2021 NYC Primary

2021 Endorsees: Citywide | Manhattan | Bronx | Queens | Brooklyn | Staten Island


KathrynGarciaCropped.jpgKathryn Garcia, Mayor (Open Seat) – New York City has come a long way in eight years.

In 2013, Bill de Blasio was the only serious mayoral contender with even a mildly progressive street-safety and transportation platform. His embrace of Vision Zero set him apart from the pack, even if he did seem a little too sympathetic to drivers and, at times, not completely sold on his own policy proposals. To be sure, the Mayor has presided over significant improvements to the city's streets. But at the same time, too many opportunities have been squandered for want of better execution.

Fast forward to 2021, and nearly every serious candidate in the race for mayor has put forth an ambitious and progressive agenda for remaking the city's streets and improving its public transit system. All seven candidates who completed our questionnaire – Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang – told us they're committed to reducing New York City's reliance on cars, vastly improving transit service, and building a robust citywide network of protected bike lanes. Every one of them advocates the quick implementation of congestion pricing. They all say they intend to commit more city resources to Open Streets. And all seven have pledged support for Transportation Alternatives' ambitious 25x25 proposal to reallocate a quarter of the city's street space from cars to people.

This election marks a sea change. The race to the top among mayoral candidates on these issues is truly something to behold, and it's a testament to the relentlessly effective work that activists and advocacy organizations have done over the past several years. The next mayor will have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to truly transform New York City's streets and transportation system. That will require decisive action in addition to good ideas.

Among all these candidates who promise a better future, we believe Kathryn Garcia possesses the best combination of vision and an ability to successfully implement large-scale, transformational change, and we are excited to endorse her to be New York City's next mayor.

Ms. Garcia has held a number of important positions within New York City government over the past decade and a half. She served as operations chief for the Department of Environmental Protection under Mayor Bloomberg, with responsibility for the water supply, sewers, and wastewater treatment. Mayor de Blasio appointed Ms. Garcia Sanitation Commissioner in 2014, a position she held until she stepped down to run for mayor. As Sanitation Commissioner, her leadership was crucial to the passage of the city's Waste Equity law in 2018, and the Commercial Waste Zone law in 2019, the latter of which will reduce private-carting trips by millions of miles annually.

In response to a lead-poisoning crisis in 2018, Mayor de Blasio tapped Ms. Garcia as the city's "lead czar," and she also served as interim NYCHA boss in 2019. Last year, Mayor de Blasio put her in charge of the city's emergency pandemic food-distribution efforts. She has earned a reputation as a get-things-done leader, while also commanding the respect and loyalty of staff, including that of the Sanitation Department's 7,000+ uniformed rank-and-file workers.

That ability to lead and execute is key to our endorsement of Ms. Garcia. Setting aspirational goals is important, but so is having the wherewithal and expertise to implement them. While all of the leading candidates, Ms. Garcia included, have proposed ambitious transportation agendas, we firmly believe that she is best equipped to deliver on her promises.

She understands clearly that physically preventing crashes through street design is the key to reducing deaths and injuries, and she has pledged to implement roadway redesigns across the city that put pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders first. She'll commit more resources to Open Streets, and more of the city's street space to pedestrians, and will build 250 miles of new protected bike lanes, expand Citi Bike, and get the city moving on providing secure bike-parking solutions.

When it comes to public transit, Ms. Garcia is committed to creating more busways and dedicated bus lanes, and expanding off-board payment, all-door boarding, and signal priority at intersections. She'll expand the Fair Fares program, potentially by reallocating outsized ferry subsidies. She's determined to improve accessibility, with more and better-maintained subway elevators. And she'll advocate with the MTA to create a one-tap, in-city transit network that integrates the Long Island and Metro North Railroads, and, potentially, Citi Bike and the ferry system.

Ms. Garcia will crack down on placard abuse by deploying electronic readers to remove "professional courtesy" from the equation. She'll pursue camera enforcement of failure-to-yield violations and bike-lane blocking, and has indicated support for Steve Levin's bill that would enable citizen-reporting of illegal parking. Furthermore, she intends to expand the city's loading zones, in both commercial and residential areas, and to expand the Clean Curbs program to containerize trash and keep sidewalks clear for pedestrians.

Finally, Ms. Garcia has pledged to treat the city's working cyclists like the essential workers they are, making sure they're protected from wage theft and unfair conditions, and deploying her long-coveted Multihogs to promptly clear bike lanes of snow and ice. In embracing TA's 25x25 challenge, she explicitly cited the safety of delivery workers.

For her commitment to reimagining the city's streets, remaking and upgrading our transit system, and reinvigorating Vision Zero, coupled with her highly regarded ability to deliver results and her belief that pedestrian- and bike-friendly street transformations will accelerate the city's economic recovery, we enthusiastically endorse Kathryn Garcia for mayor, and urge you to rank her #1 on your ballot in the June 22nd Democratic primary.

CoreyJohnsonCropped.jpgCorey Johnson, Comptroller (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Mr. Johnson, who was elected to represent Manhattan's 3rd Council District in 2013, became Speaker after winning re-election in 2017. In his State of the City address in 2019, he laid out a strong case for municipal control of New York City's transit system, thrusting that issue into the mainstream, and presented the outline for the Streets Master Plan, which he pushed through the Council and onto Mayor de Blasio's desk for his signature just a few months later.

The Streets Master Plan requires that the city create and implement a citywide transportation plan every five years, and sets critical benchmarks, such as requirements for the implementation of 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of physically separated bus lanes over five years, safety- and transit-related upgrades to thousands of intersections, and more. It's a hugely important step in moving New York City away from car-dependency.

When Albany let the city's speed-camera program expire in 2018, Mr. Johnson shepherded emergency legislation through the Council that allowed the city's cameras to be reactivated until the legislature renewed and expanded the program. That same year, his support for the Fair Fares program, and his willingness to include funds for it in the Council's budget response, were key to overcoming the Mayor's resistance.

And last April, Mr. Johnson threw his support behind Open Streets, quickly moving a bill through the Council requiring 75 miles of Open Streets after the city's cop-heavy, minuscule, two-week pilot flopped.

If elected Comptroller, Mr. Johnson pledges to prioritize audits of procurement practices at various agencies, such as the MTA and Department of Design and Construction. He's committed to ensuring that the Streets Master Plan's benchmarks – which he emphasized are not merely "goals" – are met in full, and on time. He plans to keep a close eye on the implementation of congestion pricing, and will audit the city's speed-camera program to ensure that it's equitably deployed. He'll also track progress on the city's promised bike-rack deployments, and expressed interest in our suggestion to analyze disparities in how the city subsidizes different forms of transportation. He'll also use the Comptroller's audit powers to make the case for significantly reducing the size of the city's vehicle fleet.

BradLanderCropped.jpgBrad Lander, Comptroller (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Brad Lander has dedicated himself to making streets safer since first taking office in 2010. He was an early supporter of the Prospect Park West redesign, and his refusal to waver in the face of some very politically connected opposition to the bike path was instrumental in facing down the years-long legal effort to remove it. In 2016, he patiently listened to constituents complaining about Citi Bike's expansion into his Brooklyn district, while firmly letting them know that the bike-share system was here to stay in a statement that Streetsblog called "pitch-perfect."

Mr. Lander was a vocal proponent of Fourth Avenue's road diet, pushing the Department of Transportation to speed up completion of the protected bike lanes that now span the four miles from Atlantic Avenue to 64th Street. He's fought for better accessibility at subway stations, and to restore the B71 bus.

Most notably, Mr. Lander's biggest safe-streets legislative accomplishment grew from a terrible tragedy that occurred just a block from his district office in 2018. Following the devastating crash that killed two small children at Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street, Mr. Lander, in partnership with advocates, developed the Reckless Driver Accountability Act, working deftly and relentlessly to steer the bill through the City Council, overcoming a number of legal and procedural hurdles. What became the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program will, once fully implemented, require the city's most persistent dangerous drivers to take a safe-driving class or have their vehicles impounded.

For good measure, Mr. Lander also made sure that DOT quickly redesigned Ninth Street following that deadly crash, adding protected bike lanes and pedestrian refuges.

Mr. Lander has put forth a number of detailed plans for how we would manage the Comptroller's office. He'll oversee the city's capital-projects tracker, which he legislated in the City Council, and is intended to bring transparency and accountability to the billions of dollars the city spends each year on infrastructure. He plans to use the Comptroller's powers to make the financial case for street redesigns, and to create an audit unit dedicated to transit and transportation. Like Mr. Johnson, he'd use audit and contract-registration powers to push for fleet reductions, and track implementation of the Better Bus Action Plan.

Finally, it's essential that we address the recent revelation of Mr. Lander's traffic violations. We, and many other safe-streets advocates, were dismayed when the news broke that this leading proponent of driver accountability had himself accumulated a sizable number of tickets over the past five years, including several speed-camera violations. A deeply embarrassed Mr. Lander has pledged to slow down and drive less. We believe he can and will change, and we tried hard to not let his driving violations factor into our endorsement decision. At the same time, the safety of New York City's streets shouldn't depend on drivers' willingness to slow down. We must, instead, redesign streets to make driving above the speed limit as difficult as possible – something Mr. Lander, and Mr. Johnson, both support.


MarkLevineCropped.jpgMark Levine, Manhattan Borough President (Open Seat) – Mark Levine, who currently represents Upper Manhattan's 7th Council District and chairs the Council's Health Committee, is our pick for Manhattan Borough President.

Mr. Levine, whom we endorsed when he won his current seat in 2013, and again four years later, has been a leading voice for better bus service and safer streets. He championed 125th Street Select Bus Service when he ran for office, bucking opposition from other elected officials, and introduced a bill in 2017 to speed up the city's implementation of transit-signal priority. He supported expansion of the Amsterdam Avenue protected bike lane into Harlem, a road diet for Riverside Drive, and pedestrian-safety improvements on Morningside Avenue, all in the face of Community Board intransigence. And he backed the replacement of three city-owned parking garages on West 108th Street with a 200-plus-unit affordable senior-housing project that included a shelter.

If elected Borough President, Mr. Levine will diversify Manhattan's Community Boards, and he's committed to working to pedestrianize sections of Broadway and implement safe crosstown bike paths through Central Park. He will advocate for replicating the highly successful 14th Street busway on other major east-west streets, and has put forth a plan to rezone parking garages to allow them to serve as local package-delivery hubs, which could facilitate a major increase in e-cargo bike deliveries.

We were also favorably impressed by Mr. Levine's three leading opponents in the race for Manhattan Borough President: State Senator Brad Hoylman, City Council Member Ben Kallos, and Lindsey Boylan, the former Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Housing for New York State. All three have put forth compelling visions for improving street safety and public transit options for Manhattanites, like Mr. Hoylman's aspirational plan for a car-free Manhattan, Mr. Kallos's call to expand congestion tolling to the entirety of New York City, and Ms. Boylan's interest in Barcelona-style superblocks.

Mr. Hoylman, whom we've endorsed in the past for the State Senate seat he first won in 2012, has been a strong voice in the legislature on a number of important issues. He stopped the NYS DMV from tacking on improper fines for cycling violations, drew a line in the sand in support of congestion pricing, and late last year, introduced "Sammy's Law," which, if passed, would clear the way for further reductions in the city's speed limit.  It's not for us to decide the length of Mr. Hoylman's commute, but he's been a good and effective ally in Albany.

We endorsed Mr. Kallos when he first ran for City Council in 2013, and again when he won re-election in 2017. He's been a champion for better biking infrastructure during his tenure. He pushed NYC DOT to implement crosstown bike lanes on the Upper East Side, and was instrumental in the closing of the dangerous nine-block gap in the Second Avenue bike lane. More recently, his offer to fund security fencing on the Queensboro Bridge's south outer roadway finally spurred City Hall to make significant upgrades to the bridge's bike infrastructure.

Ms. Boylan, who ran for Congress in 2020, is passionate about walking or riding her bike (which she calls "Flash") around Manhattan. She's keen to create more Open Streets throughout the borough, and would make improving transit accessibility a top priority.

But for the promises he's kept, the vision he's put forth, and his energy and temperament, we believe Mark Levine is the best choice for Manhattan Borough President in the June 22nd Democratic Primary.

AlvinBraggCropped.jpgAlvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney (Open Seat) – There's a deep and accomplished field contending to succeed Cyrus Vance, Jr., who is not seeking re-election to the job of Manhattan District Attorney. Of the eight candidates running, five of them – Alvin Bragg, Diana Florence, Lucy Lang, Dan Quart, and Tali Farhadian Weinstein – completed our questionnaire and met with our board for an interview.

Among this impressive group of lawyers, one candidate rose to the top of our list, based on a combination of commitment to treating vehicular violence as serious crime while also seeking alternatives to incarceration, important experience managing a large prosecutorial and investigative staff, a willingness to innovate, and a plausible path to victory.

That candidate is Alvin Bragg, whom we're proud to endorse in the Democratic primary for Manhattan District Attorney.

All five of the candidates seeking StreetsPAC's endorsement brought relevant experience to the table. Mr. Bragg most recently served as New York State's Chief Deputy Attorney General, and is now Co-Director of New York Law School's Racial Justice Project. Ms. Florence and Ms. Lang both have prior prosecutorial experience in the Manhattan District Attorney's office as Assistant District Attorneys. Mr. Quart, who has represented the Upper East Side in the State Assembly for the past decade, has twice earned StreetsPAC's endorsement on the strength of his legislative work to hold dangerous drivers accountable. Ms. Farhadian Weinstein clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor, served as a federal prosecutor, and was General Counsel in the Brooklyn DA's office.

Each of the candidates has pledged to put a greater focus on traffic violence as Manhattan's top prosecutor. They would all staff robust vehicular-crimes units to investigate any fatal, and many serious-injury, crashes, independent of NYPD investigations, and all of them pledged to create a Manhattan version of the Center for Court Innovation's Brooklyn Driver Accountability Program, which has proven effective in changing driver behavior without incarceration.

Additionally, Mr. Bragg, Ms. Florence, Ms. Lang and Mr. Quart all vowed to challenge the "Rule of Two" that allows too many dangerous motorists to escape meaningful consequences for the harm they cause, and also told us they would routinely seek technological evidence, like cell phone records and information from vehicles' event data recorders, in performing crash investigations.

However, Mr. Bragg stood out among the competition, and we believe strongly that he will bring a new, serious focus on vehicular crime to the Manhattan DA's office, which will have a direct and positive effect on the safety of the borough's streets.

[Note: Because the Manhattan District Attorney is a state office, the primary election is not subject to ranked choice voting.]

ChristopherMarteCropped.jpgChristopher Marte, Council District 1, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Christopher Marte, who nearly beat current Council Member Margaret Chin in the 2017 primary for this seat, is a Lower East Side native who most recently has served as New York State Director for Arena. He supports pedestrianizing the Seaport District, as well as a substantial part of the Financial District, and wants to see a protected crosstown bike lane on Chambers Street, among other routes. Marte will advocate to allow delivery cyclists to use the Hudson River Greenway, and has pledged to introduce legislation that will require that "protected" bike lanes actually provide physical protection for cyclists.


Gigi Li, Council District 1, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – We also like Gigi Li, who has served as Margaret Chin's Chief of Staff for the past two years, and have ranked her as our #2 choice in this race. She wants to build out a better network of protected bike lanes across the district, especially connecting the east and west sides, and is committed to working to rein in placard abuse, which continues to plague lower Manhattan.

CarlinaRiveraLarge.jpgCarlina Rivera, Council District 2, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Carlina Rivera, a 2017 StreetsPAC endorsee who is running for re-election in her Lower East Side district, has championed transportation issues during her first term in the Council. Her support for implementation of the 14th Street busway was crucial, and she was prime sponsor of the bill that requires the creation of a temporary bike lane when construction interferes with existing bike infrastructure. Just last week, the city enacted into law her bill making the Open Streets program permanent, more equitable, and more robust. Rivera also recently introduced legislation that would require a restaurant to provide restroom access to delivery workers who are making deliveries on their behalf. She's called for the widening of the Second Avenue bike lane, and if re-elected, she'll work to expand loading zones and implement more curb extensions and daylighting.

ErikBottcher400x400.jpgErik Bottcher, Council District 3, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Erik Bottcher, who was Corey Johnson's Chief of Staff for six years, is running to succeed his former boss. He’s committed to bringing street-safety improvements to 10th Avenue, including a protected bike lane, and has pledged to work to extend the Sixth Avenue protected bike lane south of 9th Street. Bottcher will work to make the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program more stringent, and to push Albany to remove restrictions on the operation of speed cameras, and his sanitation plan calls for getting trash off crowded city sidewalks and into containerized waste corrals. He's also committed to timely and complete implementation of the Streets Master Plan.

KeithPowersCropped.jpgKeith Powers, Council District 4, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Keith Powers, who won his East Side Council seat in 2017 with StreetsPAC's backing, has delivered on many of his campaign promises, including extension of Sixth Avenue's protected bike lane to Central Park, the closing of the gap in the Second Avenue bike lane, and the creation of the busway on 14th Street. In his second term, he's committed to advocating for more protected bike lanes and safer intersection treatments in his district. He's a supporter of creating a busway on Fifth Avenue, and also wants the city to replicate the successful 14th Street model on 34th and 96th Streets.

BillyFreelandCropped.jpgBilly Freeland, Council District 5, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – There's a deep field contending for the Upper East Side Council seat held currently by Ben Kallos, but Billy Freeland earned our endorsement for his passionate commitment to changing the district's streets. Freeland, an attorney and activist, has been an outspoken supporter of better biking infrastructure, improved public transit, and expanded green spaces. He's put forth a detailed transportation plan that includes overhauling Third Avenue and transforming Citi Bike into a public utility, and he has a long-term vision to reconnect the East River waterfront with the adjacent neighborhoods by eliminating the FDR Drive.

JulieMeninCropped.jpgJulie Menin, Council District 5, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Julie Menin, who has an impressive resumé of public service, has released a detailed and progressive transportation plan of her own. She would expand sidewalks, advocate for more busways, and for integrating Citi Bike into the transit system, and has also called for reimagining the FDR.

KimMoscaritolo.jpgKim Moscaritolo, Council District 5, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #3 – Kim Moscaritolo, an activist and journalist, earned a place in our ranking thanks to her own thorough transportation vision. She wants to expand loading zones and incentivize off-hour deliveries, build more dedicated bike and bus lanes, and increase the accessibility of the transit system.

SaraLindCropped.jpgSara Lind, Council District 6, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Sara Lind, who's running for the open seat on the Upper West Side currently held by Helen Rosenthal, has laid out a progressive vision for improving street safety and public transit. She advocated for the Central Park West protected bike lane, and has called for the implementation of similar lanes running crosstown from Central Park to Riverside Drive, as well as safe cycling paths across the park to the East Side. Lind has proposed reimagining Broadway, including rezoning the area for more flexible mixed uses, dedicating the northbound lanes to buses, bikes, and pedestrians, with access for local pickups and drop-offs, and more greenery and community space. She'll also advocate for busway treatments on West 57th and West 72nd Streets. Gale Brewer, who's had a distinguished career in city government and a good record on transportation issues, and who held this seat before becoming Manhattan Borough President in 2014, is also on the ballot, but we believe Lind will bring fresh ideas and energy to the City Council.

MartiAllenCummingsLarge.jpgMarti Allen-Cummings, Council District 7, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Marti Allen-Cummings, who’s running for the open seat in upper Manhattan held by Mark Levine, would make implementing crosstown busways on 125th, 145th and 157th Street a priority. They would advocate for significantly increasing the number of protected bike lane miles in the district, and for subsidizing Citi Bike to fuel more rapid expansion of the bike-share program. Allen-Cummings would also like to double the number of Open Streets across the city, and will advocate for better conditions for the city's working cyclists. In a race with a number of qualified candidates, we believe voters will do well to elect Allen-Cummings.

MarioRosser.jpgMario Rosser, Council District 9, Manhattan (Challenger) – Mario Rosser, an activist who works in tech, is committed to building more dedicated bike lanes in his Harlem district. He's pledged to advocate for bringing the Harlem River Greenway into a state of good repair, and to improve and speed up bus service in Harlem, which many people, especially seniors, rely on to get around, by pushing for more bus lanes and transit-signal priority, and by cracking down on placard abuse. Incumbent Bill Perkins did not participate in our endorsement process.



ShanequaMooreCropped.jpgShanequa Moore, Council District 12, Bronx (Challenger) – Shanequa Moore, a social worker and non-profit entrepreneur, is challenging Kevin Riley for the northern Bronx seat he won in a special election in December. (Mr. Riley did not participate in our process.) If elected, Moore would advocate for redesigning wide and dangerous streets, like Boston Road. She supports the city's scooter-share pilot, and wants bike-share expanded to the district as well, accompanied by new protected bike lanes to keep riders safe. Moore also wants to expand sidewalks, and to create more Open Streets.

PierinaSanchezLarge.pngPierina Sanchez, Council District 14, Bronx (Open Seat) – Pierina Sanchez, who's a native of the district she's running to represent, served as New York Director at the Regional Plan Association before working on housing, land use, economic development and labor issues at City Hall. At RPA, she played a key role in drafting the 2017 Transportation and Equity Agenda issued by StreetsPAC and other advocacy groups. She'll continue to focus on those issues in the City Council, especially faster and more reliable bus service, an expanded Fair Fares program, and adoption of the Freedom Ticket for intra-city trips on Metro North and the LIRR. Sanchez will also advocate for redesigning streets for people, with more protected bike lanes and traffic-calming features, and she wants to eliminate parking placards for all but the most essential uses.

JohnSanchez.jpgJohn Sanchez, Council District 15, Bronx (Challenger) – John Sanchez, who ran a competitive third in the March special election for this seat, currently serves as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6. He has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. Sanchez has been vocal about the need to reduce automobile use, and would accomplish that in part by supporting new busways on Fordham Road and Third Avenue, and protected bike lanes throughout the 15th District. He will advocate for universally daylighting street corners to increase safety, and plans to introduce legislation to create parking benefit districts, which would return extended parking-meter revenue to communities to fund streetscape improvements.

AmandaFariasCropped.jpgAmanda Farias, Council District 18, Bronx (Open Seat) – Amanda Farias was born and raised in the community in which she's seeking election. She ran for the seat in 2017, finishing second to Ruben Diaz, Sr., who is not running for a second term. Farias, a board member at the Riders Alliance, will prioritize improving transit access for residents of her East Bronx district. She'll advocate to expand the Fair Fares program to serve more low-income straphangers, and to bring Citi Bike across the Bronx River. She also wants to see a network of protected bike lanes connecting the district's neighborhoods, new busways, and a big increase in the number of Open Streets. We also think highly of Michael Beltzer, another repeat candidate from 2017, but we believe Farias is best positioned to deliver transportation improvements for the 18th District.



DonovanRichardsCropped.jpgDonovan Richards, Queens Borough President (Incumbent), Ranked Choice #1 – The race for Queens Borough President is effectively a three-way affair, among incumbent BP Donovan Richards, who won the seat in 2020, succeeding Melinda Katz; current City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents portions of western Queens; and former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, who did not participate in our endorsement process.

While both Mr. Richards and Mr. Van Bramer have progressive records on transportation issues, and offer compelling visions for Queens, our top choice in the race is the incumbent, Mr. Richards.

Mr. Richards, who represented Southeast Queens's 31st District in the City Council, frequently played against type in a district that in many places is more suburban than urban. He supported congestion pricing and speed cameras, and in championing the Downtown Far Rockaway rezoning in 2016 called for improved transit service, new bike lanes, and reduced parking requirements in the face of Community Board demands for more parking spaces.

In his State of the Borough address in March, and again in responding to our questionnaire and in his interview, Mr. Richards laid out an ambitious agenda for safer streets and better transit service. He will advocate for a network of protected bike lanes across Queens, expanded access to bike share, and bike parking at subway stations. He's pushing for busways around Jamaica to speed up commutes, and wants to expand Open Streets across the borough. And he's allocated about $3 million to build the security fencing that will allow for the opening of the Queensboro Bridge south outer roadway to bikes.

He's also begun reforming Queens's Community Boards, appointing more women, people of color, persons under 35 – and people who ride bikes.

JimmyVanBramerCropped.jpgJimmy Van Bramer, Queens Borough President (Challenger), Ranked Choice #2 – Jimmy Van Bramer, whom we supported in both his 2013 and 2017 City Council races, has been a staunch supporter of progressive transportation policies. He advocated relentlessly for Citi Bike, and as a result, his district was the first place in Queens to get bike share. He championed the redesign of Queens Boulevard, and the critical inclusion of protected bike lanes in the project. He was an early supporter of congestion pricing, and along with Ben Kallos, offered up the funding that led to City Hall's embrace of more space for biking and walking on the Queensboro Bridge. As the Council's Cultural Affairs Chair, he played a key role in the city's adoption of the Open Culture program, which facilitates live arts performances in public spaces.

Mr. Van Bramer also has big plans for Queens' streets if elected. And given his record, our decision was not easy. But we believe Mr. Richards is best positioned to sell the entire borough on a vision that prioritizes biking and walking and public transit while weaning Queens – especially its eastern and southern reaches – off its dependence on cars.

AustinShafran.pngAustin Shafran, Council District 19, Queens (Open Seat) – Austin Shafran, a Bayside native with experience in city, state, and federal government, is running for the open seat he nearly won eight years ago, losing to current Council Member Paul Vallone by fewer than 200 votes in the 2013 Democratic primary. Though the Northeast Queens district is a transit desert with a decidedly suburban feel, Shafran would like to expand Open Streets, calling the Bell Boulevard Open Street "tremendous." He's pledged to work with neighborhood stakeholders to expand the local bike network, and will seek community input in developing a safe bike lane on Northern Boulevard to link residents to transit. He'd also like to see the area's bus routes better connect to the closest LIRR stations.

JohnChoe.jpgJohn Choe, Council District 20, Queens (Open Seat) – John Choe, who leads the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, is running to succeed term-limited Council Member Peter Koo. Choe has been perhaps the biggest booster of Flushing's recently implemented Main Street busway, and will continue to push for transit improvements if elected. A daily bike commuter, he has a plan to create the "Flushing Ring," a protected bike lane network that would feed the downtown area. He'll also advocate for more bike parking, and expansion of Citi Bike and scooter share. He's committed to working to improve conditions for delivery cyclists, and has called for a full ban on parking placards.

TiffanyCabanCropped.jpgTiffany Cabán, Council District 22, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Primary voters in this western Queens Council district have a number of excellent candidates from whom to choose, but for us, two rose to the top. We gave a narrow edge to Tiffany Cabán, whom we endorsed in 2019 when she ran for Queens DA. Cabán supports redesigning streets, creating car-free superblocks, and lowering speed limits as ways to get Vision Zero back on track. She'll advocate for a 21st Street busway, and a Queens bus-network redesign that adds more service.

EvieHantzopolousCropped.jpgEvie Hantzopolous, Council District 22, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Evie Hantzopolous earned our very strong #2 ranking in the race with her commitment to improving bus service, allocating more space for safe biking, and creating more public plazas and Open Streets – like the 31st Avenue Open Street, in which she has played a lead organizing and operating role.

JaslinKaur.pngJaslin Kaur, Council District 23, Queens (Open Seat) – Jaslin Kaur, an education-equity and immigration-rights activist, is running for the Queens seat held by Barry Grodenchik, who is not seeking re-election. While the local Community Board recently deadlocked on a vote to just request a bus lane study, Kaur, a devoted rider of the Q46, is committed to improving the district's public transit. She will advocate for dedicated bus lanes on Eastern Queens routes, and for adoption of the Freedom Ticket to increase affordable access to the LIRR. Kaur wants protected (read: jersey barriers) bike lanes installed on key routes, supports completion of the Eastern Queens Greenway, and will work to bring bike share to the district.

ShekarKrishnanCropped.jpgShekar Krishnan, Council District 25, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Shekar Krishnan, a civil rights attorney and activist, is our top choice to succeed term-limited Council Member Danny Dromm. Krishnan will prioritize building more transit corridors in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and more busways and dedicated bus lanes on streets like Northern Boulevard, where he supports a comprehensive redesign. He'll also advocate for a network of connected and protected bike lanes, and more space for pedestrians throughout the district.

Carolyn Tran, Council District 25, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – We also really like Carolyn Tran, who spent several years as Danny Dromm's Chief of Staff. She supports building a protected bicycle arterial network, an equitable expansion of Open Streets, ending parking minimums, and removing police from traffic enforcement.

AmitBaggaCropped.jpgAmit Bagga and Julie Won (Co-Endorsement), Council District 26, Queens (Open Seat) – The crowded race to succeed term-limited Jimmy Van Bramer includes a number of outstanding candidates, and we were ultimately unable to choose a favorite between our top two. Amit Bagga, who was Deputy Director of New York City's successful 2020 Census effort, and a veteran of City Hall, is committed to improving the plight of the city's delivery cyclists. He wants to expand Select Bus Service, and force compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act to make the transit system universally accessible. Bagga supports accelerated expansion of Citi Bike, and implementation of the Freedom Ticket.

JulieWonCropped.jpgJulie Won, who works in tech and has a community-service resumé that would fill a page, will bring an advocate's passion to the fight for better street design. While commuting on her bike last November, she was struck by a hit-and-run driver who left her in the street. She'll prioritize bike lanes that are protected by concrete, and supports comprehensive curb reform. Won will also work to improve transit service, and to expand the city's Fair Fares program.

Jesse Laymon, Council District 26, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #3 – While he didn't quite crack our top two, Jesse Laymon was a close third in our 26th District candidate ranking. He too has laid out a progressive streets platform, which calls for miles of new busways and protected bike lanes, more permanent Open Streets and plazas, and a major overhaul of the way we allocate curb space.

NantashaWilliamsCropped.jpgNantasha Williams, Council District 27, Queens (Open Seat) – Nantasha Williams, who nearly won the primary for the local Assembly seat in 2016, has 10 years of experience in government. She's a champion of the Freedom Ticket, and will advocate for bringing bike-, scooter-, and car-sharing programs to this eastern Queens district. Williams believes many wide local streets could be redesigned to help reduce speeding. She'd also like to see Open Streets efforts in places with high concentrations of restaurants, and a redesign of local bus routes to reflect the evolution in ridership patterns and community input.

AledaGagarin.jpgAleda Gagarin, Council District 29, Queens (Open Seat) – Aleda Gagarin, a non-profit executive with a Masters in urban planning, is running on a progressive platform for the seat held for the past dozen years by term-limited Council Member Karen Koslowitz. Gagarin is committed to redesigning streets to improve safety and accessibility, especially for seniors, and to facilitate the building of a robust network of protected bike lanes. She supports implementation of the Freedom Ticket, expansion of the Fair Fares program, and faster, more reliable bus service. Gagarin is also a fan of Barcelona-style superblocks, something she'd like to see piloted in the more dense, transit-rich neighborhoods in her district.

JuanArdilaCropped.jpgJuan Ardila, Council District 30, Queens (Challenger) – Juan Ardila, who's challenging incumbent Council Member Robert Holden, has made expanded transportation access for residents of this Queens district a centerpiece of his campaign. Ardila will advocate for better bus service, especially routes that connect to transit hubs, to reopen former LIRR stations that once served the district, and more improved subway station accessibility. He's also committed to bringing Open Streets to local neighborhoods, and to pushing for a connected network of protected bike lanes.

FeliciaSingh.pngFelicia Singh, Council District 32, Queens (Open Seat) – Felicia Singh, an educator, Peace Corps veteran, and lifelong resident of Ozone Park, is hoping to succeed three-term Council Member Eric Ulrich. Her priorities are to improve mass-transit options for district residents, including better bus service from the Rockaway peninsula to the mainland, and more reliable subway service along the A line. She wants to expand Citi Bike service into southern Queens, with a corresponding expansion of a network of protected bike lanes to keep riders safe. Singh will also center accessibility by pushing for more elevators and a better state of repair at subway stations, and more bus shelters with benches to accommodate straphangers.



AntonioReynosoCropped.jpgAntonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Borough President (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Two candidates for Brooklyn Borough President stand out from the pack when it comes to the issues central to our agenda, and they're both elected officials whom we've endorsed multiple times for their current seats. While both would make fine choices for this office, our pick in the Brooklyn BP's race is Antonio Reynoso.

Mr. Reynoso, who had just sold his car to fund his run for office when we first encountered him in 2013, also happened to be making that run against the still-formidable former Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez. Seven-and-a-half years later, he's still riding a bike instead of driving, and has distinguished himself as perhaps the most outspoken member of the City Council on the need to move New York City away from its automobile-dominated past.

As Chair of the Council's Sanitation Committee, Mr. Reynoso led the effort to pass the Commercial Waste Zone effort that will eliminate millions of miles of dangerous truck trips every year. He pushed the Department of Transportation to move ahead with the Myrtle-Wyckoff pedestrian plaza in 2016, advocated for the physically protected bike lanes on Brooklyn's Grand Street, and last year, called on NYC DOT to build a busway on Berry Street.

Mr. Reynoso has an expansive progressive vision for the Borough Presidency. He wants to remake Atlantic Avenue, which he thinks should be a modern complete street of which Brooklynites can be proud, rather than the dangerous "embarrassment" it is today. He'll push the city to create a borough-wide network of protected bike lanes, and to expand Open Streets widely and equitably. He'll prioritize completion of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which has lagged for years, and is more than willing to commit capital dollars to expand bike- and scooter-share.

Like Mr. Richards in Queens, Mr. Reynoso has also pledged to overhaul Community Boards to make them much more representative of the neighborhoods they serve.

JoAnneSimonCropped.jpgJo Anne Simon, Brooklyn Borough President (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Jo Anne Simon, whom we've endorsed in the past three elections for her current seat in the State Assembly, has been a strong supporter of congestion pricing and speed cameras, among other important initiatives. Before running for office, she played a key role in advocating for the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming project and fixing the Gowanus Expressway. She recently introduced a bill that would establish electronic enforcement of overweight trucks on the BQE's Triple Cantilever.

If elected Borough President, Ms. Simon would appoint an independent screening panel to evaluate Community Board applicants, and would be committed to improving the borough's bus service, including restoration of the B71, for which she's long campaigned. She'll push for expansion of Brooklyn's cycling network, and for prioritizing equity in transit, biking and walking.

While both Ms. Simon and Mr. Reynoso have embraced progressive ideas about transportation policy, we believe Mr. Reynoso will best be able to use Borough Hall's bully pulpit to fulfill his mission of breaking car culture, and that's why we endorse Antonio Reynoso as our top choice for Brooklyn Borough President.

LincolnRestler.jpgLincoln Restler, Council District 33, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Two candidates in the race to succeed Steve Levin, who is term-limited, stand out from the pack, and both would make terrific Council Members. But we give the edge to Lincoln Restler, a founding member of New Kings Democrats who spent several years working in City Hall. He's laid out a progressive vision for safer streets and better public transit, and believes the 33rd Council District should be a model in that regard for the entire city. He'll advocate for a network of concrete-protected bike lanes, safer intersections, improved bus service, and seamless integration of fares for all transit, including Citi Bike.

ElizabethAdamsCropped.jpgElizabeth Adams, Council District 33, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Elizabeth Adams, who's served as Legislative Director for Steve Levin, dedicated her own time to helping create the North Brooklyn Open Streets Community Coalition. She's committed to redesigning McGuinness Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, and supports Transportation Alternatives' 25x25 plan. She helped write the bill that would allow citizens to report illegal and dangerous parking, and supports creating bike boulevards in multiple neighborhoods. The 33rd District will be in good hands if either of these excellent candidates prevails.

JenniferGutierrezCroppedJennifer Gutiérrez, Council District 34, Brooklyn/Queens (Open Seat) – Jennifer Gutiérrez is hoping to succeed term-limited Council Member Antonio Reynoso, for whom she's served as Chief of Staff since early in Reynoso's tenure. Gutiérrez is committed to getting Vision Zero back on track, and will prioritize safety improvements along Bushwick and Myrtle Avenues, and Broadway. She'll advocate for expanding the city's protected bike lanes into a true network, and for implementing 14th Street-style busways in the 34th District. Gutiérrez will also lobby for a comprehensive automated-enforcement system that adds failure-to-yield and blocking-the-box cameras to the city's toolkit.

CrystalHudsonCropped.jpgCrystal Hudson, Council District 35, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Voters in Brooklyn's 35th Council District, which is generally well served by transit and is a short bike trip to job centers in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan, have a chance to elect a new Council Member who will make public transportation and safe streets a priority. Between two stand-out candidates, we give the edge to Crystal Hudson, a former marketing executive who spent the past few years working in city government. She's laid out an expansive and progressive vision for improving transportation in New York City, from increased investment in Vision Zero, BRT and Open Streets, to transitioning the NYPD out of traffic enforcement, to expanding protected bike lanes and secure bike parking – all of it centered around equity for Black and brown New Yorkers.

Michael Hollingsworth, Council District 35, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Our strong second choice in the 35th is Michael Hollingsworth, a tenant organizer and activist with the Democratic Socialists of America, an organization adept at winning races in this part of Brooklyn. Hollingsworth has outlined his own progressive transportation and environmental platform, including support for an expansive network of protected bike lanes, more Open Streets and green space, major improvements to transit and accessibility, and a restorative justice approach to traffic enforcement.

SandyNurseCropped.jpgSandy Nurse, Council District 37, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Sandy Nurse is a community organizer and carpenter challenging Darma Diaz, who won the seat last year. Nurse is determined to improve transit service for the district, in which two-thirds of residents don't have access to a car. She'll advocate for more Select Bus Service, accessibility upgrades – especially at the Broadway Junction transit hub – and expansion and connection of the bike network. Nurse also welcomes more Open Streets, as well as the creation of new pedestrian plazas. Council Member Diaz, who submitted a promising response to our questionnaire, did not complete an interview.

RodrigoCamarena.jpgRodrigo Camarena and César Zuñiga (Co-Endorsement), Council District 38, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Brooklyn's 38th Council District is another place where primary voters will have a wealth of qualified candidates from whom to choose, and it's a key reason we're co-endorsing our top two picks. Rodrigo Camarena, an immigrant advocate, will make improving conditions for delivery cyclists a priority. A regular bike commuter, he wants to greatly increase transportation options in the district, including more and safer bike lanes, improved bus service, and ferry service that integrates with New York City Transit to make it an option for more working-class residents.


César Zuñiga, who has capably chaired Community Board 7 for the past few years, is adamant about revitalizing Vision Zero, especially in light of the still-unaddressed dangers along Third Avenue. He'll advocate for improved bus service for underserved neighborhoods like Red Hook and Dyker Heights, and for building out a robust protected cycling network. Zuñiga is also a big fan of Open Streets, and will push for more city funding to operate them.

Alexa Avilés, Council District 38, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #3 – Alexa Avilés, a foundation executive and activist, is an advocate for making public transit free. She'll push for more dedicated busways, and for widening and physically protecting bike lanes with concrete barriers, and she believes that Citi Bike should be integrated into the transit system.

BrandonWestCropped.jpgBrandon West, Council District 39, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Four candidates aiming to succeed term-limited Brad Lander were highly credible contenders for our endorsement, but we are giving the nod to Brandon West, who led the "Rep Your Block" campaign as president of New Kings Democrats and has experience in City Hall as a budget analyst. An advocate for a "15-minute city," he'll push for integration of the fare system across all transit, which he thinks should ultimately be made free. He also supports building a citywide network of protected bike lanes, bringing back the B71 bus, and improving conditions for working cyclists.

JustinKrebs.jpgShahanaHanif.jpgShahana Hanif, Justin Krebs, and Doug Schneider (Co-Endorsement), Council District 39, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – We couldn't find enough daylight among Shahana Hanif, Justin Krebs and Doug Schneider to rank them separately, but all three would be champions for safe streets and public transit, and would continue and enhance Brad Lander's legacy in the 39th District. They all support building out a safe, connected bike-lane network, improving transit service and making the system more accessible, and dedicating more public space to people rather than cars. 

RitaJosephCropped.jpgRita Joseph, Council District 40, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Voters in the 40th District have the opportunity on June 22nd to elect a successor to the City Council's longest-tenured member, Mathieu Eugene, for whom transportation has been an afterthought, at best. But things are about to get much better. Of several qualified candidates, two stood out to us, and first among them is Rita Joseph. An educator, Joseph will advocate for better public transit, including 14th Street-style busways and more-accessible stations. She'll push for faster expansion of Citi Bike and the protected lanes necessary to keep riders safe, as well as secure parking solutions for personal bikes.

Josue Pierre, Council District 40, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Our very strong second choice is Josue Pierre, a local district leader and veteran of the New York City Comptroller's office. Pierre, who rides his bike for transportation, supports implementing more protected bike lanes, especially on dangerous roads like Linden Boulevard. He'll fight to make transit service more reliable through dedicated bus lanes, and believes new developments should be required to provide secure bike parking.

NikkiLucasCropped.jpgNikki Lucas, Council District 42, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Brooklyn's 42nd District has been represented in the City Council by either Charles or Inez Barron for the past two decades, but that could change this year. Both Nikki Lucas and Wilfredo Florentino promise to bring a greater focus on transportation issues. We gave Lucas the edge, given her name recognition as a former district leader. She'll advocate for better transit accessibility – like more station elevators and bus shelters – and will push to have Linden Boulevard, where a friend was killed a couple years ago, redesigned with physically separated bike lanes and better pedestrian protections.

Wilfredo Florentino, Council District 42, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Wilfredo Florentino, who's served for several years as Transportation Chair of Community Board 5, is also deeply committed to tackling transit and street-safety issues. He'll push for more engagement from NYCDOT, dedicated bus lanes, and elimination of two-fare zones.

JustinBrannan2020.jpgJustin Brannan, Council District 43, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Justin Brannan, who won his seat in 2017 with StreetsPAC's endorsement, has teamed up with State Senator Andrew Gounardes to begin changing the transportation culture in southern Brooklyn. Brannan, who has a love/hate relationship with the R train, will continue to advocate for improvements to subway and bus service as a key means of getting his constituents out of their cars. He plans to keep pushing for Citi Bike's expansion throughout his district – the first stations were deployed earlier this year – and supports subsidizing bike share to speed up the process. Brannan is also an advocate for delivery cyclists, and recently introduced legislation that would limit the distances of app-based deliveries as part of a package of bills intended to improve working conditions for Deliveristas.

AnthonyBeckford.jpgAnthony Beckford, Council District 45, Brooklyn (Challenger), Ranked Choice #1 – Anthony Beckford, and activist and organizer, is challenging incumbent Council Member Farah Louis. We gave Beckford the nod based on his record of advocating for safer streets. Beckford, who's been hit by drivers three times in the district, will advocate for better bike infrastructure, citing deadly Coney Island Avenue along with East 53rd and 55th Streets as priority corridors. He's also committed to improving bus service, and scrapping the MTA's diesel buses for newer electric models.

Farah Louis, Council District 45, Brooklyn (Incumbent), Ranked Choice #2 – Farah Louis, who succeeded Jumaane Williams in the City Council in 2019, shows some promise as a potential advocate on transportation and street safety issues. We couldn't get past her vote against the Streets Master Plan soon after she took office, but her positions on bike infrastructure are evolving, and she's committed to improving transit and micro-mobility options for constituents, supports automated enforcement, and is pursuing pedestrian safety upgrades around the district.


Staten Island

AmoyBarnes.jpgAmoy Barnes, Council District 49, Staten Island (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Amoy Barnes, an organizer with experience working in City Hall, is running for the open seat on Staten Island's North Shore currently held by Debbie Rose, who is term-limited. She'll make improving transit options for her constituents her mission, with an eye toward quicker and more reliable commutes through implementation of real BRT and transit-signal priority, and she'll push for expanded fast-ferry service. Barnes, who's committed to making Staten Island more bike-friendly – she called the fact that the 15-minute bike ride from her home to the ferry feels so unsafe a "disgrace" – will advocate for more protected bike lanes, and won't rest until Staten Island gets its fair share of Citi Bikes.

RantiOgunleye.pngRanti Ogunleye, Council District 49, Staten Island (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – We were also impressed by Ranti Ogunleye, an educator with a passion for working with youth. He'll prioritize the long-promised North Shore BRT route, and will advocate to make transit more accessible. Ogunleye ditched his own car a year-and-a-half ago in favor of commuting by bus or on foot.

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published this page in Endorsements 2021-05-21 07:26:33 -0400
StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.