Yassky: Thinking Inside the Box Helps, and an Endorsement

The New York Observer’s Dana Rubinstein recently spent an hour and a half at Junior’s with Council Member and City Comptroller candidate David Yassky. The result of that interview is posted on PolitickerNY.com. In the course of the discussion, Yassky said one of the useful things he learned during his time working for Senator Chuck Schumer was the application of the “Genovesi Box”, devised by Schumer’s mentor, the late Brooklyn Assemblyman Anthony Genovesi.

“You need a pen to do the Genovesi Box properly,” Mr. Yassky said, as he drew a square, quartered it with two perpendicular lines and labeled the outside of the four quadrants “important,” “not important,” “urgent” and “not urgent.”

“What Chuck taught me is that … you do the important and not urgent as much as possible,” rather than the urgent and unimportant, which is, he said, how most politicians spend their time.

Rubinstein goes on to note that, while Yassky is a keen student of public policy, his political judgment has been called into question. This is because of two major decisions that many have considered missteps. The first was to run for the Democratic nomination (tantamount to election) for the 11th Congressional District seat being vacated by the retiring Rep. Major Owens. This pitted him against three African American candidates, and was seen, rightly or wrongly, as an effort by Yassky to win through a “divide and conquer” strategy. The result was that Yassky lost to now Rep. Yvette Clark. The other perceived mistake was his response to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to abolish term limits by a City Council vote, which Yassky initially opposed by supporting a resolution to have the matter put to the voters in a referendum, but ultimately supported.

Today, Yassky’s office announced what may prove to be an important endorsement of his candidacy for City Comptroller:

Reverend A.R. Bernard, Pastor and CEO of Central Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center, today endorsed Council Member David Yassky for New York City Comptroller. In doing so, he cited Yassky’s proven record of fighting for progressive change and innovative solutions to the profound economic challenges facing New York’s working families.

“David Yassky has fought his entire career to create jobs and grow the economy, to protect the City’s affordable housing stock, to get illegal guns off of our streets, and for social justice for all New Yorkers,” Reverend Bernard said. “I believe that as Comptroller David will continue to stand up for those who are too often left out of the political process, and I look forward to working with him in that very important effort.”

“I am profoundly honored to have the support of Reverend Bernard and look forward to partnering with him to create jobs and improve the lives of all the New Yorkers who are struggling through economic hardship,” Council Member Yassky said. “I will be a Comptroller with a singular focus on accountability, innovation, and results. With those principles in mind we will put forth an ambitious progressive agenda to lay the foundation for sustainable economic growth and a stronger City of New York.”

Reverend A.R. Bernard is the Founding Pastor of the Christian Cultural Center (CCC), a 30,000 member mega-church in Central Brooklyn. He is also the President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York, which represents 1.5 million Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians. Bernard sits on the New York City Economic Development Corporation Board and New York City School Chancellor’s Advisory Cabinet.

This endorsement may indicate that whatever ill feeling may remain from Yassky’s candidacy for the 11th Congressional District seat has dissipated, or is at least not insuperable.

Share this Story:


  • davoyager

    In my view Yassky has failed his district and should not be given a chance to fail the whole city.

  • Crybaby

    I totally agree. I really needed help these past few months w/job loss, eviction notices, unemployment issues and as a single white woman there was no place to turn in this great city of New York for legal help. I was considered not desperate enough for Legal Aid. I have known David for at 10 years and reached out to him for help. Months later, I am still waiting…..when it’s time to vote, he can wait.

  • Carlo Trigiani

    Agreed. The only thing “important” to Yassky is getting to the next rung on the political ladder. He serves himself, not the public.

  • neighbor

    No big fan of politicians, however don’t forget that Yassky recently busted the Walentas’ playing footsie under the table with the SCA regarding the Dock St proposal. Let’s chalk that one up under the pro column.

  • Carlo Trigiani

    Dear Neighbor,

    The middle school dilema has been around for years. Yassky has done nothing to improve the existing schools or help build a new one. We are left to conclude that good schools aren’t “important” enough for the councilman.

    This is one of many issues where Yassky has failed.

    It’s all about David.

  • Publius


    Perhaps you didn’t bother to read the SCA scandal emails? If you had, you’d see that Yassky’s had been a busy beaver trying to work with the SCA to get a properly sized school for the district. However, your boy Jed and Co. have been actively working in the smokey back room to thwart others who believe that the proposed middle school could and should be built using an existing structure that doesn’t diminish our National Landmark.

    One thing you’re right about, it is also about David. However you have the wrong David.

  • Crybaby

    I hope that none of you find yourselves in the situation I was in. Nowhere and nobody to turn to in this City, because I’m not a minority or a battered octomum with 8 babies to feed, I found myself calling and emailing David Yassky’s office. I have been a neighbor of David’s for years before he moved out of the Heights. We have had many conversations. He has even met my out-of-town parents. It shames me to say that he did not respond to any of my cries for help. By the grace of God and some kind neighbors, friends and local business owners who gave me financial and emotional support, I am back on my feet. I could care less now what David is doing for our local school system. As a pulic official, he let me down. I was very surprised that his office (his gang of volunteering Brooklyn Law students) chose to ignore repeated emails. Let there be no mistake about it, David Yassky cares about David Yassky and that’s it. He’s big phony.