Elected and city officials were out if force last night for the colorful and festive annual Chand Raat Bazaar that closed off Coney Island Avenue between Foster Avenue and Avenue H.
Chand Raat literally means night of the moon in Urdu, but it generally connotes among Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Indians the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr marking the end of the month-long Ramadan holiday.
The American Council of Minority Women sponsored the event and honored several local elected officials as well as Mark Meyer Appel, whose organization the Bridge MultiCultural Project, 1894 Flatbush Avenue, is the leading advocacy center in the Flatbush area of bridging cultural differences between Blacks, Muslims and Jews.
Among the elected officials that KCP spotted who spoke to the crowd of several thousand Pakistanis that live along Coney Island Avenue were Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, City Council Member Jumaane Williams and Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte.
Also enjoying time on the podium in the middle of the bizarre was former Comptroller and 2013 Mayoral candidate John Liu, who said he always enjoyed this event when he was an official and wanted to attend last night.
While Liu refused to say whether he would again seek public office, he did note he was perhaps the most investigated official in the city’s history in which no charges were ever brought. The investigation stemmed from alleged straw donors who contributed to Liu’s 2013 mayoral campaign when he was running as the leading progressive candidate.
The City’s Campaign Finance Board refused to grant Liu public financing funds because of the investigation. Liu said at the time, two of the other mayoral candidates William Thompson and Christine Quinn, both felt he should have received the funds under due process of the law.
Mayor de Blasio was the only candidate that didn’t back him getting public financing, Liu recalled. City and state prosecutors are currently investigating de Blasio on several fronts including his possible use of straw donors.
Both Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Comptroller Scott Stringer and retiring Assemblyman James Brennan sent representatives to the event, and the two Democratic candidates looking to replace Brennan – Robert “Bobby” Carroll and Troy Odendhal – were also on hand to do some politicking.