it’s just not realistic. Legislation is tough to pass.” Heather Campbell, formerly of Community Board 2, said, “I voted for Hillary Clinton. I think she has the best chance of making the things I want to happen happen. She has the experience. She has the plan. I think this election has been a lot of emotional rhetoric on both sides. She has not used rhetoric — she has shown her plans. There’s a lot I love about what Sanders says, but I don’t know how he’s going to make that happen.” We asked another woman walking by who she voted for. Hillary, she said. Why? “Follow through!” she tossed over her shoulder. We did find one woman who went for Sanders. “It was a hard decision. I stayed up all night, literally 24 hours,” said cartoonist Suki Weston. “You know what the determing factor was? That Chelsea Clinton married a hedge-fund manager. I know she’s doing stuff on water in Africa, but….” She said she had to rush home and do a cartoon about it all that she would post on Facebook. She was also was extremely concerned that she — always a regular voter — had arrived to find she was not listed on the voter roll for her electoral district. She had to fill out an affidavit ballot, which she said was actually pretty involved. Assemblymember Deborah Glick was electioneering for Clinton near the corner. Asked why the Clinton turnout was so high, she said, “These are the adults in the district. I’m talking political sophistication — not age. Sanders will probably do well around the N.Y.U. area. These folks here are maybe a little more sophisticated about what it takes to get things done. But in the end, in November, we should all come together, because the other side is terrifying.” Also casting her vote at the Greenwich Village School was Elisabeth Robert, who used to photograph for us. She declined to tell us who she supported — that is, other than Caleb, her beautiful new baby boy, whose photo she showed us on her phone. Congrats!
Club sandwich: Last week was a big one for local political clubs, as they held their spring fundraisers and galas, as judicial candidates were making the rounds, seeking their support, and the clubs were generally “kicking off the 2016 political season.” For starters, last Thursday, the Village Independent Democrats held their annual “Spring Forward” awards gala at local fave Rocio and Jimmy Sanz’s Tio Pepe restaurant, at 168 W. Fourth St. The club honored Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, “for her passionate advocacy of reform of New York State’s criminal justice system”; the Cooper Square Committee and its executive director, Steve Herrick, for their work for affordable housing; and Benjamin Yee, vice president of Young Democrats of America, “for his success in bringing millennials into Democratic politics.” Making the scene were V.I.D. leading member Deborah Glick; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Councilmember Rosie Mendez; Assemblymember Dick Gottfried; and former state Senator Tom Duane. “We had over 100 guests at the event,” Nadine Hoffmann, V.I.D. president, proudly reported. “We were especially pleased to have a great number of young people join us this year. We love the energy and passion of these future leaders, and are proud that they will carry forward our community’s tradition of progressive activism.” Founded in 1957, V.I.D., which was Ed Koch’s springboard into politics — that is, when he could at least still claim to be called a progressive — is one of the city’s oldest reform Democratic clubs.
D.I.D. did it up: Meanwhile, on Sunday, Downtown Independent Democrats held their Spring Fundraiser at Sean Sweeney’s “Fabulous Soho Loft,” on Greene St. The honoree was none other than Brewer — a bit ironic since she recently pulled Sweeney off of Community Board 2! Plus, she still hasn’t even explained why she did it. Anyway, the other names atop the invite included “dueling” District Leaders — and eager Assembly hopefuls — Jenifer Rajkumar and Paul Newell, “buddy” co-District Leaders Terri Cude and Dennis Gault and D.I.D. President Jeanne Wilcke. But Sweeney actually was “standing in” for Wilcke, who is on an environmental expedition on Easter Island. (We hear a new theory is actually that an all-out political war, similar to the Village’s bitter feuds, may have totally wiped out human civilization there. Just kidding. …) The impressive turnout at D.I.D. also included U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Senator Brad Hoylman, Glick and her September primary opponent, District Leader Arthur Schwartz. We did not attend, but everyone is talking about — and spinning — Schumer’s speech and how he praised Glick right in front of Schwartz, after which the crowd cheered and Schwartz skedaddled. Schumer previously notably had
kind words for Schwartz at one of the district leader’s birthday parties. “I started to leave before he spoke, so I could go to my mom’s 94th birthday party at my house!” Schwartz told us. “I had told lots of people that I was leaving. Just then, Chuck started speaking and I was standing next to him, so I had to wait. He went on for 15 minutes. At the end, he asked Jerry Nadler if he had an opponent and Jerry said, yes, and Chuck said, ‘I support Jerry.’ Then he said something about Deborah doing a wonderful job. He was through, so I had started scooting for the door. My mom had arrived at my house 15 minutes before with lots of family. Chuck said, ‘Did I chase you away?’ I replied, ‘No its my mom’s 94th birthday,’ and ran for the door.” For his part, Sweeney said of Schwartz, “I believe him. … His son was there. I don’t think he’d lie in front of his son.” Of course, some, including Sweeney, had their feathers ruffled when Glick supported John Scott and Jean Grillo against the club’s endorsed candidates, Cude and Gault, in last year’s district leader primary.
Correction: Our article a few weeks ago on The Villager’s NYPA newspaper contest awards failed to mention that our third place-winning Obituaries entry in also included an obit by Albert Amateau on Community Board 3 member Morris Faitelewicz, in addition to three others, on Adam Purple, Judith Molina and Joyce DeChristino.