Statement on Polly Trottenberg’s Resignation as New York City Transportation Commissioner

We were sorry to learn today that New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will be leaving her post before the end of 2020. We’re grateful to her for her leadership and partnership in working to make New York City’s streets safer and our public transit system better.

The New York City Department of Transportation notched many important achievements under Commissioner Trottenberg’s leadership, including the lowering of the city’s speed limit to 25 mph, the vast expansion of the city’s speed-camera program, implementation of Manhattan’s 14th Street busway, significant growth of the city’s bike-lane network, and progress toward reducing deaths and injuries. And in just the past few months, her department has orchestrated the rollout of the city’s Open Restaurants and Open Streets efforts, while dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19 within its own ranks.

As advocates, our mantra is always “do more,” and there is of course much more we need to accomplish as a city, whether it’s revitalizing Vision Zero or building more dedicated bus lanes or completing a citywide network of truly protected bike paths. But whenever we’ve pushed Commissioner Trottenberg to do more, it’s with the knowledge that she cares deeply about New York City and the safety and health of its denizens. We know that she takes personally every death or serious injury on the city’s streets, and shares our goals for a better future.

Thank you, Polly, for your dedication as NYC DOT Commissioner, and good luck in your next endeavor. We’re confident that your role on President-elect Biden’s Transition Team will ensure that walking, biking and transit will be central to his administration’s transportation agenda.

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21 for 21! Gounardes Comeback Completes StreetsPAC Endorsees' Election Sweep

When Andrew Gounardes completed his comeback yesterday from a 6,000-vote Election Day deficit, it closed the door on a perfect 21-for-21 performance by StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates for State Senate and Assembly in the November 3rd general election.

When counting of absentee and mail-in ballots began Monday, Gounardes trailed by more than 5,200 votes. When counting was halted for the day on Wednesday, that deficit had become a lead of about 2,500 votes, with some 1,800 ballots still to be tallied.

Gounardes was one of eight State Senate candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC, a group that included newly elected Brooklyn Senator Jabari Brisport. We also endorsed 13 candidates for Assembly, with Khaleel Anderson, Jessica González-Rojas, Emily Gallagher, Chantel Jackson and Amanda Septimo all winning seats for the first time.

We're extremely proud of this slate and their collective commitment to safer streets and better public transit, and look forward to the work they'll be doing in Albany. Read on for a brief look at all 21 winning candidates, and some of the issues on which they'll focus in the next legislative term.

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It's Election Day! Vote for StreetsPAC-Endorsed Candidates for State Senate and Assembly!

Polls Are Open Today from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

It's Election Day. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. As long as you're in line to vote by 9 p.m., you can't be turned away. We strongly recommend that you use the New York City Board of Elections' Find My Poll Site tool to confirm your polling site, and to preview a sample ballot. If you're voting in person today, please be sure to wear a mask and adhere to safe social-distancing protocols, and do prepare yourself for a bit of a wait. If you're voting by absentee ballot, it must be postmarked today, but you can also drop it off at any polling site (go straight to the front of the line to turn it in).

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 today's election. Below, you can learn more about each of our endorsees, and their plans for making our streets safer and our public transit better.

We urge you to get out and vote for the StreetsPAC candidate if you vote in a district in which we've endorsed. We're confident that the candidates who've earned StreetsPAC's endorsement will work diligently to promote safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable public transit.

Read on to meet our 2020 endorsees!

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StreetsPAC's 2020 General Election Voter Guide

Polls Open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday

New York State's general election takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3rd, and polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. As long as you're in line to vote by 9, you can't be turned away. We strongly recommend that you use the New York City Board of Elections' Find My Poll Site tool to confirm your Election Day polling site, and to preview a sample ballot. If you're voting in person tomorrow, please be sure to wear a mask and adhere to safe social-distancing protocols, and be prepared to have to wait for a bit. If you're voting by absentee ballot, it must be postmarked no later than tomorrow, but you can also drop it off at a polling site (go straight to the front of the line to do that).

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. 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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StreetsPAC 2020 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 weeks, 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 endorsed a total of 25 candidates for State Senate, Assembly, and Queens Borough President. Below, you can learn a bit about each of our endorsees, and the safe-streets and public transit issues they've committed to championing.

This primary will likely continue the trend of low-turnout elections, especially when factoring in the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic. That means that your vote for a candidate who supports safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable public transit, could very well be critical in deciding the outcome of a close race.

To check your voter-registration status, find your polling location, and to see a sample ballot, please visit vote.nyc (we've noted below that a few of the candidates we've endorsed do not have primaries, and thus won't appear on the ballot). We urge you to get out and vote today for the StreetsPAC candidate of your choice, but please be sure to wear a mask and adhere to safe social-distancing protocols.

Read on to meet StreetsPAC's 2020 endorsees!

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StreetsPAC Endorses 24 Candidates for State Senate and Assembly

We're excited today to announce 24 endorsements in State Senate and Assembly races, including six candidates for the Senate and 18 for Assembly seats.

Our endorsees are a diverse group, representing all five boroughs and including incumbents (several of whom have earned past StreetsPAC endorsements), challengers to sitting electeds, and candidates for open seats. A handful do not face primary races, which we've noted, so they won't be on the ballot until November's general election. We also anticipate making additional endorsements before November.

The majority of our endorsees, however, will appear on the Democratic Primary ballot on June 23rd. In-person early voting begins tomorrow, and all New Yorkers are eligible to vote by absentee ballot. You can check your registration status, find out where to vote, and learn how to request an absentee ballot at vote.nyc.

Read on to meet all our endorsees, who are listed below chronologically by district number, beginning with the Senate candidates.

State Senate

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.

Rajiv GowdaRajiv Gowda, 23rd Senate District, Staten Island & Brooklyn (Challenger) – Gowda, a retired civil engineer, is challenging incumbent, and former IDC member, Diane Savino in a district that covers Staten Island's North Shore and a portion of southern Brooklyn. A former union leader and Community Education Council president, Gowda also chaired his Community Board's Transportation Committee. He's committed to fighting for a pedestrian and bicycle path on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, reactivation of Staten Island's North Shore rail line, and major improvements to his district's bike lanes.

Jabari BrisportJabari Brisport, 25th Senate District, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Brisport, a middle-school math teacher, is running in a three-way race for the seat currently held by the retiring Velmanette Montgomery. He's running on a detailed and progressive transportation platform, which includes advocating to expand the zone for congestion pricing, which he wants to see implemented on schedule, 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. She does not have a primary challenge.

Khaleel AndersonKhaleel Anderson, 31st Assembly District, Queens (Open Seat) – Anderson is one of six candidates running 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 were impressed by all the candidates we interviewed for this seat, including Richard David, whom we endorsed for City Council in 2017, and Shea Uzoigwe, who has advocated for congestion pricing and better bus service, but 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 (Challenger) – González-Rojas, a reproductive health and immigrants rights activist, is one of four candidates challenging incumbent Assemblyman Michael DenDekker. 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. We were also greatly impressed by Nuala O'Doherty-Naranjo, a former prosecutor and dedicated safe-streets and community activist, but in a tough multi-candidate race against an incumbent with a mediocre record on transportation issues, we believe González-Rojas has the best chance to prevail.

Aravella SimotasAravella Simotas, 36th Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent) – Simotas, who grew up in the district she represents, was first elected to the Assembly in 2010. She has sponsored legislation to elevate penalties for unlicensed drivers who injure or kill, began calling for Astoria's Shore Boulevard to be car-free back in 2015 (it was finally designated an Open Street by NYCDOT in April), and supported the push to pass congestion pricing in the last session. She supports reforming the Department of Motor Vehicles, including requiring the periodic recertification of drivers. She's also introduced a bill to give each borough a representative on the MTA board.

Mary JobaidaMary Jobaida, 37th Assembly District, Queens (Challenger) – Jobaida, who emigrated from Bangladesh in 2001, is one of two candidates challenging incumbent Catherine Nolan, who has held the seat since 1985 and has an undistinguished record on transportation issues. An activist and health care worker, Jobaida has always commuted by subway. In addition to believing the transit system should ultimately be free, Mary wants to grow and electrify the bus network, increase accessibility in the transit system, build out bike lane infrastructure throughout the district, expand the Fair Fares program, and reverse the hiring of 500 new MTA police.

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. Carroll does not have a primary challenge.

Emily GallagherEmily Gallagher, 50th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Assemblyman Joe Lentol has served the people of his North Brooklyn neighborhood with distinction for 48 years. He’s a senior member of the Assembly’s Democratic leadership. He’s been willing to listen to and work with advocates, and has ably adapted over the past 15 years as his district has changed, lending his support to lowered speed limits and new protected bike lanes. That said, it feels like we’re at an inflection point, as a nation and a city. Change is unfolding all around us. Emily Gallagher has been in the trenches as an advocate for the past decade, often in a leading role. She’s 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. Emily is prepared to go to Albany and be a voice for the very issues that motivated us to found StreetsPAC. She’s committed to fighting for better bike infrastructure and more reliable buses and subways. She supports implementing a busway on Bedford Avenue. Her agenda is our agenda. Given the record Joe Lentol has put together in Albany over his long tenure, this was our most difficult endorsement decision, by far. But Emily Gallagher is our choice in the 50th Assembly District.

Katherine WalshKatherine Walsh, 51st Assembly District, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Katherine is one of three candidates challenging long-time incumbent Félix Ortiz, whom we endorsed in 2014 and 2016. Born and raised in Sunset Park, she has spent the past 10 years working to address climate change with the Climate Disclosure Project. She's adamant that congestion pricing implementation should proceed on schedule, and that the funds raised must be fully dedicated to the MTA. With the explosion in trucking facilities in the district, she's committed to pushing for the electrification of delivery vehicles and the use of e-bikes for last-mile deliveries. She'll also advocate for reimagining the BQE corridor to promote more sustainable modes of transportation. Assemblyman Ortiz, who did not respond to our interview requests after submitting a questionnaire, has served well and admirably, but the 51st District seems ready for change.

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. Simon does not face a primary challenge.

Justin CohenJustin Cohen, 56th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Cohen, a community organizer and education advocate, is running for the seat being vacated by Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright. He relies on the city's buses, subways and bike lanes to get around, and is committed to working to improve the transit and bicycle networks. In particular, he will advocate for improved east-west bus connections in Brooklyn. He supports further reductions to speed limits, and would like to see street redesigns that would further calm traffic and increase pedestrian safety. Cohen also believes in eliminating parking minimums, and supports better education for drivers during the licensing process.

Walter MosleyWalter Mosley, 57th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Mosley was elected to the Assembly in 2012. He was a committed supporter of congestion pricing, and is the lead sponsor of a bill that would require pedestrian and cyclist safety instruction in the written state driver's test. He's also a co-sponsor of Jo Anne Simon's residential parking permit bill. He supports further expansion of the bike network, and would like to see bus service improved, especially with additional east-west connections and dedicated lanes similar to the treatment on Fulton Street. We were impressed by Mosley's challenger, Phara Souffrant Forrest, a nurse and housing advocate, but we believe Mosley has more than earned another term in Albany.

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. She faces a credible primary challenge from Grace Lee, who impressed us, but Niou is deserving of re-election.

Dan QuartDan Quart, 73rd Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Quart, who was 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, and stiffen penalties for drivers who injure or kill. He'd like to see Select Bus Service expanded to more routes on Manhattan's east side. We were impressed by his young challenger, Cameron Koffman, but even Koffman had to admit that Quart has done a good job on transportation issues. He's earned another term in the Assembly.

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. Epstein does not have a primary challenge.

Chantel JacksonChantel Jackson, 79th Assembly District, Bronx (Open Seat) – Jackson, a social worker at a public NYC high school, is one of six candidates vying 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 working 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 (Challenger*) – 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. *Septimo is now the only candidate in the Democratic primary, as incumbent Carmen Arroyo was removed from the ballot for filing fraudulent petitions.

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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.

Please visit vote.nyc to check your registration status, confirm your polling site, and find early voting hours and locations. Click here for absentee ballot info. To contribute to Costa's campaign, please visit secure.actblue.com/donate/costa-2021.

And check back here for more StreetsPAC endorsements coming later this week!

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