Eric McClure

Vote for Jessica Haller and John Sanchez in Bronx Special City Council Elections

Polls open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Early Voting concludes today at 4 p.m.

Voters in the Bronx's 11th and 15th City Council Districts will have the opportunity to fill vacant Council seats on Tuesday, and we urge you to vote for Jessica Haller in the 11th District and John Sanchez in the 15th District.

Haller, a climate activist and entrepreneur, will bring fresh thinking to the City Council about how to help get residents of her northwest Bronx district out of their cars. She supports installing bus-only lanes on Broadway, believes the City Council should consider rebates for e-bike purchases, and wants to see the city implement traffic-calming street designs in the Bronx. Haller will advocate for creation of a micro-transit incubator that would partner the city with tech companies to develop new concepts for enhancing mobility.

You can volunteer here to help Jessica get out the vote between now and Tuesday.

Sanchez, who serves as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6, has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. He's been vocal about the need to reduce automobile use, and would accomplish that in part by supporting new busways on Fordham Road and 3rd 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.

Sign up here to help John's campaign down the home stretch.

We were also impressed by Elisa Crespo, a progressive candidate who shares Sanchez's commitment to safer streets and better public transit in the 11th District. Ultimately, we believe Sanchez will be the most vocal champion for those issues, but Crespo is a strong second choice, all the more relevant given the advent of ranked choice voting.

You can find information about voting hours and locations here, and check your registration status at nycvotersearch.com. Learn more about how ranked choice voting works at rankthevotenyc.org.


Mayoral Forum on Transportation; Endorsements in Bronx City Council Races

Safe, Equitable, and Accessible Streets: A Mayoral Forum on the Future of Transportation in NYC

Please join us on Zoom one week from tonight – March 25th at 6:30 p.m. – for an important forum on the future of safe streets and transportation with the leading candidates to be New York City's next mayor.

Moderated by New York Times Metro reporter Dana Rubinstein, and jointly hosted by Families for Safe Streets, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, New York League of Conservation Voters, Regional Plan Association, Riders Alliance, StreetsPAC, Transportation Alternatives, TransitCenter, and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, this is your chance to hear straight from the top mayoral contenders about their plans to reduce traffic violence, boost bicycling, prioritize public transit, and improve equity and accessibility for all.

Advance registration is required; please RSVP here.

ICYMI: StreetsPAC Endorses Jessica Haller and John Sanchez in March 23rd Bronx Special Elections

Early voting is well underway in the March 23rd special elections to fill two open City Council seats in the Bronx, in which we've endorsed Jessica Haller in the 11th Council District and John Sanchez in the 15th Council District.

Haller, a climate activist and entrepreneur, will bring fresh thinking to the City Council about how to help get residents of her northwest Bronx district out of their cars. She supports installing bus-only lanes on Broadway, believes the City Council should consider rebates for e-bike purchases, and wants to see the city implement traffic-calming street designs in the Bronx. Haller will advocate for creation of a micro-transit incubator that would partner the city with tech companies to develop new concepts for enhancing mobility.

You can volunteer here to help Jessica get elected.

Sanchez, who currently serves as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6, has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. He's been vocal about the need to reduce automobile use, and would accomplish that in part by supporting new busways on Fordham Road and 3rd 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.

Sign up here to help John's campaign down the home stretch.

We were also impressed by Elisa Crespo, a progressive candidate who shares Sanchez's commitment to safer streets and better public transit in the 11th District. Ultimately, we believe Sanchez will be the most vocal champion for those issues, but Crespo is a strong second choice, all the more relevant given the advent of ranked choice voting.

You can find information about voting hours and locations here, and check your registration status at nycvotersearch.com. Learn more about how ranked choice voting works at rankthevotenyc.org.

 


StreetsPAC Endorses Jessica Haller and John Sanchez in Bronx Special Elections

Early Voting Begins Today for March 23rd Election for Vacant Council Seats

StreetsPAC today endorsed Jessica Haller in the special election for the open seat in the Bronx's 11th Council District, and John Sanchez for the open seat in the Bronx's 15th Council District.

JessicaHaller.jpgHaller, a climate activist and entrepreneur, will bring fresh thinking to the City Council about how to help get residents of her northwest Bronx district out of their cars. She supports installing bus-only lanes on Broadway, believes the City Council should consider rebates for e-bike purchases, and wants to see the city eliminate parking minimums in the Bronx. Haller will advocate for creation of a micro-transit incubator that would partner the city with tech companies to develop new concepts for enhancing mobility.

JohnSanchez.jpgSanchez, who currently serves as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6, has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. He's been vocal about the need to reduce automobile use, and would accomplish that in part by supporting new busways on Fordham Road and 3rd 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.

We were also impressed by Elisa Crespo, a progressive candidate who shares Sanchez's commitment to safer streets and better public transit in the 11th District. Ultimately, we believe Sanchez will be the most vocal champion for those issues, but Crespo is a strong second choice, all the more relevant given the advent of ranked choice voting.

You can find information about voting hours and locations here, and check your registration status at nycvotersearch.com. You can learn more about how ranked choice voting works at rankthevotenyc.org.


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Crash Investigations

We submitted testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Transportation's contentious hearing yesterday on Intro 2224-2021, a bill that would transfer responsibility for crash investigations from NYPD to the Department of Transportation, among other reforms. Our testimony follows below.

StreetsPAC strongly supports Intro 2224-2021, which would transfer responsibility for investigating serious vehicular crashes from the NYPD to the Department of Transportation.

As currently constituted, the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad investigates only a small fraction of the crashes that result in death or serious injuries, which number in the thousands annually. And when they do investigate, the work of CIS too often fails to result in charges for drivers, and almost never leads to roadway engineering changes that could potentially prevent future crashes.

Just as bad, as StreetsPAC board member Steve Vaccaro can attest, CIS investigators too often fail to show up for what are already deeply flawed State Department of Motor Vehicle hearings, leaving killer drivers free to get back behind the wheel, and denying the families of the victims any semblance of justice.

Beyond the failure to investigate a greater number of serious crashes, CIS investigations are cloaked in secrecy, and don’t appear to result in any larger analysis of the systemic causes behind serious collisions. CIS reports don’t seem to regularly inform design changes, or to be aggregated in any meaningful way.

Intro 2224 will have multiple significant benefits. Transferring crash investigations to DOT will remove the institutional bias for drivers that has built up over years in the NYPD. The reporting requirements will greatly improve the transparency of investigations, and will lead to greater insight into the factors that cause the worst crashes. And perhaps most importantly, by linking those causes to street design, Intro 2224 will inform the types of engineering changes that can prevent future crashes, potentially saving lives and helping to advance the city’s Vision Zero efforts.

Crash investigations should be a path to justice for victims and their loved ones, and a key component of achieving Vision Zero. As currently constituted within the NYPD’s Transportation Bureau, they fail badly on both counts. In far too many cases, like those of Robyn Hightman and Mario Valenzuela, shoddy detective work has led to victim-blaming and failed to hold drivers accountable.

We have an opportunity, and indeed, a responsibility, to do better. Passing Intro 2224 is an important step in making that happen.


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Restoration of 24/7 Subway Service

We testified today during the New York City Council Committee on Transportation's remote oversight hearing on the MTA in the era of COVID-19, in support of the restoration of 24/7 subway service. Our testimony follows below.

New York City’s transit system is the engine that has driven our economy for more than 100 years. And it’s never been more important than it will be in rebuilding our economy as we recover from COVID-19.

As the pandemic gripped New York last spring, subway ridership plummeted by 90%, and it remains lower by 70%. Buses, which actually ran on time with fewer cars on the streets and no fare collection, are at just 50% of normal ridership.

Yet automobile traffic is back to nearly pre-pandemic levels. A car-led recovery, however, is completely unsustainable, and anathema to the cleaner, greener future New York can only achieve with robust transit ridership.

To get New Yorkers back on transit, the MTA must restore 24/7 subway service. There is scant evidence that subways and buses have been a vector for the spread of COVID-19, nor that surface transmission is a significant factor. But shutting down the subways for overnight cleaning sends the public a message that they’re somehow unsafe.

Sufficient cleaning can be accomplished while running subways around the clock, which is what’s happening anyway, since trains continue to run without passengers between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Yet tens of thousands of New Yorkers, overwhelmingly frontline workers, people of color and residents of lower-income communities, are severely inconvenienced by the overnight shutdown.


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Bike Lane Obstruction and Intro 2159

We testified today during the New York City Council Committee on Transportation's remote oversight hearing on illegal parking and bike lanes, in support of legislation introduced by Council Member Stephen Levin and Speaker Corey Johnson that seeks to address the city's epidemic of dangerous illegal parking. Our testimony follows below.

StreetsPAC strongly supports Intro 2159, which would create a new violation and civil penalty for hazardous obstruction by a vehicle of a bike lane, bus lane (when bus-only restrictions are in effect), sidewalk, crosswalk, or fire hydrant, when the violation occurs with one quarter mile of a school building, entrance, or exit, imposing a fine of $175 for each such violation, judicable by the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).

Intro 2159 would also require the Department of Transportation to create a civilian-reporting mechanism by which members of the public could report alleged violations and submit supporting evidence. If such violations were substantiated and DOT were to bring a case, the civilian complainant would be entitled to 25% of the penalty collected as a reward.

The reporting mechanism is modeled on the Department of Environmental Protection’s Citizens Air Complaint Program, which works the same way for idling violations, and a bit like the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s complaint system, which does not pay a reward. Both existing programs are considered successful, and allow the city to increase enforcement of harmful behavior without burdening law-enforcement personnel.


StreetsPAC Joins Fellow Advocacy Organizations in Releasing 2021 Transportation Equity Agenda

Yesterday, we joined the New York League of Conservation Voters, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, New York Lawyers in the Public Interest, Regional Plan Association, Riders Alliance, Transportation Alternatives and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign in releasing a transportation agenda outlining our shared priorities for 2021 and beyond.

"We’re proud to partner once again with these vital advocacy organizations to outline a vision for the future of transportation in New York City," said StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure. "We’re at an inflection point, and can either take a big step toward a more walkable, bikeable, transit-rich and humane city, or slide back into a 1970’s-style decline. The city’s future leaders must facilitate the former, and this is the road map by which we can get there."

The full agenda follows below.

Equity On Our Streets: A Transportation-Led Recovery Agenda for Candidates

COVID has transformed how New Yorkers move. At the pandemic’s height, many people rarely left home. Others rode less frequent and less crowded public transit. Bicycling boomed. Driving nearly stopped, only to roar back alarmingly though most offices remain closed.

Equitable recovery starts on the ground. Improving public space on our streets and sidewalks can boost mobility, access, safety, and resiliency. Local transportation fixes can arc toward just and sustainable growth.

The hurdles are real. Cars release the overwhelming share of our stubbornly high transportation carbon emissions. COVID cases were worsened by air pollution. Drivers and motorcyclists have recklessly used empty streets to set modern crash fatality records.

Still, subway ridership more than tripled since April. The City set records for bus lane installation and reduced more speed limits. Lockdowns revealed organic 15-minute cities, with most essentials in walking distance. Open Streets and Restaurants took traffic lanes and curbs back for people.

Big opportunities stand within reach. Streetscape improvements are quick and cheap to install and adjust. To rebuild New York and achieve New Yorkers’ shared goal of a more just and inclusive city, the next mayor and City Council should adopt a bold transportation agenda.


Statement on Polly Trottenberg’s Resignation as New York City Transportation Commissioner

We were sorry to learn today that New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will be leaving her post before the end of 2020. We’re grateful to her for her leadership and partnership in working to make New York City’s streets safer and our public transit system better.

The New York City Department of Transportation notched many important achievements under Commissioner Trottenberg’s leadership, including the lowering of the city’s speed limit to 25 mph, the vast expansion of the city’s speed-camera program, implementation of Manhattan’s 14th Street busway, significant growth of the city’s bike-lane network, and progress toward reducing deaths and injuries. And in just the past few months, her department has orchestrated the rollout of the city’s Open Restaurants and Open Streets efforts, while dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19 within its own ranks.

As advocates, our mantra is always “do more,” and there is of course much more we need to accomplish as a city, whether it’s revitalizing Vision Zero or building more dedicated bus lanes or completing a citywide network of truly protected bike paths. But whenever we’ve pushed Commissioner Trottenberg to do more, it’s with the knowledge that she cares deeply about New York City and the safety and health of its denizens. We know that she takes personally every death or serious injury on the city’s streets, and shares our goals for a better future.

Thank you, Polly, for your dedication as NYC DOT Commissioner, and good luck in your next endeavor. We’re confident that your role on President-elect Biden’s Transition Team will ensure that walking, biking and transit will be central to his administration’s transportation agenda.


21 for 21! Gounardes Comeback Completes StreetsPAC Endorsees' Election Sweep

When Andrew Gounardes completed his comeback yesterday from a 6,000-vote Election Day deficit, it closed the door on a perfect 21-for-21 performance by StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates for State Senate and Assembly in the November 3rd general election.

When counting of absentee and mail-in ballots began Monday, Gounardes trailed by more than 5,200 votes. When counting was halted for the day on Wednesday, that deficit had become a lead of about 2,500 votes, with some 1,800 ballots still to be tallied.

Gounardes was one of eight State Senate candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC, a group that included newly elected Brooklyn Senator Jabari Brisport. We also endorsed 13 candidates for Assembly, with Khaleel Anderson, Jessica González-Rojas, Emily Gallagher, Chantel Jackson and Amanda Septimo all winning seats for the first time.

We're extremely proud of this slate and their collective commitment to safer streets and better public transit, and look forward to the work they'll be doing in Albany. Read on for a brief look at all 21 winning candidates, and some of the issues on which they'll focus in the next legislative term.


published 2020 NYS General in Endorsements 2020-10-23 13:28:28 -0400

2020 Endorsees for State Senate and Assembly

2020 Endorsees: State Senate | State Assembly

State Senate

Mike GianarisMike Gianaris, 12th Senate District, Queens (Incumbent) – Gianaris, who serves as Deputy Majority Leader in the State Senate, has established himself as a prominent member of the progressive wing of the State Legislature. He's been a strong advocate for mass transit, and pledges to continue to push his millionaire's-tax bill, which would dedicate revenues to the MTA. He's also interested in reforming the State Department of Motor Vehicles, including potential expansion of the DMV's Fatality Hearing program to incorporate serious-injury cases as well. In addition, he's committed to pursuing expansion of pedestrian and cycling access to MTA-controlled bridges.

Jessica RamosJessica Ramos, 13th Senate District, Queens (Incumbent) – Ramos, first elected in 2018, has quickly established herself as one of the Legislature's leading voices for safer streets and better public transit. She sponsored the bill that led to the eventual legalization of e-bikes in April, has called for the reopening of the Queensboro Bridge's south outer roadway to pedestrians and cyclists, and just introduced a bill that would increase the allowable width of an e-bike, paving the way for rapid growth in the use of bikes for freight delivery. She'll continue to advocate for the complete-streets redesign of dangerous Northern Boulevard, keep pushing to make the immensely popular 34th Avenue Open Street permanent, and will pursue legislation that would increase New York State's gas tax, with revenues dedicated to public transit.

Julia SalazarJulia Salazar, 18th Senate District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Salazar was elected to serve North Brooklyn's 18th District in 2018, with StreetsPAC's endorsement, and she's proven herself to be a strong advocate for safer streets and better transit during her first term. She supported congestion pricing and the expansion of the speed camera program, and has been a fixture at rallies for safe-streets and better transit. She's insistent about the need to raise tax revenue to fill the MTA's budget gaps, and supports expanding Select Bus Service to alleviate transit deserts. Salazar would also like to see some of the city's Open Streets projects made permanent.

Andrew GounardesAndrew Gounardes, 22nd Senate District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Gounardes, who defeated eight-term Republican incumbent Marty Golden with StreetsPAC's endorsement in 2018, has distinguished himself as a committed champion of safe-streets policies during his first term in Albany. He was the lead Senate sponsor of the landmark 2019 legislation that vastly expanded New York City's ability to deploy life-saving speed cameras, to 750 locations around the five boroughs. He is also the lead sponsor in the Senate of fully half of the pending bills we asked candidates about in our 2020 questionnaire. Among those are bills that will make it easier to hold dangerous drivers accountable, require instruction in pedestrian and cyclist safety as part of the process of licensing drivers, and establish pedestrian safety ratings for motor vehicles.

Jabari BrisportJabari Brisport, 25th Senate District, Brooklyn (Open Seat/Won Primary) – Brisport, a middle-school math teacher, won the three-way Democratic primary to replace the retiring State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (there's no other candidate on the November ballot). He's campaigned on a detailed and progressive transportation platform, which includes advocating to expand the zone for congestion pricing into Downtown Brooklyn. He also supports eliminating parking minimums across the city, completely connecting Brooklyn's bicycle network while adding many more miles of protected lanes, and improving bus service throughout the district.

RobertJackson.jpgRobert Jackson, 31st Senate District, Manhattan & Bronx (Incumbent) – Jackson, a 2018 StreetsPAC endorsee, is running for a second term in the State Senate. He supported the passage of congestion pricing and the renewal and major expansion of the city's speed camera program. He's committed to advocating for improved and expanded pedestrian and bicycle access on the George Washington Bridge, and will urge the city to resurrect and expand the Slow Zone program in his district. He also supports improvements to the Hudson River Greenway.

Luis SepulvedaLuis Sepúlveda, 32nd Senate District, Bronx (Incumbent) – Sepúlveda, who served three terms in the Assembly, was first elected to the State Senate in a special election in 2018. An early supporter of speed cameras, Sepúlveda also championed congestion pricing, and was the sponsor of the Green Light law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, which has obvious street-safety benefits. A member of the Senate's Transportation Committee, he's interested in building upon the city's new Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program, and working to reform the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Alessandra BiaggiAlessandra Biaggi, 34th Senate District, Bronx (Incumbent) – Biaggi, with StreetsPAC's endorsement, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of 2018, knocking off IDC leader Jeff Klein in her first run for office. She supported congestion pricing and the expansion of the city's speed camera program, as well as the legalization of electric bikes and scooters. She's interested in helping to reform the Department of Motor Vehicles, and has called for more investment in bus service in her district in conjunction with redesign of the Bronx Bus Network.

 

State Assembly


Nily RozicNily Rozic, 25th Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent) – Rozic, a past StreetsPAC endorsee, was the youngest woman in the Legislature when she took office in 2013. She represents a district that has no subway or train stations, but this hasn't stopped her from being a fierce advocate for transit. She led the fight in the Assembly for Select Bus Service, securing the first route in her district, and was a supporter of congestion pricing. She sponsored the Assembly version of the bill that led to the legalization of e-bikes and electric scooters, and has always been an advocate for cycling. Rozic also supports making sure that driver's tests include education about sharing the road.

Khaleel AndersonKhaleel Anderson, 31st Assembly District, Queens (Open Seat/Won Primary) – Anderson won a hotly contested six-way primary for this open seat in Southeast Queens. He got his start as a teen activist with the Rockaway Youth Task Force, and serves on his local Community Board, where he's advocated for bike lanes. He fought successfully for extension of the Q52 bus to the Rockaways, and did constituent-service work for State Senator James Sanders, Jr. He wants to see bus service improved, including multiple SBS upgrades, and is an advocate for expanding the LIRR's Atlantic Ticket to the Rockaways. He also wants to see bike share returned full time to the district. We believe Anderson will bring a youthful energy to Albany that would greatly benefit the 31st District.

Jessica Gonzalez-RojasJessica González-Rojas, 34th Assembly District, Queens (Won Primary) – González-Rojas, a reproductive health and immigrants rights activist, defeated incumbent Assemblyman Michael DenDekker in a five-way Democratic primary. She served for eight years as Queens's representative on the New York City Transit Riders Council, and in January proposed a bold plan to redesign Northern Boulevard, inspired by the success of the 14th Street Busway. She supports reallocating street space to make more room for safe walking and biking, and keeping buses free by instituting progressive taxes.

Catalina CruzCatalina Cruz, 39th Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent) – Cruz, the first DREAMer to win elected office in New York State, earned StreetsPAC's endorsement in 2018. She supported congestion pricing, as well as the expansion of the city's speed camera program. She continues to be an advocate for improving subway and bus service, which is critically important to her constituents, and she's interested in working to reform the Department of Motor Vehicles. She'd also like to see the city create permanent Open Streets in her district.

Robert Carroll, 44th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Carroll, who first won his Assembly seat in 2016 with StreetsPAC's backing, has proved himself a champion of public transit and safe streets. He was a leading voice for the passage of congestion pricing in 2019, and he's authored a number of bills aimed at getting dangerous drivers off the road, including a measure, spurred by a tragic fatal crash in his district, that requires doctors to provide notification when a patient develops a condition that might impair their ability to drive safely. He's also the sponsor of a bill that would levy a $3 online-package delivery tax, with all proceeds dedicated to improving the transit system.

Emily GallagherEmily Gallagher, 50th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Won Primary) – Gallagher won the biggest upset in the June primary, defeating 48-year incumbent Assemblyman Joe Lentol. She's been in the trenches as an advocate for the past decade, often in a leading role, and built a passionate and devoted base of support among people who’ve dedicated themselves to improving the safety of our streets and the efficacy of our transit system. She’s a bike commuter, and has felt personal loss from traffic violence. She'll go to Albany and be a voice for the very issues that motivated us to found StreetsPAC, including fighting for better bike infrastructure and more reliable buses and subways. She supports implementing a busway on Bedford Avenue.

Jo Anne SimonJo Anne Simon, 52nd Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Simon is running for her fourth term in the Assembly, and has received StreetsPAC's endorsement multiple times. She's a member of the Assembly's Transportation Committee, and was a strong supporter of both congestion pricing and speed camera expansion. Simon is the lead sponsor of a bill that would authorize the city of New York to pilot a residential parking permit system. She also wants to see Brooklyn's bus network improved, with better east-west connections and service between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Yuh-Line NiouYuh-Line Niou, 65th Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Niou, the first Asian American to hold this seat that includes Chinatown, was elected to the Assembly in 2016. She'd like to see Manhattan's bus network redesigned to rationalize routes and increase speeds and reliability, including more dedicated bus lanes. She's adamant about raising revenue to address the MTA's budget gaps, and is interested in the potential for shared-street treatments in the Financial District and Chinatown. Niou is also willing to advocate for expanded pedestrian and cycling space on the Brooklyn Bridge, which is fully in her district.

Dan QuartDan Quart, 73rd Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Quart, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2011, earned StreetsPAC's endorsement in 2014. He's been a staunch supporter of better public transit, and an advocate for holding dangerous drivers accountable for their actions. He's the lead sponsor of legislation that would make it easier to prosecute vehicular crimes, as well as stiffen penalties for drivers who injure or kill. Quart would also like to see Select Bus Service expanded to more routes on Manhattan's east side.

Harvey EpsteinHarvey Epstein, 74th Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Epstein won his first full term in the Assembly in 2018 with StreetsPAC's backing, after succeeding Brian Kavanagh in a special election. Early in his tenure, he sponsored a bill that would remove caps on the number of red-light and bus-lane cameras in New York City, the latter of which is now law. He was a strong advocate for the 14th Street busway, which has just been made permanent, and is insistent about raising revenue to fill the MTA's yawning budget gaps. He also supports the retesting of drivers every five years.

Chantel JacksonChantel Jackson, 79th Assembly District, Bronx (Open Seat/Won Primary) – Jackson, a social worker at a public NYC high school, won the six-way Democratic primary to succeed Assemblyman Michael Blake, who has endorsed her candidacy. She commutes 18 miles roundtrip by bike to her school in Long Island City. She's committed to working to expand the Bronx's bike network, and to improve health outcomes in the Bronx, the least-healthy county in New York State. She'd also like to see improvements in bus service in conjunction with the MTA's redesign of the bus network. In addition to the support of the incumbent, she has the backing of progressive Bronx State Senators Gustavo Rivera and Luis Sepúlveda.

Jeffrey DinowitzJeffrey Dinowitz, 81st Assembly District, Bronx (Incumbent) – Dinowitz, who has represented his Bronx district for 26 years, championed the MTA "lock-box" bill that finally became law in 2019, and has been a strong proponent of speed and red-light cameras. He has even come around on congestion pricing, which he wants to see implemented as scheduled. He supported the Broadway bike lane over Community Board opposition, and advocated for Riverdale's Slow Zone. He wants the MTA to adopt transit-signal priority and all-door boarding to help improve bus service.

Amanda SeptimoAmanda Septimo, 84th Assembly District, Bronx (Open Seat*) – Septimo, who ran for this seat on the WFP line in 2018, served as District Director for retiring Congressman José Serrano. As a teenage activist with the Point CDC, she helped secure improvements to bus service in the Bronx, and advocated for congestion pricing in its first incarnation. She wants the MTA to invest in better bus service as it redesigns the Bronx Network, consistent with her view that transportation is at its heart an issue of equity. She believes that, long term, transit should be free. She'd also like to see better public access to the South Bronx's waterfront. (*Incumbent Carmen Arroyo, who was removed from the Democratic primary ballot for filing fraudulent petitions, is running as an independent in the general election).


published StreetsPAC 2020 General Election Voter Guide in News 2020-10-23 13:26:59 -0400

StreetsPAC's 2020 General Election Voter Guide

Polls Open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday

New York State's general election takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3rd, and polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. As long as you're in line to vote by 9, you can't be turned away. We strongly recommend that you use the New York City Board of Elections' Find My Poll Site tool to confirm your Election Day polling site, and to preview a sample ballot. If you're voting in person tomorrow, please be sure to wear a mask and adhere to safe social-distancing protocols, and be prepared to have to wait for a bit. If you're voting by absentee ballot, it must be postmarked no later than tomorrow, but you can also drop it off at a polling site (go straight to the front of the line to do that).

For the past several months, we have evaluated responses to our detailed candidate questionnaire, conducted in-depth personal interviews with candidates, and deliberated at length over endorsement decisions. We've proudly endorsed a total of 21 candidates running for State Senate and Assembly in the general election. Below, you can learn more about each of our endorsees, and their plans for making our streets safer and our public transit better and more reliable.

We urge you to get out and vote for the StreetsPAC candidate of your choice. We're confident that the candidates who've earned StreetsPAC's endorsement will work to promote safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable public transit.

Read on to meet StreetsPAC's 2020 endorsees!


published StreetsPAC Endorses Mike Gianaris in News 2020-10-21 09:39:52 -0400

StreetsPAC Endorses Mike Gianaris for Re-Election

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Orchestrated 2018 Ouster of IDC

StreetsPAC today endorsed Mike Gianaris for re-election in Queens's 12th State Senate District.

MikeGianarisCroppedLarge.jpgGianaris, who serves as Deputy Majority Leader in the State Senate, was born and raised in the Queens district he now represents. He's established himself as a prominent member of the progressive wing of the State Legislature, and played a pivotal role in helping to vanquish the IDC and give Democrats control of the Senate in 2018, which paved the way for the passage of congestion pricing, expansion of speed cameras, and the legalization of e-bikes, all of which he supported.

Gianaris has been a strong advocate for mass transit, and pledges to continue to push his millionaire's-tax bill, which would dedicate revenues to the MTA. He's also interested in reforming the State Department of Motor Vehicles, including potential expansion of the DMV's Fatality Hearing program to incorporate serious-injury cases as well. In addition, he's committed to pursuing expansion of pedestrian and cycling access to MTA-controlled bridges, including the RFK Triboro Bridge, which connects his district to Manhattan and the Bronx.

You can help support Mike's relection effort here.


StreetsPAC Endorses Jessica Ramos; Voter Registration Deadline Today

Queens Senator Led Push for e-Bike Legalization

StreetsPAC today endorsed Jessica Ramos for re-election in Queens's 13th State Senate District.

Ramos, who was elected in 2018, has quickly established herself as one of the Legislature's leading voices for safer streets and better public transit. She sponsored the bill that led to the eventual legalization of e-bikes in April, has called for the reopening of the Queensboro Bridge's south outer roadway to pedestrians and cyclists, and just introduced a bill that would increase the allowable width of an e-bike, paving the way for rapid growth in the use of bikes for freight delivery.

Ramos, who won her primary in June with 86% of the vote, faces a Republican challenger in the November 3rd general election. She has pledged to continue to advocate for the complete-streets redesign of dangerous Northern Boulevard, with Select Bus Service and protected bike lanes; to keep pushing to make the immensely popular 34th Avenue Open Street permanent; and to pursue legislation that would increase New York State's gas tax, with revenues dedicated to public transit.

You can help support Jessica's relection effort here.

Today's the Deadline to Register to Vote

If you are not already a registered voter in New York State, today is the deadline for eligibility to vote in the November 3rd general election.

You can find all the information you need to register here: www.elections.ny.gov/votingregister.html.

If you believe you're already registered, you can confirm your status here: voterlookup.elections.ny.gov.


StreetsPAC Endorses Andrew Gounardes for State Senate

Safe-Streets Champ Faces Tough Re-Election Race in Trump-Leaning District

StreetsPAC today endorsed Andrew Gounardes for re-election in Brooklyn's 22nd State Senate District. Gounardes, who won the seat with StreetsPAC's endorsement in 2018, defeating eight-term Republican incumbent Marty Golden, has distinguished himself as a committed champion of safe-streets policies during his first term in Albany.

Andrew_Gounardes_Official.jpgGounardes was the lead Senate sponsor of the landmark 2019 legislation that vastly expanded  New York City's ability to deploy life-saving speed cameras, to 750 locations around the five boroughs. But Gounardes didn't stop there – he is the lead sponsor in the Senate of fully half of the pending bills we asked candidates about in our 2020 questionnaire.

Among those are bills that will make it easier to hold dangerous drivers accountable, require instruction in pedestrian and cyclist safety as part of the process of licensing drivers, and establish pedestrian safety ratings for motor vehicles.

"I’ve been fighting side by side with StreetsPAC to transform our city’s culture and our streets to make them safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike," says Gounardes. "We are working towards a city where senior citizens and parents can cross the street without fearing for their lives, and where no family has to suffer losing a loved one in a car crash. I am deeply proud to be endorsed by StreetsPAC for the work we’ve already done, like finally passing the landmark School Zone Speed Camera expansion law, and all that we will do together to fight traffic violence."

Yet despite all that Andrew Gounardes has accomplished during his first term, he's locked in a tough re-election battle. The 22nd is a purple district that voted for Donald Trump by five points in 2016, and outside groups are spending heavily in an attempt to return the seat to Republican hands.

In 2018, volunteers working with StreetsPAC knocked on more than 5,000 doors in a race that Andrew won by a little more than 1,000 votes. We need that kind of effort again – whether it's phone-banking, text-banking or safe, socially distanced canvassing – to make sure we can send him back to Albany to continue his vital work. Will you volunteer a few hours of your time to help us re-elect Andrew? Sign up here.

And of course, if you're able to support Andrew's campaign financially, we urge you to donate here now. For a limited time, StreetsPAC will match contributions via this link dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $5,000.

Re-electing Andrew Gounardes to the New York State Senate is one of StreetsPAC's top objectives for 2020, and we hope you'll join us in making that happen.


published Volunteer to Re-Elect Andrew Gounardes! 2020-09-30 21:04:21 -0400

Volunteer to Re-Elect Andrew Gounardes!

Safe-streets champion Andrew Gounardes is facing a tough re-election fight in 2020. Will you volunteer a few hours of your time to help his campaign and make sure we hold onto critical safety improvements like speed cameras? Sign up here.


published 2020 Queens BP Primary in Endorsements 2020-06-12 14:33:41 -0400

Costa Constantinides for Queens Borough President

Saying a lot has changed since we endorsed Costa Constantinides for Queens Borough President on March 9th doesn't even begin to define "understatement."

But one thing that hasn't changed is our firm belief that Costa is the best person for the job.

While some misconstrue the offices of the five Borough Presidents as largely ceremonial, they in fact carry a good amount of influence. Borough Presidents play an important role in the city's land-use process, control relatively hefty discretionary and staff budgets, and have sway with city agencies and other elected officials. They can use the bully pulpit of the office to promote, or oppose, city policies and initiatives.

And perhaps most importantly, especially when it comes to street safety and transportation issues, Borough Presidents appoint the members of Community Boards.

For all those reasons, we believe that the upcoming June 23rd Democratic primary for Queens Borough President is an important one – and it's why we are endorsing Costa for Queens Borough President.

As the City Council Member representing Queens's 22nd District (Astoria and parts of Jackson Heights, Woodside, and East Elmhurst) since 2014, and as Chair of the Council's Environmental Protection Committee, Constantinides has been a leader in the city's effort to combat climate change, and he clearly understands the transportation sector's outsized role in carbon emissions. It's why he believes it's so important to get people out of cars, and onto public transit and bikes.

That perspective underscores his strong support for building a real, connected network of protected bike lanes, along with their obvious safety benefits. It's why he pushed successfully to turn a municipal parking lot on Astoria's 31st Street into a 100%-affordable senior-housing facility, with zero parking spaces. And it's why he's been a qualified supporter of the MTA's redesign of the Queens bus network (though he thinks there's plenty of room for improvement on the draft plan), and a proponent of the proposed Triboro rail line.

If elected Queens Borough President, Constantinides pledges he will:

  • Reform, professionalize and diversify the Community Board appointment process
  • Develop a borough-wide transportation plan
  • Advocate for improved cycling infrastructure on the RFK/Triboro and Ed Koch/Queensboro Bridges, and a protected bike lane to connect them
  • Seek to transform additional city-owned municipal parking lots into housing

"We have made Queens' streets more livable over the last six years, but the hard work is still ahead," says Constantinides. "As Queens Borough President, I plan to create a holistic transportation plan that makes it safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike. I am so honored to have the support of StreetsPAC to improve our streets and create a better mass transit system."

We believe unequivocally that Costa Constantinides is the best choice for Queens voters concerned about safer streets and better public transportation. We are proud to endorse him for Queens Borough President, and urge you to vote for Costa in the Democratic primary election on Tuesday, June 23rd (early voting begins this Saturday, June 13th). All New Yorkers are eligible to vote by absentee ballot.

 


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on School Bus Stop-Arm Cameras, Bike & Pedestrian Mayors

We were at City Hall yesterday to testify at the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation hearing on school bus stop-arm cameras, and bills that would create Offices of Active Transportation and Pedestrians. Here's what we had to say:

There are few transgressions a driver can commit behind the wheel of an automobile that are more egregious than passing a stopped school bus picking up or discharging children, and for that reason alone, we support Intro 1724, which would create a demonstration program to install stop-arm cameras on school buses. The danger of such driver action is underscored by the severity of the penalties for doing so: a $250 fine, five license points, and the possibility of 30 days in jail.

The act of passing a stopped school bus is born either from impatient, callous indifference to the dangers it imposes on others, or a degree of distraction so great that one fails to notice a big, bright yellow school bus deploying flashing lights and a large red stop sign. Neither is remotely acceptable, yet according to some reports, it occurs up to 50,000 times per day in the state of New York.

Fortunately, given the penalties, the rate of recidivism is low, as low as 2% to 6%, per statistics. But enforcement is also nearly non-existent; under current laws, a police officer must witness the infraction in order to issue a ticket. Stop-arm cameras have tremendous potential to improve enforcement, in the same way that school-zone speed cameras have begun holding dangerous drivers accountable.


Tonight: Brooklyn Fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes

Tonight, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., please join us for an important re-election fundraiser for State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

Andrew won the State Senate seat representing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods last November, defeating eight-term incumbent Marty Golden. It was a hard-fought, closely contested race, and his victory wasn’t certified until a couple weeks after the election. Andrew ran on a platform that prioritized pedestrian safety and better transit, among a number of important issues, and his victory was key in returning control of the State Senate to the Democratic Party. StreetsPAC invested heavily in Andrew's campaign, and our volunteers knocked on some 5,000 doors in a contest that Andrew won by roughly 1,000 votes.

In his first year in Albany, Andrew sponsored and passed a number of bills, but none was more important than the legislation that enabled New York City to vastly increase the number of life-saving speed cameras it deploys around city schools. Expansion of the speed camera program had been blocked by Marty Golden for years, despite the fact that being struck by a motor vehicle has been the leading cause of accidental death among children between the ages of 2 and 14 in New York City.

Regardless of all that he’s accomplished in his short time in office, Andrew may very well face an electoral challenge in 2020, quite possibly from Golden himself. So he needs to raise a considerable amount of money now in order to be prepared for a vigorously contested election.

Sending Andrew Gounardes back to Albany for another term, and ensuring that we’re able to maintain a committed safe-streets majority in the State Senate, is one of StreetsPAC's top priorities for 2020. We hope you'll join us on October 28th to meet and hear from Andrew, and to help make certain that he gets re-elected.

The invitation is below. Please visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/streetspac to RSVP and/or donate.


This Coming Monday, Please Join Us for a StreetsPAC Fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes!

On Monday, October 28th, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., we're hosting an important re-election fundraiser for State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

Andrew won the State Senate seat representing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods last November, defeating eight-term incumbent Marty Golden. It was a hard-fought, closely contested race, and his victory wasn’t certified until a couple weeks after the election. Andrew ran on a platform that prioritized pedestrian safety and better transit, among a number of important issues, and his victory was key in returning control of the State Senate to the Democratic Party. StreetsPAC invested heavily in Andrew's campaign, and our volunteers knocked on some 5,000 doors in a contest that Andrew won by roughly 1,000 votes.

In his first year in Albany, Andrew sponsored and passed a number of bills, but none was as important as the legislation that enabled New York City to vastly increase the number of life-saving speed cameras it deploys around city schools. Expansion of the speed camera program had been blocked by Marty Golden for years, despite the fact that being struck by a motor vehicle has been the leading cause of accidental death among children between the ages of 2 and 14 in New York City.

Regardless of all that he’s accomplished in his short time in office, Andrew may very well face an electoral challenge in 2020, quite possibly from Golden himself. So he needs to raise a considerable amount of money now in order to be prepared for a vigorously contested election.

Sending Andrew Gounardes back to Albany for another term, and ensuring that we’re able to maintain a committed safe-streets majority in the State Senate, is one of StreetsPAC's top priorities for 2020. We hope you'll join us on October 28th to meet and hear from Andrew, and to help make certain that he gets re-elected.

The invitation is below. Please visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/streetspac to RSVP and/or donate.


Join Us! StreetsPAC Fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes on October 28!

On Monday, October 28th, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., please join us for a fundraiser for State Senator Andrew Gounardes!

Andrew, who won his State Senate seat in 2018 on a platform focused on safer streets and better transit, led the effort in Albany that resulted this year in a major expansion of New York City's life-saving speed camera program. As the lead sponsor of the authorizing legislation in the Senate, he made speed cameras his top priority, and his success in passing the bill will have a profound effect on the safety of New Yorkers – and especially the children around whose schools the cameras are based.

But while Andrew had an amazing and productive first year in the State Senate, he may face a tough re-election fight. His district is more purple than most in New York City, and he won last fall by only about 1,000 votes. It's possible that Marty Golden, the long-time incumbent whom he defeated in 2018 (and who had repeatedly blocked the expansion of the speed camera program in Albany), may gear up for a rematch.

So we want to help Andrew raise the money he'll need to run an all-out re-election campaign in 2020. Helping him get an early start on fundraising now will mean that he'll be able to spend more time talking to voters and less time dialing potential donors next fall.

Sending Andrew Gounardes back to Albany for another term, and ensuring that we maintain a safe-streets majority in the State Senate, is one of StreetsPAC's top priorities. We hope you'll join us on October 28th to help make certain that we accomplish it.

See below for details, and click on the image to RSVP.


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Eric McClure
2319pc
Eric McClure is StreetsPAC's Executive Director and Treasurer. He's a co-founder of Park Slope Neighbors, a grassroots community-advocacy organization based in Brooklyn.