Latino and African-American NYC Council members are planing to protest Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy when the gubernatorial hopeful shows up at The Woolworth Tower Kitchen in Manhattan Thursday morning for an “On/Off the Record” breakfast hosted by City Hall newspaper.
I spotted word of the gathering on Facebook under the headline: “ New York ≠ Arizona : Protest Steve Levy!”
“We cannot tolerate racial profiling or hatred in our government,” the organizers wrote. Countless times, Steve Levy has offended the Hispanic community with his racially charged comments and anti-immigrant policies.”
“We must show him that New York is not the same as Arizona , and although we respect free speech, we cannot condone prejudiced or provocative behavior.”
Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams, Deborah Rose, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Daniel Dromm, Fernando Cabrera, Diana Reyna, James Sanders plan to attend, along with “hundreds of angry New Yorkers.”
Also cited is a controversial 2009 statement Levy made to a Canada native at an event in Bay Shore, LI during which the Democrat-turned-Republican lawmaker inquired as to the man’s immigration status and then said that if he wasn’t legal “I’d have to deport you, like the guys back there in the kitchen.”
Latino lawmakers and their allies have been speaking out against Levy and his conservative stance on immigration since he announced his likely gubernatorial run back in January, going so far as to threaten to call for a boycott of any organizations that support the county executive’s statewide campaign.
This spurred Levy, who insists his “I support legal immigration” stance is in line with the belief of many Democrat – including President Obama, to call for a Public Integrity Commission investigation of the lawmakers.
(Needless to say, that didn’t go anywhere, in part because the PIC doesn’t police the Legislature).