Daily Archives: September 29, 2017

Assembly Member Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. 1932 – 2018



Last time I was in Albany, Assembly Member Herman “Denny” Farrell, Jr. was standing at the elevator. Spontaneously, I approached him but stepped back when I noticed he was trying to catch his breath before pressing for the elevator. My memories flashed back decades ago when Denny led the New York County Democratic Party.
After he caught his breath, I stepped up to say, “Thank you for your service to the community.” A month later, Denny was accused of retiring before the end of his term to circumvent the election schedule. However, his friends knew he was going out in style.
May Herman Farrell Jr., affectionately called, Denny, rest in peace.
Michelle D. Winfield
New York State Committeewoman

Commissioner Polly Trotenberg says NYC streets are safer

By Michelle D. Winfield

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, Commissioner Polly Trotenberg spoke at the New York Law School focusing on the Department of Transportation’s mammoth task of designing and redesigning the roadways and transportation systems in New York City. “How do we accommodate the increased numbers of residents, tourists and workers?” The Department of Transportation continues to collect data and use technology to improve safety conditions.  Statistics show New York City’s traffic fatalities have declined three consecutive years in a row, while other large cities are increasing. The Commissioner remarked, “My greatest achievement, with the support of the department, has been the success of Vision Zero. We have made streets safer through lowering the speed limit, increasing the number of speed cameras and pedestrian right of way.” She added, “We were surprised there was little opposition to lowering the speed limit from 30 to 25.”  The Commissioner asked for the help of legislators to establish laws to require seat belt use for people riding in the back seat of cars.

Commissioner Polly Trotenberg, Department of Transportation


Members of CB Six Manhattan Transportation Committee Gene Santoro and Lawrence Scheyer were present. After the questioning session, to accommodate competing use of street space, Mr. Scheyer, an attorney, suggested holding a design charrette for filling in the gap in a protected Second Avenue Bike Path and pedestrian protections at the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Queens Borough Bridge entrance. Commissioner Trotenberg seemed to agree to discuss this matter further.

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Commissioner Trotenberg and Lawrence Scheyer, CB Six, M Transportation Committee

Finally, Sekou M. Sheriff, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Commissioner’s office, handed out his business card soliciting questions and problems dealing with traffic. His information is below:

55 Water Street – 9th Floor                                                                                                                    New York, NY  10041                                                                                                                              T: 212-839-6409 C:  347-931-6519

The New York Law School breakfast talks are open to the public and is located at 185 West Broadway in Manhattan, MTA subway # 1, Franklin station.


Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to his troops

By Michelle Deal Winfield

On Monday, August 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., Senator Bernie Sanders stood in the same pulpit Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood 50 years ago opposing the Vietnam War. The Riverside Church at 409 Riverside Drive at 120th Street on the Westside, opens its doors to various issues. Sanders recalled, “168 newspapers condemned Dr. King, a civil rights leader, for opposing the Vietnam War.”

Sanders was here to introduce his book, Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution. The event was sponsored by Harper’s Magazine and co-sponsored by Book Culture, book store. As people filed in the church, they were given Draft Bernie for 2020 posters to hold up.


The audience exploded when their leader appeared. The cheers and smiled filled the hall. Sanders proclaimed, “The Republican Party didn’t win the election. The Democratic Party lost the election because they turned their backs on the workers.” He asked, “Which side are you on?”

Sanders tackled most of his social themes: equal pay, $ 15 an hour and distribution of wealth, eliminating tax breaks for the rich, universal health care, jobs for youth, support for illegal immigrants, reduce use of fossil fuel and free college tuition. Bernie Sanders called for a political revolution to fight the greed and tax cuts for the billionaires in America. He stated, “The Walton family owns more wealth than 42 % of the nation. In the last decade 51 millionaires have risen to 565 in number. During the Wall Street crisis, the middle class bailed out Wall Street and now Wall Street needs to bail us out.”


The church was filled to capacity, 2,100. This was an opportunity for Senator Sanders to build momentum of his political revolution. He asks, “How do we get a vibrant political system where everyone gets one vote and the billionaires don’t buy the election?” Sanders provided the answer, by saying, “Every time change is happening, it is the grassroots that gets it done. The $ 15 an hour fight was a grassroots initiative. First Seattle, San Francisco and then New York said yes to a $ 15 an hour wage for a minimal standard of living. Anything less is a starvation wage.”

Thirteen members from the Progressive Action of Lower Manhattan, PALM, a group formed by President Arthur Z. Schwartz, regularly meets at the Seafarers International at 15th Street and Irving Place were in the house. PALM proudly boasts there are 119 original members.  Recently, I became the State Committeewoman from the NY 74th Assembly District and believe that everyone should be at the table to discuss, question and demand transparency on behalf of the services for our residents. PALM is a vital link between elected officials, community leaders and other community-based organizations to improve our society. Like, Senator Sanders, PALM supports Progressive candidates. We were delighted to raise our hands in solidarity to hear Bernie conclude by saying, “Progressives get elected by standing up and having the courage to do what is right. He asked a final question: “Where do we want to be tomorrow?”

The audience erupted in applause with cameras and cell phones documenting the moment.

CSA Book Club – Prince of Darkness, Shane White

Michelle D. Winfield, Prof. Shane Wihite, author Prince of Darkness, Dolores Leito, Barbara Germack, Beverly Stern and Barbara Guinan

April 12, 2017, Professor Shane White visits Council of Supervisor’s Book Club –Prince of Darkness


Don Cheadle, actor – raising 20 million dollars to do a film about Mr. Jeremiah G. Hamilton

Merchants had lawyers on retainer.

Xeroxed 20, 30, 40 newspaper articles

Arrived home to Australia and read a headline $ 50,000 Nigger Hamilton

Wall Street had nicknames for people all the time. Did not realize JGH was black.

Collected materials of styling and ordinary street life intrigued me – JGH had been erased from history

People thought he was white & had a deep tan

No entries, offer context, he worked 30 years on Wall Street as a broker

JGH book – full time researching & writing, 2 years

African American history is important

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison – the theme was not being seen

JGH behaved like a white man, visibly not white

Visible in newspapers

Blacks generally have a celebratory theme, too much I think

whites stood in line bearing gifts to get Hamilton’s market advice

After Hamilton died in 1875, historians ignored his legacy

Freedom’s Journal featured in newspaper: Barbara Singer, daughter of JGH, went to Europe

Wall Street was fast, loose and ruthless

Carnegie said, “I bought shares if I had inside information”

Hedge funds – bought shares, lost would exact revenge – get even, screw one another

Insurance told brokers if they bought shares from Hamilton, they would be expelled

Hamilton bought shares of Railroad shares even though he wasn’t allowed to ride on public transportation

Segregation was invented in the North and the South adopted it

Draft Riots of 1863, chanted “68, 68, 68” Purpose was to kill Hamilton, lived 68 East 29th St

Benjamin Day (white) + Hamilton, interracial relationship, walking down the street arm- in-arm- it was said, “WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!”

East 29th Street, NYC everyone earned different incomes living on the same block

Hamilton had exquisite taste

James McCune Smith, first black doctor and was trained in Edenborough said, “Hamilton is not doing what we are doing (supporting black charities)

Downey Oyster House, black owner, wrote checks to black organizations but did not allow blacks in his establishment

Significance of fire vs. freedom, blacks would set fires

Black parents trained kids: to white people give short answers, avoid confrontation, never speak unless spoken to

You can’t look back in history & say it didn’t happen

Same skin color makes it easier to integrate

Slave culture – dance, how they negotiated, instead of violence, a plantation of 30 slaves, if treated too harshly- slaves would go into the woods and come back after the planting

Cornelius Vanderbilt death 1887, said he respected Hamilton, noted in obituary, National Republican Newspaper, Jan. 5, 1887 “Wall Street Record”

Newspapers used often in business battles

People were ignorant

No slavery in New York at a NY Historical Society exhibit

Reviewed 60 cases where JGH was a participant, suing or being sued

Suggestion: Have Stock Exchange put up a plaque recognizing Jeremiah G. Hamilton

Committee to Commemorate Jeremiah G. Hamilton held its first meeting February 2018. The members are: Dr. Samuel D. Albert, Hon. Louse Dankberg, Alan J. Gerson, Esq., Gail Green, Barbara Guinan, Greg Lambert, Esq. Dolores*, Christine Merritt, Hon. Daisy Paez, Mark P. Thompson, Hon. Michelle D. Winfield* and Leona Zeplin.  Co-Chairpersons*

In December, 2018, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, NY District 10 agreed to recognize Mr. Jeremiah G. Hamilton in the Congressional Record, Extension Remarks during the month of February 2019.