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When Democratic voters in the 11th Congressional District go to the polls next week, they’ll be asked to choose between longtime incumbent Edolphus Towns and hip-hop writer Kevin Powell.
Towns started his career in Congress some 25 years ago and while many could argue that he’s been in office too long and is “out of touch” with his constituency, we attest that we can find his fingerprints in every part of his district – a wide swath of Brooklyn acreage that stems from downtown Brooklyn all the way to Canarsie and East New York.
Powell, it seems, thinks that the 11th Congressional District ends at the corner of Bedford and Atlantic avenue – and we’re being gracious.
With the exception of a visit to the Midwood/Flatbush junction, Powell, whose claim to fame include a stint on MTV’s “The Real World,” has basically ignored the eastern part of the district as well as the thousands of people who live there.
Instead, he has been focusing on the voters in downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg, where he feels he can score some points with his hip-hop image and the fact that he rubs elbows with rappers and high- caliber stars like Dave Chappelle, even though the comedian couldn’t make it to a recent fundraiser he was supposed to headline.
Our reporters have noticed that his “big shot” image comes replete with personal body guards, which we’re sure won’t go over well with the residents he’ll meet on Rockaway Parkway – that is, if he ever goes.
In a sense, Powell, who freely admits to having abused women in his past (he’s a recovering misogynist, he claims) has ignored his district’s “real world” – the middle-to lower-class residents that face the challenges of making sure their mortgages are paid on time and that there’s food on the table each night, not which cool new club they’re going to go to next.
Towns just recently played a pivotal role in helping the real-world residents of Starrett City/Spring Creek Gardens get a new landlord who intends to keep their rents stabilized.
At the same time, Towns became unpopular with many of his constituents this year when he chose to back Hillary Clinton for president when the voters in his congressional district chose Barack Obama.
Still, his decision doesn’t mean he’s out of touch. Instead, it proves that he’s a man of strong convictions, even when his decisions buck against the tide.
Right now Powell has proved that his convictions lie with downtown Brooklyn voters, even if they don’t mesh with the rest of the district he wants to represent.
Yet it’s not like Towns ignores downtown Brooklyn. In fact he was recently credited for garnering the federal funds needed for the restoration of Prospect Park.
Since Courier Life Publications represents the entire borough and not just downtown Brooklyn, we give our endorsement to Ed Towns.
To Kevin Powell, we would like to give him a map of the district and ask that he return only when he’s scouted out the entire area.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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