StreetsPAC Endorses in NYC Comptroller's Race

We've had to make a lot of tough endorsement choices over the past few weeks. None yet has been tougher than our decision in the contest for New York City's next Comptroller.

Three candidates completed our endorsement process, submitting detailed and compelling responses to our questionnaire, and sitting down for in-depth interviews with our board: Corey Johnson, the current Speaker of the New York City Council; Brad Lander, the three-term Council Member representing Brooklyn's 39th District; and Zach Iscol, a non-profit entrepreneur and former Marine.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Lander are well known to people in the world of safe-streets and transit advocacy. StreetsPAC endorsed them both when we launched in 2013, and supported their respective re-election bids in 2017. Both have championed a number of critical initiatives and causes. Each of them heaped praise on the other when we interviewed them.

Under different circumstances, Mr. Iscol might merit greater consideration. He has an impressive résumé and record of public service, and the no-nonsense, confident demeanor you'd expect from a Marine veteran. He's put in a lot of miles on a bike in New York City. And he demonstrated a good grasp of the powers and limits of the Comptroller's office, and how they intersect with transportation issues.

But Mr. Johnson and Mr. Lander are exceptional public servants, with years of accomplishment in elective office, and we believe this contest is very much between the two of them.

After much deliberation and consideration, we have opted for a ranked endorsement, giving Corey Johnson a slight edge over Brad Lander. We believe Mr. Johnson's role as Speaker, dealing regularly and directly with the Mayor and the highest levels of city agencies, is a notable advantage in experience. And secondly, harder to quantify, is Mr. Johnson's outsized personality. He has the potential to be able to draw attention to the Comptroller's office, and its critically important but often dry focus on audits and numbers, that his predecessors have not. As Mr. Johnson told us, "the numbers really don't lie," but we think he might be able to make them fly.

Read on below for more about Corey Johnson's and Brad Lander's platforms and accomplishments.

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StreetsPAC Endorses in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn Borough-Wide Races

We're excited to announce our endorsements for the June 22nd primary election in borough-wide races in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

As with the candidates we've endorsed for City Council, we're greatly impressed by the degree to which candidates for higher office have emphasized the importance of safe and livable streets in their campaigns. And we've had to make some very difficult endorsement decisions, given the quality of the fields in numerous races. This is especially so as elected officials whom we've supported in the past – most notably sitting City Council Members who are term-limited – face off against each other in races for higher offices. It's not easy to endorse one reliable ally over another, but at the same time, and luckily for New York City, there are many more good candidates than there are elective offices.

About 150 candidates have sought StreetsPAC's endorsement in this election cycle, about twice the number as in any previous election. To be considered, a candidate must complete a detailed questionnaire, and meet with our board. We sought the broadest possible participation, contacting more than 400 campaigns; those candidates who did not participate fully in our process were not considered for endorsement.

Read on below to learn about our endorsees and their positions on street-safety and transportation issues, and check back soon for our endorsements in citywide races.

2021 Borough-Wide Endorsees: Manhattan BP | Queens BP | Brooklyn BP | Manhattan DA

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StreetsPAC Announces More City Council Endorsements

We're proud today to announce our second and final round of 2021 endorsements for the June 22nd city primary election, again devoted to candidates running for City Council.

As with our first group of endorsees, which we announced last week, we're just so impressed by the depth of talent of the people running to serve in the City Council – and with how committed they are to centering street safety and advocacy for improved public transit in their campaigns. We highlighted some of the transportation initiatives each candidate would pursue in our write-ups, but it's really just scratching the surface; many of them have published detailed, and impressively progressive, transportation agendas.

In this round, we made some ranked-choice endorsements, given the quality of the candidates in quite a few races, and made co-endorsements in two Council contests. Even in races in which we we've gone three deep with our recommendations, we're convinced those third-ranked candidates would be tremendous allies in the Council, should they come out on top.

With the addition of this second round of City Council endorsements, we're supporting candidates in 33 of the 51 Council races, ten more than in 2017. We're very excited about the potential for the next Council to be transformational on issues of public space and transportation. Read on below to learn about the candidates and their positions, and check back next week for endorsements in citywide races, multiple Borough President contests, and the Manhattan District Attorney's race.

2021 Endorsees (City Council, Round 2): Manhattan | Bronx | Queens | Brooklyn | Staten Island

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StreetsPAC Announces Initial 2021 Endorsements

We're excited today to announce our first round of 2021 endorsements for the June 22nd city primary election, focused exclusively on candidates for City Council. We intend to make at least one more round of Council endorsements, as well as endorsements in multiple Borough President races, the Manhattan District Attorney's contest, and citywide races.

Our first 15 City Council endorsees are a diverse group, covering four boroughs, and including three incumbents whom we first endorsed in 2017: Carlina Rivera, Keith Powers, and Justin Brannan. All three have delivered on the promises they made four years ago to champion street-safety and transportation issues, and all should factor significantly in the race to be the Council's next Speaker.

We received well over 100 questionnaire responses from City Council candidates, and have conducted scores of interviews over the past two months. It's deeply gratifying to see how far candidates have come in just a few years in prioritizing safer streets and better public transit in their campaigns, and it's testament to the work that we've done, in partnership with fellow advocacy organizations like Transportation Alternatives and Riders Alliance, among many others, to advance the conversation on these incredibly important issues.

We're proud to support this great group of candidates. Read on below to meet them and learn about their platforms, and check back soon as we roll out more endorsements.

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Vote for Jessica Haller and John Sanchez in today's Bronx Special Elections!

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for vacant City Council Seats in 11th and 15th Districts

Voters in the Bronx have the opportunity to fill two vacant City Council seats today, and we urge voters in the borough's 11th and 15th Districts to elect Jessica Haller and John Sanchez, respectively.

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 provide rebates for e-bike purchases, and would like to see the city implement traffic-calming street designs throughout the 11th Council District. 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.

Sanchez, currently the District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6, has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. He's been outspoken about the need to reduce dependence on cars, 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. Learn more about how ranked choice voting works at rankthevotenyc.org.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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