StreetsPAC today announced its endorsements for candidates running in the September 13th primary races for the New York State Senate and Assembly.
In Senate races, StreetsPAC is endorsing challenger Adrienne Adams in Queens’s 10th District, and in a hotly contested battle for an open seat in Manhattan’s 31st District, StreetsPAC is supporting Micah Lasher. In Assembly contests, StreetsPAC is backing Robert Carroll in the open race for Brooklyn’s 44th District, challenger Paul Newell in a six-way race in lower Manhattan’s 65th District, and challenger Carmen de la Rosa in upper Manhattan’s 72nd District.
In addition, StreetsPAC is endorsing incumbent Brooklyn Assembly Members Felix Ortiz (51st District) and Jo Anne Simon (52nd District), neither of whom faces a primary challenge.
“For most state legislative races, incumbents are virtually guaranteed re-election, so our focus was on the handful of races for open seats, as well as those few contests in which there were legitimate, well organized and well funded challengers,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “With Assembly Members Ortiz and Simon, we felt it important to make a statement of support for a pair of incumbents who boast particularly distinguished records on safe streets.”
“Infusing the legislature with new ideas and fresh energy is critical,” said StreetsPAC board member Sebastian Delmont, “and our endorsement decisions certainly take that into account. The current way of doing things in Albany is obviously ripe for improvement.”
“While most decisions affecting street safety and transportation in New York City are made in City Hall and the Council, the state government plays a major role in a few key areas, including funding of the MTA and deployment and operation of speed and red-light cameras,” said Peter Frishauf, a StreetsPAC board member. “We’re backing candidates who are committed to leading on those issues.”
Click through after the jump for a round up of today’s StreetsPAC endorsees, all of whom have pledged to support the Move New York Fair Plan, installation of life-saving speed cameras at all 2,000+ New York City school (without restriction on their operation), increased deployment of red-light cameras, and expansion of the MTA’s Select Bus Service.
Adrienne Adams, Senate District 10, Queens (Challenger)
Adams, Chair of Queens Community Board 12 and a former executive trainer, is challenging incumbent State Senator James Sanders, Jr. “Much of Southeast Queens is a transit desert and we must increase funding for mass transit and increase bus service to both make our streets safer and our city more livable,” said Adams. She cites speeding in her district as a particularly vexing problem.
Micah Lasher, Senate District 31, Manhattan/Bronx (Open Seat)
Lasher, who most recently served as Chief of Staff to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, was also Director of State Legislative Affairs for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He’ll be able to hit the ground running in Albany. While his main opponents, especially labor organizer Marisol Alcantara, are compelling candidates, we believe Lasher has the greatest potential to help navigate critical issues like Move New York and increased deployment of speed cameras through the murky waters of the State Senate.
Robert Carroll, Assembly District 44, Brooklyn (Open Seat)
Carroll, an attorney and former president of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democratic club, has been a fixture in local politics since his teens. He has a good command of the issues facing the MTA, and is determined to find a win-win solution to the contentious issue of restoration of express service on the F subway line, which runs through the 44th District.
Paul Newell, Assembly District 65, Manhattan (Challenger)
Newell, a community organizer and District Leader for Lower Manhattan and the Lower East Side, is running in a six-way race that includes incumbent Alice Cancel, who won a special election earlier this year to replace Sheldon Silver. While we also gave high marks to Gigi Li, the former Chair of Manhattan CB3, we believe Newell is the strongest of the candidates on safe- and complete-streets policies.
Carmen De La Rosa, Assembly District 72, Manhattan/Bronx (Challenger)
De La Rosa, who was until recently Chief of Staff to City Council Member (and Transportation Committee Chair) Ydanis Rodriguez, is challenging incumbent Assembly Member Guillermo Linares. While working in the Council, De La Rosa played a key role in the passage of a number of pieces of legislation related to Vision Zero, and she’s firmly committed to improving public transit and street safety throughout her district.
Felix Ortiz, Assembly District 51, Brooklyn (Incumbent)
Ortiz, the Assembly’s Assistant Speaker, has represented his district for more than two decades. His bill banning the use of handheld cell phones by drivers became the first such state law in the entire country in 2000. Ortiz also introduced a “textalyzer” bill this past April, which would enable police to field-test motorists’ cell phones following a crash.
Jo Anne Simon, Assembly District 52, Brooklyn (Incumbent)
Simon, who won her Assembly seat in 2014, has a long, distinguished record of advocacy for better transit and safer streets. She is a member of the Assembly’s Committee on Transportation, and is an original co-sponsor of a bill supporting the Move New York Fair Plan, along with Felix Ortiz.