Go for Liz Holtzman: The Daily News makes its choice in new Brooklyn-Manhattan congressional district – New York Daily News

Big Bill bowed out before taking a likely drubbing, but the voters in the redrawn congressional district encompassing a major chunk of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, have an array of talented candidates from which to choose. The class of the large field is Liz Holtzman, who’s served the city well in Congress, as Brooklyn district attorney, as city comptroller and as a civically engaged member of the private sector since. We proudly endorse Holtzman and urge voters to send her back to Washington.
Turning 81 on Thursday, Holtzman would go from being the youngest woman ever elected to Congress in 1972 to the oldest non-incumbent ever to win a seat. That might seem like a problem in a capital where the president and Congress already skew far older than the population at large, but this particular octogenarian is every bit as plugged in and energetic as her competitors, amplifying her breadth of experience and in-depth knowledge of both national and local issues. In fact, it’s apparent her age has given her a sense of urgency to do big things for her constituents and her country.
Not much separates these candidates on the issues; they’re all solidly progressive Democrats who decry threats to women’s reproductive freedom, urge stronger action on guns, call for hiking taxes on the wealthy and corporations, and talk lots about the need to safeguard the integrity of American democracy. Most support increasing the size of the Supreme Court (a position with which we strongly disagree, as it could quickly backfire, making the court entirely captive to electoral politics). All say they want to use their federal perch creatively to improve housing affordability, expand access to affordable health care, protect the rights of immigrants and combat climate change — a particularly important priority in this waterfront district.
Encore. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)
What distinguishes Holtzman is her singular experience in checking the abuses of presidents going back to Nixon. In the runup to the 2024 election, the next Congress will be a crucial period, in which a Republican election denier, quite possibly Donald Trump, may be laying the groundwork to seize power regardless of who the voters choose. It would be wise for Democrats to elect a specialist in calling out and curbing such mischief. (Dan Goldman, lead majority counsel in Trump’s first impeachment, gets a check in this column too, but he lacks Holtzman’s granular understanding of a broad range of other challenges.)
Holtzman combines that with an unrivaled breadth and depth of knowledge on how the gears of government turn; pragmatic policy instincts, and a sensitive ear for constituent problems. In the hour long conversation we had with her, she had a close-to-the-ground understanding of the challenges people are facing, from the Lower East Side to Red Hook to Park Slope to Sunset Park.
This isn’t a rank-choice election — only primaries for city offices are treated that way in New York — but our runner-up is Carlina Rivera, who’s distinguished herself on the City Council, especially in leading the push on a package of bills protecting delivery workers and helping craft and pass the overdue rezoning of Soho. Rivera, like Holtzman, answers questions with a refreshing directness, rather than relying on more carefully rehearsed talking points from staffers. Should she not manage to win this time around, there will be plenty of other opportunities for her down the pike.
Mondaire Jones, the freshman congressman from the Hudson Valley who relocated to the district after a court-ordered redistricting scrambled the deck, isn’t a bad candidate. Jo Ann Simon, now in the state Assembly, knows her Brooklyn district well. But Holtzman is the one to elect.
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News

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