Elections Are Not Coronations: Brooklyn Heights Blog to Host 52nd Assembly Debate with Democratic Candidates

In case you hadn’t noticed, there are several Democratic candidates vying for the nomination in the 52nd Assembly District. Since this is Brownstone Brooklyn, the Democratic nominee is generally the de facto winner of the general election (Hey is there a GOP candidate? No, seriously is there one?).

So what are we going to do about it? Hold a debate!


Enjoy the official press release here:




August 21, 2014





All Democratic Nominees to Attend


BROOKLYN HEIGHTS BLOG will host its second debate on, September 2nd at 7pm at St. Francis College (Founders Hall). All of Democratic candidates for the New York State 52nd Assembly District—Doug Biviano, Peter Sikora, and Jo Anne Simon —will present their positions, answer questions, and engage in a candidates forum. This event is free and open to the general public due to the generosity of St. Francis College.


Moderated by BHB Publisher John “Homer Fink,” Loscalzo, all candidates will be given equal time to engage in a spirited discussion regarding issues vital to the interests of Brooklyn Heights residents.  Posing questions to the candidates will be: Claude Scales, regular contributor to the BHB, Ted Hamm, political commentator and Chair of Journalism and New Media Studies at St. Joseph's College in Clinton Hill, as well as  a member of the Brooklyn Heights Association board of governors.


Expect the candidates to discuss pertinent issues including but not limited to – the future of Long Island College Hospital (LICH), the proposed affordable housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6, and, the planned sale of the Brooklyn Heights Library and its subsequent development as a high-rise residential tower.  In addition to presenting one of the only public discussions of this important political contest in New York City this year, BHB will also provide extensive online coverage of this tightly contested race to replace Joan Millman, who is stepping down after 17 years in the Assembly.



Founded in 2006 by media executive, John Loscalzo, Brooklyn Heights Blog set out to cover issues relevant to the community and it the site quickly became a virtual town square.  The blog received the 2011 Brooklyn Heights Association Award for Outstanding Community Service and has been on the leading edge of local news, covering and influencing issues such as helicopter noise pollution, the fate of the Brooklyn Heights Library branch, the closing of Long Island College Hospital and all matters regarding Brooklyn Bridge ParkBHB reaches an average of 50K readers per month and has been cited as a source by the NY Times, NY Observer and many other notable publications.





Tracy Zamot, tracyzamot@gmail.com, 917-579-6704


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  • marshasrimler

    this is a great community service.. thank you

  • Michael D. D. White

    In addition, Citizens Defending Libraries
    has invited all three Democratic candidates for the 52nd State Assembly
    District seat (now held by our CDL ally, Joan Millman) to come and
    speak to us at our Sunday Citizens Defending Libraries meeting, August
    24, 2014 at 4:30 PM in the Community Room at 101 Clark Street, Brooklyn
    Heights, NY 11201. All three of the candidates have signed our Citizens Defending Libraries letter of support.
    To varying degrees the candidates can discuss the candidates have made
    the issue of selling off and shrinking libraries and selling off other
    public assets issues they are communicating about in their campaigns.
    Come hear what they have to say. We have heard back from all three
    candidates and expect probably all three, but at least two- (One
    candidate desiring to come still has to confirm that they have cleared
    their schedule).

    Bring you questions and be prepared afterward to communicate out to
    other likely and possible primary voters (primary is on September 9th-
    put it in your calendar) your thoughts and reactions to what you hear.

  • marshasrimler

    remember that Pete Sikora’s patron is Brad Lander who described the destruction of the Brooklyn Heights Library as creative. His other backers Stephen Levin has been absent on this issue. when he should be a leader. and Daniel Squadron who also supports Sikora has flip flopped on saving our library.. This is the trio of representatives who bring us Peter Sikora

  • Doug Biviano

    Here’s our latest PRESS RELEASE –

    Carroll Gardens Association – Cover-Up of Members’ Dark Money LICH Mailing — Cancel debate scheduled last minute, won’t reschedule.

  • Doug Biviano

    Marsha, we’ve been pounding this point of the inextricable relationship of Brad Lander, de Blasio, Levin, Squadron, SIKORA bound so tightly by lobbyist consultant BERLIN ROSEN that the democratic pulse of this neighborhood is dead. We have no control over our neighborhood. BERLIN ROSEN represents the developer who controls library development rights, FCR, and the Brooklyn Public Library (Holy conflict of interests). Who represents the voters?

    I will also point out that we are the only campaign pointing this out because the other Brooklyn Party Machine candidate, JoAnne Simon, also benefits from these kinds of relationships which is why she has always been on every side of every issue and has not forcefully opposed many destructive developments in our community. Case in point, taking $3,500 from Brooklyn Bridge Park Board Members Henry Gutman and Marty Connor. Will JoAnne give that money back or will she owe them a favor and quietly return the favor when it comes to the Park or the Library.

    It should be known that Simon’s election lawyer — Marty Connor is no friend of Democracy. He is the very lawyer hired by Cuomo who is trying to throw Zephyr Teachout off the ballot. He’s up to his 2nd Appeal. With friends like these, is Jo Ann Simon really on your side?

  • Quinn Raymond


  • Doug Biviano
  • Doug Biviano

    A word about the timing of this debate. As vital as it is (over 10 in 2009) and grateful of BHB we are, IT IS VERY LATE IN THE GAME. As BHB can attest, it came from our clamoring for one. Debates are necessary to challenge the empty promises of slick and expensive campaign mailers paid with the massive money dumped into machine campaigns by special interests. They’re necessary to force candidates out of their comfort zone and take a position. They get to some of the truth.

    That said, they are vital for candidates like me who are not backed by special interests or on every side of every issue to get exposure and raise contributions. Since the debate is so late in the game — and this is no accident from the other camps — we ask for your support if you like how we are fighting to return the power of governing back to you the voter and the community. We cannot do it alone, voters must put some skin in the game or else the special interests go unopposed because we cannot get our message out to most of the voters.
    PLEASE CONTRIBUTE: http://dougbiviano.com/index.php/contribute

  • Michael D. D. White

    It is interesting to think (see Rimmler comment) that lack of recent action by Steve Levin and Daniel Squadron to oppose library sell-offs and shrinkages of libraries such as in Brooklyn Heights could be hurting Sikora whom they support! (Squadron came out during the campaign against selling libraries but hasn’t acted since.) Interesting also that Lander’s support for selling and shrinking libraries could be tarring Sikora as well. Sikora, like all the Assembly District 52 candidates, has signed the Citizens Defending Libraries support letter, but may need to say something publicly to these gentlemen who are supposed to be helping, not hurting him this way.

  • Quinn Raymond

    As someone who is supportive of the library I find it agravating that none of the candidates has the courage or foresight to stand up for it. I also find it agravating that each of the campaigns has taken to accusing the others of not being sufficiently against this crucial project.

    On this specific issue it’s been a race to the bottom. But with the relentless bullying how could expect more?

    Also the bizarre “guilt by association” conspiracy theories and endless threadjacking make it hard to have reasonable policy discussion. Hopefully the forum organizers will make some effort to ensure the discussion is substantive and inclusive of the numerous issues facing the district.

  • marshasrimler

    simply how could Pete Sikora whose primary patron is Brad Lander take an independent position on the Brookln Heights Library. Sikora was brought into this by Mr. Lander who described the destruction of the Brooklyn Heights library as creative and it is not even in his district. Our own councilman Mr. Levin has done nothing he also supports Mr, Sikora.This is fact not conspiracy theory

  • Quinn Raymond

    Well I spent almost an hour trying to convince him the library project is a good thing and I was pretty unsuccessful. But feel free to believe whatever fits better into the narrative.

  • marshasrimler

    who is he? Peter Sikora?

  • Quinn Raymond

    Yes. The position is baffling since ostensibly all three candidates care about income inequality, climate change, and supporting the library system.

    But we’ve already been through this.

    What makes good politics doesn’t always make good policy, and vice versa.

  • marshasrimler

    who is pete sikora?.. I have been active in the community for years and years and never heard of him until now

  • Doug Biviano

    NY1 debate http://ny1ne.ws/fGSa8E

    Two segments, second best. Wait on same page for second part to load.

    We get our point across that our community has lost control of governing decisions like LICH, libraries and condos in park due to lobbyists and special interests that control elections and elected officials. The deception like LICH Dark Money Letter is very coordinated with campaigns and PACs is another point, in this case Sikora campaign with de Blasio’s One NY PAC and consultant Berlin Rosen.

    Given that Errol Louis tried to keep me from the debate as first reported on this blog, his hostility to me was profound both on and off the camera, pre and post taping. Hopefully more reporting of this remarkable phenomena will come out.