Monday, June 04, 2012
Six years ago, City Councilman Charles Barron and Congressman Ed Towns were in a bitter battle for Towns' seat. But on Monday afternoon, the two Brooklyn politicians stood together Barron’s East New York campaign headquarters, hands held up above their heads as a group of supporters cheered behind them.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In case you’re wondering, the person with the second most seniority in the New York congressional delegation is Rep. Ed Towns of Brooklyn. He was elected to Congress in 1983. Rangel got there in 1971.
So, is he even thinking about becoming the dean of the delegation, since there’s that whole situation with Rep. Charlie Rangel?
“No it hasn’t because I know Rangel is going to be there,” Towns told me yesterday. “He’s doing well. I understand there was a poll taken and he is so far out front that it’s not even any real contest. Which means that’s he’s going to continue to be around.”
If and when (when?) Rangel leaves Congress, it will undoubtedly by the end of a certain era in New York politics, one that saw that dominance (and some dimming) of New York’s black political establishment in Harlem.
That changing-of-the-guard moment will only fuel more chatter about how real power center of New York’s black political establishment should rightfully be acknowledged as having moved from Harlem to other areas of the city, like Towns’ section of Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn. Southeast Queens, with its cultural history, affluence and charismatic figures also can lay claim to the mantle too.
When I asked, Towns downplayed the notion there’s any rivalry or tension between the these areas and said that Rangel is revered figured citywide.
Towns recalled a recent meeting where Brooklyn constituents said things like, “You know how long it took Charles Rangel to become the chair of the Ways and Means Committee?”
Town added, “There’s a strong support base that he has, even in Brooklyn.”