Before he grabbed a mic Sunday, Shafiq Abdussabur grabbed a spray bottle.
He used it to clean the window to the front door of the 347 Whalley Ave. storefront before a crowd showed up to help him inaugurate it as his mayoral campaign headquarters.
“I could probably get somebody to do it. I want to show that that I can do it too,” Abdussabur remarked between wiped and spritzes. “Who’s better in cleaning up the city than me?”
Abdussabur, a community anti-violence organizer, school-cleaning contractor and retired city police sergeant, is one of four candidates seeking the Democratic mayoral nomination this year. The others are two-term incumbent Justin Elicker, attorney/activist Liam Brennan, and former McKinsey consultant Tom Goldenberg. (Two unaffiliated candidates, Macey Torres and Wendy Hamilton, have also filed paperwork to have their names appear on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.)
Abdussabur called the storefront indicative of his campaign message.
It sits next to a vacant lot where a blighted empty former bar (Newt’s Cafe) stood for years until Abdussabur worked with neighbors to convince the city to tear it down.
It’s two doors down from Paramount Liquors, which closed after Abdussabur and neighbors brought quality-of-life concerns to the State Liquor Commission.
“The block is going to be better. It’s gotten better already,” Abdussabur said.