Johnson’s address takes national tone

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At his annual summit, the council member warns about the city under Trump, and announces winners of the participatory budgeting vote


  • During his third annual district-wide address, Council Member Corey Johnson touted his accomplishments and spoke out against President Donald Trump. Photo courtesy of Johnson's office

  • Council Member Corey Johnson at his third annual district-wide address. Photo courtesy of Johnson's office

During his third annual West Side Summit at the Whitney Museum last Wednesday night, Council Member Corey Johnson addressed constituents of District 3 from Greenwich Village to the lower end of the Upper West Side. Based on the long list of his accomplishments and local improvements Johnson recited for the crowd, District 3 is thriving, but these positives were followed by dire warnings of what could happen to the city under President Donald Trump.

“I believe that in the not-too-distant future, Americans of all stripes and people around the world are going to ask each other, ‘what did you do in 2017 when an authoritarian, autocratic, demagogue, pathological liar rose to power?’” Johnson said. “When our children and grandchildren look back at the time we’re living in right now ... each of one us, I hope, will be able to say that we were part of the resistance.”

The audience seemed to agree with their representative, cheering loudly for this declaration and for Johnson’s attempt to force the release of Trump’s tax returns through a bill requiring information about his golf club in the Bronx.

Special guests including former state senator Tom Duane and Comptroller Scott Stringer made appearances to praise Johnson’s work in the district and echo his call to action. “We are organizing in a way I haven’t seen since the 60s and 70s,” Stringer said. “I do fundamentally believe that Corey is right — we will be better for it.”

Johnson also announced the winners of the participatory budgeting vote, where constituents get to play a hand in how $1 million of their district’s money is spent. The project with the most votes — 1,405 to be exact — is a new park for Hell’s Kitchen, on Tenth Avenue between 48th and 49th Streets. The awarded $200,000 will transform a city-owned empty lot into public green space. Second place went to a project that will use $125,000 to put up electric boards with real-time information at five key bus stops in the area. P.S. 111 will also get air conditioning for its library, which serves as a summer school site. A project that got the fourth-most votes, but the most money — $500,000 — will renovate the grounds of the Elliott-Chelsea Houses with new fencing, walkways and gardens.

Madeleine Thompson can be reached at

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