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
• 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 Huffington