Eric McClure

published 2020 NYS General in Endorsements 2020-10-23 13:28:28 -0400

2020 Endorsees for State Senate and Assembly

2020 Endorsees: State Senate | State Assembly

State Senate

Mike GianarisMike Gianaris, 12th Senate District, Queens (Incumbent) – Gianaris, who serves as Deputy Majority Leader in the State Senate, has established himself as a prominent member of the progressive wing of the State Legislature. He's been a strong advocate for mass transit, and pledges to continue to push his millionaire's-tax bill, which would dedicate revenues to the MTA. He's also interested in reforming the State Department of Motor Vehicles, including potential expansion of the DMV's Fatality Hearing program to incorporate serious-injury cases as well. In addition, he's committed to pursuing expansion of pedestrian and cycling access to MTA-controlled bridges.

Jessica RamosJessica Ramos, 13th Senate District, Queens (Incumbent) – Ramos, first elected in 2018, has quickly established herself as one of the Legislature's leading voices for safer streets and better public transit. She sponsored the bill that led to the eventual legalization of e-bikes in April, has called for the reopening of the Queensboro Bridge's south outer roadway to pedestrians and cyclists, and just introduced a bill that would increase the allowable width of an e-bike, paving the way for rapid growth in the use of bikes for freight delivery. She'll continue to advocate for the complete-streets redesign of dangerous Northern Boulevard, keep pushing to make the immensely popular 34th Avenue Open Street permanent, and will pursue legislation that would increase New York State's gas tax, with revenues dedicated to public transit.

Julia SalazarJulia Salazar, 18th Senate District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Salazar was elected to serve North Brooklyn's 18th District in 2018, with StreetsPAC's endorsement, and she's proven herself to be a strong advocate for safer streets and better transit during her first term. She supported congestion pricing and the expansion of the speed camera program, and has been a fixture at rallies for safe-streets and better transit. She's insistent about the need to raise tax revenue to fill the MTA's budget gaps, and supports expanding Select Bus Service to alleviate transit deserts. Salazar would also like to see some of the city's Open Streets projects made permanent.

Andrew GounardesAndrew Gounardes, 22nd Senate District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Gounardes, who defeated eight-term Republican incumbent Marty Golden with StreetsPAC's endorsement in 2018, has distinguished himself as a committed champion of safe-streets policies during his first term in Albany. He was the lead Senate sponsor of the landmark 2019 legislation that vastly expanded New York City's ability to deploy life-saving speed cameras, to 750 locations around the five boroughs. He is also the lead sponsor in the Senate of fully half of the pending bills we asked candidates about in our 2020 questionnaire. Among those are bills that will make it easier to hold dangerous drivers accountable, require instruction in pedestrian and cyclist safety as part of the process of licensing drivers, and establish pedestrian safety ratings for motor vehicles.

Jabari BrisportJabari Brisport, 25th Senate District, Brooklyn (Open Seat/Won Primary) – Brisport, a middle-school math teacher, won the three-way Democratic primary to replace the retiring State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (there's no other candidate on the November ballot). He's campaigned on a detailed and progressive transportation platform, which includes advocating to expand the zone for congestion pricing into Downtown Brooklyn. He also supports eliminating parking minimums across the city, completely connecting Brooklyn's bicycle network while adding many more miles of protected lanes, and improving bus service throughout the district.

RobertJackson.jpgRobert Jackson, 31st Senate District, Manhattan & Bronx (Incumbent) – Jackson, a 2018 StreetsPAC endorsee, is running for a second term in the State Senate. He supported the passage of congestion pricing and the renewal and major expansion of the city's speed camera program. He's committed to advocating for improved and expanded pedestrian and bicycle access on the George Washington Bridge, and will urge the city to resurrect and expand the Slow Zone program in his district. He also supports improvements to the Hudson River Greenway.

Luis SepulvedaLuis Sepúlveda, 32nd Senate District, Bronx (Incumbent) – Sepúlveda, who served three terms in the Assembly, was first elected to the State Senate in a special election in 2018. An early supporter of speed cameras, Sepúlveda also championed congestion pricing, and was the sponsor of the Green Light law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, which has obvious street-safety benefits. A member of the Senate's Transportation Committee, he's interested in building upon the city's new Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program, and working to reform the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Alessandra BiaggiAlessandra Biaggi, 34th Senate District, Bronx (Incumbent) – Biaggi, with StreetsPAC's endorsement, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of 2018, knocking off IDC leader Jeff Klein in her first run for office. She supported congestion pricing and the expansion of the city's speed camera program, as well as the legalization of electric bikes and scooters. She's interested in helping to reform the Department of Motor Vehicles, and has called for more investment in bus service in her district in conjunction with redesign of the Bronx Bus Network.

 

State Assembly


Nily RozicNily Rozic, 25th Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent) – Rozic, a past StreetsPAC endorsee, was the youngest woman in the Legislature when she took office in 2013. She represents a district that has no subway or train stations, but this hasn't stopped her from being a fierce advocate for transit. She led the fight in the Assembly for Select Bus Service, securing the first route in her district, and was a supporter of congestion pricing. She sponsored the Assembly version of the bill that led to the legalization of e-bikes and electric scooters, and has always been an advocate for cycling. Rozic also supports making sure that driver's tests include education about sharing the road.

Khaleel AndersonKhaleel Anderson, 31st Assembly District, Queens (Open Seat/Won Primary) – Anderson won a hotly contested six-way primary for this open seat in Southeast Queens. He got his start as a teen activist with the Rockaway Youth Task Force, and serves on his local Community Board, where he's advocated for bike lanes. He fought successfully for extension of the Q52 bus to the Rockaways, and did constituent-service work for State Senator James Sanders, Jr. He wants to see bus service improved, including multiple SBS upgrades, and is an advocate for expanding the LIRR's Atlantic Ticket to the Rockaways. He also wants to see bike share returned full time to the district. We believe Anderson will bring a youthful energy to Albany that would greatly benefit the 31st District.

Jessica Gonzalez-RojasJessica González-Rojas, 34th Assembly District, Queens (Won Primary) – González-Rojas, a reproductive health and immigrants rights activist, defeated incumbent Assemblyman Michael DenDekker in a five-way Democratic primary. She served for eight years as Queens's representative on the New York City Transit Riders Council, and in January proposed a bold plan to redesign Northern Boulevard, inspired by the success of the 14th Street Busway. She supports reallocating street space to make more room for safe walking and biking, and keeping buses free by instituting progressive taxes.

Catalina CruzCatalina Cruz, 39th Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent) – Cruz, the first DREAMer to win elected office in New York State, earned StreetsPAC's endorsement in 2018. She supported congestion pricing, as well as the expansion of the city's speed camera program. She continues to be an advocate for improving subway and bus service, which is critically important to her constituents, and she's interested in working to reform the Department of Motor Vehicles. She'd also like to see the city create permanent Open Streets in her district.

Robert Carroll, 44th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Carroll, who first won his Assembly seat in 2016 with StreetsPAC's backing, has proved himself a champion of public transit and safe streets. He was a leading voice for the passage of congestion pricing in 2019, and he's authored a number of bills aimed at getting dangerous drivers off the road, including a measure, spurred by a tragic fatal crash in his district, that requires doctors to provide notification when a patient develops a condition that might impair their ability to drive safely. He's also the sponsor of a bill that would levy a $3 online-package delivery tax, with all proceeds dedicated to improving the transit system.

Emily GallagherEmily Gallagher, 50th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Won Primary) – Gallagher won the biggest upset in the June primary, defeating 48-year incumbent Assemblyman Joe Lentol. She's been in the trenches as an advocate for the past decade, often in a leading role, and built a passionate and devoted base of support among people who’ve dedicated themselves to improving the safety of our streets and the efficacy of our transit system. She’s a bike commuter, and has felt personal loss from traffic violence. She'll go to Albany and be a voice for the very issues that motivated us to found StreetsPAC, including fighting for better bike infrastructure and more reliable buses and subways. She supports implementing a busway on Bedford Avenue.

Jo Anne SimonJo Anne Simon, 52nd Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Simon is running for her fourth term in the Assembly, and has received StreetsPAC's endorsement multiple times. She's a member of the Assembly's Transportation Committee, and was a strong supporter of both congestion pricing and speed camera expansion. Simon is the lead sponsor of a bill that would authorize the city of New York to pilot a residential parking permit system. She also wants to see Brooklyn's bus network improved, with better east-west connections and service between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Yuh-Line NiouYuh-Line Niou, 65th Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Niou, the first Asian American to hold this seat that includes Chinatown, was elected to the Assembly in 2016. She'd like to see Manhattan's bus network redesigned to rationalize routes and increase speeds and reliability, including more dedicated bus lanes. She's adamant about raising revenue to address the MTA's budget gaps, and is interested in the potential for shared-street treatments in the Financial District and Chinatown. Niou is also willing to advocate for expanded pedestrian and cycling space on the Brooklyn Bridge, which is fully in her district.

Dan QuartDan Quart, 73rd Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Quart, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2011, earned StreetsPAC's endorsement in 2014. He's been a staunch supporter of better public transit, and an advocate for holding dangerous drivers accountable for their actions. He's the lead sponsor of legislation that would make it easier to prosecute vehicular crimes, as well as stiffen penalties for drivers who injure or kill. Quart would also like to see Select Bus Service expanded to more routes on Manhattan's east side.

Harvey EpsteinHarvey Epstein, 74th Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Epstein won his first full term in the Assembly in 2018 with StreetsPAC's backing, after succeeding Brian Kavanagh in a special election. Early in his tenure, he sponsored a bill that would remove caps on the number of red-light and bus-lane cameras in New York City, the latter of which is now law. He was a strong advocate for the 14th Street busway, which has just been made permanent, and is insistent about raising revenue to fill the MTA's yawning budget gaps. He also supports the retesting of drivers every five years.

Chantel JacksonChantel Jackson, 79th Assembly District, Bronx (Open Seat/Won Primary) – Jackson, a social worker at a public NYC high school, won the six-way Democratic primary to succeed Assemblyman Michael Blake, who has endorsed her candidacy. She commutes 18 miles roundtrip by bike to her school in Long Island City. She's committed to working to expand the Bronx's bike network, and to improve health outcomes in the Bronx, the least-healthy county in New York State. She'd also like to see improvements in bus service in conjunction with the MTA's redesign of the bus network. In addition to the support of the incumbent, she has the backing of progressive Bronx State Senators Gustavo Rivera and Luis Sepúlveda.

Jeffrey DinowitzJeffrey Dinowitz, 81st Assembly District, Bronx (Incumbent) – Dinowitz, who has represented his Bronx district for 26 years, championed the MTA "lock-box" bill that finally became law in 2019, and has been a strong proponent of speed and red-light cameras. He has even come around on congestion pricing, which he wants to see implemented as scheduled. He supported the Broadway bike lane over Community Board opposition, and advocated for Riverdale's Slow Zone. He wants the MTA to adopt transit-signal priority and all-door boarding to help improve bus service.

Amanda SeptimoAmanda Septimo, 84th Assembly District, Bronx (Open Seat*) – Septimo, who ran for this seat on the WFP line in 2018, served as District Director for retiring Congressman José Serrano. As a teenage activist with the Point CDC, she helped secure improvements to bus service in the Bronx, and advocated for congestion pricing in its first incarnation. She wants the MTA to invest in better bus service as it redesigns the Bronx Network, consistent with her view that transportation is at its heart an issue of equity. She believes that, long term, transit should be free. She'd also like to see better public access to the South Bronx's waterfront. (*Incumbent Carmen Arroyo, who was removed from the Democratic primary ballot for filing fraudulent petitions, is running as an independent in the general election).


published StreetsPAC 2020 General Election Voter Guide in News 2020-10-23 13:26:59 -0400

StreetsPAC's 2020 General Election Voter Guide

Early Voting Begins Tomorrow

New York State's general election is less than two weeks away, and Early Voting begins this Saturday, October 24th, at 10 a.m., and continues every day through Sunday, November 1st. However, times vary by day, and your assigned early voting site is most likely not your regular Election Day polling place. We strongly recommend that you use the New York City Board of Elections' Find My Poll Site tool to confirm your Early Voting and Election Day polling sites, and you can also view a sample ballot while you're there.

For the past several months, we have evaluated responses to our detailed candidate questionnaire, conducted in-depth personal interviews with candidates, and deliberated at length over endorsement decisions. We've proudly endorsed a total of 21 candidates running for State Senate and Assembly in the general election. Below, you can learn more about each of our endorsees, and their plans for making our streets safer and our public transit better and more reliable.

We urge you to get out and vote for the StreetsPAC candidate of your choice, whether you vote early, on Election Day, or with a mail-in ballot. If you're voting in person, please be sure to wear a mask and adhere to safe social-distancing protocols. We're confident that the candidates who've earned StreetsPAC's endorsement will work to promote safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable public transit.

Read on to meet StreetsPAC's 2020 endorsees!


published StreetsPAC Endorses Mike Gianaris in News 2020-10-21 09:39:52 -0400

StreetsPAC Endorses Mike Gianaris for Re-Election

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Orchestrated 2018 Ouster of IDC

StreetsPAC today endorsed Mike Gianaris for re-election in Queens's 12th State Senate District.

MikeGianarisCroppedLarge.jpgGianaris, who serves as Deputy Majority Leader in the State Senate, was born and raised in the Queens district he now represents. He's established himself as a prominent member of the progressive wing of the State Legislature, and played a pivotal role in helping to vanquish the IDC and give Democrats control of the Senate in 2018, which paved the way for the passage of congestion pricing, expansion of speed cameras, and the legalization of e-bikes, all of which he supported.

Gianaris has been a strong advocate for mass transit, and pledges to continue to push his millionaire's-tax bill, which would dedicate revenues to the MTA. He's also interested in reforming the State Department of Motor Vehicles, including potential expansion of the DMV's Fatality Hearing program to incorporate serious-injury cases as well. In addition, he's committed to pursuing expansion of pedestrian and cycling access to MTA-controlled bridges, including the RFK Triboro Bridge, which connects his district to Manhattan and the Bronx.

You can help support Mike's relection effort here.


StreetsPAC Endorses Jessica Ramos; Voter Registration Deadline Today

Queens Senator Led Push for e-Bike Legalization

StreetsPAC today endorsed Jessica Ramos for re-election in Queens's 13th State Senate District.

Ramos, who was elected in 2018, has quickly established herself as one of the Legislature's leading voices for safer streets and better public transit. She sponsored the bill that led to the eventual legalization of e-bikes in April, has called for the reopening of the Queensboro Bridge's south outer roadway to pedestrians and cyclists, and just introduced a bill that would increase the allowable width of an e-bike, paving the way for rapid growth in the use of bikes for freight delivery.

Ramos, who won her primary in June with 86% of the vote, faces a Republican challenger in the November 3rd general election. She has pledged to continue to advocate for the complete-streets redesign of dangerous Northern Boulevard, with Select Bus Service and protected bike lanes; to keep pushing to make the immensely popular 34th Avenue Open Street permanent; and to pursue legislation that would increase New York State's gas tax, with revenues dedicated to public transit.

You can help support Jessica's relection effort here.

Today's the Deadline to Register to Vote

If you are not already a registered voter in New York State, today is the deadline for eligibility to vote in the November 3rd general election.

You can find all the information you need to register here: www.elections.ny.gov/votingregister.html.

If you believe you're already registered, you can confirm your status here: voterlookup.elections.ny.gov.


StreetsPAC Endorses Andrew Gounardes for State Senate

Safe-Streets Champ Faces Tough Re-Election Race in Trump-Leaning District

StreetsPAC today endorsed Andrew Gounardes for re-election in Brooklyn's 22nd State Senate District. Gounardes, who won the seat with StreetsPAC's endorsement in 2018, defeating eight-term Republican incumbent Marty Golden, has distinguished himself as a committed champion of safe-streets policies during his first term in Albany.

Andrew_Gounardes_Official.jpgGounardes was the lead Senate sponsor of the landmark 2019 legislation that vastly expanded  New York City's ability to deploy life-saving speed cameras, to 750 locations around the five boroughs. But Gounardes didn't stop there – he is the lead sponsor in the Senate of fully half of the pending bills we asked candidates about in our 2020 questionnaire.

Among those are bills that will make it easier to hold dangerous drivers accountable, require instruction in pedestrian and cyclist safety as part of the process of licensing drivers, and establish pedestrian safety ratings for motor vehicles.

"I’ve been fighting side by side with StreetsPAC to transform our city’s culture and our streets to make them safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike," says Gounardes. "We are working towards a city where senior citizens and parents can cross the street without fearing for their lives, and where no family has to suffer losing a loved one in a car crash. I am deeply proud to be endorsed by StreetsPAC for the work we’ve already done, like finally passing the landmark School Zone Speed Camera expansion law, and all that we will do together to fight traffic violence."

Yet despite all that Andrew Gounardes has accomplished during his first term, he's locked in a tough re-election battle. The 22nd is a purple district that voted for Donald Trump by five points in 2016, and outside groups are spending heavily in an attempt to return the seat to Republican hands.

In 2018, volunteers working with StreetsPAC knocked on more than 5,000 doors in a race that Andrew won by a little more than 1,000 votes. We need that kind of effort again – whether it's phone-banking, text-banking or safe, socially distanced canvassing – to make sure we can send him back to Albany to continue his vital work. Will you volunteer a few hours of your time to help us re-elect Andrew? Sign up here.

And of course, if you're able to support Andrew's campaign financially, we urge you to donate here now. For a limited time, StreetsPAC will match contributions via this link dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $5,000.

Re-electing Andrew Gounardes to the New York State Senate is one of StreetsPAC's top objectives for 2020, and we hope you'll join us in making that happen.


published Volunteer to Re-Elect Andrew Gounardes! 2020-09-30 21:04:21 -0400

Volunteer to Re-Elect Andrew Gounardes!

Safe-streets champion Andrew Gounardes is facing a tough re-election fight in 2020. Will you volunteer a few hours of your time to help his campaign and make sure we hold onto critical safety improvements like speed cameras? Sign up here.


published 2020 Queens BP Primary in Endorsements 2020-06-12 14:33:41 -0400

Costa Constantinides for Queens Borough President

Saying a lot has changed since we endorsed Costa Constantinides for Queens Borough President on March 9th doesn't even begin to define "understatement."

But one thing that hasn't changed is our firm belief that Costa is the best person for the job.

While some misconstrue the offices of the five Borough Presidents as largely ceremonial, they in fact carry a good amount of influence. Borough Presidents play an important role in the city's land-use process, control relatively hefty discretionary and staff budgets, and have sway with city agencies and other elected officials. They can use the bully pulpit of the office to promote, or oppose, city policies and initiatives.

And perhaps most importantly, especially when it comes to street safety and transportation issues, Borough Presidents appoint the members of Community Boards.

For all those reasons, we believe that the upcoming June 23rd Democratic primary for Queens Borough President is an important one – and it's why we are endorsing Costa for Queens Borough President.

As the City Council Member representing Queens's 22nd District (Astoria and parts of Jackson Heights, Woodside, and East Elmhurst) since 2014, and as Chair of the Council's Environmental Protection Committee, Constantinides has been a leader in the city's effort to combat climate change, and he clearly understands the transportation sector's outsized role in carbon emissions. It's why he believes it's so important to get people out of cars, and onto public transit and bikes.

That perspective underscores his strong support for building a real, connected network of protected bike lanes, along with their obvious safety benefits. It's why he pushed successfully to turn a municipal parking lot on Astoria's 31st Street into a 100%-affordable senior-housing facility, with zero parking spaces. And it's why he's been a qualified supporter of the MTA's redesign of the Queens bus network (though he thinks there's plenty of room for improvement on the draft plan), and a proponent of the proposed Triboro rail line.

If elected Queens Borough President, Constantinides pledges he will:

  • Reform, professionalize and diversify the Community Board appointment process
  • Develop a borough-wide transportation plan
  • Advocate for improved cycling infrastructure on the RFK/Triboro and Ed Koch/Queensboro Bridges, and a protected bike lane to connect them
  • Seek to transform additional city-owned municipal parking lots into housing

"We have made Queens' streets more livable over the last six years, but the hard work is still ahead," says Constantinides. "As Queens Borough President, I plan to create a holistic transportation plan that makes it safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike. I am so honored to have the support of StreetsPAC to improve our streets and create a better mass transit system."

We believe unequivocally that Costa Constantinides is the best choice for Queens voters concerned about safer streets and better public transportation. We are proud to endorse him for Queens Borough President, and urge you to vote for Costa in the Democratic primary election on Tuesday, June 23rd (early voting begins this Saturday, June 13th). All New Yorkers are eligible to vote by absentee ballot.

 


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on School Bus Stop-Arm Cameras, Bike & Pedestrian Mayors

We were at City Hall yesterday to testify at the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation hearing on school bus stop-arm cameras, and bills that would create Offices of Active Transportation and Pedestrians. Here's what we had to say:

There are few transgressions a driver can commit behind the wheel of an automobile that are more egregious than passing a stopped school bus picking up or discharging children, and for that reason alone, we support Intro 1724, which would create a demonstration program to install stop-arm cameras on school buses. The danger of such driver action is underscored by the severity of the penalties for doing so: a $250 fine, five license points, and the possibility of 30 days in jail.

The act of passing a stopped school bus is born either from impatient, callous indifference to the dangers it imposes on others, or a degree of distraction so great that one fails to notice a big, bright yellow school bus deploying flashing lights and a large red stop sign. Neither is remotely acceptable, yet according to some reports, it occurs up to 50,000 times per day in the state of New York.

Fortunately, given the penalties, the rate of recidivism is low, as low as 2% to 6%, per statistics. But enforcement is also nearly non-existent; under current laws, a police officer must witness the infraction in order to issue a ticket. Stop-arm cameras have tremendous potential to improve enforcement, in the same way that school-zone speed cameras have begun holding dangerous drivers accountable.


Tonight: Brooklyn Fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes

Tonight, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., please join us for an important re-election fundraiser for State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

Andrew won the State Senate seat representing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods last November, defeating eight-term incumbent Marty Golden. It was a hard-fought, closely contested race, and his victory wasn’t certified until a couple weeks after the election. Andrew ran on a platform that prioritized pedestrian safety and better transit, among a number of important issues, and his victory was key in returning control of the State Senate to the Democratic Party. StreetsPAC invested heavily in Andrew's campaign, and our volunteers knocked on some 5,000 doors in a contest that Andrew won by roughly 1,000 votes.

In his first year in Albany, Andrew sponsored and passed a number of bills, but none was more important than the legislation that enabled New York City to vastly increase the number of life-saving speed cameras it deploys around city schools. Expansion of the speed camera program had been blocked by Marty Golden for years, despite the fact that being struck by a motor vehicle has been the leading cause of accidental death among children between the ages of 2 and 14 in New York City.

Regardless of all that he’s accomplished in his short time in office, Andrew may very well face an electoral challenge in 2020, quite possibly from Golden himself. So he needs to raise a considerable amount of money now in order to be prepared for a vigorously contested election.

Sending Andrew Gounardes back to Albany for another term, and ensuring that we’re able to maintain a committed safe-streets majority in the State Senate, is one of StreetsPAC's top priorities for 2020. We hope you'll join us on October 28th to meet and hear from Andrew, and to help make certain that he gets re-elected.

The invitation is below. Please visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/streetspac to RSVP and/or donate.


This Coming Monday, Please Join Us for a StreetsPAC Fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes!

On Monday, October 28th, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., we're hosting an important re-election fundraiser for State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

Andrew won the State Senate seat representing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods last November, defeating eight-term incumbent Marty Golden. It was a hard-fought, closely contested race, and his victory wasn’t certified until a couple weeks after the election. Andrew ran on a platform that prioritized pedestrian safety and better transit, among a number of important issues, and his victory was key in returning control of the State Senate to the Democratic Party. StreetsPAC invested heavily in Andrew's campaign, and our volunteers knocked on some 5,000 doors in a contest that Andrew won by roughly 1,000 votes.

In his first year in Albany, Andrew sponsored and passed a number of bills, but none was as important as the legislation that enabled New York City to vastly increase the number of life-saving speed cameras it deploys around city schools. Expansion of the speed camera program had been blocked by Marty Golden for years, despite the fact that being struck by a motor vehicle has been the leading cause of accidental death among children between the ages of 2 and 14 in New York City.

Regardless of all that he’s accomplished in his short time in office, Andrew may very well face an electoral challenge in 2020, quite possibly from Golden himself. So he needs to raise a considerable amount of money now in order to be prepared for a vigorously contested election.

Sending Andrew Gounardes back to Albany for another term, and ensuring that we’re able to maintain a committed safe-streets majority in the State Senate, is one of StreetsPAC's top priorities for 2020. We hope you'll join us on October 28th to meet and hear from Andrew, and to help make certain that he gets re-elected.

The invitation is below. Please visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/streetspac to RSVP and/or donate.


Join Us! StreetsPAC Fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes on October 28!

On Monday, October 28th, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., please join us for a fundraiser for State Senator Andrew Gounardes!

Andrew, who won his State Senate seat in 2018 on a platform focused on safer streets and better transit, led the effort in Albany that resulted this year in a major expansion of New York City's life-saving speed camera program. As the lead sponsor of the authorizing legislation in the Senate, he made speed cameras his top priority, and his success in passing the bill will have a profound effect on the safety of New Yorkers – and especially the children around whose schools the cameras are based.

But while Andrew had an amazing and productive first year in the State Senate, he may face a tough re-election fight. His district is more purple than most in New York City, and he won last fall by only about 1,000 votes. It's possible that Marty Golden, the long-time incumbent whom he defeated in 2018 (and who had repeatedly blocked the expansion of the speed camera program in Albany), may gear up for a rematch.

So we want to help Andrew raise the money he'll need to run an all-out re-election campaign in 2020. Helping him get an early start on fundraising now will mean that he'll be able to spend more time talking to voters and less time dialing potential donors next fall.

Sending Andrew Gounardes back to Albany for another term, and ensuring that we maintain a safe-streets majority in the State Senate, is one of StreetsPAC's top priorities. We hope you'll join us on October 28th to help make certain that we accomplish it.

See below for details, and click on the image to RSVP.


published 2018 NYS General in Endorsements 2018-09-20 08:51:15 -0400

2018 NYS General Election

2018 Endorsees: State Senate | State Assembly | Ballot Proposals

State Senate


JuliaSalazar.jpgJulia Salazar, 18th Senate District, Brooklyn 

Salazar, a community organizer, won the September primary against incumbent Senator Martin Malavé Dilan in North Brooklyn's 18th District, and ran unopposed in the general election. She's committed to improving the transit system, including upgrading bus service in the district, accelerating the MTA's station-accessibility efforts, and ensuring that every resident of North Brooklyn has ready access to public transit during the L train shutdown. She'll also vote to reinstate and expand the city's speed camera program, and will support a congestion-pricing plan that funds a better transit system while protecting low-income drivers who have no other means of getting to work.

ZellnorMyrie.jpgZellnor Myrie, 20th Senate District, Brooklyn 

Myrie, a lawyer and activist, won his September primary race against incumbent Jesse Hamilton, and overwhelmingly won a rematch in the general election. Myrie supports congestion pricing, and plans to advocate for implementation of Select Bus Service in East Flatbush and Brownsville. He will also back legislation that would limit the ability of consistently dangerous drivers to remain behind the wheel, with an emphasis on restorative justice. He wants to see Linden Boulevard redesigned with pedestrian safety upgrades and protected bike lanes, and supports a Vision Zero makeover for the irregular triangles at the confluence of Howard, Pitkin and East New York Avenues in Brownsville.

AndrewGounardes.jpgAndrew Gounardes, 22nd Senate District, Brooklyn

Gounardes, a native of Bay Ridge and Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, defeated incumbent Republican State Senator Marty Golden in November’s general election. Gounardes has made street safety a core element of his campaign: he supports placing speed cameras in all of New York City's school zones, wants the city to accelerate street redesigns to prioritize safety, and backs requiring defensive-driving courses or driving refreshers with every license renewal. He also supports congestion pricing, and is adamant that every subway station should be accessible.

RobertJackson.jpgRobert Jackson, 31st Senate District, Manhattan

Jackson, who served for 12 years in the City Council, defeated first-term State Senator Marisol Alcantera in the September primary, and cruised to victory in a three-way general election race. Jackson is a backer of congestion pricing, and supports residential parking permits as a means of combatting the influx of park-and-ride drivers who routinely flood upper Manhattan. He also wants to see the city's lapsed speed camera program renewed and expanded, and is committed to pursuing improvements to the Hudson River Greenway.

AlessandraBiaggi.jpgAlessandra Biaggi, 34th Senate District, Bronx

Biaggi, a Bronx native who was Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential run, upset Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein in September's primary, and won a four-way general election race with more than 75% of the vote. She's pledged support for a comprehensive congestion-pricing plan consistent with the Move NY and FixNYC proposals, and wants to see Albany pass legislation that would increase penalties for hit-and-run drivers. She will also advocate for reinstatement and an increase in the number of speed cameras authorized for New York City, as well as the elimination of restrictions governing their operation.

 

State Assembly


BrianBarnwell.jpgBrian Barnwell, 30th Assembly District, Queens

Barnwell, one of the younger members of the Assembly, won his central Queens seat in 2016 by upsetting a long-term incumbent, and handily won a competitive primary in September before winning the general election. He supports implementation of Select Bus Service on major avenues in Maspeth and Middle Village, and wants to see the city's school speed safety camera program renewed and expanded. He's also been working with the MTA to implement transit improvements in his district using state multi-modal transportation funds.

CatalinaCruz.jpgCatalina Cruz, 39th Assembly District, Queens

Cruz, the first DREAMer to win elective office in New York State, is an attorney who served as Chief of Staff to former City Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferraras-Copeland. She bested incumbent Assemblymember Ari Espinal in the primary, and did so again in a three-way general election. Cruz supports congestion pricing, and reinstatement and expansion of the city's speed camera program. She wants to see Select Bus Service implemented along Junction Boulevard, and supports passage of legislation that would increase penalties for drivers who flee crashes. She also believes that New York City should have control of the subways and city buses.

Robert Carroll, 44th Assembly District, Brooklyn

Carroll, who won his Assembly seat in 2016 with StreetsPAC's backing, and easily won re-election, has quickly established himself as a transit and safe-streets champion. He's pledged to continue to lead the fight for passage of a comprehensive congestion-pricing plan, and is committed to working to bring runaway MTA capital costs in line with those of other major transit systems. He supports reinstatement and expansion of the city's speed camera effort, and will continue to advocate for legislation aimed at getting dangerous drivers off the road.

JoAnneSimon.jpgJo Anne Simon, 52nd Assembly District, Brooklyn

Simon overwhelmingly won election to a third term in the Assembly, where she serves on the Transportation Committee, and she's been an advocate for safe streets and better transit for decades. She's an original co-sponsor of the bill supporting the Move New York congestion-pricing plan, and is adamant about the need to reinstate and expand New York City's speed-camera program. In addition, Simon is the lead sponsor of a bill that would authorize the city of New York to establish a residential parking-permit system.

HarveyEpstein.jpgHarvey Epstein, 74th Assembly District, Manhattan

Epstein, who won a special election in April to succeed Brian Kavanagh in this east side district, won a full term in a lopsided three-way race. Prior to winning office, he built a distinguished career as a public-interest lawyer and community organizer. Epstein has already made his mark in Albany by introducing a bill that would remove caps on the number of bus-lane and red-light cameras in New York City, and he supports congestion pricing and the renewal and expansion of the city's speed-camera program. He's also an advocate for a robust plan for dealing with the impending L train shutdown.

 

#FlipYourBallot! We Encourage You to Vote Yes on Ballot Proposals 1 and 3


Please remember to flip over your ballot when you're voting, as there are three ballot proposals on the reverse side. We encourage you to vote yes on Ballot Proposals 1 and 3.

Ballot Prop 1 – Campaign Finance Reform 

Our friends at NYPIRG provided the following statement to the New York City Campaign Finance Board summarizing the benefits of a yes vote on Proposal 1:

This ballot question would dramatically lower the campaign contribution limits for those running in New York City elections. NYPIRG supports that change since it helps limit the influence that wealthy and powerful interests have over policymaking in the City.

These changes will further strengthen the City's landmark law, already a model for the nation. The current program matches small private donations with additional public resources, matching every $1 in private donation raised with $6 of clean public resources. The proposed change bumps that up to $8 of public resources for every $1 privately raised, further helping candidates without access to wealth to credibly run for office.

Relying on a large number of small contributors helps those who successfully run for office to act in the public’s best interest, not worry about the concerns of the wealthy few.

The proposed changes could also help strengthen the diversity of the City’s public officials and incentivize participating candidates to focus on the needs of the public at large and rely less on the well-organized economic interests that too often dominate governmental decision-making.

Ballot Prop 3 – Community Board Term Limits 

Our friends at Reinvent Albany provided the following statement to the New York City Campaign Finance Board summarizing the benefits of a yes vote on Proposal 3:

A yes vote on Question 3 generally establishes term limits for community board members of four consecutive two-year terms. It will require borough presidents, who appoint community board members, to create a standardized application for appointment and to document their marketing of vacant community board positions.

A yes vote on this question will result in community boards that are more diverse and representative of the communities they serve. This will help ensure a robust discussion of land use matters before the board, and that voices in the community are heard. All residents will experience a fairer application process and have a better opportunity to serve the community on the board.

We have not taken a position on Ballot Proposal 2, which would create a Civic Engagement Commission and establish citywide Participatory Budgeting.


wants to volunteer 2017-08-16 20:18:20 -0400

2017 Campaign Volunteer Signup

A number of the candidates we've endorsed in the New York City primary election on September 12th are involved in highly competitive races. And nothing can help put a candidate over the top like dedicated volunteers!

Do you have a few hours to spare to help elect a candidate committed to making New York City streets safer? Can you help make phone calls or hand out campaign literature for someone who will go to work to improve our transit system? Then sign up today!

All you need to do is fill in your contact information, indicate the candidate or candidates you're interested in helping, and we'll share your information with the respective campaigns for follow up.

Thank you for your willingness to volunteer!

NYC Needs a Comprehensive Snow-Removal Policy

Yesterday's snowfall – while thankfully not the blizzard that many outlets predicted – served as yet another reminder that New York City lacks a comprehensive system for clearing snow from intersections, crosswalks and catch basins.

SlushPuddleNYT.jpgWhile the Department of Sanitation did its usual yeoman's job of plowing and salting the city's streets, too much of that plowed snow ends up creating headaches for pedestrians, and for less able-bodied New Yorkers, dangerous and impassable obstacles.

As LTV Squad's Joseph Anastasio pointed out a year ago, snow removal at intersections falls into a responsibility black hole, and too many property owners skip shoveling their sidewalks because fines are low and enforcement is almost nil. He offers up a plan that largely puts the onus on the citizenry, which may or may not be the best plan – but at least it's a plan! And here are three suggestions from Streetsblog's Ben Fried for improving upon the current situation.

Given its role in creating laws, the City Council needs to tackle this nagging problem head-on. Sign the petition to ask the Council to initiate a comprehensive plan for improving snow removal in New York City.

246 signatures

Petition

To the New York City Council:

New York City needs a comprehensive snow-removal policy!

While the Department of Sanitation does an excellent job of plowing streets, the city has no equivalent process for clearing intersections, crosswalks and catch basins. We've all encountered mountains of snow and ponds of slush when simply trying to cross a street, but what's annoying for the nimble and able-bodied can be dangerous and impossible for the elderly, the disabled, young children or parents pushing strollers. Clear streets are not enough if they can't be crossed by pedestrians!

We, the undersigned, urge the Council's Transportation and Sanitation Committees to craft an overhaul to the laws governing snow removal.

Photo: Joshua Bright for The New York Times


StreetsPAC Commends Mayor de Blasio for Increased Vision Zero Funding, Urges Quick Deployment

StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure delivered the following testimony at today's City Council Committee on Transportation oversight hearing on Vision Zero progress and needs:

We were heartened by the news this week that Mayor de Blasio plans to budget an additional $400 million for Vision Zero.  The City Council’s call last year for more funding for Vision Zero no doubt played a role in the Mayor’s decision; thank you for your continued advocacy for increased investment in safe streets.

This additional funding is critical, because our ability to achieve Vision Zero lies first and foremost in redesigning our streets.  Vision Zero is predicated on the fact that people make mistakes, but that those mistakes should not cost someone a limb, or worse, his or her life.  A margin for human error must be part of the equation, whether that error is on the part of people using our streets, or those whose job it is to enforce the laws governing them.


signed StreetsPetition: Matthew von Ohlen 2016-10-19 13:43:47 -0400

StreetsPetition: NYPD – Release Details of the Investigation into the Death of Matthew von Ohlen

In the early hours of July 2, 2016, 35-year-old Matthew von Ohlen was struck and killed by the driver of a black, late-model Chevrolet Camaro as he was riding his bike home from work in Williamsburg's Grand Street bike lane. Police who reviewed surveillance video of the crash told WPIX TV that the driver appeared to slow down and steer into bike lane, intentionally striking von Ohlen before running over him and dragging him 30 feet, before speeding off. Von Ohlen died in the hospital not long after, the victim of severe trauma.

Four days later, the NYPD's 90th Precinct took to Twitter to announce that police had located the car involved in the crash. But that was the last public announcement made regarding the investigation into von Ohlen's death. More than four months have passed since.

The failure of the police to catch Matthew von Ohlen's killer fits a pattern. As Gothamist reports today, the NYPD has made arrests in just 34% of the fatal hit-and-run crashes that occurred in New York City between July 2015 and June 2016. When hit-and-run crashes in which the victim suffered an injury are included, the arrest rate drops to a meager 8%.

173 SIGNATURES
GOAL: 1,000 signatures

Petition

To NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill:vonohlennydn.jpg

Please order the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad and 90th Precinct to release updated information regarding the July 2, 2016 crash that killed Matthew von Ohlen.

Police told WPIX TV and other media that the driver who struck von Ohlen appeared to do so intentionally, slowing down before steering into the bike lane in which von Ohlen was riding, and then striking von Ohlen and dragging him for 30 feet before speeding off.

On July 6, the 90th Precinct announced via its Twitter account that the black Chevrolet Camaro involved in the crash had been located, but that is the last bit of information the public has received about the case. That's unacceptable.

It's time for the NYPD to bring the public up to speed on the investigation. To whom is the car registered? Who was driving the car? Why has no arrest been made?

Matthew von Ohlen's family, friends and colleagues – and the public at large – deserve to know.


commented on Thursday: Fundraiser for Helen Rosenthal! 2016-08-16 19:30:37 -0400 · Flag
So you’re saying we should endorse Council Member Rosenthal in 2017? This sounds like a good thing.

@EricMcClureBK tweeted link to StreetsPoll: April 13, 2016. 2016-04-13 13:41:36 -0400

StreetsPoll: April 13, 2016

A number of significant transit projects are in various stages of conception – some proposed recently by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, and others that have been kicking around for years. Tell us which one you think has the best chance of actually happening, and if you sign up to receive email updates (you can unsubscribe any time), you'll earn a chance to win a StreetsPAC t-shirt!


Eric McClure
2239pc
Eric McClure is StreetsPAC's Executive Director and Treasurer. He's a co-founder of Park Slope Neighbors, a grassroots community-advocacy organization based in Brooklyn.