On a video produced by Bed-Stuy independent filmmaker Norman Graham, two of the candidates challenging incumbent Al Vann offered sketches of themselves, hoping to win over Bed-Stuy residents who get to watch the show.
Relations between the two candidates, Mark Winston Griffith [photo, left] and Saquan Jones [photo, right] have seemed testy, though this short clip below does not evidence that.
Graham, whose company is called Onthespot, will be releasing other parts of the stand-off between Griffith and Jones soon, Graham says.
The testiness between the candidates has to do with Jones' accusations that Griffith is an elitist, though in fact Griffith has a record of fighting for victims of predatory lending.
Predatory lending -- or, better said, strong and vocal opposition to it -- has been a hallmark of Griffith's career as an activist.
Such cruel actions by bankers, brokers and their conspirators -- whether predatory lending or other acts of economic violence against the vulnerable -- should be a focus of this campaign.
Candidates should be, among other things, leaning on District Attorney Charles J. Hynes to move more vigorously against perpetrators of economic violence, especially in communities like Bedford Stuyvesant. Prosecutors should be pushing the statute of limitations to its limits, going after those who thought they'd gotten away free.
As for Saquan Jones, he says in his introductory remarks that he is the one best able to relate to poor, struggling residents of public developments. He cites his own upbringing in a public housing project.
There are, as readers of this site know, some half dozen men and women interested in challenging Vann. It's expected we will be hearing more from them in the coming days and weeks.
Between Griffith and Jones, as they offered themselves in their brief presentations, Griffith seemed to take more direct aim at Al Vann, saying Vann's time had come and gone and that while Vann was once "a hero to many . . . a change is needed" now.