Marty Markowitz is the
Borough President of Brooklyn, New York City.
Markowitz born and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in a Jewish
His father, Robert, was a waiter at Sid's, a
. When Markowitz was nine years old
his father died; his mother, Dorothy, later moved the family to
public housing in Sheepshead Bay
Markowitz graduated from Wingate High School in 1962.
night classes at Brooklyn
College for nine years, and received his bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1970.
Markowitz and his wife Jamie Snow were married in 1999.
Markowitz became involved in politics in the 1970s, by organizing
tenant and senior citizen organizations in Flatbush, Brooklyn
He was elected to the State Senate in 1978, and spent over two
decades as a New York State
for Brooklyn. During his time as a state senator, he
was known for creating a series of oceanfront concerts and other
festivals rather than drafting legislation.
Markowitz first ran for Borough President in 1985, but failed to
unseat the incumbent Howard Golden
Markowitz subsequently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor
for failing to disclose a campaign contribution
; he was fined
and performed community service.
Markowitz was elected to the borough presidency in 2001, on the
Markowitz was re-elected on November 8
, with 79% of the vote, compared to 13% for
challenger Theodore Alatsas
, and 7%
for Gloria Mattera
, the Green Party
candidate. In the
2005 New York City
, Markowitz endorsed Republican
, along with many
other Democrats like Ed Koch
As Borough Presidents
real power within City government, Markowitz has used the office to
be an enthusiastic advocate for Brooklyn, promoting tourism
and events borough-wide.
North American blackout
of August 2003, Markowitz stood on the Brooklyn Bridge as throngs of fellow Brooklynites trudged home from
work in Manhattan.
Markowitz held a megaphone and cheered:
"Welcome home to Brooklyn!", receiving thunderous applause.
repeated this during the 2005 New York City Transit
Strike, inviting Brooklynites into Borough
Hall for warm drinks and a chance to call loved
Markowitz also is known for supporting many public schools
on occasions such as performances and graduations.
has called for the demolition of the residences at Admiral's Row, echoing BNYDC boss Andrew Kimball's claim that the
buildings are damaged beyond repair.
However, the Beardsley
/ Crawford & Stearns report
commissioned by the National Guard
of the Section 106 review of the property disputes this claim. In
2006, Markowitz stated that "a crucial community resource must take
priority over preservation at Admirals Row", presumably referring
to the supermarket parking lot
which will replace the historic
structures if the land is ceded to the city.
is a supporter of the controversial Atlantic Yards complex, which will feature a new home for the
New Jersey Nets and 6,430 units of
His desire to bring an NBA
to Brooklyn had been known since his campaign for Borough
President, and he was instrumental in persuading Bruce Ratner
to purchase the team in 2004. In
March 2008, Ratner acknowledged that much of the project was
stalled - but that construction on the basketball arena would begin
before 2009. This has angered many citizens, who have suggested
that affordable housing should come before a sports complex for the
In 2002 Markowitz appointed Dolly
to the New York City Planning
. In 2004 it was revealed that Williams, who is
co-founder of a Brooklyn construction company, had invested a
million dollars in Bruce Ratner's
purchase of the New Jersey Nets
Williams announce that she would recuse herself from any decisions
about the Atlantic Yards project. Williams is the only Brooklyn
appointee to the Planning Commission.
Thursday, April 3 2008, Markowitz and his wife Jamie Snow attended
a controversial gala honoring Ratner at
The gala featured Japanese artist Takashi Murakami
and a performance by
. Markowitz delivered an
address to gala attendees, prompting protesters outside to take a
break from shouting "shame" in order to chant pejoratives at the
. During this
event, Markowitz's wife Jamie took eight limited edition fiberglass
placemats designed by Murakami
this move caused some controversy, since there were only enough
produced to provide each guest with one. Similar limited edition
Murakami placemats have sold for around $1,000 on ebay
Support for the Irish Language
In June 2008, Markowitz urged the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority's Executive Director Elliot G. Sander to "include the
Gaelic/ Irish language on its travel advisory posters released in
conjunction with the Great Irish Fair scheduled to be held in
Brooklyn’s Coney Island this September".
Markowitz also serves as the Chairman of the Brooklyn chapter of
the Loyal League of Yiddish Sons of Erin.
Possible Mayoral Bid
Markowitz was mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2009
Mayoral election. Bloomberg was asked what he thought about
Markowitz, and according to WABC, he said it was too early to get
involved choosing a candidate, but said, "Markowitz seems very
capable, and if he wants to run, he should run" (though this
statement was made before Bloomberg himself, after having term
limitations for mayor of New York City removed by a vote of the
city council, announced and won a third term). WABC reported he had
gotten 18% in polls for the Democratic nomination.
Markowitz's chief of staff, Greg Atkins left office to work for V3
corporation and was replaced by Brooklyn attorney, Carlo
- Mead, Rebecca: "Mr. Brooklyn", The New Yorker
- New York
Times. "Marty Markowitz and Jamie Snow"
- New York City Campaign
Finance Board: Candidate Statements (2001)
- Rubinstein, Dana: "This 'admiral' is demoted", The Brooklyn
- Brownstoner staff: "Marty and Mayor Deal Death Blow to B'kln
History", Brownstoner, (2006-10-25)
- Oder, Norman: "Ratner admits major AY delays, rising arena
cost", The Atlantic Yards Report, (2008-03-21)
- Kolben, Deborah: "HELLO DOLLY!", The Brooklyn Paper,
- Wisloski, Jess: "REC-U-U-USE ME!", The Brooklyn Paper,
- Oder, Norman: "'Shame!' Crowd outside museum shouts 'Ratner's bad
for Brooklyn'", The Atlantic Yards Report,
- Sederstrom, Jotham: "Marty Markowitz's wife, Jamie, moves fast for
freebies at museum gala", The New York Daily News,
- bebo blog
- brooklyn-use news item of March 17
- Sederstrom, Jotham
- Susan Campriello