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Helen Rosenthal Wins Upper West Side City Council Seat

By Emily Frost | November 6, 2013 7:04am
 Helen Rosenthal will represent the Upper West Side as its next member of City Council.
Upper West Side City Council Seat Goes to Helen Rosenthal
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UPPER WEST SIDE —  Helen Rosenthal won the neighborhood's city council seat by a landslide Tuesday, winning with 78 percent of the vote with 100 percent of votes reported.

After beating out six other candidates for the Democratic candidacy in the primaries, Rosenthal, 52, was considered the favorite in the liberal-leaning area.

She replaces Gale Brewer, who represented the neighborhood for 12 years and won the Manhattan Borough presidency on Tuesday.

Celebrating her victory alongside supporters and volunteers at Firehouse Tavern on Columbus Avenue at West 85th Street Tuesday night, Rosenthal said her constituents "need to hold us all accountable and make a ruckus about it," and to "expect great things."

She was opposed by Republican candidate Harry DeMell, Working Families party member Marc Landis and Green Party candidate Tom Siracuse. DeMell commanded 13 percent of the vote, Landis got about 7 percent and Siracuse won about 2 percent.

Separating herself from the pack during the primaries, Rosenthal, a wife and the mother of two daughters who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years, often pointed to her experience working in the city's government. 

She worked in the city budget office in the Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani administrations.

On Tuesday, she pointed to her work helping to prove to the Department of Education through number crunching that a new elementary school was needed in the district, and the eventual creation of P.S. 452 during her time as board chair and as a longtime member of Community Board 7.

"We can use the numbers, we can use good analytic thinking to help us find out how to move the fall forward for middle-income families," she told supporters.

"Some of our public policy is not cost-efficient," she said. 

She said she hopes to be on the council's finance, economic development, education and housing committees, but said she knows she also has to be accessible and present in the district. 

Rosenthal started a campaign for the seat in 2008 but abandoned it when the city extended term limits for council members, allowing Brewer to run for a third term.

Contributions from that campaign were rolled into her campaign coffers, which were the largest of the candidates, with $195,091

Rosenthal will take her seat with the new City Council on Jan. 1, 2014 and said to stay tuned to her website for updates. She said she hopes to keep Gale Brewer's former storefront office at Columbus Avenue and West 87th Street.