Could Jerry Nadler Be The Next Joe Crowley?

While U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Borough Park, Kensington, parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Midwood and parts of Manhattan) continues garnering headlines as the House Judiciary Committee Chair looking to impeach President Donald Trump, the Red Hook waterfront lies nearly fallow, economic expansion for Industry City is at a standstill, and the critically-needed Gateway Tunnel is stalled in partisan politics.

All these issues and more are what Lindsey Boylan, a mother and lifelong public servant with stellar credentials, wants to tackle as she mounts what is expected to be a strong challenge to the 27-year incumbent, Nadler.

Congressional Candidate Lindsey Boylan, left, at the Women’s March on Washington. Contributed photo.

Boylan, a daughter of a U.S. Marine and war veteran from Astoria, most recently served as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Special Advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, where her portfolio included storm recovery along the waterfront  – much of it in Nadler’s Congressional district – and housing and community renewal.

The Cross Harbor Rail Tunnel has been his [Nadler] biggest infrastructure idea since the 90s and it has gone virtually nowhere. We should not be spending $10 billion for this tunnel if even we could find the money. Jerry’s singular focus on this is the only reason why this is still in play – and why we haven’t moved on to more serious conversations around truly necessary transit needs like the Gateway Tunnel, mass transit investments and beyond,” said Boylan.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

In regard to Red Hook, Boylan sees three major problems with the Red Hook Freight terminal, which has been underutilized for years, and the first problem is Nadler.

“Everyone is afraid to challenge him [Nadler] in any significant way – to ask fundamental questions like – who is served by the status quo? Congressional leadership here could be a tremendous force for good. The last thing people in the community need is developers leading the conversations about the future of the waterfront in Red Hook. We need leadership  — we need affordable housing, we need community amenities and massively improved transit for folks in Red Hook,” said Boylan.

“Having Jerry’s thumb on that conversation for the last several decades has produced nothing. And that’s a huge problem – particularly for folks who should be heard first in the conversation – members of the community like residents of Brooklyn’s largest public housing – the Red Hook Houses,” she added.

In regard to Industry City, Boylan says she has tremendous respect for City Council Member Carlos Menchaca‘s (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) concerns about gentrification, but remains hopeful that the lawmaker and Industry City President Andrew Kimball can work out their current rezoning battle because the city can’t afford to lose an economic engine.

“I have spent much of my career trying to advance economic opportunity for more people. Our economy isn’t diverse enough and not enough of our diverse city is doing well economically. Industry City is a great example of adaptive reuse of underutilized manufacturing space to incubate some of the most innovative companies and job creators in the city. Sixty percent of jobs post-financial crisis are in small businesses. Industry city businesses are employing New Yorkers across multiple experience levels and helping to create the innovate companies of New York’s future. For our workers, I want that to continue wholeheartedly,” she said.

Boylan said while Nadler says he is someone fully on board with the Green New Deal, there are more ambitious and relevant things to do with his time and taxpayer money than this 30-year stalled Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel project that is never going to happen.

“Let’s start with throwing his clout behind coastal protections – particularly as our district covers miles of coastline on the Manhattan and Brooklyn sides damaged by Sandy – and susceptible to continuous flooding in storm events,” said Boylan.

“I respect Jerry Nadler and his service. But I am not going to stay quiet when I know there is so much to be done and we don’t have leadership tenacious enough to act.”

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