How Thompson won Yorkville (and de Blasio lost it)

how-thompson-won-yorkville-and-de-blasio-lost-it
The Upper East Side. (via NYTimes.com)
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

Last night, Yorkville residents thanked Bill Thompson for his position on a controversial waste transfer station by delivering him his largest geographical bloc in Manhattan.

Every single election district bounded by the FDR Drive, Carl Schurz Park and First Avenue, in the ten-block span between 83rd and 93rd streets, went for Thompson, delivering him more than 2,100 votes (and that's not taking into account several of the surrounding districts). In all but three of those 15 election districts Public Advocate Bill de Blasio came in second and Council Speaker Christine Quinn third.

There's a reason for that.

Check out this map of the marine waste-transfer station the Bloomberg administration wants to build at East 91st Street and the FDR Drive:

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

Close followers of the primary will recall that in late May and early June, the administration's plan to build a marine waste-transfer station occupied center stage in the Democratic debate.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn came out as the staunchest defender of the plan, a linchpin in Bloomberg's bid to reduce truck traffic and equalize the burden of getting trash out of the city by building a marine-based waste transfer network.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio was equivocal on the topic: He voted for it when he was in the Council, expressed skepticism about it as an early candidate, and then, after further deliberation, decided he supported it.

Thompson was opposed, which prompted Quinn to accuse the plan's opponents of environmental racism.

It became quite the spat, with Thompson professing himself "stunned and shocked" outrage that anyone would accuse a black man of racism, and so on and so forth.

He demanded an apology and then ended up fundraising off the squabble.

An operative involved in campaigns up there told me that on primary day, Upper East Side voters consistently asked campaign volunteers one question: "Where does Candidate X stand on the dump?"