School board member Maria Pereira, former Democratic district leader in the Upper East Side and the self-styled piranha of city politics, does not hold back in this commentary castigating political rebellion in her neighborhood.
The 138th District is under complete assault by Mario Testa, Mayor Ganim and City Clerk Lydia Martinez.
A “stooge” is defined as “a person who exists merely to serve, support or assist others, particularly in doing unpleasant work.” This fits Lydia Martinez and the below identified city employees perfectly.
During the 138th Town Committee Primary, City Clerk Lydia Martinez, and her unethical operatives, worked with Mario Testa and Mayor Ganim to run a dubious absentee ballot operation in JFK and a get-out-the vote operation in Fireside and Augustana Homes which is heavily occupied by elderly Hispanic residents.
City employees Angel DePara, Tom Gaudett, Christopher Alacon, Sam Marks, Brenda Jernigan, and even Acting Police Chief Perez were actively involved in this attack. At the direction of Acting Police Chief AJ Perez, Bridgeport Police Department Lieutenants and Sergeants spoke with the police officers residing in the 138th District and directed them to get-out-to vote for the opposing slate because I had been rude to police officers and I was “toxic.”
This massive coordinated effort resulted in my 9 member slate losing by only between 6-40 votes. Had I been fully recovered from my back surgery, Mario Testa would not have won.
Although there was a massive get-out-the vote operation on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, which included soft sheeters, phone bankers, drivers, poll standers and food, the opposing 138th TC slate has yet to show a single expenditure or in-kind donation in its 7th Day Preceding filing and failed to make its April 10th filing in violation of state law. In addition, Mario Testa’s April 10th filing for the Democratic Town Committee showed that he spent ZERO in the 138th TC election. This is simply not possible.
To add further outrage, Success Village Co-op had its Board of Directors election this past Tuesday in which Tyreke Bird (138th Town Committee Member) was attempting to take over the board. Homeowners are simply required to go to the community room and cast a ballot. This election has never been political in nature.
On Saturday, April 14th, I received a call from the vice president from Success Village Co-op asking for assistance because Tyreke Bird was walking door-to-door with Lydia Martinez’ known associates. The day of the election I drove to the Community Room to hand-deliver palm cards to the existing board members running for re-election.
Upon my arrival I literally saw Lydia Martinez’ known associates standing at the polls assisting Tyreke Bird. I was called an hour later and informed that Lydia Martinez was now parked in front of the Community Room phone banking Success Village Unit Owners to have drivers pick them up and deliver them to the Community Room to cast their ballots. Alfredo Castillo, City Councilman from the 136th District, was driving vans of Hispanic unit owners to the Community Room. 138th TC members Tony Barr and Shaun Duque were also assisting Tyreke Bird. There was a police officer wearing his badge named “Ed Gomes” attempting to intimidate the existing board members because they were sharing Tyreke Bird’s four criminal convictions, that he was currently on probation, and that he had recently been arrested and was currently back-in court. This is all a matter of public record and he intimated they were violating the law by sharing these facts with their fellow unit owners. At one point, there were over 15 people assisting the opposition slate led by Tyreke Bird with the vast majority not living in Success Village nor so much as living in the 138th District.
The vice president Samia Suliman approached Lydia Martinez in her car and told her this was not a political election, it was about something much more important, their homes. She told Lydia Martinez to leave and handed her one of her palm cards and told her to tell Mayor Ganim that she was against him and would work against him in his election. Lydia Martinez responded with “you’re crazy” as she rolled up the window.
Voting closed at 8:00 pm, however the ballots were not completely counted until 11:00 pm. Do you know that Lydia Martinez, Alfred Castillo, Officer Ed Gomes, etc. sat in the outer hall waiting for the results until the very end? Tyreke Bird was not pleased with the results and became combative with the attorney present while Lydia Martinez had the gall to record the interaction on her cell-phone as if she was a unit owner and had any true investment in the outcome.
Thank God sanity prevailed and Tyreke Bird and his slate lost. Success Village will continue to have honest and ethical board members that care about the good of their community.
Lydia Martinez is a long-time party hack convicted of absentee ballot fraud on two separate occasions. She does not reside in the 138th District, but when you are a party hack you do whatever Mario Testa and Joe Ganim tell you to do.
A mentor once told me that you don’t always have to take revenge because life has its own way of doing it for you.
Good prevailed at Success Village Co-op and “stooge” Lydia Martinez lost. It was a good day in the 138th District.