StreetsPAC Announces Initial 2017 City Council Endorsements

StreetsPAC Announces Initial 2017 City Council Endorsements

StreetsPAC today announced the first of its candidate endorsements in New York City’s September 2017 primary election, supporting the campaign of Carlina Rivera for the open City Council seat in the Lower East Side’s 2nd District, as well as the re-election efforts of incumbent Council Members Ben KallosMark LevineYdanis Rodriguez and Carlos Menchaca.

“We’re excited to offer our first endorsements of 2017 to a diverse and impressive roster of candidates, all of whom are dedicated to making New York City’s streets safer and our transit system better,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “We look forward to helping elect, or re-elect, each and every one of them to the City Council.”

“Interest in safe, complete streets, and in subways and buses that run reliably, are more important to New Yorkers than ever before,” said Hilda Cohen, a founding member of StreetsPAC’s board. “More and more, we find that people are ‘Vision Zero voters’ – these issues really determine their choices in the voting booth."

More than 60 candidates for City Council have responded to StreetsPAC’s questionnaire, and StreetsPAC has been conducting personal interviews with candidates for the past several weeks.

“We’ll be making multiple rounds of endorsements,” said StreetsPAC board member Peter Frishauf. “Our recommendations will serve as a guide for voters who care about living in a safe, walkable, bikeable city, and one with a reliable transit system. They’ll be able to go to the polls knowing these candidates share and understand their challenges and desires."

The five City Council candidates receiving StreetsPAC’s initial endorsements are running to represent very different districts and neighborhoods. Here’s a round-up:

CarlinaRivera.jpgCarlina Rivera, Council District 2, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Rivera, running to replace term-limited Councilmember Rosie Mendez, is a former City Council aide with a strong record of local organizing.  She wants to expand Select Bus Service and improve pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure in the district, and supports implementing dedicated bus lanes and protected bike lanes and eliminating curbside parking in favor of loading and pick-up/drop-off zones along 14th Street for the duration of the L train shutdown.

BenKallos.jpgBen Kallos, Council District 5, Manhattan (Incumbent)
 – Kallos, who first won his East Side seat in 2013, is a Vice-Chair of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus.  He’s committed to filling the gaps in the Second Avenue protected bike lane, and to adding additional crosstown bike lanes in his district.  He’s also working to bring Citi Bike to Roosevelt Island, and Select Bus Service to 96th Street, and is dedicated to completion of the East Side Greenway.

MarkLevine.jpgMark Levine, Council District 7, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Levine, who’s running for a second term in the Council, has been a stalwart in advocating for transit improvements and safer streets.  He’s committed to making Central Park, once and for all, completely car-free, to advocating for protected bike lanes on Manhattan’s Riverside Drive, and to leading an effort to improve conditions on the city’s greenways, including the Cherry Walk section of the Hudson River Greenway, which is badly in need of safety improvements.

YdanisRodriguez.jpgYdanis Rodriguez, Council District 10, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Rodriguez, who has distinguished himself as the outspoken chair of the City Council’s Committee on Transportation, is running for his third term.  He’s a proponent of making portions of Broadway permanently car-free, and is committed to working for implementation of Fair Fares and a five-borough bike-share system.  He also plans to advocate for creation of a comprehensive, long-term transportation plan for New York City, along the lines of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Transportation Manifesto.

CarlosMenchaca.jpgCarlos Menchaca, Council District 38, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Menchaca, running for re-election in his Sunset Park and Red Hook district, was one of the very first candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC in 2013.  He’s been the leading champion for the complete-streets redesign of Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue, and is committed to seeing his bill to permit bicyclists to use leading pedestrian interval signals enacted into law.  He will also continue his work to ensure that underserved communities have a seat at the table in determining the future of their streets and transportation systems.

StreetsPAC will help elect endorsed candidates with cash contributions and volunteer support.

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