No rematch with Al Vann

From: Mark Winston Griffith
Sender: Mark Winston Griffith
To: ####
ReplyTo: Mark Winston Griffith
Subject: Higher Ground
Sent: May 23, 2012 7:03 AM

Dear ####,

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been discussing the prospects of my running for the New York City Council in 2013 with my family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. After testing out the effects of a campaign and an eventual City Council schedule, I’ve concluded that there is no campaign and career path I can imagine within the City Council, starting in 2013 or any other year, in which my family will remain happy, healthy, and intact.

As a result, I’ve decided that I will not run; given the choice between my family and a political career, I unflinchingly choose my family. I also believe that there is a profoundly more effective and integrity-filled way to serve Central Brooklyn.  

As you know, I ran for City Council in 2009. In a crowded field of 8, I narrowly lost to an incumbent who has been in office for 38 years, while getting almost three times the votes as the next closest competitor. As the clear front runner in 2013, I was poised to receive important endorsements and again out-fundraise the rest of the field. Not only am I confident that I would have won, but I was emboldened by the fact that I had the strongest economic and social change credentials and deepest community building record among all the probable candidates in the race.  

It’s obvious that Central Brooklyn needs new, smart and independent elected leadership that is more than the product of Democratic clubs and political machinery. It breaks my heart that I won’t be in a position any longer to offer that, and I know those who have urged me to run are similarly disappointed. I want to take this moment to thank all those who, even at personal risk, supported me with their dollars, time and dreams for a Central Brooklyn reborn.  

But I recognize that the glass is more than half full. The closer I got to the electoral process, the more aware I became of its limits as an avenue for progressive community change. This is why I’m so excited about being a part of the Brooklyn Movement Center and giving it my undivided attention over the next few years.  

The MC is a multi-issue, membership-run, community organizing group that is building the capacity of Central Brooklyn residents to raise issues that are important to them, exert collective power, and change the condition of their lives, both locally and city-wide. Propelled by a dynamic board and talented staff, and with our new office located in the heart of Central Brooklyn, we are redefining what is possible in this community. Right now for instance, we are creating partnerships with parents that will result in them having a deeper impact on their children’s school as well as public education policy.  

Make no mistake about it: The Brooklyn Movement Center is NOT a platform for my or anyone else’s political ambitions or partisan efforts. The BMC is at the beginning stages of building its base of membership and operates far beyond ego driven agendas and cults of personality. I’m proud to be part of the Brooklyn Movement Center, but even prouder to know that it’s not about me. And I can’t wait to see the interests of ordinary people in Central Brooklyn occupying center stage, where they belong.  

In the meantime, I look forward to working with you on the front line of the struggle.  


Mark Winston Griffith