As the race to become speaker of the next City Council continues apace, consolidation of the field has left two Councilmembers standing. In fact, both Adrienne Adams and Fransisco Moya declared victory yesterday as we've officially entered the "through the looking glass" stage of the race for Speaker. The Speaker of the City Council is a powerful partner and sometimes-counterweight to the Mayor of New York City. This position is not a public vote, but chosen in an election of sitting New York City Council members.
For New York City's large and influential Jewish community, an area of concern being expressed by people who play an active role in large member-based Jewish organizations is Councilmember Adams' willingness to work with the DSA-backed (Democratic Socialist of America) Council members seated in the new City Council.
For readers who may not be aware of the platform and positions of the DSA, they are a national member-based group actively sharing in and promoting many of the similar goals of the BDS, or Boycott Divest and Sanction Israel movement. This recent development is concerning among influential Jewish organizations and anti-hate groups, some insiders say.
"The overlapping platform of the DSA and BDS movements continues to fuel the spread of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish rhetoric across New York City and the rest of the country. Any candidate or office-holder seeking a greater position of power should re-consider embracing that arm of the Democratic party -- especially to curry favor for personal political gain," said one active member of a Brooklyn-based Jewish nonprofit who works on improving interfaith relations.
There is still some time before selection of the next speaker, so we will continue to watch how the candidates choose to move forward in building a coalition of enough votes.