Eric McClure

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.

published 2018 NYS General in Endorsements 2018-09-20 08:51:15 -0400

2018 NYS General Election

2018 Endorsees: State Senate | State Assembly | Ballot Proposals

State Senate

JuliaSalazar.jpgJulia Salazar, 18th Senate District, Brooklyn 

Salazar, a community organizer, won the September primary against incumbent Senator Martin Malavé Dilan in North Brooklyn's 18th District, and ran unopposed in the general election. She's committed to improving the transit system, including upgrading bus service in the district, accelerating the MTA's station-accessibility efforts, and ensuring that every resident of North Brooklyn has ready access to public transit during the L train shutdown. She'll also vote to reinstate and expand the city's speed camera program, and will support a congestion-pricing plan that funds a better transit system while protecting low-income drivers who have no other means of getting to work.

ZellnorMyrie.jpgZellnor Myrie, 20th Senate District, Brooklyn 

Myrie, a lawyer and activist, won his September primary race against incumbent Jesse Hamilton, and overwhelmingly won a rematch in the general election. Myrie supports congestion pricing, and plans to advocate for implementation of Select Bus Service in East Flatbush and Brownsville. He will also back legislation that would limit the ability of consistently dangerous drivers to remain behind the wheel, with an emphasis on restorative justice. He wants to see Linden Boulevard redesigned with pedestrian safety upgrades and protected bike lanes, and supports a Vision Zero makeover for the irregular triangles at the confluence of Howard, Pitkin and East New York Avenues in Brownsville.

AndrewGounardes.jpgAndrew Gounardes, 22nd Senate District, Brooklyn

Gounardes, a native of Bay Ridge and Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, defeated incumbent Republican State Senator Marty Golden in November’s general election. Gounardes has made street safety a core element of his campaign: he supports placing speed cameras in all of New York City's school zones, wants the city to accelerate street redesigns to prioritize safety, and backs requiring defensive-driving courses or driving refreshers with every license renewal. He also supports congestion pricing, and is adamant that every subway station should be accessible.

RobertJackson.jpgRobert Jackson, 31st Senate District, Manhattan

Jackson, who served for 12 years in the City Council, defeated first-term State Senator Marisol Alcantera in the September primary, and cruised to victory in a three-way general election race. Jackson is a backer of congestion pricing, and supports residential parking permits as a means of combatting the influx of park-and-ride drivers who routinely flood upper Manhattan. He also wants to see the city's lapsed speed camera program renewed and expanded, and is committed to pursuing improvements to the Hudson River Greenway.

AlessandraBiaggi.jpgAlessandra Biaggi, 34th Senate District, Bronx

Biaggi, a Bronx native who was Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential run, upset Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein in September's primary, and won a four-way general election race with more than 75% of the vote. She's pledged support for a comprehensive congestion-pricing plan consistent with the Move NY and FixNYC proposals, and wants to see Albany pass legislation that would increase penalties for hit-and-run drivers. She will also advocate for reinstatement and an increase in the number of speed cameras authorized for New York City, as well as the elimination of restrictions governing their operation.


State Assembly

BrianBarnwell.jpgBrian Barnwell, 30th Assembly District, Queens

Barnwell, one of the younger members of the Assembly, won his central Queens seat in 2016 by upsetting a long-term incumbent, and handily won a competitive primary in September before winning the general election. He supports implementation of Select Bus Service on major avenues in Maspeth and Middle Village, and wants to see the city's school speed safety camera program renewed and expanded. He's also been working with the MTA to implement transit improvements in his district using state multi-modal transportation funds.

CatalinaCruz.jpgCatalina Cruz, 39th Assembly District, Queens

Cruz, the first DREAMer to win elective office in New York State, is an attorney who served as Chief of Staff to former City Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferraras-Copeland. She bested incumbent Assemblymember Ari Espinal in the primary, and did so again in a three-way general election. Cruz supports congestion pricing, and reinstatement and expansion of the city's speed camera program. She wants to see Select Bus Service implemented along Junction Boulevard, and supports passage of legislation that would increase penalties for drivers who flee crashes. She also believes that New York City should have control of the subways and city buses.

Robert Carroll, 44th Assembly District, Brooklyn

Carroll, who won his Assembly seat in 2016 with StreetsPAC's backing, and easily won re-election, has quickly established himself as a transit and safe-streets champion. He's pledged to continue to lead the fight for passage of a comprehensive congestion-pricing plan, and is committed to working to bring runaway MTA capital costs in line with those of other major transit systems. He supports reinstatement and expansion of the city's speed camera effort, and will continue to advocate for legislation aimed at getting dangerous drivers off the road.

JoAnneSimon.jpgJo Anne Simon, 52nd Assembly District, Brooklyn

Simon overwhelmingly won election to a third term in the Assembly, where she serves on the Transportation Committee, and she's been an advocate for safe streets and better transit for decades. She's an original co-sponsor of the bill supporting the Move New York congestion-pricing plan, and is adamant about the need to reinstate and expand New York City's speed-camera program. In addition, Simon is the lead sponsor of a bill that would authorize the city of New York to establish a residential parking-permit system.

HarveyEpstein.jpgHarvey Epstein, 74th Assembly District, Manhattan

Epstein, who won a special election in April to succeed Brian Kavanagh in this east side district, won a full term in a lopsided three-way race. Prior to winning office, he built a distinguished career as a public-interest lawyer and community organizer. Epstein has already made his mark in Albany by introducing a bill that would remove caps on the number of bus-lane and red-light cameras in New York City, and he supports congestion pricing and the renewal and expansion of the city's speed-camera program. He's also an advocate for a robust plan for dealing with the impending L train shutdown.


#FlipYourBallot! We Encourage You to Vote Yes on Ballot Proposals 1 and 3

Please remember to flip over your ballot when you're voting, as there are three ballot proposals on the reverse side. We encourage you to vote yes on Ballot Proposals 1 and 3.

Ballot Prop 1 – Campaign Finance Reform 

Our friends at NYPIRG provided the following statement to the New York City Campaign Finance Board summarizing the benefits of a yes vote on Proposal 1:

This ballot question would dramatically lower the campaign contribution limits for those running in New York City elections. NYPIRG supports that change since it helps limit the influence that wealthy and powerful interests have over policymaking in the City.

These changes will further strengthen the City's landmark law, already a model for the nation. The current program matches small private donations with additional public resources, matching every $1 in private donation raised with $6 of clean public resources. The proposed change bumps that up to $8 of public resources for every $1 privately raised, further helping candidates without access to wealth to credibly run for office.

Relying on a large number of small contributors helps those who successfully run for office to act in the public’s best interest, not worry about the concerns of the wealthy few.

The proposed changes could also help strengthen the diversity of the City’s public officials and incentivize participating candidates to focus on the needs of the public at large and rely less on the well-organized economic interests that too often dominate governmental decision-making.

Ballot Prop 3 – Community Board Term Limits 

Our friends at Reinvent Albany provided the following statement to the New York City Campaign Finance Board summarizing the benefits of a yes vote on Proposal 3:

A yes vote on Question 3 generally establishes term limits for community board members of four consecutive two-year terms. It will require borough presidents, who appoint community board members, to create a standardized application for appointment and to document their marketing of vacant community board positions.

A yes vote on this question will result in community boards that are more diverse and representative of the communities they serve. This will help ensure a robust discussion of land use matters before the board, and that voices in the community are heard. All residents will experience a fairer application process and have a better opportunity to serve the community on the board.

We have not taken a position on Ballot Proposal 2, which would create a Civic Engagement Commission and establish citywide Participatory Budgeting.

wants to volunteer 2017-08-16 20:18:20 -0400

2017 Campaign Volunteer Signup

A number of the candidates we've endorsed in the New York City primary election on September 12th are involved in highly competitive races. And nothing can help put a candidate over the top like dedicated volunteers!

Do you have a few hours to spare to help elect a candidate committed to making New York City streets safer? Can you help make phone calls or hand out campaign literature for someone who will go to work to improve our transit system? Then sign up today!

All you need to do is fill in your contact information, indicate the candidate or candidates you're interested in helping, and we'll share your information with the respective campaigns for follow up.

Thank you for your willingness to volunteer!

NYC Needs a Comprehensive Snow-Removal Policy

Yesterday's snowfall – while thankfully not the blizzard that many outlets predicted – served as yet another reminder that New York City lacks a comprehensive system for clearing snow from intersections, crosswalks and catch basins.

SlushPuddleNYT.jpgWhile the Department of Sanitation did its usual yeoman's job of plowing and salting the city's streets, too much of that plowed snow ends up creating headaches for pedestrians, and for less able-bodied New Yorkers, dangerous and impassable obstacles.

As LTV Squad's Joseph Anastasio pointed out a year ago, snow removal at intersections falls into a responsibility black hole, and too many property owners skip shoveling their sidewalks because fines are low and enforcement is almost nil. He offers up a plan that largely puts the onus on the citizenry, which may or may not be the best plan – but at least it's a plan! And here are three suggestions from Streetsblog's Ben Fried for improving upon the current situation.

Given its role in creating laws, the City Council needs to tackle this nagging problem head-on. Sign the petition to ask the Council to initiate a comprehensive plan for improving snow removal in New York City.

247 signatures


To the New York City Council:

New York City needs a comprehensive snow-removal policy!

While the Department of Sanitation does an excellent job of plowing streets, the city has no equivalent process for clearing intersections, crosswalks and catch basins. We've all encountered mountains of snow and ponds of slush when simply trying to cross a street, but what's annoying for the nimble and able-bodied can be dangerous and impossible for the elderly, the disabled, young children or parents pushing strollers. Clear streets are not enough if they can't be crossed by pedestrians!

We, the undersigned, urge the Council's Transportation and Sanitation Committees to craft an overhaul to the laws governing snow removal.

Photo: Joshua Bright for The New York Times

StreetsPAC Commends Mayor de Blasio for Increased Vision Zero Funding, Urges Quick Deployment

StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure delivered the following testimony at today's City Council Committee on Transportation oversight hearing on Vision Zero progress and needs:

We were heartened by the news this week that Mayor de Blasio plans to budget an additional $400 million for Vision Zero.  The City Council’s call last year for more funding for Vision Zero no doubt played a role in the Mayor’s decision; thank you for your continued advocacy for increased investment in safe streets.

This additional funding is critical, because our ability to achieve Vision Zero lies first and foremost in redesigning our streets.  Vision Zero is predicated on the fact that people make mistakes, but that those mistakes should not cost someone a limb, or worse, his or her life.  A margin for human error must be part of the equation, whether that error is on the part of people using our streets, or those whose job it is to enforce the laws governing them.

signed StreetsPetition: Matthew von Ohlen 2016-10-19 13:43:47 -0400

StreetsPetition: NYPD – Release Details of the Investigation into the Death of Matthew von Ohlen

In the early hours of July 2, 2016, 35-year-old Matthew von Ohlen was struck and killed by the driver of a black, late-model Chevrolet Camaro as he was riding his bike home from work in Williamsburg's Grand Street bike lane. Police who reviewed surveillance video of the crash told WPIX TV that the driver appeared to slow down and steer into bike lane, intentionally striking von Ohlen before running over him and dragging him 30 feet, before speeding off. Von Ohlen died in the hospital not long after, the victim of severe trauma.

Four days later, the NYPD's 90th Precinct took to Twitter to announce that police had located the car involved in the crash. But that was the last public announcement made regarding the investigation into von Ohlen's death. More than four months have passed since.

The failure of the police to catch Matthew von Ohlen's killer fits a pattern. As Gothamist reports today, the NYPD has made arrests in just 34% of the fatal hit-and-run crashes that occurred in New York City between July 2015 and June 2016. When hit-and-run crashes in which the victim suffered an injury are included, the arrest rate drops to a meager 8%.

GOAL: 1,000 signatures


To NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill:vonohlennydn.jpg

Please order the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad and 90th Precinct to release updated information regarding the July 2, 2016 crash that killed Matthew von Ohlen.

Police told WPIX TV and other media that the driver who struck von Ohlen appeared to do so intentionally, slowing down before steering into the bike lane in which von Ohlen was riding, and then striking von Ohlen and dragging him for 30 feet before speeding off.

On July 6, the 90th Precinct announced via its Twitter account that the black Chevrolet Camaro involved in the crash had been located, but that is the last bit of information the public has received about the case. That's unacceptable.

It's time for the NYPD to bring the public up to speed on the investigation. To whom is the car registered? Who was driving the car? Why has no arrest been made?

Matthew von Ohlen's family, friends and colleagues – and the public at large – deserve to know.

commented on Thursday: Fundraiser for Helen Rosenthal! 2016-08-16 19:30:37 -0400 · Flag
So you’re saying we should endorse Council Member Rosenthal in 2017? This sounds like a good thing.

@EricMcClureBK tweeted link to StreetsPoll: April 13, 2016. 2016-04-13 13:41:36 -0400

StreetsPoll: April 13, 2016

A number of significant transit projects are in various stages of conception – some proposed recently by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, and others that have been kicking around for years. Tell us which one you think has the best chance of actually happening, and if you sign up to receive email updates (you can unsubscribe any time), you'll earn a chance to win a StreetsPAC t-shirt!

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Eric McClure
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.