Igor Oberman Runs On Pro Transit Platform

Igor Oberman
Igor Oberman, the man opposing Sen. Kruger in the State Senate 27th District Democratic Primary. Photo courtesy of Mr. Oberman’s campaign website.

During the middle of April, I wrote an entry about how one of the “Fare Hike Four”, Sen. Carl Kruger was facing opposition in the Democratic Party primary election on Sept. 14. The opposition is coming from Brighton Beach lawyer Igor Oberman. The main point I made in last month’s entry was how I was extremely interested in the transit views of Mr. Oberman.

Enter Streetsblog NYC Reporter Noah Kazis who wrote an article yesterday discussing just this very subject:

The primaries are only four months away, and election season is starting to heat up in New York. All signs point to strong anti-incumbent sentiment among voters, with several entrenched legislators facing primary challenges. In Brooklyn’s 27th State Senate district, long-time incumbent Carl Kruger is facing a primary challenge for the seat he’s held since 1994.

Kruger is best known to Streetsblog readers for his role last year in gutting the Ravitch Plan and killing bridge tolls, which would have put the transit system on steadier financial footing. His opponent, Igor Oberman, has made support for public transit a centerpiece of his campaign.

For the last few weeks, Oberman has been handing out literature [PDF] at busy subway stations across southern Brooklyn, criticizing Kruger and fellow Fare Hike Four members Ruben Diaz, Sr. and Pedro Espada for scuttling the plan to toll bridges over the Harlem and East Rivers, an act of obstructionism that set the stage for major service cuts and layoffs. Transit riders will feel more effects soon: The MTA’s budget gap still exceeds $450 million.

At the Kings Highway station this morning, Oberman questioned whether his opponent can relate to constituents who depend on transit. “When’s the last time he ever took the subway?” he asked, before flashing his very well-worn MetroCard. Oberman believes that “this is a commuter district” and that transit is “as important to them as police service or ambulances.”

Click here for the complete report.

I found this Streetsblog NYC piece extremely interesting as I have been very curious as to his transit views. While I can’t support his views on bridge tolls, I do support his belief that mass transit is just as important as police or ambulance services. The economic positives that mass transit bring to our economy can not be underestimated.

I feel that Transit Blogger readers should do their best to look into Mr. Oberman’s transit positions & find ways to support his cause. While many of us can’t vote for him due to not residing in his district, this should not stop us from finding ways to support his campaign. We as a region need to inject new leaders into political power who understand the importance of mass transit to our region & why we need to find ways to create sustainable funding solutions.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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