Steve Cohn encourages people to hug their neighbors at Cheesecake Breakfast
One of Brooklyn’s greatest modern political traditions turned 25 on Friday as it was the 25th anniversary of Steve Cohn’s annual “Cheesecake Breakfast” at Junior’s Restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday.
The annual event takes place on the Friday before Election Day and while it is a networking event for local and state politicians, it is low key. Attendees, which easily number over 200 people, arrive, have breakfast together and take some cheesecake home with them.
“What we’ve been doing here and what we’ve done for many years is to bring people together,” Cohn said. “Look around, we’re defeating hate and giving love. And that’s what this is about.”
Dozens of politicians were in attendance, including judges who are running for election or were recently elected. Mayor Bill de Blasio; Letitia James, who is running for NYS Attorney General; U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler; and NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli all made appearances. Each gave very brief speeches as people smoozed.
“Brooklyn is the road to victory, everyone knows that and that’s why everyone comes to Steve Cohn’s breakfast,” James said. “It’s all about bringing individuals together, about love and not hate, it’s about respecting one another, forgetting our differences and remembering that we’re all big family.”
Each speaker had positive, upbeat messages and strongly encouraged attendees to vote for James in the upcoming election. De Blasio also reminded people to flip their ballots over to vote on the back-of-the-ballot propositions.
“It’s going to make a stronger democracy in NYC, more people participating, more people deciding their vote matters because we’re getting big money out of politics,” de Blasio said. “Tuesday matters all over this city, all over the state and all over the nation. I can say from my heart, I have never seen an election in my lifetime where there is so much energy, so much involvement and people recognize that it’s up to them to make society better.”
As everyone left, Cohn reminded them to take a piece of cheesecake, to vote and also to go out and hug a friend.
“I’m asking everybody, love your fellow New Yorker, hug your fellow New Yorker,” Cohn said before he hugged de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “If you see somebody you know, go up to them and give them a hug. That’s what we have to do in this country right now — bring people together through love.”
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