Monday, June 1, 2015


According to USA Today On Politics:
Hillary Clinton will officially launch her presidential campaign with a June 13 speech at Roosevelt Island in New York City.

“Her speech will lay out her view of the challenges facing this country and her vision and ideas for moving the country forward,” according to Clinton’s campaign.

It will be hard to escape the symbolism: The island is named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a political giant whose New Deal programs launched a revolution in the reach and power of the federal government. FDR’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, was also one of history’s most influential first ladies....
Ms. Clinton's Roosevelt Island campaign launch will take place at the FDR Four Freedoms Park.

The event is open to the public and members of the public can register for tickets at

UPDATE 5:30 PM - According to Ms. Clinton's campaign web site:
Hillary’s official campaign launch will be happening Saturday, June 13th in New York City, and we want you to be there! At the first official rally of this campaign, she will lay out her vision for the country, inspired by the stories she’s heard from everyday Americans.

The event will take place in Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, and everyone is invited, so RSVP today. The event is open to the public, but it is recommended that guests register for a ticket for expedited entry and to receive event updates. This is a family friendly event, and children under the age of 13 do not need a ticket.

***All event and appearance times, including Hillary’s speech, are placeholders and will be confirmed in the coming days. Tickets are not required and do not guarantee admission due to space constraints, but every guest is encouraged to RSVP. All entry to the rally will be first-come, first-served. Further details to come, including confirmation of start times as well as arrival instructions and program information.
The last time a Clinton visited Roosevelt Island was for the October 2012 FDR Four Freedoms Park Dedication. That was Bill Clinton. Next June 13, Roosevelt Island welcomes Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Post's The Fix notes:
There is only one heavily inhabited island in New York City harder to get to than Roosevelt Island, where Hillary Clinton will hold her campaign kickoff later this month. That island is Rikers Island....

... I am not the type to find metaphors in things, as I said. I am just reporting that the Hillary Clinton campaign is launching from one of the least accessible parts of New York City....
That's not correct. Staten Island must be harder to get to than Roosevelt Island. Still, with the F Train not running in one direction or the other many weekends, the crowded Tram Cabins and Roosevelt Island's single vehicle access road, Main Street, Roosevelt Island is not the easiest place to travel to.

I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato:
Any comment on how RIOC is going to handle the logistics of so many people wanting to attend the Clinton announcement?
Will post her response when received.

UPDATE 6/2 - Some Roosevelt Island residents have concerns about Ms. Clinton's visit to the FDR Four Freedoms Park.
According to the NY Post: Ms. Clinton's June 13 visit puts:
... at risk of major inconvenience: an annual celebration called Roosevelt Island Day, which features a blood drive, hot dog stands and free rides for kids.

“It’s going to be horrendous logistically,” said Sherie Helstien, vice president of the island’s community association, who noted that her community has just one main road.

“I think the campaign should have reached out to the community representatives of 14,000 people — absolutely,” fumed Matthew Katz, former president of the association, and husband of Helstien....
Click here for full NY Post article.

Also, Politico describes the FDR Four Freedoms Park as solemn:
The solemn memorial park at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, Four Freedoms Park,...
Katrina vanden Heuvel (daughter of FDR Park advocate Ambassador William vanden Heuvel) disagrees
More Twitter reactions:
UPDATE 8:20 PM - Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Jeff Escobar adds:
The unfortunate quotes and comments of RIRA Vice-President Sherie Helstein and Former RIRA President Matt Katz set forth in the New York Post Article of earlier today were not that of RIRA, and were made wholly on their individual volition and not representative of RIRA.

Yesterday, as the current RIRA President, we reached out directly to the Campaign and Clinton Staffers to voice our excitement in joining our colleagues of the Four Freedoms Conservancy in welcoming Secretary Clinton to Roosevelt Island for her formal announcement on June 13th of her campaign for President. In our opinion, there is no other iconic location for such an announcement other than at Four Freedoms Park, and the Island will be out in full support of her candidacy.

We also warmly invited the Campaign to join the Island's 18th Annual Roosevelt Island Day celebration taking place in the heart of the Island later that day, where each Island resident is asked to devote a day of service to beautify the Island, clean-up and attend to Island elements that need attention and to, generally, come together as a community to make our little home floating on the East River a more clean and beautiful place to live, work and play (as well as an afternoon of family fun, games and more after the elbow grease). The coming of the Campaign to the South of the Island will be a great opportunity to introduce both Secretary Clinton and those visiting the heart of the Island to our great community, and those family, friends and neighbors who comprise it.

The Common Council and RIRA are excited that the campaign will literally be bringing the campaign to our doorstep, and we look forward to sharing the excitement of Roosevelt Island Day with the national launch of the Hillary Clinton Campaign and those who will be visiting our Island on that day.
UPDATE 10 PM - Not An Excited Islander writes:
Just read Jeff Escobar's statement on the blog.

The RIRA president is indeed confused when he states that the whole Island is excited or delighted or whatever. Too much Kool-Aid to be sure. I am anything but excited.

Perhaps the Clinton Family Foundation would like to make a donation to the many wonderful organizations working w. children & families on the Island ?

And frankly, what did / does RIOC know, and when did they know it?

It would seem that the only folks w. advance notice are the FDR / Four Freedoms folks -- who are already in Hillary's camp. Are they or HC's folks working w. RIOC / PSD / NYPD / Secret Service ? Can they make the F train run in both directions that day. And, oh ! What a media circus can we expect ? By car ? By Tram ? By boat ? And even by air ? Can hardly wait !!
and from the NY Daily News:
... Matthew Katz, former head of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, called Team Clinton “tone deaf” for bigfooting the community’s special day. Plus, “We’d like her to come to my side of the island, where the people are. Nobody lives in a park,” Katz said.

Association Vice President Sherie Helstien, who’s Katz’s wife, told the Daily News that months of planning for the local celebration won’t be dumped to accommodate a potential influx of Clinton fans. “It’s their problem to get around us,” she said. “We are the community.”...
Full NY Daily News article here.

UPDATE 6/3 - NY Post story about Hillary Clinton's campaign launch on Roosevelt Island made the Drudge Report this morning.

Not the type of publicity Ms. Clinton was hoping for on Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE 6/5 - Will there be disruptions to Roosevelt Island F Train Service during Hillary Clinton's June 13 visit? Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk asks:
Let's see if Hillary Rodham Clinton can make the MTA run the F train in both directions.
As of today, the MTA advises that there will be Roosevelt Island F train service in both directions on June 13.

Image From MTA

Celeste Katz tweets:
We shall see.

UPDATE 6/10 - More here.


KTG said...

So if you announce an event and you clearly state at this event I am going to tell you I am running for president, haven't you essentially announced your running for president.

I don't really care but I am curious, if its a coincidence that new event structure just went up a week ago.

Janet Falk said...

Let's see if Hillary Rodham Clinton can make the MTA run the F train in both directions.

APS said...

hope the subway is working!

APS said...

Really? The NY Post spoke to two "talking heads" for RI and it's an inconvenience for all 14,000 residents? I actually think Roosevelt Island day poses more of an inconvenience and if the Imagination event was important, then how come no one knows about it? Never heard of it. Having Mrs. Clinton here brings so much more to our small community when it comes to exposure and a history making event whether you are a supporter or not, this is a life moment that everyone should take advantage of. Stop being so self involved and look at the greater opportunity here. I only wish that they would make special accommodations for residents so that we are guaranteed entrance.

CheshireKitty said...

Politicians usually attend RI Day, so what better day than RI Day for HC to kick off her campaign on RI? I don't see HC's event as being "in competition" with RI Day - it complements RI Day.

RI was named after FDR - and ideally, RI Day should include FFP - RIRA/RIOC should have reached out to include FFP in RI Day all along (that is, once FFP was up and running). This is an opportunity to bring the entire island - from the parks at the S. end of the island, to those at the N. end - into a cohesive celebration of what RI means; from here on RI Day planning should include FFP, SPP, and LHP.

I for one am looking forward to all the events on 6/13 - those at NT, and those at FFP. The people of RI welcome visitors to our island - all visitors including HC, and especially those that will honor the legacy of FDR.

Frank Farance said...

For all their experience, Matt Katz and Sherie Helstien are clueless on managing the logistics. Dignitaries can arrive via boat on the east side near/at Cornell construction. Masses will arrive via tram/subway (south of Roosevelt Island Day event) and Clinton campaign will probably rent golf carts for tram-to-venue transport. Virtually no one will drive by car to the event because there is no place to park, and access is poor because of the construction, which means Main Street traffic at the Roosevelt Island Day event will have negligible effect. Oh, and did someone mention to Katz and Helstien that RIOC seems to have no trouble running the red bus on its normal schedule in the midst of the Roosevelt Island Day event?

I agree that it will be congested south of the tram, but I think one should be figuring out how to make this work, regardless of one's politics for/against Ms. Clinton. If a Republican candidate came, would this event planning be any different?

So why all the fuss in the NY Daily News and the NY Post? Mr. Katz, who is a former RIRA President and former RIRA Planning Committee Chair, should know the details better than he presents. Maybe a better explanation is the political motivations: for whatever reason Katz and Helstien are upset at the Clinton campaign (I recall they were former supporters of Ms. Clinton), and this seems like a repeat of Mr. Katz's political maneuver a couple years ago to bump Senator Serrano in the redistricting effort making the not-so-invisible racial/ethnic argument that Liz Krueger (who is white) is more attuned to the needs of Roosevelt Island (Mr. Katz believes is mostly white, not actually true). Mr. Katz no longer supported Serrano after Serrano started to see that the Maple Tree Group (which was able to muster about 11 people of the island of 12,000 people, i.e., less then 0.1% of the population) to a protest on Self-Governance, a failed idea with the Maple Tree Group's and the WIRE's cancelling the 2010 RIOC Board elections. Gone are the days when (the late) Patrick Stewart could rally 3000 residents to protest the closing of the tram's third shift.

Anyway, given the straightforward aspects of planning the event on the south of the Island and Mr. Katz's prior experience in planning these kinds of things in RIRA, it seems this is about some political payback. Or to use Katz/Helstien's prior arguments: why not voice your planning suggestions to RIRA or RIOC and not the NY Daily News or the NY Post? Maybe Katz/Helstien are looking for VIP tickets to the event. :-)

MamaRobot said...

Totally agree. For the life of me I can't understand why Matt and Sherie would speak to a rag like the Post and give it fuel to bash Hilary and make it look like Roosevelt Islanders are a bunch of whiners.

APS said...

More importantly than the actual NY Post, they shouldn't be speaking on behalf of the community in this way.

Mark Lyon said...

Just remember, the appropriate place to ask for an autograph is at the end of the line.

Mark Lyon said...

I'm amazed that she - a pro-war, anti-civil liberties candidate who lives in a constant cloud of scandal - is considered viable in this day an age. Surely we can do better.

Personally, after learning that she needlessly tore down a 12 year old rape victim with unsupported "she asked for it" allegations in an affidavit, it became clear that she's all about winning and that her statements can't be trusted when balanced against her actions. She stands for nothing but her own personal gain.

But, hopefully the extra attention on the island results in good things happening for my former neighbors.

CheshireKitty said...

Yikes.. nasty vine.. America Rising -- what's that, a Republican Party front group?

IslandKrewe said...

Sherie and Matt . ..The Voice of Roosevelt Island has spoken on our behalf ...thanks for asking before you ranted to the Post !! Seriously , this makes RIRA look like a joke...the Veep sounds off , saying she is speaking for the community , the Prez says she is not.. Don't waste your time on those dumb reality shows on Cable..step right up folks.. the action is right here on RI...Here is the theme song :

YetAnotherRIer said...

And why can't Hillary be here on Roosevelt Island Day? Is the island not big enough for two events, one that attracts mostly off-islanders, and the other that is mostly islanders? Maybe Matt and Co wanted to attend Hillary's speech and are pissed that they will miss the Roosevelt Island Day activities? Or vice versa? Whatever it is, why always the rush to the media? Hey look at me, I'm in the NYPost!

YetAnotherRIer said...

I was with you for the first coupe of paragraphs and they you went off the rails. Such a pity.

YetAnotherRIer said...

What the hell is wrong with that Washington Poster idiot? Taking the train is terrible because you have to take a number of escalators? Or that he almost passed out from using the stairs (how about hitting the gym once in a while)?And the tram holds 20 people at a time at most... I assume this was an anti-Hillary piece?

Westviewer said...

Re: Matthew and Sherie's take on the relative significance of Roosevelt Island Day and the kick-off of Hillary Clinton's campaign, I am reminded of a comment I heard in the Caribbean: "South American was once part of Trinidad."