stephen pierson

Which Stephen Is Right For Greenpoint? Vote Brooklyn!

Lucky for us the Brooklyn Eagle created this Brooklyn Voter Guide, because I was too busy taking Instagram photos of Kate, my new office buddy.

What you need to know:

“The polls open at 6 a.m. and will remain open until 9 p.m. You must be a registered member of a particular party to vote in that party’s primary. And don’t expect the computerized voting system that has been in place for a couple of years and that New Yorkers were just starting to get used to. Instead, the old pull lever voting machines are back, just for this primary.”

Decide NYC is pretty straightforward if you want to find out who is running for what and for which party. Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Brooklyn Boro President, and City Council for District 33 (Williamsburg & Greenpoint), which locally is the “Battle of the Stephens” – that’s Stephen Levin and Stephen Pierson.

This is an important election, especially with issues like Greenpoint Landing and
77 Commercial St, two developments on the horizon which will directly impact life
here in Greenpoint. The two recently debated  and last week Stephen P. held a Save Greenpoint Rally for “reasonable development.”

Many who attended the debate criticize Stephen P. for being “green” and not very 
articulate, and whether he can actually do anything to rezone the waterfront and 
prevent the 40 story high rises at this stage in the game is questionable. One area 
where he is outspoken is with regards to bike and pedestrian safety. He also was 
attacked for not ever voting himself, which he regrets.

Stephen Levin, our current Council Member and brunch hero, can’t live down his association with the vile and corrupt Vito Lopez and during the 
debate admitted to funding Vito’s political organization in Ridgewood, according 
to contributor Gina P who was there, even though he assures that he has cut ties with him. And while Levin has been an advocate for our local 
homeless population and for community safety – he was personally handing 
out police sketches of the rape suspect this summer – the question of trust is on the minds of Greenpointers.

So which Stephen is right for Greenpoint? You decide today.

If you need to find out where to vote – visit NYC Board of Elections.

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Points of View, Literally: Save Greenpoint and Reasonable Development

On Wednesday’s crisp afternoon, a crowd that estimated itself at somewhere between 65 and 100 gathered to renew the call to action to prevent two (literally) looming developments from progressing without further input from the community.  Organized by city council hopeful Stephen Pierson and neighborhood organization Save Greenpoint, the gathering was intended to raise awareness and support for a campaign of legal and community actions intended to prevent or at least stall the currently planned waterfront developments from manifesting in their presently intended forms. Continue reading

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Stephen Wars

I should start by saying that never in my 4 years of living in Brooklyn, have I ever attended, or even considered attending, a local debate. Like the majority of Brooklynites, or, let’s be honest, people in general, (only 1 in 5 registered voters turned out in 2009), I have never gotten involved in local politics.

Continue reading

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Tonight! Battle of the Stephens (8/21)

This could get confusing… Stephen Levin and Stephen Pierson are going head to head at the Polish Slavic Center (176 Java St) tonight, Wednesday August 21, 2013 (7-8:30pm) for an epic  STEPHEN VS. STEPHEN showdown.

Stephen L., looking suave and sophisticated in navy blue.

FYI – Stephen Levin is our Council Member for the City Council District 33 (since 2009), which covers Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Boerum Hill, and parts of Williamsburg and Bed Stuy. His interests include transportation safety, education initiatives, and fighting against the effects of lead poisoning (he started his career by running a program for children with lead poisoning in Bushwick).

But Stephen L might have some serious competition from Stephen P, who is getting a lot of buzz lately for being young, hip and according to the NY Times, expertly dressed.  Times reporter, Gina Bellafonte, wrote back in April, that Pierson “looks like modern Brooklyn.” What does modern Brooklyn look like?

When I met him for breakfast last week he was wearing low-slung skinny jeans, untied desert boots and a snug wool coat and carried with him another accessory of the moment — his 2-year-old daughter’s lunch. To support himself several years ago while he was writing a novel, he started to play poker and turned out to have a talent for it. 

Stephen P., well-dressed habitant of cool Brooklyn apartment © Piotr Redlinski for the New York Times

So this guy has written a novel, fathered a 2-year old daughter (so trendy right now), and wears tailored wool? But, wait, there’s more. He also started an art and literary magazine called Canteen, featuring contributors with tattoos (thanks NY Times, for pointing that out). AND he developed Canteen Arts, an after-school program for teens in Harlem. Conclusion? He’d do really well on eHarmony.

The two Stephens have a lot in common. They both went to Brown. They’re both in their 30’s. They’re both liberal Democrats. And they’re both incredibly white in appearance.

But the major difference lies in their allegiances. While Levin used to serve as Vito Lopez’s chief of staff (and is seen by some as Lopez’s political puppet), Pierson has voiced his opposition, criticizing Levin for never publicly condemning Lopez’s alleged sexual harassment of female staff members. Pierson even went so far as to tell the NY Observer that he believes Lopez to be”the most vile politician in Brooklyn politics.”

The Stephens have also managed to secure the alliances of two rivaling hassidic groups in Williamsburg.  This could get ugly.

This debate is sure to have it all: angry Hassids, sex scandals, promising young white men, AND a Brooklyn fashion showdown.  Sounds like a good pitch for a Williamsburg nightclub. But, let’s take a moment to address the real question at hand–which Stephen is the most eligible bachelor? The sweater-wearing, sensitive, artsy, Stephen P, or the classic navy suit sporting, non-profit poster boy, Stephen L? You decide, Brooklyn.

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IS318 Wins!, Sgt. William Dougherty Park To Close, Levin vs. Pierson, Free Events, Exorcise Pool, Greenpoint Hotel – The Hook-Up: 8/5

Artwork by Tamara Garvey

• Hurray! IS318 “The Brooklyn Castle” Chess Team reached their goal of raising $67,785! That doesn’t mean you can’t still make a donation!

• Did you know Greenpoint has a park called Sgt. William Dougherty Park? It’s right by the BQE on Meeker and Vandervoort Ave. Don’t get too attached, it will be closed for four years while the Kosciusko Bridge gets a major facelift (Brooklyn Paper)

• Watch out Levin, Pierson is talking nice to pedestrians and bikers. “Stephen Pierson, who is running against incumbent Stephen Levin (D-Greenpoint-Williamsburg) in the Sept. 10 Democratic Primary for the seat in the 33rd Council District, has released a nine-point transportation plan he said will improve public safety” (Brooklyn Eagle)

• If you can stand to venture out of Greenpoint, here are 18 Free Things to Do This Week in Brooklyn (Brokelyn)

• Would you swim in a pool that uses water diverted from the Newtown Creek? The future (theoretically) is the Exorcise Pool… (DNAinfo)

• “Residents of the Greenpoint Hotel are fed up with their landlord and want him fined and arrested. Tenants rallied Wednesday outside the Brooklyn Housing Court to demand a safer living environment.” (Greenpoint Gazette)

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