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Learn more about this district in Searchlight 2002
x-Eva S. Moskowitz, Dem 27,004 - 64 percent
Nicholas D. Viest, GOP 14,573 - 34 percent
Jak Karako, Lbt 478 - 1 percent
Robert Jereski, Grn 416 - 1 percent
Eva S. Moskowitz 12,025
Peter G. Doukas 3,045
(Official Vote Count from the Board of Elections)
Incumbent: Eva Moskowitz
Contributors to these candidates, according to the Campaign
to Peter Doukas
Robert Jereski has not filed.
Jak Karako has not filed.
to Eva Moskowitz
to Nicholas Viest
Official Primary Election Voter Guide for Residents of District
4 candidates' statements on the issues, at Savvyvoter.org
Snags in the Silk Stocking
Term limits and campaign finance law reform are supposed to put
an end to the days when members of the city council have virtual
lifetime tenure. Still, most observers expect incumbents who are
eligible to run for re-election to coast to victory. Eva Moskowitz,
from the most affluent district in the city, may be an exception.
District 4 Stretches on the East Side of Manhattan from 14th
to 96th streets and as far West as the southwest corner of Central
Park. The district is demographically less diverse than many in
the city, but its residents express a wide range of opinions about
Moskowitz's performance during her short time on the City Council.
Clearly, there is some discontent with Moskowitz, but it is difficult
to ascertain exactly why her support seems shaky.
Just recently, Moskowitz herself was an underdog challenger.
In 1997 she narrowly lost to Republican incumbent Andrew Eristoff.
Then in 1999, when Eristoff vacated the seat, Moskowitz ran against
Reba White Williams in a special election. While Williams spent
more than one million dollars (including about $200,000 of her
own money), Moskowitz participated in the city's new campaign
finance program and won the race while spending less than half
what Williams did. Moskowitz's victory was widely seen as a triumph
for campaign finance reform and a sign that wealthy and politically
connected candidates would no longer be assured of victory over
less well-funded challengers.
Now Moskowitz is the political insider. And Peter Doukas, an
accountant and longtime civic activist, is the one hoping to score
an upset on the East Side. Doukas says of Moskowitz, "I have witnessed
her to react, rather than act," on some of his top concerns for
the district, including the need for affordable housing.
While Moskowitz's home club, the Lexington Democratic Club, endorsed
her, Doukas netted nearly 25 percent of the vote. Similarly, the
Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club voted "no endorsement" in the
race, a decision some say is highly unusual when there is a Democratic
The Working Families Party opted for "no endorsement" in District
4. Dan Cantor, the party's executive director, says this does
not necessarily indicate a lack of confidence in the incumbent.
"She obviously is going to win in a walk . . . and we're keen
on providing support where it's needed," he says. The Working
Families Party has, however, endorsed at least five other Democratic
City Council incumbents in Manhattan alone, including Gifford
Miller, who is so far running unopposed.
Moskowitz vigorously disputes characterizations of her performance
as lackadaisical."I work enormously hard," she says, "If you look
at my schedule, you would see that I go to three or four meetings
an evening." In addition to securing funding for schools and parks,
Moskowitz says she sponsored a law to reduce toxic emissions from
tour buses and was co-sponsor of a voter registration bill that
makes it easier for citizens to vote, "a small but important step
in encouraging civic participation."
Despite the district's affluence and high student test scores,
Moskowitz and Doukas, as well as Jak Karako, a financial analyst
who is running on the Libertarian ticket, note some challenges
facing the district. At the top of the list here, as in far less
affluent districts, is education.
Residents have complained that there is no good local high school
to which they can send her children. In response to this, Moskowitz
cites her role in obtaining space for a new high school on the
East Side as one of her greatest accomplishments. "The Board of
Education said it couldn't be done because of space, and I found
the space," she says, adding that she also "lobbied my City Council
colleagues" for the funding to make it happen. A former college
professor, Moskowitz notes, "I am already working on a second
school. . . . We need more than one school on the East Side."
Doukas believes there should be a substantial increases in teacher's
salaries, funded in part by revenues gained from greater enforcement
of payroll tax laws ("There are a significant number of people
in this city who are not paying payroll taxes properly"), and
what he anticipates will be "significant revenue from the leasing
of the World Trade Center."
While Doukas is opposed to both charter schools and vouchers,
Moskowitz opposes vouchers, but supports charter schools, because,
she says, they are public schools, although exempt from many Board
of Education rules.
Conversely, Libertarian Karako supports the voucher system, which
would give parents money that they could chose to spend at a public
or private school. "The government doesn't have the answers to
every ill of the society," he says. Similarly, citing the city's
$40 billion debt, Karako believes that the long-anticipated Second
Avenue subway should be privately paid for and operated. "We have
to start thinking about what sort of services the city can contract
Moskowitz and Doukas both strongly support a publicly funded
Second Avenue subway, with Moskowitz arguing that a transportation
crisis on the East Side "threatens the financial health of the
Doukas believes affordable housing remains a pressing issue in
district 4. "We've got communities under siege" by attacks on
affordable housing, says Doukas, adding, "I've noticed in the
last two years that Councilmember Moskowitz has not been leading
the charge against these attacks." As a council member, Doukas
says he would work to "give a break to property owners on property
taxes so that rent increases could be abated."
Karako has a more unusual campaign pledge. If elected, he says,
he would work to eliminate the institution of the City Council
Republican Nicholas Viest announced his candidacy for the district
4 City Council seat, joining Democrats Peter Doukas and Eva Moskowitz,
and Libert arian Jak Karako. Also Green party candidate Robert
Jereski has entered the race, although he could not be reached
for an interview.
"We must support and work positively with the NYPD," says Viest
who lists public safety as one of his top concerns for the district.
Viest says his campaign will emphasize community service, reform
of city government, and "the nitty gritty" neighborhood issues.
In this overwhelmingly Democratic district, Viest also shares
the concerns of his Democratic opponents, including quality of
life issues such as garbage, noise, and land use as well as maintaining
affordable housing in areas such as Stuyvestant Town and Peter
Cooper Village. See the Campaign Trail for more details.
Peter Doukas is a certified public accountant and a New
York State Democratic State Committeeman. He is also a former
Community Board member and Democratic District Leader. He holds
a BA in Business Administration from Barnard Baruch College.
Robert Jereski (no information is available)
Jak Karako is a financial reporting systems specialist
and one of the founding members of the Manhattan Libertarian Party.
He earned a BA in Economics from Bogazici University and an MBA
from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Eva Moskowitz, the current City Councilmember for district
4, was formerly the director of public affairs at Prep for Prep,
an educational program serving gifted minority children. She taught
American history at Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia
and CUNY. She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and
a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.
Nicholas Viest works in sales for a large paper distribution
company. He is president of the 19th Precinct Community Council
and a member of Manhattan Community Board 8. He holds a BA from
Davidson College in North Carolina and an MBA from Columbia University.
In an article analyzing the various endorsements, as well as decisions
not to endorse, made by East Side political clubs, Moskowitz and
Doukas are said to have interpreted the results differently. Both
candidates point to what they say are signs of a lack of confidence
by their opponents' home clubs. For example, Moskowitz's club,
the Lexington Democratic Club, endorsed her, but Doukas netted
more than 20 precent of the vote, which he finds encouraging.
Likewise, Moskowitz finds significance in the fact that Doukas'
home, the Eleanor Roosevelt Club, the organization voted to not
endorse either candidate. Moskowitz easily won the endorsements
of the Lenox Hill Democratic Club, the McManus Democratic Club,
and the Gramercy-Stuyvesant Independent Democrats. However, the
vote in the East Side Democratic Club was nearly split with 60
percent going to Moskowitz and 40 percent to Doukas. (Our Town)
A tenant protest of MetLife's plans to destabilize rents in the
Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village complex drew about 100 tenants,
but the organizer remained anonymous. City Council candidate Peter
Doukas was there and took the opportunity to discuss his housing
proposals and urge tenants to get involved. Doukas called for
MetLife to quit charging residents for necessary amenities such
as intercom systems, to replace unsafe stoves for free, and to
make other immediate improvements in the residences. Political
activist Bobby Lee called for tenants to buy a single share in
Metropolitan Life, so that they could attend shareholders meetings
to protest MetLife's destabilization plans. Others called on tenants
to donate their time and skills to the tenants association. As
the crowd dispersed, Doukas led the crowd in planning a second
meeting later in the month. (Town and Village)
Eva Moskowitz called for increased garbage pick-ups on First Avenue
between 14th and 23rd Streets. Moskowitz has written to Kevin
P. Farrell, Commissioner of Sanitation, demanding that the number
of pick-ups in the area be increased. Some tenants say the problem
of trash in the area has been exacerbated by the new policy put
forth by the management of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village,
which requires residents to take recycling items to the basement
themselves. Tenants say that some people drop trash on the way
or misuse the recycling bins for trash, resulting in the accumulation
of smelly garbage. (Town and Village)
After months of intense arm-twisting by local politicians and
their politically savvy constituents, the City Council put up
$12 million in construction funds to open a new high school on
the East Side in September 2002 - even though it's not part of
the current capital construction plan. (New York Post)
The New York City Board of Education is negotiating to lease a
building that would house a new Upper East Side high school. This
is in response to area parents who say the needs of their children
for an academically rigorous neighborhood high school are not
being met, according to city officials. District 4 City Councilwoman
Eva Moskowitz brought the building to the attention of the Board
of Education. (New York Times)
Councilmember Eva Moskowitz has organized an event to further
negotiations between a developer and the Board of Education for
a potential site for a new Upper East Side school. Kicking off
with a morning rally of parents, children and local elected leaders,
the campaign aims to bring public pressure on the Board of Education
to provide the Upper East Side with an academically rigorous high