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Learn more about this district in Searchlight 2002
x-Lewis A. Fidler, Dem 16,821 - 65 percent
Carmine Evangelista, Rep 6,181 - 24 percent
Doreen A. Greenwood, Con 1,925 - 7 percent
Phyllis Taliaferro, Ind 556 - 2 percent
Elias J. Weir, Lib 316 - 1 percent
Lewis A. Fidler 6,030
Abraham Levy 3,349
Doreen A. Greenwood 3,086
Elizabeth Atwood-King 2,317
(Official Vote Count from the Board of Elections)
Incumbent: Herbert E. Berman (can't
run in 2001)
- Carmine Evangelista (Rep)
- Lew Fidler (Dem)
- Doreen Greenwood (Con)
- Phyllis Taliaferro (Ind)
- Elias J. Weir (Lib)
Contributors to these candidates, according to the Campaign
Carmine Evangelista did not file
Official Primary Election Voter Guide for Residents of District
to Lewis Fidler
to Doreen Greenwood
to Abraham Levy
to Phyllis Taliaferro
to Elias J. Weir
Democratic candidates Elizabeth Atwood King and Phyllis Taliaferro
have been knocked off the primary ballot. "I believe that the
decision is erroneous and should not have taken place," said King,
who is continuing her campaign as a write-in candidate. Phyllis
Taliaferro will be on the general election ballot in November
as an Independence candidate. Posted 8/29/01
Yacht Clubs and Youth Gangs
Politicians love to talk about "quality-of-life" issues with
voters, but in district 46 in Brooklyn the phrase can mean many
Canarsie is a working-class neighborhood of small houses and
apartments. Mill Basin has million dollar homes and the Hudson
River Yacht Club. Marine Park is dense with development and congested
with traffic. Gerritsen Beach resembles a small fishing village.
"There are quality-of-life issues that are different in each
neighborhood," said candidate Lew Fidler, noting that the concerns
range from illegal apartments to park use to late-night parties.
"They are little things, not sexy issues, but they make people
The area has also seen its share of transition. A decade ago,
the residents of Canarsie were mostly Jewish and Italian, and
only one-fifth black, according to the 1990 Census; today the
neighborhood is 75 percent black, according to the 2000 Census,
largely Caribbean. This is the most radical ethnic shift of any
neighborhood in the city. And in nearby Flatlands, dozens of "For
Sale" signs can be found as older residents move away and young
families come in.
Despite the varying concerns of the neighborhoods, the candidates
are talking about similar issues like education, public safety,
and affordable housing, although they disagree on the specific
Both Abraham Levy and Lew Fidler are calling for reduced class
size and new school construction as remedies. "We have properties,"
said Levy. "We should build schools next door to a school that
is over-crowded." They also agree that the area needs to keep
teachers from leaving for the suburbs. "There is no effort to
hire back teachers," said Fidler. "Why should they stay? You want
good teachers, you can't let the guy next door pay better."
Another candidate, Phyllis Taliaferro favors measures like charter
schools and vouchers. "If everyone in Canarsie could send students
to East Side Manhattan schools, I would be happy," said Taliaferro.
"Give competition where the educational system isn't working.
If charter schools work, fine. If Edison works, fine. Right now,
schools are failing, and we don't try anything else."
There are also concerns about public safety. Levy recommends
that police return to walking their beats the way they did in
the 1950's. "Police should be walking in the street, not driving,"
said Levy, who noted that crime in his area is not as low as in
the rest of the city. "You'll see a cop on every corner, there
will be more police and they will be more visible."
There have also been recent incidents of gang violence, one that
resulted in the death of a 12-year-old boy in Canarsie. Taliaferro
wants to help fight crime with more social services, such as after-school
programs. "Between the hours of 3 and 7 is tremendous for kids
who are unmotivated and unsupervised," said Taliaferro. "And we
should also get churches involved."
On the issue of housing, all the candidates agree that rent stabilization
laws must be maintained and more middle income houses should be
built for the area to flourish.
The candidates also have their own styles and resources that
they hope will make their campaigns successful.
Fidler is the Democratic district leader and has political contacts
throughout the city. Levy, the president of the Flatbush Park
Jewish Center, will have the support of much of the Jewish community.
Taliaferro, who traces her grass-roots political activism back
to her relative Booker T. Washington, is campaigning in her car
decorated with flyers that she has dubbed the "Phyllis Mobile."
The race could get even more complicated, however, with the entrance
of State Senator Carl Kruger, who has not ruled out a run the
seat. Kruger could draw support away from Fidler.
Whoever wins the seat will likely not enjoy the influence that
Councilmember Herb Berman has had for the last 26 years. As chair
of the finance committee, holds the most second most powerful
position in the council.
According to Fidler, the key to meeting the needs of district
46, whatever they may be, is to work together with other new leaders
in the new council and in the city. "We need to put together coalitions.
That's how you get what you need."
The most significant developments in district 46 have come from the numerous
challenges made against the candidates' petitions to the Board of Elections.
Elizabeth Atwood King has been the hardest hit; she lost her spot on the
Democratic ballot. King is appealing the challenge in court. "I believe that
the decision is erroneous and should not have taken place," said King.
"Regardless of the outcome, I will continue my campaign. I can still run,
since I have momentum and name recognition," she added, meaning that she will
run as a write-in candidate. "The system is designed to eliminate qualified,
experienced candidates without money or political backing."
Phyllis Taliaferro has also been knocked off the Democratic ballot. However,
she will continue her campaign on the Independence party line, and is now
preparing for the November general election. In addition to the major issues
of education, crime, and housing, Taliaferro also hopes to provide Medicare
assistance, low-income housing, and prescription drug benefits for senior
Doreen Greenwood, meanwhile, survived the challenges to her candidacy. The
challenges were finally dropped, and Greenwood is still running on both the
Democratic and Conservative party lines. Greenwood plans to focus on issues
concerning women, such as childcare, health care, education, housing, and
domestic violence. "I've walked in most women's shoes," said Greenwood.
"I've grown up, struggled, raised children, and worked."
Greenwood hopes that her grassroots support will propel her through the
primaries. "I'm meeting people, knocking on doors every night," said
Greenwood. "I've been there, I've struggled through life. I know what people
are thinking about, and what people need." Indeed, Greenwood has almost
reached the maximum amount of Campaign Finance Board matching funds from her
extensive fundraising of small donations from community members.
Lew Fidler, who challenged his opponents' petitions, has accumulated an array
of endorsements from civic leaders and unions, and also nearly 8,000
signatures in his petition to the Board of Elections. "A lot of people looked
at this year as a great opportunity to get involved, but when it really came
down to getting the signatures, they fell by the wayside," commented Joe
Toal, who is Fidler's campaign coordinator.
"I just want to stay on my message," said Fidler. "I have a lifelong record
of experience and service. Having someone with that record becomes more
important than ever with term limits. I've been campaigning for almost a year
and a half, and hopefully the voters have noticed."
Abraham Levy is running on the idea that he is a "totally independent
candidate" as a favorable article in the Canarsie Courier described him. "I
am only beholden to the people I represent," said Levy.
Carmine Evangelista (no information available)
Lewis Fidler is a Democratic District Leader in the 41st
Assembly District and an attorney in private practice. He has
a wide range of community involvement, having served as a community
board chairman, the vice president of his local development corporation,
as well as the counsel to public housing tenants.
Doreen Greenwood is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, and
is a self-employed real estate broker. She is the president of
the Flatbush Real Estate Board, and vice-president of the South
Shore Multiple Listing Service. Greenwood has served as a volunteer
firefighter and EMT in the community for 15 years. In addition,
she has been on the Board of Directors on the Gerritsen Beach
Property Owners Association.
Elizabeth Atwood King has been active in local politics
for several years. She was elected to the school board in Brooklyn,
and has worked on many successful campaigns, including that of
Congressman Ed Towns.
Abraham Levy has lived in the district for 30 years after
emigrating from Israel. He is a graduate accountant who has had
a wide range of business experience. He is the president of the
Flatbush Park Jewish Center and he serves on the Board of Directors
of the Mill Island Civic Association. Levy also founded and served
as the first president of the Sephardic Center of Mill Basin.
Phyllis Taliaferro has her own talk show on Brooklyn's
Community Access Television. She has a Masters Degree in social
welfare from the State University of New York at Stonybrook. She
unsuccessfully ran for Congress three years ago.
Elias J. Weir (no information available)
Abraham Levy, candidate for New York City Council in a district
that spans Starrett City to Marine Park, feels that he can serve
his constituents very well precisely because he is not a professional
politician. It is apparent that voters are not happy with politics
and politicians and are ready to turn to someone like Abraham
Levy, a regular person who is not part of politics as usual. Levy
feels that the imposition of term limits, whereby council members
are restricted to two 4 year terms, is in the best interest of
the average New Yorker. He feels that Council members will be
encouraged by these new time constraints to produce visible results
for their districts in a short period of time as "We are not there
Lewis Fidler announced that he filed 7,500 signatures on behalf
of his candidacy with the Board of Elections. His campaign headquarters
claims this is the largest number of signatures filed by any candidate
for City Council. Fidler also alleged that his opponents filed
inaccurate signature totals. (Canarsie
The candidates for City Council in the 46th district appear at
a local civic meeting to publicize their campaigns. (Canarsie
Three candidates--Lew Fidler, Abraham Levy, and Phyllis Taliaferro--set
their sights on district 46 City Council seat. (Daily
State Senator Carl Kruger refuses to rule out a bid for City Council
in District 46 (Daily
The candidates for City Council in the 46th Council district are
retired businessman Abe Levy, former candidate for Congress Phyllis
Taliaferro, and attorney Lew Fidler (NY-1)
Abe Levy says he will bring government to the people. (Canarsie