Dilan to oppose Velazquez for House

The Brooklyn Paper
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Bushwick Councilman Erik Dilan announced his candidacy for the House on Thursday, perhaps giving 10-term incumbent Rep. Nydia Velazquez the toughest challenge of her political career.

Dilan, a three-term Democratic incumbent and strong ally of Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Vito Lopez, said North Brooklyn needs a force in Congress — not someone who watches from the sidelines.

“The time is right for change,” said Dilan, who claims representing his neighbors in Washington is something he has wanted to do since he was young. “We’ve had an incumbent who has been there for 20 years and she’s done little with the post. She’s going to have to justify after 20 years of nothing, why she should remain in office.”

When asked to comment about Dilan’s candidacy, a spokesman for Velazquez (D–Williamsbu­rg) responded dismissively.

“That’s his prerogative,” the spokesman said.

The fight for the district — which stretches from Greenpoint through Bushwick, Williamsburg, DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, the Columbia Street Waterfront District, Red Hook, Gowanus, Greenwood Heights, Sunset Park, and small parts of lower Manhattan — should be intense.

Velazquez has assumed the mantle as the den mother of Brooklyn’s progressive Democrats, gaining support from reform groups such as New Kings Democrats that have challenged the county’s powerful Democratic Party apparatus over the past three years.

Dilan can count on his father, state Sen. Martin Dilan (D–Bushwick), and Lopez to be in his corner considering both pols helped his former chief of staff, Rafael Espinal, win an open state assembly seat in Cypress Hills last year.

“Vito is fully on board — I expect to have his full support,” said Dilan, who claims he could have run for the assembly job, but his heart wasn’t in it and he preferred to challenge Velazquez. “I expect everyone around me to be fully engaged and involved because that’s what it’s going to take to win.”

A third Democratic candidate, Dan O’Connor, formally announced his candidacy and opened his campaign office in Manhattan’s Chinatown on Thursday.

The race, and the district’s border, is up for grabs.

Velazquez and Dilan have been analyzing maps released by the state and the court that would significantly redraw Brooklyn’s ninth congressional district.

The most recent map, presented by Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann this week, removed Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s Northside from the district while adding large swaths of Hasidic South Williamsburg as well as Red Hook and Carroll Gardens.

Almost a dozen of Velazquez’s allies in Greenpoint and Williamsburg urged Mann to include both neighborhoods in the final draft at a redistricting hearing this week.

“The community would be lost without Nydia,” said Greenpoint resident Laura Hofmann. “She’s done a lot of great things for the community and she understands the environmental justice issues. She’s not new to this.”

Dilan said he prefers the district remain intact, but plans to run regardless of the new lines.

He hopes to follow some sage advice from his father, who once eyed a run for Congress but instead chose a life in Albany.

“Think everything through carefully — that’s what he said,” said Dilan.

Updated 5:30 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

bazinga says:

Him? The sock puppet for Lopez.

I guess Dilan really likes having a hand up his rear. Now it is just going to go much deeper.
March 8, 2012, 8:29 am
I heart Nydia says:
Erik Dilan is "a force?" That's news to me. Vito doesn't have enough power to animate that dead weight - not on the national stage.
March 8, 2012, 9:52 am
Juan from Gowanus says:
What a clown. It would be a nightmare to have a great congresswoman replaced by this hack from the corruption machine.
March 8, 2012, 10:03 am
Laughing from Brooklyn says:

Erik Dilan?

March 8, 2012, 10:05 am
FYI from Williamsburg says:
I will vote for Velazquez. She has ALWAYS stood up for what's right for her constituents, even against powerful and corrupt forces like Vito Lopez.

Velazquez' record is clean.

Dilan's endorsement of Lopez speaks volumes about Dilan's agenda.

We are better served by Velazquez.
March 8, 2012, 10:10 am
Imwithlaughing from Greenpoint says:
Total HA-HA. Good luck with that Erik.
March 8, 2012, 10:29 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
The problem with getting your political office through nepotism is that if I don't know anything about you but don't like your dad, I'm not voting for you.
March 8, 2012, 10:31 am
insider from the South Side, aka Los Sures says:
This is simply harassment by Lopez, who is angry that Nydia has supported progressive politicians who have taken on Vito's machine candidates. Nydia is one of the hardest working congress members in New York City and the statement that "she’s done little with the post" is absurd. (That could be said of Ed Towns, however.)

A Dilan campaign may be "the toughest challenge of her political career," but that's not saying much. I doubt Dilan or Lopez actually think they can win this, settling for being annoying. Why bother? You're annoying just by breathing.
March 8, 2012, 11:15 am
Bob from Boerum Hill says:
Let's compare records, Erik... do a Google on Nydia Velazquez and you get (all highly favorable):
about 200 links.

Erik Dilan:

March 8, 2012, 11:34 am
WhodoesntloveNydia? from Carroll Gardens says:
Who is Erik Dilan and why should I vote for him over Nydia who has worked incredibly hard on behalf of all her constituents?
March 8, 2012, 11:42 am
Correction from Brooklyn Paper says:
Sorry, Mr. Dilan actually said "North Brooklyn needs a FARCE in Congress," for which he is amply qualified.
March 8, 2012, 12:12 pm
Clara Williams from Women's collective says:
I think we can all stop dancing on egg-shells here and address the true point at hand : a proud, latina lesbian acting "uppity" and falling into the preconcieved, charo/maid dynamic that the male establishment seems to love. Frankly, this WOMAN here is ticked off!
March 8, 2012, 12:45 pm
Josef from Clinton Hill says:
“We’ve had an incumbent who has been there for 20 years and she’s done little with the post."

But she has done something that pissed off Lopez: she "assumed the mantle as the den mother of Brooklyn’s progressive Democrats, gaining support from reform groups such as New Kings Democrats that have challenged the county’s powerful Democratic Party apparatus over the past three years."

One thing I can guarantee already is that Dilan is not getting my vote.
March 8, 2012, 1:39 pm
scott from park slope says:
Nydia has a pretty much unblemished record as a progressive. She has never acquiesced to the PATRIOT act and other un-American legislation the way Schumer and most of the rest of the NY delegation have.

Dilan, on the other hand, if he is like his father, is a creature of Vito Lopez's. Vito Lopez controls the state commission on public housing and therefore whether the tens of thousands of constituents in them have a place to live. His control over those areas is so complete that he was able to punch out workers for a campaign challenging his protege Marty Dilan in 2004 in broad daylight in front of cops, and nothing happened.

That's old Brooklyn, folks, and the Kings County democratic machine. It's why New York in many ways is still living in the dark ages and the long shadow of Tammany Hall. It's also why no one should vote for Dilan over Nydia.
March 8, 2012, 4:28 pm
Democratic Brooklynite from PHeights says:
I'm not in either of their districts, but Nydia strikes me as one of the better congressional representatives. This is such a waste of resources- if Dilan and Lopez were really Democrats, then they wouldn't waste our time with this primary. At least wait until 2014 when real Democrats will be fighting to keep the GOP out of the White House.

Shame on stealing resources of the Democratic Party. They are helping the GOP a lot.
March 8, 2012, 9:46 pm
Juan from Bushwick says:
They are both career politicians. O'Connor seems like the only honest guy running.
March 8, 2012, 10:35 pm
Pablo from Williansburg says:
Give me one law or concrete accomplishment that Nydia can take credit for? It’s easy to attack those that have revitalized our community and have significant accomplishments to their credit. Erik Dilan will win in a breeze! BYE, BYE Nydia......
March 8, 2012, 11:32 pm
Katie from Park Slope says:
Dilan is scam artist... read for yourself:
March 9, 2012, 1:24 am
MeiLing from Chinatown says:
Hey Erik

What rent subsidized apartment will you use as an address to run for congress? Nydia has been running an uphill battle against forces like you and Lopez for years.

Twenty years in Congress means Committee seniority and the ability to bring additional federal funds to her district. Maybe you should run in another 20 years when you figure that out...
March 9, 2012, 8:45 am
Tired of Nothing from Cypress Hills says:
I guess Nydia has only worked for Williamsburg, I see many uneducated comments supporting her. This Erik I have no issues with because my kids, family and neighbors have benefited from the programs and services he and his father have done for us here. On the other hand I have voted for Nydia all my life and not for the Dilan's but found out from the non4profits and school programs that Nydia has never funded or helped them in my area, I was shocked and disapointed, but that's what happens when you live in Virginia not NY.
March 9, 2012, 12:20 pm
Tired of Astroturf Commentors from Brooklyn says:
"Pablo", "Juan", & "Tired of Nothing"---

You couldn't sound more uninformed if your names were "I Work For Vito, 1, 2, and 3".

Her legislative accomplishments far outstrip anything Dilan (Martin or Erik) can claim. Just look at her record: the Business Checking Fairness Act, her recent law that enforces the tenant training and employment requirements ignored for decades by NYCHA; dozens of bills that allow small businesses to fairly compete with larger companies for government contracts, are just 3 examples. What does Dilan have to show us? Anybody???

Hey, and Tired, if you have friends complaining that she never funded their programs, it might be because she carefully checks them out to make sure the money is going to be spent for the public good and not go into people's bank accounts. She doesn't buy her votes. She doesn't need to. And what can Dilan say about that? Anyone???
March 9, 2012, 3:43 pm
Mark from Bushwick says:
This story needs to focus more on Dan O'Connor I just looked at his webiste, (very professional looking) and believe his message is closer in the direction the country is going.
March 9, 2012, 5:28 pm
Dave from geenpoint says:
I don't understand Why "Assemblyman Vito Lopez" has not been investigated. With all that has been said about him.
March 11, 2012, 10:27 pm
sam from brooklyn says:
Velazquez didnt do "anything " the past 20 years ,
she hardly speaks English
listen to the tapes
June 7, 2012, 1:34 pm

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