Brooklyn Boro

Steve Cohn’s cheesecake breakfast still a big hit with Brooklyn politicians

October 30, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Former District Leader Steve Cohn, Borough President Eric Adams, former Governor David Paterson and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. Photos by Rob Abruzzese.
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It was a who’s who of the Brooklyn political scene with all of the biggest names showing up, except Mayor de Blasio, as roughly 300 local politicians, from both parties, judges and lawyers packed into Junior’s Restaurant for Steve Cohn’s annual Cheesecake Breakfast on Friday morning.

There are no speeches at the event, just pancakes, eggs, french toast, bacon and cheesecake. Lots of cheesecake.

“We’ve been having this event every year for over 20 and maybe 25 years,” said Steve Cohn. “It started as a networking breakfast, no speeches. The only decisions that need to be made is how you like your eggs. It’s an opportunity for elected officials for all parties to come and meet and greet.”

The one exception to the “no speeches” rule was made the year Bill Clinton stopped by. Hillary Clinton didn’t stop by this year, despite rumors that she might. The mayor told organizers he was going to stop by, but never made it.

Some of the names that did make it this year include former borough presidents Howard Golden and Marty Markowitz, the current borough president Eric Adams, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Dan Donovan, Assemblymembers Joseph Lentol and Jo Anne Simon, Councilmember Mathieu Eugene and former Governor David Paterson.

Cohn’s most memorable breakfast was the year that then Mayor Giuliani and Peter Vallone, who weren’t on speaking terms prior to the breakfast, sat in the back together and hashed out what was a very contentious city budget.

His favorite one, though, was the year of Hurricane Sandy. That year, Cohn teamed with the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Nets and Bruce Ratner to raise more than $15,000 for the storm’s victims.

“It was less than a week after Sandy,” Cohn recalled. “I thought no one would be here. We were worried, should we hold it or should we not hold it? Then the idea was that we had to do something, we had a venue. To this day, I don’t know how people got here. I had no gas and had to take a train.”

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