14 episodes

Welcome to Strong Reception with Eli James. This podcast covers a whole host of subjects, ranging from election reform in New York City to the history of cover songs. It's for the civic-minded, the historically curious and those who love exclaiming, "I didn't know that!" Hear a range of great interviews with those who know their stuff, and those who are trying to change stuff.

Strong Reception with Eli James Eli James

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Welcome to Strong Reception with Eli James. This podcast covers a whole host of subjects, ranging from election reform in New York City to the history of cover songs. It's for the civic-minded, the historically curious and those who love exclaiming, "I didn't know that!" Hear a range of great interviews with those who know their stuff, and those who are trying to change stuff.

    Why Questlove's "Summer of Soul" Is Not Just Another Music Doc

    Why Questlove's "Summer of Soul" Is Not Just Another Music Doc

    "Summer of Soul" is a groundbreaking documentary that I want everyone on Planet Earth to see. Roots' co-founder Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson made his directorial debut on a subject close to my heart: the all-but-forgotten Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969. In this episode, I speak to Rolling Stone journalist Jonathan Bernstein, whose tireless research on the long-lost festival first helped me understand its significance. His article for Rolling Stone, published in 2019, was (controversially) titled "This 1969 Music Fest Has Been Called ‘Black Woodstock.’ Why Doesn’t Anyone Remember?" Jonathan and I break down our reactions to "Summer of Soul" and delve into the history of the Harlem Cultural Festival itself.

    • 44 min
    Chris Durosinmi: The Race for the 37th District

    Chris Durosinmi: The Race for the 37th District

    This week I am pleased to present my conversation with Chris Durosinmi, who is running to be the next City Council Member for the 37th District in Brooklyn. This episode is part of my series of interviews with the candidates in this all-important primary election, which takes place June 22 in New York City, along with the races for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president and hundreds of City Council seats.

    Chris Durosinmi is a Brooklyn native and community organizer who has held several staff jobs in city and state government, and currently works for the Wildlife Conservation Society. He and I discussed some of the most urgent issues facing the people of this underserved district, like the decline in trash pickup and sanitation resources, the need for greater support for those coming home from prison, and how New York's voting apparatus would benefit from greater transparency. (We get into New York's cryptic fusion voting system, for instance. Why are we the only state to do it?)

    To find out more about this City Council race, check out my episodes with candidates Misba Abdin, Sandy Nurse and Rick Echevarria.

    Subscribe to “Strong Reception” wherever you get your podcasts, and please leave a comment for the show on Twitter at @strongpod.

    • 41 min
    Misba Abdin: Return to the 37th District

    Misba Abdin: Return to the 37th District

    This week I am pleased to present my conversation with Misba Abdin, who is running to be the next City Council Member for the 37th District in Brooklyn. This is part of my series of interviews with candidates in this all-important primary election, which takes place June 22 in New York City, along with the races for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president and hundreds of City Council seats.

    (Check out my episodes with Sandy Nurse and Rick Echevarria to find out more.)

    Misba and I discussed some of the most urgent issues facing the people of this area, like education, jobs and crime prevention, and how New York's arcane voting system works to keep certain Democratic dynasties in power.

    Misba Abdin is a long-time resident and community leader in the 37th District, an area that includes the East New York neighborhood he calls home. He is the founder of the nonprofit organization Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services, and CEO of Deshi Senior Center in Ozone Park, Queens.

    Subscribe to “Strong Reception” wherever you get your podcasts, and please leave a comment for the show on Twitter at @strongpod.

    • 34 min
    Sandy Nurse: Return to the 37th District

    Sandy Nurse: Return to the 37th District

    Subscribe to “Strong Reception” wherever you get your podcasts, and please leave a comment for the show on Twitter at @strongpod. Let me know what you think!

    This week I am thrilled to present my conversation with Sandy Nurse, who is running for a second time to be the next City Council Member for the 37th District in Brooklyn. This is part of my series of interviews with candidates in this all-important race.

    Sandy and I talked about what the city can do going forward to prevent what happened to this district last year — when this underserved area was left without a Council Member during one of the worst crises in the city's history: COVID-19.

    Sandy Nurse has a history of organizing and activism in New York, starting with her encampment at the Occupy Wall Street protests in the fall of 2011, and her co-founding of MayDay Space in 2014. She ran for this City Council seat last year, but was removed from the ballot by the Board of Elections, as were several other candidates hoping to beat the heavily favored party-backed candidate, Darma Diaz. Sandy is back in the mix, running to unseat Diaz for the 2022 term.

    FOR VOTERS: Voting opens on June 12 and ends on June 22 in the massive NYC primary that also includes the races for mayor, public advocate, comptroller and borough presidents. The deadline to register to vote in this primary is May 28, and the last day to notify the Board of Elections of an address change is June 2. Also, make sure you read up on an exciting new development in our election process, ranked-choice voting, in which voters will be able to pick their top five candidates in every citywide primary.

    • 34 min
    Rick Echevarria: Return to the 37th District

    Rick Echevarria: Return to the 37th District

    Please check out my conversation with Rick Echevarria, who is running for City Council in New York's 37th Council District in Brooklyn. We talked about how New York's outdated, slow-to-change voting system impacts the city's most vulnerable residents in a very real way. This system resulted in the 37th District being without a Council Member for nearly all of 2020 — a year of acute suffering brought on by the pandemic.

    Rick Echevarria grew up in the Bushwick section of this district (the neighborhood I call home), and is running on a platform of expanding housing equity and fighting housing corruption. He ran for this position last year, but was removed from the ballot by the New York City Board of Elections, as were several other candidates hoping to beat the heavily favored party-backed candidate, Darma Diaz. Rick is back in the mix, running to unseat Diaz in the massive 2021 city primary, which opens on June 12 and ends on June 22.

    NOTE: The deadline to register to vote in this primary is May 28, and the last day to notify the Board of Elections of an address change is June 2. Also, make sure you read up on an exciting new development in our election process, ranked-choice voting, where voters will be asked to pick their top five candidates in every citywide primary.

    Subscribe to “Strong Reception” wherever you get your podcasts, and leave a comment for the show on Twitter at @strongpod. Let me know what you think of my convos!

    • 34 min
    L. Joy Williams, President of the Brooklyn NAACP, Defines Civic Engagement

    L. Joy Williams, President of the Brooklyn NAACP, Defines Civic Engagement

    L. Joy Williams doesn't rest much. Running on four hours' sleep each night, she dons an array of hats during the day, moving at a breakneck pace to empower more Americans to engage with the political process. I'm grateful she made time to drop by "Strong Reception" to talk with me about increasing voting access in New York, as well as to provide her own inspiring definition of civic engagement.

    On her podcast, "Sunday Civics," L. Joy Williams hopes to make everyday civics exciting to listeners who think their elected officials aren't interested in them. She does so by offering up simple, powerful action steps busy people can take to make their voices heard in the halls of power, and by hosting eye-opening discussions of Black political history in America.

    In addition to her leadership as president of the Brooklyn NAACP, L. Joy also heads her own campaign strategy firm, LJW Strategies, and has planned campaigns for political luminaries including Stacey Abrams, Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams. She also serves as chair of the Higher Heights Political Action Committee, an organization working to get more progressive Black women elected to local, state and federal office, and which helped raise the profile of Vice President Kamala Harris during her 2020 presidential run.

    Subscribe to “Strong Reception” wherever you get your podcasts, and leave a comment for the show on Twitter at @strongpod. Let me know what you think of my convos!

    • 40 min

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