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The Powell Plan: Too much, too late?

The Brooklyn Paper
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Just five days before voters hit the booths, congressional upstart Kevin Powell finally gave them a reason to hit the books.

Powell, 42, a former MTV “Real World” star and community activist aiming to unseat 13-term incumbent Rep. Ed Towns, unveiled his long-awaited 58-page policy statement at a Sept. 5 press conference in the East New York portion of a district that spans from Brooklyn Heights, through Fort Greene and Clinton Hill and almost to the Queens border.

The long-delayed document — titled “The Plan: A New Way for the 21st Century” — reveals Powell’s vision for the 10th Congressional District, a vision that he says has been lacking from the 26-year incumbent Towns.

Among other policies, “The Plan” — which is available for download on Powell’s Web site, http://www.kevinpowellforcongress.org — calls for:

• increasing funding for the Violence Against Women Act.

• repealing the Patriot Act, President Bush’s signature “No Child Left Behind” act, and the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

• drafting a bill shortening the credit reporting terms for individuals affected by the subprime mortgage crises.

• creating incentives to keep students in school such as paid internship programs that would provide experience, college credit and cash.

• crafting a city-wide resource guide detailing all of the social service programs available to constituents.

“The Plan” also outlines Powell’s stances on broader issues, such as his support for a universal single-payer health-care system, his opposition of the Iraq War and his support for abortion rights.

Powell used the release of his ambitious, oft-postponed policy guide to volley criticism against Town, 74.

“What has the Congressman’s plan been for the last 25 years — and if he has a plan, why does the community look the way it does?” Powell asked a crowd of about 15 East New York residents.

“If you are going to elect anyone — especially on the federal level — they better have a plan for the whole district,” he said.

But plans aren’t worth much if they aren’t put to action, said Towns spokeswoman Lupe Todd, who considered Powell’s policy guide naïve.

“The only difference between Kevin’s platform and that of the classic, progressive Democratic agenda is that Kevin’s grandiose ideas are empty,” she said. “Throughout his 58-page manifesto, he provides no real discussion on how to accomplish even the smallest part of one of his agenda items — whether that’s through new legislation, policy or another 7,000-word rant on HuffingtonPost.com.”

Updated 5:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

David from Williamsburg says:
Maybe the reason that Powell finally released his 58 page "plan" is because he doesn't want people to read the lengthy document and see some of his unrealistic and baffling positions. I know my friends and I were shocked to see some of his radical positions in foreign policy, especially towards Israel.

Not to mention he thinks he is going to be President or Secretary of State, not a freshman member,
Sept. 7, 2008, 12:27 pm
notFeelingIt from downtown says:
Great to hear Lupe Todd flacking for entrenched machine incumbent Towns, fresh off her years of flacking for Bruce Ratner's monstrosity.
Sept. 7, 2008, 12:30 pm
notFeelingIt from downtown says:

this country NEEDS radical foreign policy positions towards Israel. the ineffective, mundane ones have been a failure for 50 years.
Sept. 7, 2008, 12:31 pm
anonymous from Clinton Hill says:

its guaranteed that as a freshman congressman Powell will get more done and wield his bully pulpit in more effective ways than Towns did over 25 years. there is not doubt about that.
Sept. 7, 2008, 12:33 pm
Issac from Williamsburg says:
Ridiculous, just ridiculous. Kevin Powell decides to release a detailed, 58 page plan 5 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION?!?

That is the biggest showing of arrogance I've seen in awhile. Either it means he assumed everyone would drop everything and spend the last weekend pouring over Powell's wisdom. Or, he was counting on folks not reading it, and just assuming that 58-pages would be enough to oohhhh-and-aaahhhh people at the ballto box.

Why didn't he put this out there weeks ago, so that voters could digest and engage his ideas?!?

And Anonymous in Clinton Hill, NO, a freshman congressman WILL HAVE NO POWER. G-d, you spend your first 6 months learning how the graft machine works, then you are already in re-election mode. 58 pages of unimplementable ideas impresses no one.

Go ahead Brooklyn, out Towns for Powell, that way we can ensure that in the race for federal dollars and investment we come in even behind Alaska.
Sept. 7, 2008, 3:27 pm
LadyJane from Bed-Stuy says:
I still can't believe how the BP is sucking up to Powell! How can anyone this this guy can enact the kind of fake promises he's peddling.

I really hope that the folks of the BK-10 see through this BS and reject Powell. Towns is not the perfect congressman, but he still can deliver for the 10th. And if anything, I think this challenge is going to be enough to remind him that he needs to deliver more for the folks. So, job done. I think Towns is going to get the message, but the fact is if we get rid of Towns for Powell, then we're gonna have someone full of too-lofty promises without any seniority or authority to deliver anything foe Brooklyn.

I applaud Powell's concern about things like HIV/AIDS in the world, support for Israel, etc. But fact is Brooklyn need to think about Brooklyn; Powell is too interested in thinking about the rest of the world.
Sept. 8, 2008, 9:17 am
Issac from Williamsburg says:
Anyone else find it odd that Powell decided to publish his plan online, on the Sabbath? I mean, most of the observant Jews of Williamsburg would not be able to use the internet to look into his plan carefully? Especially when it contains alot of provocative statements about re-considering support for Israel.

Let's look at his plan:

Kevin Powell supports "the end of the illegal settlements on Palestinian land and returning to the 1967 treaty agreement and two state solution and international Jerusalem for the time being" (p49).

Kevin Powell supports "seeking to elevate the deplorable conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip that help
extremists and drive young people to violence and terrorism" (p49).

Kevin Powell supports "ending the use of targeted killings by the US and Israel" (p50).

He also advocates "rexamining our military aid policies to belligerent nations that threaten their neighbors
or commit repeated and severe violations of the human rights of their citizens or prisoners for purposes of political coercion" (p49).
Sept. 8, 2008, 5:08 pm
geeze from downtown says:
those sound like the right ideas. too bad more of his party won't agree because they pander too much.

as far as why didn't he put this out weeks ago? well, one should ask, why doesn't Towns have any plan at all?
Sept. 8, 2008, 8:01 pm

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