Op-Ed and photos submitted by C. Smith / Lifelong East New York resident who cares
This is information that the East New York community needs to know before they go out to vote Thursday Sept. 13. Think of this Op Ed as part of the #StayWokeENY movement. Information is power.
The Barrons have held one, or both the City Council and State Assembly seats in East New York since 2001. In 2013 Charles took over his wife’s seat in the Assembly, and Inez took over his seat in the City Council, keeping both seats in one family for 8 more years. Charles has the ability to keep his name and face in the media, which is the main reason the Barrons have been able to win most of their races so far.
In 2012, Charles ran for a Congressional seat, which includes multiple Brooklyn neighborhoods, but he was easily defeated by Hakeem Jeffries, who has become one of the most respected elected officials in New York City since he became Congressman. Brooklyn would have missed out on Jeffries when he was a rising star, had he lost to Charles.
Now, while some people might be sleeping, the Barrons are trying to take their family dynasty one step further, as their hunger for personal power increases. Not only do they still control the Council and Assembly seats, but they are now running for two more seats in East New York, the male and female District Leader seats, which would give them four elected seats in East New York. Two people having control of four elected seats in one neighborhood is dangerous and it shortchanges the community from resources and community input.
The District Leader acts as an official advocate for “the people”, communicating the needs of the community to the elected officials. With the Barrons sitting in all four seats there would be no one on the ground advocating for “the people”. This is a direct conflict, and leaves a hole in the process of community advocacy. This is how communities are shortchanged of much needed resources and denied community input. The Barrons seem to be running for these 2 additional seats for no reason other than ego and personal power, which are Trump-like qualities that 99% of East New Yorkers hate. It’s the idea of “only I can save you”, implying that everyone else is dumb or unqualified. In this case, it seems the Barrons are implying that everyone else in East New York is dumb, including their own staffers. Charles understands that keeping his face in the media keeps his family in power in East New York. Another Trump-like quality.
Currently, Keron Alleyne is the male District Leader, a position that the Barron protégé basically walked into two years ago when Charles stepped down to run for re-election in the State Assembly. Alleyne is a staff member of Charles Barron. But now that Alleyne would have to run against Chris Banks for the District Leader position, Charles has decided to run for the position himself. Alleyne recently stepped down from the District Leader position.
On the female District Leader side, Nikki Lucas, who currently holds the position, easily defeated Joy Simmons (Inez Barrons’ Chief of Staff) two years ago, to become the District Leader in East New York. Lucas has been a rising star over the past two years in her position as a successful District Leader, working with other elected officials and residents, assisting with housing, senior issues, and healthy living initiatives that impact the lives of East New Yorkers. Since Simmons lost to Lucas in the last election, the Barrons decided that Inez will run against Lucas this time. If Simmons, or some other Barron staff member, has the competence and qualifications to become District Leader then that person should run. East New York needs 4 representatives, not 2 representatives from one household.
The Barrons are not empowering their staff members, supporters, or community members, instead they are denying them all a chance to run for these positions. This is not black power or power to the people, as the Barrons like to tout from Charles’ black panther days, but instead this is power to the Barron household only, not “Power to the People”. The people of East New York need as many resources as possible, but this move would be a roadblock to prosperity for long time East New Yorkers, who will feel it for years to come, through gentrification, diminished resources, and limited voices.
If Lucas loses to Inez Barron, East New York would be left with just one household controlling all local political offices in the heart of East New York, and making all decisions affecting the lives of East New Yorkers.
With all the development happening in East New York at this time, it is more important than ever for the community to have elected officials who can work with others to ensure East New York receives its fair share of ownership and opportunities. It is also important to have four people looking out for East New York, rather than two people who have obviously become consumed with their personal power.
The Barrons use the important Black Panther phrase of “Power to the People”, more for marketing purposes these days, but this latest stunt proves that they are not truly empowering the people. Another Trump-like quality of using terms from the past as marketing tools to keep your supporters from understanding your true intentions. #StayWoke people.
Nikki Lucas has the strong support, and a great working relationship with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, as well as Senator Roxanne Persaud. The Barrons should have someone in their camp that can run for District Leader, other than Inez. If they don’t, then shame on them. They’ve had over 20 years to elevate young people to be qualified for elected positions. That’s not leadership, that’s dictatorship. Another Trump like quality.
Election day is Thursday September 13, 2018, and East New York residents might want to look at names other than Barron when casting their vote for District Leader (State Committee Member). This is the only way to make sure East New York is not run by the roadblock thinking of one household, who would be able to make all decisions for East New Yorkers, without leaving their kitchen table. That visual seems strange and sinister. The Barrons are treating East New York politics like a Monopoly game, but this is not a game. Their decisions are affecting the lives of real people who need real representation that brings real resources to families. This is an important time, and rhetoric will not change people’s lives.
The Barrons’ latest move shows three things. First, the Barrons do not believe they have any viable, qualified candidates in their organization or staff. Secondly, East New York would miss out on a possible rising star who will be able to bring new opportunities to the residents of East New York. Lastly, our powerful black panther chant of “Power to the People”, has been diminished to a marketing tool, with all the power actually going to the Barrons, not the people. It’s amazing how power makes you forget your roots, while becoming the exact thing that you said you were fighting against. That is a clear sign that change is necessary.
Vote Thursday September 13, 2018.
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For three or more years our small non profit has reached out to both Barron’s for support to no avail.
We have also visited and spoke with Joy and shared our current services we offer for free to the community and also what plans we had to assist the local schools that we were contracting with at the time.
We only asked for support and they ignored us for three years both barrons
Now to read this article proves our nightmare to be true
They really don’t care
Good Morning Ms. Williams,
I’d like to hear more about your nonprofit and local school plans, I may have some resource information and outreach opportunities.
Enjoy your week!
The article bites, it is suspect. Tell the people specifically what the Barons are doing. How are they disservicing East New York, what policies have they implemented to help ENY, what has hurt ENY residents? Are their people qualified for the seats? Don’t continue to BS the people by attempting to replace one politician with another.
You a point, but I ask you do you believe that the Barons holding four seats in our community is the best or good option, sir?
The Barron’s think they are the only intelligent, capable, or thoughtful people in the district who can lead. This is simply a couple who doesn’t want to fade away or step aside and allow other voices to be heard. Period. I speak to people everyday in this district who disagree with the message coming out of the Barron camp. Those voices should be heard through leadership that represents them. Also, the Barron’s have been in leadership positions for some time now. Where are the staffers who work for them, waiting in the wings to lead the district? Are they grooming people to take over? Obviously not do to there attempt to run for district leader positions while holding council and assembly seats. You can talk about handing over power to political bosses and stop and frisk. Those are interesting topics that should be explored but to think that the Barron’s are the ONLY ones who can lead and make a difference in this district is unrealistic. Also, I’m sick of this attack on someone “coming out of nowhere” and running for office. Newcomers not being trusted. I’d rather vote for someone “coming out of nowhere” who respects a diverse and open system, a system that allows many voices to be heard then someone trying to put a Barron stamp on a district with over 160,000 residents.
As one who walked the District along side Carlos Bristol with the Assemblyman when he first came on the scene, I found it quite challenging what is happening now. The very thing that he detest at the time, is the very thing that he is perfecting. He raveled when the household name (The Towns) was controlling the district.
If You dont know how to critique things in this district over the last 15 years, one will think that the Barrons have accomplished much, and that’s not the case.
Words matters, and his words 10 years ago , when he went after then Councilman DeBlasio, build his reality of none relational posture.
Right now with all the revitilization that is happening out here, our electives do not have a seat at the table when it matters. Their business practices of only dealing with their 2 agencies have really done a disservice to all of the smaller agencies out here that does prepositional more with less. If you want real collusion, just look at the business practices conducted with tax payers money over the years.
As smart and sagacious as the Barrons are, and I admire them, the Words of Charles Barron are void.
Thank you fir your throughful and provoking ideas on this matter. I’ve lived in ENY around 5 yrs and I totally see how my neighborhood is changing.. I think the Barrons time is passing and we need new voices in this camp! Thank you so much. Will vote accordingly!
To make a difference everyone must come out and vote rain or shine and support Chris Banks for Male District Leader
I know for a fact that the Barron’s are definitely not about empowering the people, they only care about power and money they are millionaires and only are concerned with their own personal interest. I. Ask Mrs Barron to help me to start a tenant association and she hook me up with lmpacct. Which said it would take two months, instead it took seven months because Mrs Barron was bent on forcing us to have a committee instead of a tenant association. And boy when I had the nerve to confess my Allegiance to Almighty God boy did that rock her boat. I know first hand how these people are defiant to what is best for the people. So vote for Chris Banks and the young lady that won two years ago. Always Victory in the Light of God.
I know for a fact that the Barron’s are definitely not interested in empowering the people. They only are interested in empowering themselves. And treating the people like dumb fools. I know this first hand they seek to forces upon people their own personal interest,and not what’s good for the people. Vote for Chris Banks And the young lady who won two years ago. Victory for the people.
I give God the glory for the Leadership that I have been under the last 21 years. I was taught that decisions does not come in a moment of time, it is rooted in one’s character. For the Barrons to go after 2 seats that should be sought after from someone under their leadership, simply shows the trust that they do not have in themselves and their style of leadership.
What ENY needs right now is :
1) A leader that knows how to cultivate partnerships, in which we do not have.
2) A leader who has the ability to reason with those that controls the purse, even if you disagree with them.
3) A leader that understands, in order to grow a community, you must address the need of all organizations, not
just 2 organizations that you founded.
For those of you that are looking to unseat them, several things You have to do:
1) You must grow your current base, not enough votes to unseat them.
2) Make them publicly work, in this race they only mailed once, last week.
3) Put them before the people, lots of ENYers are looking for a champion.
4) Conduct a massive grass root drive, thats what Charles did, he worked for where he is!
5) Raise your own money, the right people respect you when you can raise money.
It is odd that this article is being written 3 days before the primary. Political tactics, I believe more so than being concerned about the people . Yes, our community is changing because they have been in office fighting and making sure that ENY gets it’s fair share . Look around you Ebenezer Plaza is underway, the Stanley Commons Development is completed , the Prince Joshua Community Center is open. ENY will be getting a new High school built .The renovation of Linden Park,Venable Park and Brownsville Park . The Gatway mall as well as the new housing around it . All of the new housing developments in ENY has been based on our median income which has made them affordable for us not the market rate apartments you see in bed sty and bushwick where we have been priced out . These are only some of the things that are happening in your community. If you don’t believe me do your own research. Development only happens when you have your elected officials go after the resources that it needs relentlessly.
We applaud the Barron’s for the job they’ve accomplished. But none of that means they should hold 4 positions. Just to pass it off again.
They tack their name on all these projects and say they are for the community. They are not. Look deeper into their connections with these projects and see who truly benefits. The developers are here to make money, and they make a lot, regardless of who is in office. The Barons have had their time. How about grooming some of the youth to take over. Brownsville and ENY are full of qualified people that are chased away by the tactics of these 2 individuals.
Lisa Willians,I do not know how long u been a resident of ENY but Gateway Mall was in the plan and working long long before The Barrons were in politics.. I am a resident of ENY since 1970 and I know the history and the politics of ENY.
I live in Brownsville my opinion anytime that when someone is running for office you get promised all of this help they be out talking to the people’s and when they get in and you need help from them you can’t never ever speak with them. I went to everyone that holds a seat in the community for help when I lost my job of 18 Years in 2014 from DOE that made unemployed and still trying to fight for my job but yes the Barron’s office was the worst ever they wss very mean and rude to me when I left that office I was so discouraged.
My dealing with the Barrons has always been genuine. All this media is a ploy grasping at straws to try to have inexperienced figure heads who do the bidding of the party bosses. The Truth be told they lack the necessary qualifications to fill the seat. No government or organization related to government. We need competent, trustworthy people to stop the Gentrification train that’s coming through Brooklyn like a runaway train. Who has pumped the brakes other than Charles and Inez Barron. No scandals unlike some of these newbies on the scene. No puppet heads for our community needed now we’re on the Rise!