Western Brooklyn

Greenfield Opponent Says Councilman Is Late To Party On Modesty Lawsuit

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Hayon, left, and Greenfield, right.
Hayon, left, and Greenfield, right.

We told you last week about Councilman David Greenfield’s defense of Hasidic store owners, who are being targeted by the Human Rights Commission for demanding customers dress modestly.

The business owners hung signs from their windows demanding customers adhere to a dress code, which spurred the commission to file suit against the Williamsburg-based businesses. Greenfield recently argued that it’s an example of New York City bureaucracy getting in the way of religious tolerance, and that it’s no different than nightclubs banning baggy jeans or high-end restaurants requiring jackets.

Greenfield’s opponent, Republican candidate Joseph Hayon, went into a tizzy over the news, wondering why Greenfield had failed to come to the rescue of out-of-district business owners sooner.

Here’s the full statement he put out:

Back in February 2013, the NYC Human Rights Commission notified several store owners in Williamsburg that they will sue them for posting signs asking customers to dress modestly. Then on October 24th, 2013, my opponent, David Greenfield, issued a press release calling it an outrage and requesting that the HRC drop the lawsuit. The bigger outrage here is WHERE WAS THE ONLY ORTHODOX COUNCILMAN HIDING FOR MONTHS, where was Mr. Greenfield all these months while the trial was getting closer and closer? We heard no outrage on this issue from Mr. Greenfield until two weeks before he stands for re-election and is facing a stronger than anticipated challenge.

The Jewish community deserves a pro-active councilman that is responsive to our concerns and takes immediate action. While he rightfully called this issue an outrage, Mr. Greenfield could have also introduced legislation to allow such modesty signs throughout the city so no other business falls victim to the anti-religious Bloomberg Human Rights Commission but Greenfield failed to introduce any such legislation. Why?

Unfortunately, being asleep at the switch is a pattern Mr Greenfield tends to follow and proves that Orthodox concerns are hardly a priority for him. When the Bloomberg Administration announced the Metzitzah B’peh regulation a year ago, Mr. Greenfiled only announced legislation banning Bris Milah regulations in September of 2013, more than a year late. Where was David Greenfield?

Why didn’t Greenfield address these issues months ago?

This is Hayon’s first run for City Council after two failed bids to unseat incumbent assembly members in Sheepshead Bay and Flatlands. He first ran against Sheepshead Bay’s Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz in 2010, and Flatlands’ Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein in 2012. In both campaigns, he attacked the candidates for not being sufficiently Orthodox. He blasted Weinstein for her support of same-sex marriage, and sought to appeal to religious Jewish voters by mis-characterizing a bill Cymbrowitz voted for as forcing religious schools to “teach Kindergarten children to ‘tolerate’ or sanctify same-gender relationships.” Hayon also made headlines in 2010 when, as a student at Kingsborough Community College (2001 Oriental Boulevard), the school banned him from handing out pro-life literature on campus, a decision the school eventually overturned.

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