StreetsPAC-Endorsed City Council Candidates Win Big!

Congratulations to the winners of last night's citywide elections, and especially to City Council Members-elect Carlina Rivera, Keith Powers and Justin Brannan (who all made us look smart for endorsing their candidacies early on), along with the 13 incumbent Council Members whom we endorsed for re-election. Congratulations, too, to Brian Cunningham, who ran a spirited third-party race for the 40th Council District seat after finishing a strong second in the September 12 primary. This isn't the last we'll hear from Brian.

Kudos as well to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James, and Comptroller Scott Stringer, who all handily won re-election, and all the other victors in city races.

Overall, StreetsPAC-endorsed City Council candidates won 16 of 17 races last night, and 16 of 23 primary contests, and no StreetsPAC-backed candidate finished worse than second in any primary or general election contest. That speaks to broad popular support for street-safety and transit improvements, and would appear, we believe, to be confirmation that our questionnaire and interview process leads us to choose strong and viable candidates for public office.

Thank you, of course, for your support for our work. Without your generous financial support, we wouldn't be able to back candidates with significant monetary contributions, and without your volunteer help, we wouldn't be able to help get them over the finish line. Your retweets, likes and shares of our social media content all help too, more than you know, as we continue to build a political movement for safer streets and better transit.

One last time, here are the candidates whom we endorsed in yesterday's general election. Congratulations to all!


Council District 1, Manhattan: Margaret Chin (WINNER) – Chin, who secured 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 (WINNER) – Rivera, who won the seat held currently by 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 (WINNER) – Johnson, who won a 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 (WINNER) – Powers, a former Chief of Staff in the Assembly, won 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 (WINNER) – Kallos, who won a second term in the Council, 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 (WINNER) – Rosenthal, who was re-elected to a second term, is 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 (WINNER) – Levine, who handily secured 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 10, Manhattan: Ydanis Rodriguez (WINNER) – Rodriguez, who has distinguished himself as the outspoken chair of the City Council’s Committee on Transportation, won a third term in the City Council.  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 15, Bronx: Ritchie Torres (WINNER) – Torres, who has yet to turn 30, was 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 (WINNER) – Gibson, who will represent the West Bronx for another four years, 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 26, Queens: Jimmy Van Bramer (WINNER) – No Queens elected official has been a better advocate for safe and complete streets than Van Bramer, the Council’s Majority Leader.  During his third term in the Council, 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 33, Brooklyn: Stephen Levin (WINNER) – Levin, winner of 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 (WINNER) – Reynoso, who’s established himself as a leader in the City Council on matters of pedestrian and cyclist safety, easily won re-election.  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 38, Brooklyn: Carlos Menchaca (WINNER) – Menchaca, who survived a tough primary challenge to win 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 (WINNER) – Lander, winner of 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 (RUNNER-UP) – Cunningham, who ran a strong second in both the primary and general elections, is a former State Senate and City Council staffer who was born and raised in Flatbush. We look forward to Brian's next move in public life. 

Council District 43, Brooklyn: Justin Brannan (WINNER) – Brannan, a Bay Ridge native, has worked for the de Blasio administration and for term-limited Council Member Vincent Gentile, whom he'll succeed in January. 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.

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