Of all the elected officials I have known personally — with the exception of former Congressman Stephen Solarz for whom I once performed an internship during his first term as assemblyman for the 45th Assembly District — I’ve had the most personal contact with our former mayor, Ed Koch.
My First Encounter
It was 1969. One year before my college internship with Solarz. Unsurprisingly, I chose transportation as my topic for a political science school paper at Hunter College, where I did my undergraduate work. I wanted to write about what the federal government was doing to improve mass transit and someone suggested I see the local congressman whose office was located on Second Avenue, in the upper seventies. I was skeptical of obtaining any information because I did not reside in the “silk stocking” district, as the Upper East Side was then called. I was told that the congressman’s name was Ed Koch, a name I had never heard before. I was told he was active in introducing legislation to help mass transit and that’s why I should see him.