100 Most Powerless New Yorkers

A 'power list' for the rest of us

60. Eliot Spitzer, former governor, fired CNN host

The one-time sheriff of Wall Street, poised to emulate Teddy Roosevelt's mantle as progressive-New-York-governor-turned-presidential-candidate, lost all political power when he was caught shipping a sex worker across state lines in 2008. His power disappeared when he was fired from hosting a show on CNN last year.

61. David Paterson, former governor, New York University professor

25. Scott Stringer, Manhattan borough president
Caleb Ferguson
25. Scott Stringer, Manhattan borough president
27. Bike-lane man
Caleb Ferguson
27. Bike-lane man


Paterson, once a powerful state legislator who accidentally became the governor, stepped away from the spotlight at midnight on January 1 of last year, when Andrew Cuomo succeeded him and left Paterson's legacy to be judged by the memory of one scandal after another and less-than-flattering spoofs on Saturday Night Live. He now teaches a class at NYU.

62. Greg "Grover" Washington, squeegee guy

No, we're not talking about the jazz great, but rather the guy the Daily News calls "the squeegee king of New York." Squeegee guys have been cast as demons since the Giuliani administration and have had their one form of generating income turned into an illegal enterprise. Getting arrested some 186 times, Washington does it anyway.

63. NYPD Officer Daniel Chu

En route to get a Coolatta, traffic cop Chu was allegedly speeding through a red light in Whitestone last year when City Councilman Dan Halloran spotted him. Chu illegally parked outside of a Dunkin' Donuts, and one interaction with Halloran and a YouTube video later, Chu found himself exposed as "Big Bad Dan," the terror of Queens. Chu had some vacation days revoked, was re-assigned to foot patrol in Long Island, and had his car taken away as punishment.

64. Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn borough president

Brooklyn beep Markowitz fancies himself the Most Important Ambassador from Brooklyn the World Has Ever Seen. (Indeed, he has told the courts he needs to promote the borough as far away as Turkey, and we've personally witnessed the aftermath of his glad-handing in Haifa, Israel.) But Markowitz is so powerless, he can't get Apple to build a store in the borough with perhaps the most concentrated population of Mac users in the universe outside of California, and his decision to bring his wife, Jamie (or, as he calls her, "The First Lady of Brooklyn"), abroad with him cost Markowitz $20,000 in fines.

65. Transgendered prostitutes in Hunts Point

When Times Square became Disneyfied, it drove a lot of sex workers out of a (relatively speaking) safe and public space. This especially affected transgendered sex workers, who are disproportionately the victims of violence and who now work largely in places like Hunts Point in the Bronx, deep within industrial New York and far from public eyes. They also routinely face harassment from the police when they report crimes.

66. Frank Santarpia, head of the Staten Island Tea Party

Santarpia is a lone voice in the wilderness as the head of Staten Island's Tea Party. He'd have a lot more power if he lived in another state—any state, really—and could gather more than three or four other people who might vote for the most conservative Republican running for president.

67. Glennda Testone, executive director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

As a young lesbian and the first woman to helm the city's LGBT Center, Testone has often been considered one of the youngest and most powerful homopoliticos in the nation. But she was rendered absolutely powerless and made to look like a fool twice when she folded to the whims of Zionist pornographer Michael Lucas last year. Lucas was enraged when he discovered that Siege Busters Working Group, a pro-Palestine organization, was using the LGBT Center for meeting space. Although Testone repeatedly said that the center was an open space for free speech and that she was not taking orders from Lucas, she ate her words, twice, first being forced to kick out Siege Busters, then reversing herself and allowing them in when they reconvened as a "queer group." Then she had to eat her words again, barring all discussion of Israel and Palestine from the Center when Lucas complained a second time. Her handling of the situation showed that she's no defender of free speech in a center that was founded as an open place.

68. Emily Henochowicz and members of Siege Busters Working Group

Henochowicz went to Israel as a Cooper Union foreign-exchange art student and started a life of protest, which ended with her losing an eye. But when she and members of Siege Busters wanted to rent meeting space in the LGBT Center (as "non-gay" issues like South African apartheid and health care reform had for decades), they were kicked out once pornographer Michael Lucas got involved.

69. Seafarers

Sailors and seafarers were once ubiquitous in the city, and even though just about everything you touch, use, and put on or in your body comes from a ship, seafarers have disappeared. Most are now foreign nationals, whose cargo container ships dock in places like Elizabeth, New Jersey. They primarily live at sea, and their ships unload so quickly, the sailors barely have time to go to a Jersey mall (let alone time to stroll through Manhattan like Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in On the Town). The few American seafarers who come into the city are between jobs. With few choices for transitional housing, they'd be near homeless, save for places like the Seafarers & International House.

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