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New York

A great primary victory for New Yorkers, for competence, for integrity - Gustavo Rivera wins!

Last week, while most national attention was focused on Tea Party victories or losses in congressional and U.S. senate primaries, New York state came out ahead when state Senate leader Pedro Espada lost his primary challenge to first-time candidate, and my friend, Gustavo Rivera. It wasn't even close, with Rivera getting 62 percent of the vote to Espada's 33 percent.

In case you missed it, Espada was in the pocket of the city's landlords, subject to no less than four government investigations, was caught on video tape throwing money at housing advocate protesters, has a history of voter intimidation and has been called "the poster boy for Albany corruption," which is saying a lot

Meanwhile, I had made my case for Gustavo on several occasions and went so far as to perform at two comedy fundraisers, promote him online, record a video endorsement and, most importantly, go canvassing door-to-door in the Bronx. It was that decision, to campaign for a real race, that famously cost me my Foursquare mayorship of Delicatessen

But it was all completely worth it to be able to see Gustavo's victory speech, embedded below. It's easy for people of decency and common sense to feel left out of our often insane political process, which elevates and protects those without our best interest at heart, but Gustavo's victory is a reminder that we still have some say in this participatory democracy experiment, and it's wins like these which keep me going.

Thanks to all who helped in whatever way you could. Let's keep making moments like these possible.

Gustavo Rivera Declares Victory in the Bronx from Jon Reznick on Vimeo.

Voter Report Video: Anjali Berger of New York, NY

I also posted this to YouTube. Anjali and I voted at the same time. She lives in my building, and we've been neighbors for 14 months but never met until Election Day 2008. Here is a post-vote interview from the Dyckman Street subway in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan. After the interview, I threw in some photos I and my boy Sozi Tulante (of West Philly) took at the DNC.

Obama Supporters, Don't Get Comfortable. Fight On! Contribute!

I wanted to post this on Jack & Jill Politics, but our site is down due to shenanigans at Media Temple. Good thing the ol' is still in effect! Here's an excellent YouTube video to remind you of the perils of overconfidence. I know many of us have been working our asses off and feel good about where we are what with the apparent implosion of McPalin in a different way each day. Don't sleep. This election is not over.   The votes have yet to be counted (and in several states, Democratic votes are flipping to GOP). I urge you all to give what you can in whatever way you can. My fellow bloggers at Jack & Jill Politics have set a fundraising goal of $5,000 and are at $1,900. Please give what you can there. Fellow New Yorkers, please help out with the "Last Call For Change" effort to contact people and get out the vote in battleground states. It requires no money, just a modest commitment of time. If you want some fun, come to the Latinos for Obama comedy fundraiser at Gotham Comedy Club tomorrow night. We'll break midway to watch the Obama 30 minute TV special. Everyone else, check out the Voter Suppression Wiki for ways you can help safeguard your votes and the votes of others. In particular, check out this Action Center page and actually complete the steps. It will make a difference. That's the point of this campaign. It's time for us to get involved, so git!

A Chance To Attend My Obama Comedy Show FREE

This Wednesday, I'm part of an incredible comedy fundraiser for Barack Obama at the Gotham Comedy Club in NYC. It is a fundraiser, but I know many of yall don't have many funds so I'm offering you a chance to get one of my five comp tickets (that is, free!). In order to get the tickets, post a comment on this blog post (by 2pm Monday) with your name, why I shouldn't make you buy your own damn ticket and how you've contributed to the campaign in whatever way you could. Maybe you phonebanked for the first time or gave $20 in September because you were so insulted by Sarah Palin. Or maybe you're just down for Obama but low on funds because you lost your shiny Wall Street job. The show is gonna be hot. More info on the comedy event: Join New York Latinos for Obama, South Asians For Obama, The Coalition for Barack Obama in Mt. Vernon, Dominicans For Obama and Young Latino Professionals for Obama for a memorable night of laughter supporting our soon-to-be next president. Wednesday, October 29th - - Doors open at 6:30p | Pre-Show from 7:00p-7:25p | Showcase from 7:30p-9:00p MC: Eric Vetter. Starring… Craig Baldo | Leighann Lord | Elon James White | Carmen Lynch | Baratunde Thurston | Marilyn Torres | Joseph Rocha | Jane Galvin-Lewis

I'm In The NY Times With Drinking Liberally

The New York Times ran a Sunday piece about Drinking Liberally and its achievement of surviving for five years and having a chapter in all 50 states. I knew I gave them some quotable goods but had no idea they'd close the story with me. Dang.
Baratunde Thurston, 30, a stand-up comedian, performs around New York City with Laughing Liberally. “After the 2004 election, Drinking Liberally meetings were like a support group,” said Mr. Thurston, who was a co-host of the Boston chapter at the time. “There were a lot of questions: ‘What happened? How could fellow Americans re-elect this man? How exactly do you move to Canada?’ In 2006, the mood started changing from pity party to newfound hope regarding the midterm elections. Local politicians would come by and make their pitches. We did joint events with human-rights groups and abortion-rights groups. It was like a swap meet of liberalism.” Through Laughing Liberally, Mr. Thurston met other politically oriented comics and found his current job as a Web editor and writer at the satirical newspaper, The Onion. “This group has been an amazing tool for so many of us, injecting the political process into our everyday social lives,” Mr. Thurston said. “Talking about politics can be intimidating if you don’t know the inner workings of HR-257 or what FISA means. Having a social entree into the whole process makes it much easier.”

Car Explosion Outside My NYC Apartment Last Night

This is real. About 1am I heard an explosion and more loud popping sounds for the next 20 minutes or so. Finally going outside, I saw several cars ablaze. The fire department came and put it out after much work. The morning after was shocking. This looks like some Iraq ish right here. Check the video on YouTube and my Flickr photo album.

Inwood Car Explosion - 6

Inwood Car Explosion - 23

The most disturbing part was that last night, I saw only one other neighbor go outside to investigate. A car exploded and took out several others, and no one could be bothered??? Is this normal? BTW, our CSI skills suggest that someone ditched a stolen car and blew it up to cover the evidence.

Be In A Movie With Patton Oswalt, Directed By Former Onion Editor-In-Chief (NYC)

Craigslist has the full info. Here are some deets
We are currently shooting a movie in NYC, "Big Fan", starring Patton Oswalt and Michael Rapaport. It's a realistic comedy about football fans. We need to fill up a sports bar in Staten Island this Wednesday and Thursday (April 16 and 17) with Philadelphia Eagles fans for a big scene. Can you make it to the set to perform as an extra, for one or both days? We need to have people there from 9:30 am until 7 pm. We need the most people on Wednesday, but if you can make it both days, that's great. If you could spread the word to all of your friends, that's great too. Everyone is welcome! If you have any Eagles jackets/jerseys/caps, please wear them to the shoot. If you don't have any clothing, come anyway, we'll have something for you to wear. Thank you! I hope to see you at Sharkey's Bar this Wednesday!