EAST FLATBUSH/MIDWOOD — City Council candidate for District 45 Monique Chandler-Waterman on Friday said that Council Member Farah Louis was party to a “deal” made with developers to get votes from “Trump supporters”— a claim Louis categorically denied.
Asked what she believes the arrangement was, Chandler-Waterman didn’t specify, replying, “I don’t know what the nature of the deal was, but is it a coincidence that you get hundreds of Trump supporters to support one candidate?”
“I am not sure what was offered, but I know that there’s a lot of development, and developers are supporting her, and we have a big issue when it comes to affordable housing and development all over our community, overdevelopment and upzoning,” Chandler-Waterman told Bklyner. “Obviously, a conversation or a deal was made beforehand, before the [May special] election.”
This comes after in May Chandler-Waterman claimed to City & State that “Trump supporters actually determined the race,” rather than true Democrats, by supporting Louis. This was interpreted to mean Jewish voters, since many Orthodox Jews, particularly in Midwood, voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 general election despite most being registered Democrats.
On Friday, she made a similar argument.
“You can’t say you’re a Democrat—a true Democrat—then behind closed doors you’re dealing with Republicans and Trump supporters when nobody’s looking,” she said. “We don’t share the same values.”
“It’s different visions,” she added. “They don’t have the same issues as our community. They don’t have the same alignment. We are a Democrat district.”
The two candidates will on Tuesday again face off, this time in a Democratic primary, after Louis won with just over 40 percent to Chandler-Waterman’s 30 percent of the vote in May. This time around, though, only registered Democrats are able to vote.
Louis, in a subsequent interview, said her campaign doesn’t take money from developers, and instead “supports the community in efforts to downzone or to get contextual zoning.”
“I’m not happy with the development happening in our district,” she said. “We have nothing but luxury, market [-rate] rentals. There are no options for homeownership.”
“Why would I want development in my district?” she went on. “I’m tired of the big buildings and the Legoland-looking buildings on every block. It is disgusting. It’s taking away from the character of the neighborhood.”
In a statement Friday afternoon, Louis said “it’s unfortunate that opinion-based claims about my alleged association with developers with no factual implication can spawn a news story.”
She also defended receiving support from people who voted for Trump in 2016.
“It may be unpopular opinion, but I believe anyone can stand with the vision of unification,” said Louis. “There are many people who voted for Trump in 2016 for whatever reason and denounce his presidency today. Unification doesn’t solely apply to one demographic or type of people. District 45 deserves a politician who listens and cares.”