By COLlive reporter
Menachem Raitport is giving another shot at the New York State Assembly.
The Crown Heights store owner is running in the special election on Tuesday, May 5 to represent the 43rd District which covers the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens and East Flatbush.
In 2010, Raitport lost to incumbent Karim Camara who has since vacated his seat for a job as executive director of Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s new Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services, part of an antipoverty initiative.
In this cycle, a filing error meant that the Democratic party would not have an official candidate, which the 47-year-old Raitport hopes to use to his advantage under the Republican Conservative banner.
Democrats vying for the seat are Diana Richardson of the Working Families Party, District leader Geoffrey Davis (brother of slain Councilman James E. Davis) and District leader Shirley Patterson on the Independence Party line.
“It’s not about Republican v. Democrat,” Raitport said in a statement inviting community members to a kickoff fundraiser to be held tonight, Wednesday, March 18th, from 8pm to 10:30pm at 822 Empire Blvd.
“Politics has become a dirty word. But it shouldn’t be. It’s about service to the community. It’s about doing what’s right for every single resident in this district. It’s time for a real change,” he says.
Born and bred in Brooklyn, Raitport is an EMT, a member of CERT, and he has long been involved in charitable ventures including mentoring young people. He is married and a father of 8.
He says he wonders what kind of place Crown Heights will be in the next 5 years and worries about “a further reduction in our standard of living, seeing essential services being eroded almost on a daily basis.”
“From clean streets to safe streets,” he emphasizes, “things are getting worse, not better. Residents in Crown Heights are forgotten time and time again by Albany. It’s just not good enough. We live here, and we deserve better.”