April 12, 2018

It’s Not Okay for NYC Council to Accept Free Trips..




Dear Corey Johnson,


It’s disheartening for New Yorkers to see you and many members of NYC Council accept a free trip to Israel. Why? Because nothing in life is free. What will NYC owe because this large group vacationed “for free?”  


Strangely, the information about the trip was  was just released last night, the day before you left for Israel. Neither of your Twitter accounts (here or here) or the NYC Council’s Twitter Account  even mentioned the trip. While you normally tweet an abundance of pictures of yourself, the accounts were silent.






Most disappointing is seeing my Councilman, Justin Brannan on the list for the trip.  I knew the day would come when I wouldn’t agree with something Councilman Brannan did/or voted on,  but I just thought that day wouldn’t be for a few years. Brannan just got into office in January. . Brannan represents Bay Ridge which has one of the largest Palestinian populations in NYC.    I keep hoping it’s a misprint or that he chose not to go. We thought Brannan was free of the “feeling of being entitled to things,” as he certainly seemed like he was tired of corrupt politicians as well. Brannan has seen other policians like, Nicole Malliotakis and Vinnie Gentile go to China and knows that neither visit benefited anyone in his community.


To see Brannan’s social media accounts tweeting and posting like he is here makes me think he wasn’t planning on saying anything (both Facebook and Twitter are free of posts/pics about the trip) but he is retweeting and replying.  On April 15th, after twitter chatted about it, Brannan started posting pics from Israel. 


Brannan is a good councilman, but has only been on the job for a short time….too short of a time to consider going on a  trip (any trip). Handle the major problems here and then go on a trip…………Seriously I am annoyed with him! When I write a lot – it means I am annoyed!   Corey Johnson’s social media account also appears to act like Corey is here – so disingenuous, especially because people see you tweeting and think you are being real with them regularly. On April 15th, Corey shared a few pics.


The news readsNine council members went with Johnson: Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Justin Brannan, Chaim Deutsch, Rafael Espinal, Karen Koslowitz, Stephen Levin, Francisco Moya, Carlina Rivera and Ritchie Torres. Why weren’t two people chosen? Do these Council members have a large population of Jewish constituents? If so, why aren’t they learning from Jewish NY’ers rather than going to Israel. The paper claims that two council staffers also went. Why would two council staffers go? One probably was to take photos.  NYC gets to pay salaries to these staffers while they are on vacation. Yeah hello politicians this is why residents don’t trust you. Thank God for Jeff Coltin reporting the news truthfully!




These Council members were honest about the trip from the start and put out one tweet and didn’t tweet like they were here: 


1.Councilman Deutsch tweeted about this trip. His constituents would be glad he went.  Honest.



2. Richie Torres retweeted Deutsch’s post and then there were no more tweets. Honest.


These council members acted like they were in their districts here in the United States:


1. Stephen Levin continued to post on twitter without mentioning he was in Israel, even though he is in Deutch’s pictures above. 



We implies he and someone else were in McCarren Park. If one of his staff members were there, the tweet would have read: “Team Levin in the Park today.”  or  “My staff is taking your input today.”  He must have thought he was fooling Brooklyn. I tweeted to him and asked how he could be in two continents at once.


2.City Council Newcomers Alicka Ampry-Samuel and Carolina Rivera both tweeted as if they were here and didn’t mention accepting the free trip to Israel or being away from their districts. Both are only in office for three months, but thought it was okay to leave their districts.  This isn’t honest and if they asked their constituents, they probably wouldn’t have voted for them. 


There as no tweets:


Karen Koslowitz had no tweets. Honest.   



Julianne McShane shared about it on Twitter on April 13th. 






It’s obvious I’m not your biggest fan Corey Johnson. Yet, I have been writing about politicians accepting free trips for years. This article states, “Fresh off his first domestic trip (big bill for a short trip)  the new City Council speaker is heading abroad. SMH.  There is so much that NYC needs done.  It’s strange to me that you would want to be in Israel when there are about a million Jewish people in NYC and many will retell the stories of the Holocaust as they were told. Why is Corey Johnson overseas when he should be in NYC with NY’ers holding a memorial here?    Incidentally, this is Johnson’s 3rd trip to Israel – he visited in 2015 and in 2017. (Source)  How many times does one need to go to Israel TO KNOW ISRAEL?   If you want to travel the world, take a job at the United Nations.





Did Johnson’s security go with him to Israel too? If so, whose paying for it? 


NYC Council has everything they need in NY.   Are you telling us that there are no Jewish men or women in Borough Park. Crown Heights or Williamsburg who are willing to share their history or culture with you. I highly doubt that.


So why did  NYC Council go to Israel?  The reasons are conflicting:



Councilman Deutsch tweeted this:





Isn’t it  strange that Councilman Deutsch doesn’t know about the contributions Israel has made to the world?    #SomethingJustIsntRightHere  If you don’t understand Israel’s contributions, you probably shouldn’t be in office. 





Jewish Insider said the purpose of the trip was to participate in Israel’s 70th-anniversary celebration taking place next week.




And we can confirm that with this tweet from almost a month ago: See more about the three day celebration beginning on April 18th





I guess NYC Council isn’t as disrespectful as  Councilman Yeger was   



Should NYC Council be supporting a country which bombed a school?  (See here)




Update 4/12: Besides Deutch’s tweet, there are only 4 other tweets mentioning the trip to Israel. No one even wrote: Arrived safety or anything on Twitter.  Nicole Malliotakis took a trip to China like that. Only one paper in Bay Ridge reported about her accepting the free trip to China. No papers in Staten Island reported that she went so it never happened.  Both of Corey’s twitter accounts retweeted 9 hours ago which would be around 9:00 pm last night (April 12th) 



4/15: NYC Council tweeted some pics today……I guess they realize people caught on to their trip.   : (


We have 3.7 more years of Corey and the City Council Crew thinking their positions are for them to take more “free trips.”   


It’s good Corey said he doesn’t want to be mayor because Enough is Enough!





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