Meet the 23 Candidates We've Endorsed for City Council!

For the past several months, we've been evaluating questionnaire responses, interviewing candidates, and deliberating over endorsement decisions. Now, we proudly bring you all 23 candidates we've endorsed for City Council in New York City's September 12th primary election. Read on to learn more about them, and the projects they'll champion in the Council, and be sure to vote for safe, complete and livable streets and reliable, efficient and affordable transit on September 12th!

(Numbers correspond with the Council District for which each candidate is running.)

Council District 1, Manhattan: Margaret Chin (Incumbent) – Chin, who’s running for a third term representing Lower Manhattan, has been an outspoken advocate for pedestrian safety and placard reform. She plans to introduce a Council resolution calling for restoration of the two-way toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and will advocate for the reopening of Manhattan’s Park Row with a pedestrian path and protected bike lane. And she’ll continue to lead the charge for placard reform and real enforcement of placard abuse.

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

Council District 3, Manhattan: Corey Johnson (Incumbent) – Johnson, who’s running for his second term, distinguished himself as a vocal proponent of the Times Square pedestrian plaza when an uproar erupted over costumed characters and desnudas in 2015.  He’s committed to advocating for protected crosstown bike lanes in his West Side district, which stretches from Canal Street to Lincoln Square, and will undertake an effort to better allocate the precious street space along 8th Avenue near the Port Authority Bus terminal.  He’s also interested in improving the way the city manages truck deliveries, including improving curb access for trucks and restricting deliveries to off-hours.

Council District 4, Manhattan: Keith Powers (Open Seat) – Powers, a former Chief of Staff in the Assembly, is running for the East Side Council seat held currently by the term-limited Daniel Garodnick. He supports the creation of a "PeopleWay" on 14th Street during the extended shutdown of the L train, and would like to see complete-streets treatments implemented on 5th and 6th Avenues. He'll also advocate for closing the gaps in 2nd Avenue's protected bike lane, and will work to complete the East River Greenway.

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

Council District 6, Manhattan: Helen Rosenthal (Incumbent) – Rosenthal, who's running for a second term, faces a strong challenge from the very capable Mel Wymore. She's determined to make Central Park's loop fully car-free, and will push for protected bike lanes on the Park's transverses. She's also committed to working with the Parks Department to improve the hilly detour for cyclists along the Hudson River Greenway between 72nd and 83rd Streets. In addition, she plans to advocate for a dedicated rush-hour bus lane on Amsterdam Avenue, and will work for smarter curbside regulations to reduce double parking.

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

Council District 8, Manhattan/Bronx: Robert Rodriguez (Open Seat) – Rodriguez, who has been a member of the State Assembly since 2011, is running for the open seat held by the City Council’s term-limited Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito. He’s led the effort for the Move NY Fair Plan in the Assembly, and will continue to push for its adoption in the Council. He’ll also advocate for extending the 2nd Avenue subway, having been a strong supporter of that project in Albany. In addition, Rodriguez supports expansion of Citi Bike, with increased subsidies for low-income users, and will work to expand deployment of speed and red-light cameras.

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

Council District 13, Bronx: Marjorie Velázquez (Open Seat) – Bronx native Velázquez, who survived a serious car crash in 2012, is running for the open Council seat in 13th District.  Her priorities include expediting the construction of new Metro North stations in Morris Park and Parkchester/Van Nest, and advocating for new NYC Ferry service to Throgs Neck, Ferry Point and City Island.  She’s also committed to improved bus service, with additional routes and better reliability, including round-the-clock service to City Island and more express buses to Manhattan.

Council District 14, Bronx: Randy Abreu (Challenger) – Abreu, an attorney who worked in the Department of Energy under President Obama, is seeking to represent the neighborhood in which he grew up.  He wants to expand Select Bus Service in the Bronx, especially with signal priority, and will work to bring the MTA’s Freedom Ticket reduced-fare pilot program to Metro North.  He’ll also advocate for Citi Bike expansion throughout the district, and he’s committed to expanding the use of speed and red-light cameras.

Council District 15, Bronx: Ritchie Torres (Incumbent) – Torres, who has yet to turn 30, is the only first-term Council Member to hold a leadership position. He's committed to passing a Council home rule message supporting the Move NY Fair Plan, and is interested in increasing deployment of speed cameras for research and education purposes. He'll also advocate for making the Grand Concourse a true complete street, and to expand and improve bicycling infrastructure on East Tremont and Arthur Avenues. He also wants to see Vision Zero education made an integral part of police training.

Council District 16, Bronx: Vanessa Gibson, (Incumbent) – Gibson, who’s running for a second term representing the West Bronx, chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee. She pledges to continue fighting against traffic violence and for Vision Zero. In her district, she supports the redesign of the Grand Concourse with protected bike lanes and other enhanced street designs that improve safety for all users. As Public Safety Chair, she remains committed to working with all stakeholders to increase street safety, and to providing much needed resources to the NYPD's Collision Investigation Unit, and will further support efforts to improve public outreach, education and enforcement of existing laws.

Council District 18, Bronx: Amanda Farias (Open Seat) – Farias is a native of the area she seeks to represent, the district currently led by term-limited Council Member Annabel Palma. Her top priority is improving transportation access for constituents. She'll advocate to bring NYC Ferry service to Soundview, expand Select Bus Service in the district (especially connecting to the ferry), and work to improve subway accessibility. She's committed to bringing Citi Bike to the district, and to complete-streets initiatives that will ensure neighborhood sidewalks and streets are accessible to all.

Council District 26, Queens: Jimmy Van Bramer (Incumbent) – No Queens elected official has been a better advocate for safe and complete streets than Van Bramer, the Council’s Majority Leader.  He’s committed to advocating for more protected bike lanes, including on Skillman and 43rd Avenues, and for better bike-network connectivity, and he’ll push the Departments of Transportation and Design and Construction for speedier implementation of critical Vision Zero infrastructure.  He also plans to lead the effort to reopen the Queensboro Bridge south walkway.

Council District 28, Queens: Richard David (Open Seat) – David is running for the Queens seat recently made vacant by the criminal conviction of Ruben Wills. His priorities include a push for improved bus service, including real-time arrival information, and the redevelopment of the Jamaica Bus Terminal, with a focus on improved pedestrian safety. He also wants to see the bike network expanded throughout the 28th District, and will advocate for the restoration of the Commuter Tax, with the proceeds dedicated to improving mass transit. Whoever wins the seat, be it David or capable opponents Hettie Powell and Adrienne Adams, it will be an upgrade for residents of the 28th District.

Council District 33, Brooklyn: Stephen Levin (Incumbent) – Levin, who’s running for a third term, achieved the near-impossible when he prevailed on the Department of Transportation to redesign downtown Brooklyn’s Jay Street with protected bike lanes and pedestrian islands.  He’s committed to advocating for a comprehensive plan to minimize commuting disruptions during the L train shutdown, and will push for a complete-streets overhaul of his district’s dangerous Meeker Avenue.  He also hopes to solve the police-parking and bike-lane-blocking problem on Schermerhorn Street, and will continue his efforts to achieve equity in the handling of the city’s waste and reform of the carting industry.

Council District 34, Brooklyn/Queens: Antonio Reynoso (Incumbent) – Reynoso, who’s established himself as a leader in the City Council on matters of pedestrian and cyclist safety, is running for a second term.  He’s adamant about upgrading cycling conditions in his district with protected bike lanes and the expansion of Citi Bike.  As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, Reynoso will push for major safety improvements on the part of private carters, as well as changes to the city’s snow-removal protocol to ensure that crosswalks and bus stops are cleared in a more timely manner.  He’ll also explore how traffic laws might better distinguish between bicycles and motor vehicles, in particular with the treatment of red lights and stop signs at T-intersections.

Council District 35, Brooklyn: Ede Fox (Challenger) – Fox, whom we backed in the 2013 race for this seat, has worked for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and was Chief of Staff to Council Member Jumaane Williams. Her top transportation priority is establishing more safe options and north-south travel connections through the district, including new and expanded Select Bus Service routes, improved local bus service, and better cycling infrastructure.  She’s also committed to pushing to make the Franklin Avenue subway station fully accessible, and to encouraging more diversity and youth participation on local Community Boards.

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

Council District 39, Brooklyn: Brad Lander (Incumbent) – Lander, who’s running for a third term, has been as true a champion for safe streets and better transit as there is in the City Council.  He wants to see the protected bike lanes planned for Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue extended all the way to Atlantic Avenue, and he’s committed to exploring the expanded deployment of speed cameras for educational and research purposes (while working to win the right for New York City to deploy and operate automated enforcement as it sees fit).

Council District 40, Brooklyn: Brian Cunningham (Challenger) – Cunningham, born and raised in Flatbush, is a former State Senate and City Council staffer. He's dedicated to making Vision Zero projects a local priority. While another contender for the seat, Pia Raymond, has done noteworthy work to increase street safety along the Nostrand Avenue corridor, we are backing Cunningham for his commitment to advocate for expansion of the area's nascent bike lanes along Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn Avenue, and Kingston Avenue, along with his support for a robust proposal to create a safe pedestrian plaza at the Franklin Avenue triangle. He also pledges to make Prospect Park permanently car-free, and to work with the MTA to give the Prospect Park subway station the much-needed facelift straphangers deserve. 

Council District 43, Brooklyn: Justin Brannan (Open Seat) – Brannan, a Bay Ridge native, has worked for the de Blasio administration and for term-limited Council Member Vincent Gentile, whom he hopes to succeed. He wants NYC DOT to look at extending the redesign of 4th Avenue south of 65th Street, and is an advocate for improving the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. He supports restoring the two-way toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and backs the effort to build a pedestrian and cycle path on the bridge as part of the Harbor Ring plan. He’d also like to see truck traffic shifted from local streets to the Belt Parkway, where it’s not currently permitted.


Help Elect StreetsPAC's Endorsed Candidates – Volunteer Today!

A good number of the candidates we've endorsed are facing highly competitive races. And nothing can help make sure they win like a group of 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!

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commented 2017-09-12 10:16:08 -0400 · Flag
Thank you for this!
StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.