StreetsPAC Endorses Andrew Gounardes for State Senate

Democratic Primary Winner Will Face Off Against Marty Golden in November

StreetsPAC today endorsed Andrew Gounardes in Brooklyn's 22nd State Senate District. Gounardes, who defeated Ross Barkan in a hotly contested Democratic Primary a week ago, is aiming to unseat eight-term Republican incumbent Marty Golden, who has distinguished himself primarily as an obstacle to safe streets.

Gounardes, born and raised in Bay Ridge, has served as Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams since 2014. He has long been an advocate for street safety, both as a former member of Community Board 10's Pedestrian Safety subcommittee and as an active member of Bay Ridge Advocates for Keeping Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.). His pedestrian safety platform is a focal point of his campaign.

Contrast that with Golden, who has repeatedly stood in the way of New York City's life-saving speed camera program, and whose own driving record boasts numerous speeding violations and a fatal crash.

In addition to Gounardes' strong support for Vision Zero policies, he's deeply committed to improving New York City's ailing public transit system. He supports congestion pricing, and will work to make our subway stations accessible to all New Yorkers.

As we've said before, the events of the past few months have made it clear that the New York State Senate is badly broken. The Senate’s failure to renew the city’s speed camera program, which made the streets around city schools demonstrably safer, was a new low. While safe streets and better transit shouldn't be a partisan issue, Republicans in the State Senate have made it one, so it's imperative that we flip the Senate to Democrats who will make these issues a priority. Electing Andrew Gounardes to the Senate is key to making that happen, and StreetsPAC will devote significant resources to achieving that goal.

Please join us in supporting Andrew. You can start by coming out Saturday at noon for a rally and canvassing event in Bay Ridge (details below). To volunteer with us to help Andrew's campaign between now and November 6th, sign up here. And of course, your financial support is always crucial – please donate here.

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StreetsPAC-Endorsed Candidates Roll to Victory in Senate and Assembly Primaries!

Biaggi, Jackson, Myrie, Salazar Win Senate Races; Barnwell, Cruz & Epstein Victors in Assembly Primaries

Congratulations to the winners of last night's primary elections, and especially to Democratic State Senate Primary winners Alessandra Biaggi, Robert Jackson, Zellnor Myrie and Julia Salazar, and Democratic Assembly Primary victors Brian Barnwell, Catalina Cruz and Harvey Epstein, all of whom we were proud to endorse. Congratulations, too, to the two other endorsees who had primary races yesterday – Ethan Lustig-Elgrably, whose 46th Assembly District race is still too close to call, and Blake Morris, who ran a spirited though ultimately unsuccessful challenge – against long odds – to speed-camera villain Simcha Felder. Win or lose, they can all take pride in their efforts.

Overall, StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates won seven races last night, and lost one, with one yet to be decided. As we saw with last year's City Council contests, in which StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates won 16 of 23 primary races, voters clearly care about making streets safer and transit more reliable. And, if you'll forgive us for tooting our own horn, the results demonstrate that our in-depth questionnaire and interview process works, and leads us to support talented and viable candidates for public office.

None of this would be possible without your generous financial backing, and without your retweets, likes and shares of our social media content, as we continue to build a political movement for safer streets and better transit. Thank you for your faith in StreetsPAC!

One last time, here are the candidates whom we endorsed in yesterday's primary. Congratulations to all!

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StreetsPAC Primary Election Voter Guide

New York State's primary election is today. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and if you're registered with a political-party affiliation, you are eligible to vote in your party's primary.

For the past several months, we have evaluated responses to our in-depth candidate questionnaire, conducted in-person interviews with candidates, and deliberated at length over endorsement decisions. In August, we endorsed 11 candidates for State Senate and Assembly. Below, you can learn about each of our endorsees, and the projects and issues they've pledged to champion in Albany.

Today's primary will likely continue the trend of low-turnout elections, which means that your vote for a candidate who supports safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable public transit, may well decide the outcome in a close race.

To check your voter-registration status, find your polling location, and to see a sample ballot, please visit voting.nyc (note that Robert Carroll and Jo Anne Simon do not have primary opponents, so they won't appear on today's ballot). Most importantly, be sure to get out and vote – for the StreetsPAC candidate of your choice!

Meet the Candidates

BlakeMorris.jpgBlake Morris, 17th Senate District, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Morris, an attorney who lives in Ditmas Park, is running to unseat Simcha Felder, a Democrat who caucuses with Republicans in the State Senate and was responsible for bottling up in committee a bill that would have reauthorized, and increased the number of, speed safety cameras in New York City. Unlike Felder, Morris supports reinstating, and expanding, the speed camera program, and will push for safety improvements along Ocean Parkway. He also backs the proposed Triboro RX subway line, and supports passage of a comprehensive congestion-pricing plan.

JuliaSalazar.jpgJulia Salazar, 18th Senate District, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Salazar, a community organizer and Democratic Socialist, is challenging incumbent Senator Martin Malavé Dilan in North Brooklyn's 18th District. 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 (Challenger) – Myrie, a lawyer and activist, is seeking to unseat Jesse Hamilton, who was a member of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference. 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, if it contains a restorative justice component. He'd also like 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.

RobertJackson.jpgRobert Jackson, 31st Senate District, Manhattan (Challenger) – Jackson, who served for 12 years in the City Council, is challenging first-term State Senator Marisol Alcantera, who was a member of the Independent Democratic Conference that caucused with Republicans. 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 (Challenger) – Biaggi, a Bronx native who was Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential run, is challenging Jeff Klein, who has led the Republican-caucusing Independent Democratic Conference for the past seven years. 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.

BrianBarnwell.jpgBrian Barnwell, 30th Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent) – Barnwell, one of the younger members of the Assembly, won his central Queens seat in 2016 by upsetting a long-term incumbent. 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 (Challenger) – Cruz, the first DREAMer to run for office in New York State, is an attorney who served as Chief of Staff to former City Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferraras-Copeland. She's challenging Assemblymember Ari Espinal, who won her seat in an April special 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.

RobertCarroll.jpgRobert Carroll, 44th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Carroll, who won his Assembly seat in 2016 with StreetsPAC's backing, 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. Carroll does not have a primary opponent.

EthanLustigElgrably.jpgEthan Lustig-Elgrably, 46th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Lustig-Elgrably, running for the open seat in the 46th District, served as Legislative Director and Chief of Staff for City Council Member Mark Treyger prior to a stint at the Parks Department. He's committed to improving bus service in the district, especially along the B36 and B74 routes, and plans to advocate for expanded express subway service. He also views improved subway and bus accessibility as a key issue, including level boarding for buses.

JoAnneSimon.jpgJo Anne Simon, 52nd Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Simon is running for 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. Simon does not have a primary opponent.

HarveyEpstein.jpgHarvey Epstein, 74th Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Epstein, who won a special election in April to succeed Brian Kavanagh in this east side district, is now running for a full term. Prior to winning office, he had 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.

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The Primary Election is a Week Away – Help Put StreetsPAC's Endorsees Over the Top!

We're just seven days away from New York's 2018 State primary election, and we need your help to ensure that the candidates we've endorsed win their races. You can sign up right here to volunteer with StreetsPAC, or click on the links at the end of each candidate bio below to volunteer directly with the campaign(s) of your choice.

Remember that this promises to be a low-turnout election, and every vote, and every door knocked on or phone call made, can make an enormous difference!

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In Case You Missed It: StreetsPAC's Endorsees for State Senate and Assembly!

Last week, we endorsed five candidates for the State Senate and six candidates for the Assembly. In case you missed our announcement, read on for a closer look at the terrific candidates we're backing in September's primary. We hope you'll be inspired to volunteer with us to help their campaigns – you can sign up right now to do that here.

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StreetsPAC Makes Endorsements in State Senate and Assembly Races

StreetsPAC today made several endorsements in races for New York State’s legislature, backing five candidates for the State Senate and six candidates for the Assembly. All five candidates we're endorsing for the State Senate are challenging sitting Senators, while four of the six Assembly candidates we're supporting are incumbents.  All of the races in which we're endorsing a candidate are for seats representing districts within New York City.

The events of the past couple months have once again made it clear that the New York State Senate is badly broken. The Senate’s failure to renew New York City’s speed camera program, which had made the streets around city schools demonstrably safer, established a new low, which isn't easy in Albany. However, we’re confident that the candidates we’re endorsing today will help transform the Senate into a legislative body that actually cares about the safety of our streets, and one that will treat our transportation system as the vital system on which so many of us rely. The same is true of the candidates we’re endorsing in State Assembly races.

Speed cameras have become a major electoral issue as a result of the Senate’s inaction, and they’re immensely popular with voters. It’s clear to us that the current makeup of the State Senate is an enormous obstacle to good street-safety policy, so we obviously need to work to change that dynamic. In the Assembly, on the other hand, we’re looking to support people who have, and will, make safe streets and improved transit a priority.

Of the five State Senate candidates we're endorsing today, three are running for seats representing Brooklyn, while the other two are contending for seats in Manhattan and the Bronx, respectively.

Meet all our endorsees after the jump.

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Calling All Volunteers!

Senate Republicans Kill NYC's Speed Camera Program – Join Us to Hold Them Accountable!

New York City's life-saving speed safety cameras were shut down on July 25th at 5:30 p.m., thanks to Republicans in the New York State Senate, who failed to hold a vote on a reauthorization and expansion bill that the State Assembly passed several weeks ago.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the effectiveness of speed cameras – speeding has dropped by 63% in locations where the cameras have been installed, pedestrian injuries have declined by 23%, and four out of five drivers wise up fast and never receive a second ticket – Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan refused to recall the Senate for a vote. The speed camera bill was bottled up in the Cities Committee by turncoat "Democrat" Simcha Felder, who caucuses with Republicans, and Bay Ridge Senator Martin Golden, an ostensible co-sponsor of the bill, did next to nothing to move it to a vote.

FlanaganFelderGolden.jpg

If the State Senate will not act to protect New York City's children from speeding drivers, we need to act to change the State Senate.

And that's where you come in. We're mounting an effort to change the Senate this fall, and we need volunteers to join us to hit the streets, knock on doors and help elect candidates who will put the safety of New Yorkers before petty party politics.

Can we count on your help? It takes just a moment to click here and volunteer, and we'll follow up soon with next steps. It's literally a matter of life and death.

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Reminder: Join Us to Bike to Work Tomorrow!

Join Us Tomorrow to Bike to Work with the City Council's Progressive Caucus!

Tomorrow – Wednesday, May 16 – please join us to celebrate Bike Month with our 5th Annual Bike to Work ride with the New York City Council's Progressive Caucus.

Bike_to_Work_2018_Flyer_v3.jpgWe'll have two rides converging at City Hall for a 9:00 a.m. rally. One will meet up on the plaza behind Brooklyn Borough Hall at 8:00 a.m., and the other will gather at the 14th Street steps at Union Square in Manhattan at 8:30 a.m.

In addition, there are a couple of feeder rides for people coming from farther out. One feeder ride will convene on Manhattan's Upper East Side, at the district office of Council Member Ben Kallos, at 244 East 93rd Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Gather at 7 a.m. for the ride to Union Square.

In Brooklyn, there will be a group riding from Grand Army Plaza to Borough Hall. Meet up and be ready to ride by 7:30 a.m.

Additional feeder rides from the East Village and Greenpoint/Williamsburg are also planned.

Join us, along with partner organizations Transportation Alternatives, Bike New York and Get Women Cycling, for this fun, casual ride, and the chance to bike side by side with some of the Progressive Caucus's most dedicate advocates for safe streets.

Please RSVP to znasir@council.nyc.gov, and if you don't have your own wheels, you can request a Citi Bike with your RSVP.

One note about the weather: we plan to ride rain or shine, and the forecast looks ok before 10 a.m., but use your judgment if things look ominous.

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Join Us to Bike to Work on May 16!

Join Us May 16 to Bike to Work with the City Council's Progressive Caucus!

Next Wednesday, May 16, we're going to be celebrating Bike Month with our 5th Annual Bike to Work event with the New York City Council's Progressive Caucus, and we hope you'll saddle up and ride with us.Bike_to_Work_2018_Flyer_v3.jpg

There are two main rides, one meeting up on the plaza behind Brooklyn Borough Hall at 8:00 a.m., and the other gathering on the 14th Street steps at Union Square in Manhattan at 8:30 a.m.  The rides will converge at City Hall for a rally at 9:00 a.m. Don't miss this annual opportunity to strike a pose with your bike on the steps of City Hall.

In addition, there are a couple of feeder rides for people coming from farther out. One feeder ride will meet up on Manhattan's Upper East Side, at the district office of Council Member Ben Kallos, at 244 East 93rd Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Gather at 7 a.m. for the ride to Union Square.

In Brooklyn, there will be a group riding from Grand Army Plaza to Borough Hall. Meet up and be ready to ride by 7:30 a.m.

Please join us, along with partner organizations Transportation Alternatives, Bike New York and Get Women Cycling, for this fun, casual ride, and the chance to bike side by side with some of the Progressive Caucus's most dedicate advocates for safe streets.

Please RSVP to znasir@council.nyc.gov, and if you don't have your own wheels, you can request a Citi Bike with your RSVP.

See you on the 16th!

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Bike to Work May 16; Car-Free Central Park; Lobby in Albany for Speed Safety Cameras

Join Us May 16 to Bike to Work with the City Council's Progressive Caucus!

On Wednesday, May 16, we're going to be celebrating Bike Month with our 5th Annual Bike to Work event with the New York City Council's Progressive Caucus, and we hope you'll saddle up and ride with us.Bike_to_Work_2018_Flyer_v3.jpg

We'll have two feeder rides, one meeting up on the plaza behind Brooklyn Borough Hall at 8:00 a.m., and the other gathering on the 14th Street steps at Union Square in Manhattan at 8:30 a.m.  The rides will converge at City Hall for a rally at 9:00 a.m. Don't miss your once-a-year chance to pose with your bike on the steps of City Hall!

Please join us, along with partner organizations Transportation Alternatives, Bike New York and Get Women Cycling, for this fun, casual ride, and the opportunity to bike side by side with some of the Progressive Caucus's most dedicate advocates for safe streets.

Please RSVP to znasir@council.nyc.gov, and if you don't have access to a bike, request a Citi Bike with your RSVP.

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StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.