By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Bay Ridge political club that was the first in Brooklyn to endorse Bill de Blasio for mayor is continuing to spread his “tale of two cities” message to anyone who will listen, even using a movie to get their point across.
The Bay Ridge Democrats, led by Justin Brannan, will focus on the issue of income inequality at a special meeting on Thursday, Feb. 27, where the documentary “Inequality For All,” starring former US labor secretary Robert Reich, will be screened.
The screening, to take place at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 7420 Fourth Ave., at 7 p.m., is one of 700 so-called “watch parties” for the film taking place across the country on that night.
The documentary, directed by Jacob Kornbluth, shows Reich, who served as labor secretary in the Clinton Administration, using humor as well as facts and figures to demonstrate the damages inflicted by income inequality. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, according to Wikipedia, and won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking. The film contends that the top one percent of earners take in more than 20 percent of all income. That’s three times what they did in 1970, according to the documentary.
Reich argues that the consolidation of wealth in the hands of the one percent threatens the viability of the American workforce.
It’s an important topic, according to Brannan. “As we live in a ‘tale of two cities’ and we fight for universal pre-k, increases in the minimum wage, and to save the struggling middle class, it's important to know the facts of how we got here,” Brannan said. “Income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. This game-changing film explores what effects the increasing income gap has not only on the U.S. economy but on American democracy itself and what we can do about it."
Following the film, there will be a “strategy call” with Reich and US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts that the Bay Ridge Democrats will participate in, Brannan said.
Brannan and his club’s members were early supporters of Mayor de Blasio’s. The club endorsed de Blasio in April of 2013, when he was stuck at 10 percent in most polls and there was no sign that he would become the city’s next mayor.
“We were the first club in Brooklyn to endorse him. And we were one of the first clubs in the city to back him,” Brannan told the Brooklyn Eagle in an interview in December.
In his successful mayoral campaign, de Blasio stressed his theme of New York being a “tale of two cities” and vowed he would fight to improve the lives of low-income residents.