StreetsPAC Endorses 13 Candidates for New York City Council

We are proud today to announce our endorsement of 13 candidates for New York City Council.

The 2023 election cycle is an unusual one, dividing the typical four-year City Council term into two two-year terms due to the city's decennial redistricting process. Given that all 51 current Council Members are incumbents, the field of candidates is less than half of what it was in 2021, when roughly two-thirds of the Council races were for open seats.

As a result, our 2023 endorsees include twelve incumbents and just one candidate challenging a sitting Council Member, and only five of them have primary opponents. We do anticipate making a number of additional endorsements in advance of November's general election, when it appears that all but a handful of races will be contested.

In-person early voting for the primary begins this Saturday, June 17, which is also the deadline to register if you are not already a registered voter. You can check your registration status, find your early-voting and election-day polling locations, and see other important election-related information at We've included links to district maps for each of the candidates we're endorsing.

Early voting will continue daily through Sunday, June 25, with varying hours, in advance of Primary Day, which is Tuesday, June 27, when polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can confirm your early-voting and Primary Day voting sites, which may be different, and check early-voting hours using the polling site locator:

We urge you to join us in supporting these excellent candidates for the New York City Council. Read on to learn more about our endorsees and important aspects of their records on street safety and transportation. Candidates are listed below in ascending order by district number.

2023 Endorsees: Manhattan | Queens | Brooklyn


Christopher Marte 400x400.jpgChristopher Marte, Council District 1, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Christopher Marte, who won his seat in 2021 with StreetsPAC's support, is seeking re-election in the district that covers the southern tip of Manhattan. He's been advocating with the Department of Transportation for major fixes to Canal Street, and supports plans to pedestrianize significant portions of the Financial District. He's also been pushing to have Park Row, which has been closed off since 9/11, reclaimed from the NYPD, with an enhanced protected bike lane, expanded pedestrian space, and a busway. He's co-sponsored a number of street-safety bills, including being a co-prime sponsor of Intros 500 and 501-A, which would crack down on placards and allow public reporting of illegal parking, two issues that plague his district. While we had positive interactions with Susan Lee and Ursila Jung, who are challenging Council Member Marte in the Democratic primary, we believe the incumbent is the best choice on street-safety and transportation issues.

Carlina Rivera 900x900.jpgCarlina Rivera, Council District 2, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Carlina Rivera, who earned our endorsement in both 2017 and 2021, has proven herself a real champion on transportation issues in her five-and-a-half years in the City Council. During her current term, she sponsored the legislation that will require the city to produce a master plan for greenways in 2024, and in her first term, Council Member Rivera authored the laws that made the Open Streets program permanent, require implementation of temporary accommodations when construction projects impede on existing bike lanes, and guarantee restroom access for the city's Deliveristas. She was also a key supporter of the 14th Street busway, and has advocated for expanded cycling infrastructure throughout her district, where she can often be spotted riding her bike. Council Member Rivera will face a challenger in both the Democratic primary and November's general election.

Keith Powers 400x400.jpgKeith Powers, Council District 4, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Keith Powers, another two-time StreetsPAC endorsee, is the City Council's Majority Leader, and has been a strong advocate for walking, biking, and public transit, which happen to be the ways he gets around the city. During his first term in the Council, he supported the 14th Street busway, advocated for the extension of the protected bike lane on 6th Avenue to Central Park, and worked to improve the East River greenway. More recently, he pushed for the holiday pedestrianization of the streets around Rockefeller Center, which he believes will be an annual feature, and he introduced a bill this year that would create a free or low-cost lithium-ion battery swap program for delivery workers. Majority Leader Powers does not have a primary challenger, but will have an opponent in November's general election.


Shekar Krishnan 400x400.jpgShekar Krishnan, Council District 25, Queens (Incumbent) – Shekar Krishnan won his seat representing Queens's 25th Council District with StreetsPAC's backing in 2021. He's distinguished himself as a champion of the 34th Avenue Open Street, now dubbed "Paseo Park" and one of the city's most ambitious street transformations. His support has been instrumental to the creation of five fully pedestrianized school plazas along 34th Avenue, as well as a superblock around Travers Park. He's called for a comprehensive redesign of Northern Boulevard, and as someone who often gets around by bicycle, he's been outspoken about the need to protect bike lanes with more than plastic sticks. As chair of the Council's Committee on Parks and Recreation, he's in position to help steward the city's coming greenway master plan. His challenger in the Democratic primary is a critic of the 34th Avenue Open Street, and Council Member Krishnan believes voters will come down firmly on the side of progress. As do we. 

Julie Won 400x400.jpgJulie Won, Council District 26, Queens (Incumbent) – Julie Won won a hard-fought, 15-person race in 2021 to succeed Jimmy Van Bramer as the Council Member representing Queens's diverse 26th District. A victim of a hit-and-run while biking in 2020, she's proven herself a fierce advocate for safer streets, nowhere more so than in her continued push to have the Department of Transportation dedicate more space to biking and walking on the Queensboro Bridge. She's advocated for the hardening of protected bike lanes in her district, too many of which are frequently driven or parked in, and she's asked the administration to fund a comprehensive planning effort for Northern Boulevard. Council Member Won has fought hard for wide-ranging safety improvements in the wake of the death of seven-year-old Dolma Naadhun in Astoria in February. She faces a primary challenge from Hailie Kim, who also ran for the seat in 2021; while Ms. Kim has a strong transportation platform of her own, we believe Julie Won has more than earned another term in the Council.


LincolnRestler.jpgLincoln Restler, Council District 33, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – When Lincoln Restler ran for City Council in 2021, we gave him a narrow edge over Elizabeth Adams, who has since distinguished herself as Deputy Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. Mr. Restler has more than rewarded our faith in his initial candidacy, emerging as one of the city's most committed elected leaders on transportation issues. He's introduced several important pieces of legislation, including Int. 417, which would eliminate an extended and unjustified waiting period for bike-lane projects; Int. 500, which would eliminate thousands of city-issued parking placards; and Int. 501-A, which would enable citizen reporting of "hazardous obstruction," including parking in bike lanes, bus stops, and on sidewalks. He convinced a majority of his colleagues to sign on to a letter supporting "Sammy's Law," a precursor to a home-rule message, and was the driving force in the creation of the protected, two-way Schermerhorn Street bike path. He's been a strong advocate for a slimmer, future-friendly BQE, and for a major road diet for McGuinness Boulevard, and he's committed to tackling safety issues on Atlantic Avenue. Council Member Restler does not face a primary challenge, but will have an opponent in November's general election.

Jennifer Gutierrez 400x400Jennifer Gutiérrez, Council District 34, Brooklyn/Queens (Incumbent) – Jennifer Gutiérrez was elected with StreetsPAC's support in 2021 to succeed Antonio Reynoso in this district straddling Brooklyn and Queens. She recently rallied her City Council colleagues around the "Sammy's Law" home-rule resolution for which she was lead sponsor, which should have been the key to the bill's passage in the Assembly. Ms. Gutiérrez has advocated for better bike infrastructure, including a Citi Bike station at transit-starved Ridgewood Reservoir, and has pushed to make certain that plans for the repair and renovation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which runs through her district, address the entire corridor. As Chair of the Council's Committee on Technology, she's interested in exploring ways to identify and track motor vehicles with fake or obscured license plates, and she's also planning to introduce a bill that would require the placement of anti-dooring reminders on the passenger windows of for-hire vehicles. Council Member Gutiérrez faces a challenge in the Democratic primary.

Crystal Hudson 400x400.jpgCrystal Hudson, Council District 35, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Crystal Hudson won her City Council seat with our endorsement in 2021. As Chair of the Council's Committee on Aging, she's keenly interested in making streets safe, and the transit system fully accessible for older New Yorkers, while trying to balance their needs and concerns with a broadly progressive transportation agenda. She's supported the Willoughby and Vanderbilt Avenue Open Streets in her district, and has been pushing the Department of Transportation for greater progress on protected bike lanes. Council Member Hudson believes the current two-lane configuration of the BQE Triple Cantilever should be made permanent, and she made sure that NYCHA tenant representatives were included on the BQE Community Visioning Council. She's an advocate for better bus service, and for improving conditions for the city's Deliveristas, and she's supportive of safety upgrades on Franklin Avenue. Council Member Hudson does not face a primary challenge.

Sandy Nurse 800x800.jpgSandy Nurse, Council District 37, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Sandy Nurse earned our endorsement in 2021 on her way to winning her seat by defeating an incumbent Council Member. As Chair of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, she's been pushing City Hall to speed up the implementation of the commercial waste zone program, which should have a significant benefit to street safety, and is committed to moving a bill that would require the installation of cameras on street sweepers to enforce against alternate-side parking violations. Council Member Nurse has also been advocating for creation of a greenway segment through the blue belt portion of Conduit Boulevard, and for accessibility and public realm improvements around Broadway Junction, to which the MTA and the city committed last month. She does not face a primary challenge, but is likely to have an opponent in November's general election.

Alexa Aviles 400x400.jpgAlexa Avilés, Council District 38, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Alexa Avilés earned our support when she succeeded Carlos Menchaca in this highly diverse district covering Sunset Park and Red Hook. She's the prime sponsor of a widely supported bill that would require the Department of Transportation to redesign the city's truck routes to improve safety, increase visibility, and reduce vehicle miles traveled. She's been a vocal critic of the city's lack of a plan to deal with the proliferation of last-mile delivery facilities, which is an especially acute problem in the 38th District, along with traffic issues around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. She's managed to move some long-delayed local traffic-calming projects forward, and has been trying to get DOT and the Department of Education to improve safety around schools in Sunset Park. Council Member Avilés is advocating for the MTA's free bus pilot to include Red Hook, and she supports closing local gaps in the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. She does not face a primary challenge, but will likely have a general-election opponent. 

Shahana Hanif 400x400.jpgShahana HanifCouncil District 39, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Another past StreetsPAC endorsee, Shahana Hanif emerged from a highly competitive 2021 Democratic Primary to succeed Brad Lander in the City Council. She has said repeatedly that her top concern is street safety, and she's been vocal about the need to address the issue holistically. She pushed the Department of Transportation to act quickly to extend the protected bike lane on 9th Street and to make safety improvements on Atlantic Avenue following recent fatalities; upgrades on 9th Street should commence this summer. She's been a strong supporter of public-plaza projects in Kensington and along Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, and she is a proponent of a year-round option for the city's Open Restaurants program. Council Member Hanif also told us she's committed to working to improve implementation of the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program. She does not have a challenger in the Democratic primary, but anticipates having an opponent in the general election.

Rita Joseph 800x800.jpgRita Joseph, Council District 40, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Rita Joseph was elected to the City Council in 2021 after winning a very competitive Democratic primary with our backing. She's championed the creation of a dedicated bus lane for Flatbush Avenue's B41, which she rides regularly enough that she's on a first-name basis with the route's drivers. The first bill she passed into law requires the city to identify feasible locations for public bathrooms, an issue she's continued to prioritize with two additional bills introduced just last week. She also co-sponsored a resolution with Council Member Erik Bottcher requiring the Department of Education to ensure that all city schools instruct students in bike safety, which is mandated by state law but rarely adhered to. And in concert with colleagues Crystal Hudson and Shahana Hanif, she has advocated with the Parks Department to allow e-bikes in Prospect Park, for which a pilot effort will commence next week. Council Member Joseph does not face a primary challenge.

Amber Adler 800x800.jpgAmber Adler, Council District 48, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Amber Adler, an activist and non-profit founder, is running for the southern Brooklyn Council seat held currently by Inna Vernikov. Ms. Adler, who became a member of Families for Safe Streets after getting t-boned by another driver several years ago, was unable to work for an extended period due to her injuries, and recovered only a fraction of her lost wages because the driver who struck her was underinsured. If elected, she'll advocate for traffic-calming redesigns on dangerous roads like Ocean Avenue, which is plagued by speeding and illegal u-turns, and for more protected bike lanes, so her two young sons can safely learn to ride. Overall, we found Ms. Adler very open to new ideas about street safety and transportation, and believe she could help sell residents of the car-centric 48th Council District on their benefits. She has secured the Democratic nomination and will face the winner of a Republican primary in November.

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published this page in News 2023-06-16 10:01:44 -0400
StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.