Contributors to these candidates, according to the Campaign
Michael Emperor has not filed
to Ursula Gangemi
to Martin Golden
to Joanne Seminara
to Carlo Scissura
Official Primary Election Voter Guide for Residents of District
Incumbent Councilmember Martin Golden challenged Republican Karen
Ferraro's petitions and knocked her off the ballot. Now Golden
will not have to run in a primary. Three Democrats are still battling
for the chance to face him in the general election in November.
Residents of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Bensonhurst are known
for their neighborhood pride. Italian or Irish flags fly from
many single-family homes. The streets are quiet, save for the
children running off to school or homeowners sweeping their front
stoops, and residents want to keep it that way.
But if residents of southeast Brooklyn love their neighborhoods,
they also love to complain about them. There is even an online
forum at the Web site BayRidge.com,
where residents with screen names like BayRidgeBeauty78 and ABayRidgeGuy
post messages about everything from nostalgic childhood memories
to complaints about dirty streets and dirty politics.
Much complaining can also be heard during the morning and evening
commute, as residents curse mass transit in the area.
People say they are fed up with dirty and eroding subway stations.
Even the new buses with added seats, but less standing room, on
the 27 and 17 express lines are a source of frustration. "The
buses are nice looking, but cramped, uncomfortable and a waste
of money," said Mark Colomba, a rider on the 17 bus.
This year, a field of four Democratic challengers in district
43--all of them lawyers--are looking to unseat Republican City
Councilmember Marty Golden by tapping into neighborhood complaints.
"I still can't understand how the present council member let
our transportation issues slide by," said challenger Carlo Scissura.
"We have dilapidated subway stations which have been ignored and
which I want to restore. We must listen to the voices of our residents
who are seeing transportation in their great neighborhood fall
Joanne Seminara, who ran for City Council in 1997 and lost to
Marty Golden, is also sympathetic to commuter dissatisfaction.
"Transportation is a source of major frustration which I will
seek to alleviate," said Seminara.
Beyond crumbling subway stations and cramped busses, many residents
are livid over the valet parking offered by local restaurants,
which leads to double parking and overcrowded streets. "Valet
parking has become a scourge on our neighborhood," one resident
wrote on BayRidge.com.
"There is a misconception that valet parking is illegal, but
it is not," said Jeffrey Kraus, Marty Golden's campaign manager.
"We have tried to open dialogue and work with many businesses
that take part in valet parking, but it is not illegal."
Ursula Gangemi, daughter of former Republican Councilman John
Gangemi, Sr., and the most recent addition to the list of Democratic
candidates, thinks cooperation is the answer to parking issues.
"A lot of businesses have parking lots which are used during the
day and not at night. We should try to make those lots available
to residents. We should join forces with businesses to stop our
And yet, these headaches of mass transit and parking may be a
sign of more fundamental changes in the neighborhood.
Many say that there is too much development occurring in the
area. Plans for the construction of the first Starbucks in Bay
Ridge on Third Avenue have begun. Ninety-nine cent stores, which
one resident called "a sore eye in our neighborhood" have opened
along Fifth Avenue. Large condominiums and apartment complexes
are being built in many parts of the area.
"We are suffering from over development in our low-rise community,
too many large developers are coming in and submerging the tight-knit
atmosphere in our neighborhoods," said Scissura.
"What we have seen lately, from our current councilman, is a
taking advantage of loopholes in our district's special zoning
laws in order to over-develop," added Seminara.
Councilman Golden disagrees and cites his record of supporting
much needed facilities like a large senior citizen housing and
opposing the construction of a large movie Cineplex in Narrows
The Democratic challengers have similar views on a number of
such issues, and also share overlapping political connections.
Both John Orlando and Carlo Scissura were staffers under State
Senator Vincent Gentile, although Scissura recently earned Gentile's
endorsement. Joanne Seminara was a supporter of Gentile's 1996
and 1998 campaigns. Orlando also worked behind the scenes for
John Gangemi Sr., a Republican who is candidate Ursula Gangemi's
There is no clear favorite in the race. Seminara, however, has
received special attention since she lost the City Council race
in 1997 by about 2,500 votes to Golden, who won the seat previously
held by Democrat Sal Albanese.
Whoever wins must respond to the concerns over transportation,
traffic, and over-development. And if they don't, they are likely
to hear about it.
Democratic candidate John Orlando dropped out of the race, and
Karen Ferraro, who was challenging incumbent Councilmember Martin
Golden for the Republican primary, has been knocked off the ballot.
Councilmember Golden now awaits the winner of the Democratic primary,
where three Democratic candidates are campaigning on a similar
idea -- that Golden is out of touch with voters.
"Because you have someone like Councilman Golden who, in my opinion,
hasn't represented the community, who hasn't been a star in City
Council, and who only serves a very, very small part of his constituency,
you have three viable candidates running aggressive campaigns,"
said candidate Carlo Scissura.
Golden's camp scoffs at Scissura's claim. "They are the ones
who are out of touch," said Jeffrey Kraus, Golden's communications
director. "They think if they repeat something enough, people
will believe them." Kraus then noted that Scissura has had his
own troubles in being removed from his position as vice-president
of Community School Board 20.
"I was removed because I had to work late and got to a meeting
a half hour late," said Scissura. "I don't think that it will
affect my campaign because many people are also outraged about
the decision. Mr. Golden should be very careful about trying to
use this against me--he would be alienating a large part of our
Joanne Seminara is currently leading in fundraising among the
Democratic candidates with over $150,000, including matching funds.
Scissura has raised $110,000 and Gangemi has raised $58,000 (both
figures also include the matching funds). Councilmember Golden
has raised $150,000 (This is without matching funds, for which
he does not qualify, because he has not no opponents in the primary).
Michael Emperor (No information available)
Ursula Gangemi has been a practicing lawyer for eleven
years and is part of the law firm, Gangemi and Gangemi.
Martin Golden is the current councilman for district 43.
Before joining City Council, he was a New York City police officer,
but was forced to retire in 1982 due to an injury obtained while
carrying out a narcotics arrest. Golden owns a catering hall and
became a member of community board 10 prior to winning his current
City Council Seat. Golden attended the New York School of Printing,
and John Jay College. He holds an Associate's Degree from St.
Joanne Seminara is a practicing lawyer, a member of community
board 10, and is co-president of the Alliance of Bay Ridge Block
Association. Seminara is a founding member of Bay Ridge Against
Garbage Sites and has been a director of the Guild for Exceptional
Children, a charity that serves developmentally disabled children.
She graduated from Brooklyn Law School.
Carlo Scissura is a practicing attorney and former vice
president of school board 20 where he was the chairman of the
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention committee and the Legislative
Affairs committee. He worked as director of community affairs
under State Senator Vincent Gentile and is a member of community
board 11. Scissura attended Pace University School of Law and
studied international law at the University of London.
Ongoing coverage of news in Bay Ridge, a message board where
community affairs are discussed, and updates on district 43 City
Council race, are available on Bayridge.com
Carlo Scissura, who earlier this month was removed from Community
School Board 20 by the school chancellor, said this week that
while he still hopes to be reinstated, he is also beginning to
question the timing of what he called an "unfair" removal." (Bay
The American Heritage Political Organization, a Bay Ridge based
Democratic club, this week pulled back its pledge of support for
Joanne Seminara, a candidate in the 43rd council district race,
because, club officials say the candidate broke a pre-petitioning
period agreement. Ralph Perfetto, the district leader of the 52nd
Assembly District, sent a letter to AHPO members dated July 22,
arguing that Seminara had deceived him and the club by agreeing
to respect their support for Mark Green for mayor and then circulating
petitions within Bay Ridge for Mayoral candidate Peter Vallone."
(Bay Ridge Paper)
Councilman Martin Golden is all talk when it comes to dealing
with the transportation woes in his 43rd district, according to
a newly formed political action committee. He claims to have a
pipeline into the mayor's office,' said Dean Rasinya, founder
of Citizen's for Responsible Representation (CRR). "But I don't
think that the people in Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton have really
been served in an adequate way." Jeffrey Kraus, a spokesperson
for Golden, goes on to rebuke the CRR by saying that the organization
was comprised of only a handful of residents who have consistently
criticized Golden. (Bay Ridge Paper)
There's no evidence that the graffiti artist who scrawled a giant
'Marty' in the new skateboard area of Owl's Head Park had councilman
Marty Golden in mind, but Golden was instrumental in having the
area set aside for skateboarders. (The Bay Ridge Paper)
The campaign for Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights City Council Seat heated
up this week as several candidates prepared to challenge their
opponents petitions to get on the election ballot in the September
11 primary. In this Democratic primary race, Nancy Rossi, a Bensonhurst
resident filed a general objection to the petitions submitted
by Joanne Seminara, who ran on the Democratic line in the 1997
election and lost to incumbent councilman Marty Golden. In the
Republican primary, Golden told The Papers he had filed a general
objection to the petitions of Karen Ferraro, the daughter of Assemblyman
Arnaldo Ferraro, who had submitted petitions as part of a faction
within the Kings County Republican Committee supporting the current
party chairman, Arthur Bramwell. But according to a source within
the Republican party, Ferraro did not submit enough signatures
to qualify for the ballot. (The Bay Ridge Paper)
With just two months to go until primary day, the race to determine
who will capture the democratic nomination to run for city councilmember
in the 43rd councilmanic district, appears to have morphed. Back
in the winter it appeared that it would be a three way race, with
Joanne Seminara, Carlo Scissura and John Orlando--all attorneys
with a track record of community service--dunking it out to for
the opportunity to take on incumbent councilmember, Marty Golden,
the likely Republican nominee, in November. Th en, unexpectedly,
Ursula Gangemi, a fourth attorney, with a considerably lower profile,
threw her hat into the ring. Most recently it appears John Orlando
has pulled out, citing personal problem, leaving Scissura, Seminara,
and Gangemi pounding pavement and doing subway stops. In itself,
it may be somewhat unusual to see such competition where there
is an incumbent in place who must unseated. But Golden is not
your usual incumbent. Rather, over his term he has angered numerous
people across the district on a variety of issues--so much so
that both Scissura and Seminara contend that Golden is out of
touch with what the community really wants and needs, and has
made a policy of representing special interests, particularly
business people, rather than the district's rank and file residents."
(Bay Ridge Courier)
According to the Daily News, candidates who sit on community school
boards receive fund-raising boosts within their school districts.
One of those candidates is Carlo Scissura. (Daily
District leader Ralph Perfetto has decided to endorse Joanne Seminara
in the Democratic primary for City Council. He also had some words
on Carlo Scissura and Ursula Gangemi. 'I don't consider Ursula
Gangemi a candidate. She's done nothing for the community,' said
Perfetto. Perfetto also said that Council candidate Carlo Scissura
was a 'bright young man with a good future,' but that his candidacy
was premature. I agree with him in the first part of the statement,"
said Scissura. "I like Ralph. He's a good person, and I'm looking
forward to working with him when I win the primary." (Flatbush
The Lambda Independent Democrats, a lesbian and gay political
group, has decided to endorse Joanne Seminara Lehu. Seminara Lehu,
an attorney and member of community Board 10, expressed no feeling
of fondness for her possible Republican rival, incumbent Councilmember
Martin Golden. He's one of the most homophobic , if not the most
homophobic member of City Council," she said adding that she has
been one of the few 'voices of reason on the [community] board.
Golden laughed when asked for a comment, and referred his question
to his spokesperson, Jeffrey Kraus. "Her statement has no basis
in fact," he said this week. "When Ms. Lehu ran in the primary
in 1997, she prominently featured the endorsements of LID and
the Empire State Gay Pride Agenda. However, in the general election,
those two mysteriously disappeared. Obviously, she felt they were
a liability," Kraus continued. "Ms. Lehu's commitment to Gay Rights
seems to suit political convenience." When asked if Golden's staff
described Seminara Lehu as anti-family in the 1997 election, as
she has charged, Kraus said the councilman's staff simply said
she had the support of those two groups. (Flatbush Life)
In a move that is sure to shake up the race for the Bay Ridge-
Bensonhurst City Council seat, a lawyer from a prominent political
family announced her intention to run. Ursula Gangemi, 35, says
she will run in the Democratic primary in September for the council
seat in the 43rd district." (Brooklyn Spectator)
As Mayor Giuliani vows another crackdown on drunken drivers, some
bar and restaurant owners in Bay Ridge are installing alcohol-testing
devices for their customers. "I think it's a good idea," said
Marty Golden, owner of the Manor and the local city councilman.
"A couple of seconds at the machine gives someone a chance to
see if they should get behind the wheel." (Daily
In District 43, three Democratic candidates have emerged as possible
challengers to Councilmember Marty Golden. Not surprisingly, all
three are lawyers, which could make for either a very dull or
very contentious primary. Two of the three, John Orlando and Carlo
Scissura, were staffers for State Senator Vincent Gentile. The
third, Joanne Seminara Lehu, helped Gentile in his successful
1996 and 1998 re-election bids. (Lambda
Independent Democrats of Brooklyn)
The results of the 1997 City Council races, including information
on Martin Golden1s successful campaign in district 43. (Daily