Complete- and safe-streets political action committee StreetsPAC today announced a new round of candidate endorsements for New York City’s November general election, backing the re-election of Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and the first-time candidacies of Ben Kallos and Helen Rosenthal in Manhattan and John Mancuso on Staten Island, all of whom are running for open City Council seats.
“Jimmy Van Bramer has distinguished himself in the City Council as a leader on numerous safe-streets issues,” said Helen Ho, a StreetsPAC board member and Queens resident. “His introduction of speed-camera legislation in the Council was key to passing the Albany bill authorizing speed cameras for New York City, and he’s been a vocal supporter of bike-share expansion. He’s truly an advocate’s advocate.”
“Electing Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos to represent the Upper West and Upper East Sides, respectively, will be a huge victory for safe and complete streets in Manhattan,” said StreetsPAC board member A. Scott Falk. “Helen and Ben are both anxious to bring Citi Bikes to their districts, and to provide their constituents with protected bike lanes on which to ride them.” Both candidates are also proponents of establishing Select Bus Service routes across Central Park.
“John Mancuso is a breath of fresh air for Staten Island, which is in dire need of more and better transportation options,” said Glenn McAnanama, a StreetsPAC board member. “John clearly understands that the solution to Staten Island’s traffic problems isn’t just wider roads. He will advocate for rational bridge tolling, and his support for pedestrian and bike access to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge will help make the Harbor Ring a reality.”
Here’s more background on today’s StreetsPAC endorsees:
Jimmy Van Bramer, Council District 26, Queens (Incumbent) – Jimmy Van Bramer has long been a champion for safe and complete streets. He has stood with victims’ families when reckless drivers have taken their lives, and has tirelessly advocated for more effective traffic laws. A supporter of Vision Zero, he introduced speed-camera legislation in the City Council, initiated the first bicycling town hall in New York City, and has led the charge for Citi Bike expansion in Queens. He's a strong supporter of extending the bike-lane network, including dedicating a lane for cyclists on the Pulaski Bridge. Van Bramer has advocated for smarter parking policies and plans to work with constituents and the Department of Transportation to create several new pedestrian plazas in his district.
Ben Kallos, Council District 5, Manhattan (Open Seat) – As Council Member for District 5, Ben Kallos will continue his efforts to expand bike share to El Barrio, Roosevelt Island, and the Upper East Side. He wants to bring East River Ferry service to Roosevelt Island, and introduce crosstown Select Bus Service for the Upper East and Upper West Sides. A regular cyclist, Kallos will work to calm traffic and improve safety around the Queensboro Bridge. He envisions a true complete-streets treatment for Second Avenue after subway construction ends, with loading zones, performance-based parking, and a protected bicycle path. Kallos launched the “Bring Back Our Booths” campaign to restore attendants to subway stations, which became a citywide initiative of Transit Forward.
Helen Rosenthal, Council District 6, Manhattan (Open Seat) – A lifelong cyclist who looks forward to commuting to City Hall by bicycle, Helen Rosenthal will work to bring Citi Bike to the Upper West Side and, with the inclusion of Central Park in District 6, remove cars once and for all from the park loop. As chair of Community Board 7, she laid the groundwork for the Columbus Avenue bike path, and will work with the community for similar improvements on Amsterdam Avenue, as well as the connection of crosstown paths through Central Park to the Hudson River Greenway. Rosenthal welcomes the chance to explore crosstown Select Bus Service between the Upper West and Upper East Sides, and the eventual completion of an uninterrupted greenway around Manhattan.
John Mancuso, Council District 50, Staten Island (Open Seat) – John Mancuso, a Captain in the Auxiliary Police from South Beach, plans to focus on improving Staten Island’s transportation infrastructure. His most urgent priority is to transform dangerous thoroughfares like Hylan Boulevard into high-performance complete streets that safely accommodate more users. He’ll champion construction of a pedestrian and cyclist path on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, in order to add transportation options, improve disaster preparedness, and boost tourism to Staten Island. He will also work to keep cars out of parks and reform New York City’s dysfunctional bridge-tolling system to equalize fares across all of NYC's bridges.
StreetsPAC will help elect its endorsed candidates with cash contributions and volunteer support.
About StreetsPAC: StreetsPAC is a political action committee dedicated to electing public officials who are committed to improving the safety, mobility and livability of New York City’s streets. StreetsPAC raises money to support the electoral campaigns of candidates who demonstrate dedication to complete streets, including the expansion of traffic-calming infrastructure, growth of the city’s Neighborhood Slow Zones initiative, creation of more pedestrian plazas, expansion of the city’s network of bike lanes, and better and more thorough crash investigations and enforcement of traffic laws.
StreetsPAC is registered with the New York State Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board. To learn more about StreetsPAC, its mission and its board of directors, please visit www.streetspac.org.