Early Voting for August 23rd Primary Begins Tomorrow

Early voting for the August 23rd Primary for New York State Senate begins tomorrow, Saturday, August 13th. Early-voting sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and hours will then vary through the conclusion of early voting next Sunday. You can see the daily poll-site hours here: https://www.vote.nyc/page/primary-elections-2022.

You can check your registration status, find your early-voting and election-day polling locations, and see other election-related information at vote.nyc.

We've proudly endorsed seven candidates in the primary for the State Senate, including two incumbents, two candidates challenging sitting State Senators, and three candidates running for open seats. You can read more about them, and aspects of their street-safety and transportation platforms, below. Our endorsees are listed in ascending order by district number.

You can find information about volunteering to help our endorsed candidates get out the vote, which is especially critical with a low-turnout August primary, here.

[Note: there are also primaries for Congress in a number of districts, but we are not registered with the Federal Election Commission and only endorse in city and state races.]

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StreetsPAC Endorses Seven Candidates in New York State Senate Primary

We are proud today to announce our endorsement of seven candidates in the August 23rd primary for the New York State Senate!

Our endorsees include two incumbents, two candidates challenging sitting State Senators, and three candidates running for open seats, in districts that touch on all five boroughs.

In-person early voting begins on Saturday, August 13th, while the deadline to request an absentee ballot is today. You can check your registration status, find your early-voting and election-day polling locations, and see other election-related information at vote.nyc. We've included links to district maps for each of the candidates we're endorsing.

We anticipate making a final round of endorsements in advance of November's general election, as a number of state legislators whom we've endorsed in the past are not facing primary challenges. Check back for updates.

We hope you'll join us in supporting these outstanding candidates for the New York State Senate. Read on to learn more about our endorsees and aspects of their street-safety and transportation platforms. Candidates are listed below in ascending order by district number.

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StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Greenway Master Plan, Public Restrooms

We testified at yesterday's New York City Council Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure oversight hearing on managing public space, in support of bills that would require a Greenway Master Plan, foster creation of more public restrooms, and make it easier for schools and other institutions to use adjacent open spaces. Our full testimony follows below.

StreetsPAC is strongly supportive of this committee’s assessing of the large and crucial task of managing the city’s public space. Welcoming, dynamic, easily accessed, and equitable public space is critical to the health of New York City and its citizens, and we believe the creation of a high-level entity within city government to coordinate and manage the city’s public spaces is urgently necessary.

The pandemic has underscored just how important access to open space is to New Yorkers, and just how immensely popular – and good for business – welcoming, strollable, and sittable areas are across diverse communities. We urge this committee and the full Council to prioritize improvement in the city’s management of public space.

As to the three bills before the committee today, we support all of them.

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StreetsPAC's 2022 Primary Election Voter Guide

Today is Primary Day in New York, and polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you're registered to vote with a political-party affiliation, you are eligible to vote in your party's primary.

We've spent the past few months evaluating responses to our in-depth candidate questionnaire, analyzing policy platforms, and conducting personal interviews with dozens of candidates. We've endorsed 19 candidates for State Assembly, 16 of whom appear on primary ballots today. You can learn more about each of them below, as well as the street-safety and transportation issues they'll advocate for in office.

This primary will undoubtedly continue a trend of low-turnout elections. While we're fans of robust voter participation, the silver lining is that your vote for a candidate who supports safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable public transit, has the potential to make a real difference in a close race.

To find your polling location, see a sample ballot, and check your voter-registration status, please visit vote.nycWe urge you to get out and vote for our endorsed candidates. Read on for our full voter guide; you can click the links at the top to jump to our endorsements in a particular borough.

And if you have an hour or two to spare today, it's not too late to help our endorsees get out the vote. We've compiled links to all of our candidates' volunteer opportunities – just click here to find a GOTV opportunity near you.

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Help StreetsPAC's Assembly Endorsees Get Out the Vote

Early voting continues through Sunday, June 26, before the June 28 primary election, and many of the Assembly candidates we've endorsed in the primary need your help to get out the vote.

We've listed below links to volunteer opportunities over the coming days with all the candidates we've endorsed. Even an hour or two of your time knocking on doors, phone-banking, or handing out literature could make the difference between a victory or loss in a closely contested election – and the difference between electing a candidate who will support protected bike lanes or a dedicated busway and one who will defend the cars-first status quo.

Click on links below to learn more about upcoming volunteer shifts with StreetsPAC's 2022 Assembly endorsees.

Queens

Anthony Andrews, Assembly District 32: All Volunteer Opportunities

Jessica González-Rojas, Assembly District 34: All Volunteer Opportunities

Juan Ardila, Assembly District 37: All Volunteer Opportunities

Brooklyn

Brian Cunningham, Assembly District 43: All Volunteer Opportunities

Emily Gallagher, Assembly District 50: All Volunteer Opportunities

Samy Nemir Olivares, Assembly District 54: All Volunteer Opportunities

Hercules Reid, Assembly District 58: All Volunteer Opportunities

Manhattan

Grace Lee, Assembly District 65: All Volunteer Opportunities

Ryder Kessler, Assembly District 66: All Volunteer Opportunities

Eddie Gibbs, Assembly District 68: All Volunteer Opportunities

Delsenia Glover, Assembly District 70: All Volunteer Opportunities

Adam Roberts, Assembly District 73: All Volunteer Opportunities

Tony Simone, Assembly District 75: All Volunteer Opportunities

Patrick Bobilin, Assembly District 76: All Volunteer Opportunities

Bronx

Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assembly District 81: All Volunteer Opportunities

Jonathan Soto, Assembly District 82: All Volunteer Opportunities

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Vote for Our Assembly Endorsees – and Help Them Get Out the Vote!

Vote Early for StreetsPAC Assembly Endorsees

Early voting continues this week in advance of the June 28th Primary, and if you haven't voted already, you have until 3 p.m. today, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, to vote early. And poll sites will of course be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the Primary on Tuesday. You can locate your early-voting and regular polling site, check your registration status, and find other election info at vote.nyc.

We've endorsed 19 candidates for Assembly, 16 of whom are on the Primary ballot (three incumbents are not facing challenges, noted below). New York State will hold a separate primary for State Senate races on August 23rd – stay tuned for our Senate endorsements in July.

You can read about all 19 of our endorsed Assembly candidates below, listed chronologically by district number, with links to their websites and maps for each district. You can also click the borough links to jump ahead. Please vote and help us grow the pro-safe streets, pro-transit majority in the Assembly!

Volunteer to Help StreetsPAC Candidates Get Out the Vote

A number of our endorsees are running in tight primary races, and with low turnout, every vote is hugely important. There are numerous opportunities to help them get out the vote between now and Tuesday, from phone-banking to door-knocking to Primary Day visibility near polling sites. Even just an hour or two of your time could help make the difference in a close election.

We've compiled links to all of our endorsees' volunteer opportunities here. Please pitch in for a few hours and help them win!

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StreetsPAC Endorses 19 Candidates for New York State Assembly

We are excited today to endorse 19 candidates for the New York State Assembly!

Our endorsees include eight incumbents, seven candidates challenging sitting Assemblymembers, and four candidates seeking open seats. Three of the incumbents we're endorsing are not facing primary races, which we've noted below, so they won't appear on the ballot until November's general election. We also anticipate making additional Assembly endorsements this summer.

The majority of our endorsees, however, will appear on the Democratic Primary ballot on June 28th. In-person early voting begins this Saturday, June 18th. You can check your registration status, find out where to vote, and find other election info at vote.nyc. We've included links to district maps for each of the candidates we're endorsing.

As you probably know, New York State will hold a separate primary for State Senate races on August 23rd. We will be making endorsements in Senate races in the coming weeks.

We are delighted with the 2022 class of Assembly endorsees, and hope you'll join us in supporting their candidacies. Read on to meet them all, listed below chronologically by district number. You can also click the borough links to jump ahead.

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StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on the Influx of Federal Infrastructure Funding

We testified today at the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure oversight hearing on assessing the state of the city's infrastructure and laying the foundation for federal infrastructure funding, a broad and somewhat complicated topic (there are reportedly 34 separate funding streams for infrastructure projects). We focused on certain aspects of the city's transportation system; our full testimony follows below.

Thanks to an unprecedented flow of federal infrastructure funding, New York City has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to upgrade and expand its transportation system.

While there are many pots of federal money, quite a few of which are tied to competitive grants, StreetsPAC believes the city should be guided by a few overarching principles.

First, similarly to the Priority Investment Areas outlined in the New York City Streets Plan, funding should be prioritized in communities that have historically been underserved. Economically disadvantaged and predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods should receive priority when it comes to these transportation initiatives.

Secondly, investments in transportation infrastructure should emphasize safety and accessibility, especially the safety of vulnerable street users. The reversal in the progress of the city’s Vision Zero initiative has reached a critical juncture. We know that investments in complete streets, protected bike lanes, curb extensions, raised crosswalks and similar design treatments improve safety for everyone, and the influx of federal funds can both expand and speed up the implementation of these types of infrastructure. Similarly, we should take this opportunity to accelerate the pace of investment in making our transit system 100% accessible.

Thirdly, we believe the city should prioritize quick-build projects wherever federal funding will support that. Dedicated bus lanes, busways, protected bike lanes, and a host of traffic-calming installations can be implemented quickly, and often at relatively low cost. Bus and bike improvements can also help to plug gaps in transit deserts.

Relatedly, we believe the availability of federal funds for alternative transportation modes presents a golden opportunity to subsidize accelerated expansion of the city’s bike-share program. Bike share remains the only aspect of our transportation system that receives no subsidy, and we should seize this chance to expand bike share across the five boroughs and to New Yorkers of all means.

Finally, we want to amplify the call by Council Member Rivera and others to make a substantial investment in the city’s Greenway network. Greenways have the potential to extend open space into all corners of the city, and to serve as the backbone of a safe, separated, and resilient citywide bike network. Federal funds can jumpstart the city’s decades-old plan to build a robust, interconnected Greenway network. Let’s not let this opportunity go to waste.

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StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on 2022-2023 Transportation Budget

We testified today at the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing regarding the city's fiscal year 2023 transportation budget, and the importance of fully funding the New York City Streets Plan, a position shared by more than 60 of our partners in advocacy. Our full testimony follows below.

Fully funding the New York City Streets Plan is essential to improving transportation for all New Yorkers, increasing the safety and accessibility of city streets, speeding up commutes for millions of bus riders, creating more safe and welcoming public spaces, and beginning to address the equity gap in access to transit, cycling, and micro-mobility options.

That will require an investment of $170 million dedicated to the Streets Plan in fiscal year 2023, and we urge the City Council and Mayor Adams to make certain that those funds are allocated in the coming budget.

This investment in an expanded network of protected bike lanes, safety improvements to thousands of intersections, and redesigns of the city’s most dangerous streets, is essential for protecting New Yorkers from traffic violence. It becomes clearer every day that we can’t enforce our way to Vision Zero, especially with it so obvious that the NYPD has largely withdrawn from traffic enforcement. Achieving the benchmarks laid out in the Streets Plan will be critical to reducing deaths and injuries, as better street design is key to improving safety. 

Meeting the benchmarks for building bus lanes and busways and improving bus stops is a necessity for improving service for the millions of people who rely on the bus, as well as to reverse the ongoing decline in ridership. Better bus service is a fundamental equity issue, as buses disproportionately serve black and brown and lower-income New Yorkers, and expanding bus service is the fastest and most effective means of eliminating transit deserts. It’s a moral imperative that we prioritize speeding up buses, rather than leaving straphangers stuck behind road-hogging single-occupancy personal cars and empty double-parked vehicles.

Beyond the need to fully fund the Streets Plan, we also urge the Council and the Mayor to prioritize increased investment in the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program. While the program is just ramping up, it’s already obvious that it must be expanded. The thresholds for triggering the program must be lowered to allow interventions with a greater number of dangerous drivers, as intended in the original legislation, not just the very worst of the worst, and that will require more funding. Because the city’s speed and red-light camera programs do not assign points to drivers’ licenses, the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program is the only effective means of holding chronically reckless drivers to account.

While, as we noted, we can’t enforce our way to Vision Zero, we can employ technology to identify and intervene with dangerous drivers, and it is incumbent on the Council and the Mayor to make sure that we do all we can as a city to enable that.

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StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Transportation Equity

We testified today at the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing regarding transportation equity. Our full testimony follows below.

This hearing, let alone our two minutes of testimony, will only begin to scratch the surface of the problem of inequity in New York City’s transportation system. It’s a crucial topic that requires much more attention and effort, but calling attention to it today is a good and welcome start.

New York City is plagued by inequality, and that grave imbalance extends from incomes and housing and education to the city’s streets. Black and brown New Yorkers, and African Americans and low-income communities especially, are disproportionately victimized by traffic violence. This is due in large part to the city’s failure to make equitable and adequate investments in life-saving infrastructure, in traffic-calming designs like road diets, curb extensions, refuge islands and protected bike lanes, a failing underscored in an excellent analysis last month in Streetsblog developed by reporter Julianne Cuba and How’s My Driving creator Brian Howald.

The New York City Streets Plan, however, is a promising step in beginning to address that inequity. Passed by the last Council and signed into law by then-Mayor de Blasio, the Streets Plan lays out important benchmarks for investment in the city’s transportation network and infrastructure, and it rightly prioritizes that investment in communities that have been poorly served in the past. It’s incumbent on this committee and the Council, and we in the advocacy world, to make certain that City Hall and DOT meet the benchmarks laid out in the Streets Plan – and to insist that it’s fully funded.

We must also continue to prioritize investment in automated enforcement strategies that remove human bias, like speed and red-light cameras, and lobby Albany to allow those devices to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We don’t turn off ShotSpotter overnight or on weekends. We don’t turn off security cameras after hours. Far, far too many crashes that cause death or injury happen in places with speed cameras that are not operating due to curfew. The Council must join with the Mayor in lobbying Albany for home rule, for speed limits as well as camera systems.

Our colleagues in advocacy have spoken and will speak about buses in greater detail, but we as a city must make better bus service a top priority. Buses are lifelines for working-class New Yorkers who often don’t have other means to get around, but we neglect them by allowing single-occupancy private vehicles to hog road space. A lone double-parked SUV can ruin a commute for 50 people on a bus. We must build more busways and separated bus lanes, rapidly expand signal priority and all-door boarding, and put enforcement cameras on every bus in the city.

We also must make cycling attractive, affordable, and safe for many more New Yorkers. Biking has boomed during the pandemic, but there’s so much more we can do. Subsidizing accelerated expansion of Citi Bike to many more neighborhoods, rolled out in tandem with a robust network of safe, protected bike lanes, is a great place to start. The city’s bike-share system is immensely popular, but it has yet to reach many New Yorkers for whom it would be an attractive mobility option. As the only facet of our transportation system that doesn’t receive public funding, it’s high time that we boost the bike-share program with operating subsidies, and with the kind of safe bike-lane network that will attract and protect new cyclists. Let’s see a bill come out of the Council this year that puts that in motion.

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StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.