Mayor Rudolph Giuliani made a rare appearance in East New York last Thursday to hawk an enigmatic document titled “The East New York Action Plan”–and to support his embattled ally, Democratic Councilmember Priscilla Wooten.
As it turns out, the document was a simple compilation of long-existing development projects and private-public partnerships, many of which were started during previous administrations. The 18-page report also contained a recitation of previously existing city, state and federal programs and information on the years-old deployment of the NYPD Narcotics Task Force.
It was distributed at the site of an under-construction movie theater packed with about 100 Giuliani-Wooten supporters, including many members of DC 37, the largest municipal union, whose leadership is close to the mayor.
Administration staffers asked for information about the action plan later in the day seemed baffled. “‘Action plan? Action plan?’ You keep saying ‘action plan.’ I don’t know what that is,” said an aide with the Brooklyn section of the mayor’s Community Assistance Unit. Manhattan CAU Liaison Scott Saperstein was at first “not familiar” with the concept, and then said “I don’t know of any [action plans] for the other boroughs.”
Wooten is locked in a tough race against Charles Barron, a former Black Panther, who has garnered an array of endorsements for Tuesday’s Democratic primary including nods from the Amsterdam News and The New York Times. Wooten justified her alliance with Giuliani by saying it was the only way she could steer resources to her neighborhood’s programs.
“There were times I was waiting outside the door [to Giuliani’s office],” she said. “I wanted to make sure that I had a ringside seat because I wanted my note to get under the door….I wanted a piece.”