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.

2021 Endorsees (City Council, Round 1): Manhattan | Bronx | Queens | Brooklyn


CarlinaRiveraLarge.jpgCarlina Rivera, Council District 2, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Carlina Rivera, a 2017 StreetsPAC endorsee who is running for re-election in her Lower East Side district, has championed transportation issues during her first term in the Council. Her support for implementation of the 14th Street busway was crucial, and she was prime sponsor of the bill that requires the creation of a temporary bike lane when construction interferes with existing bike infrastructure. Just last week, the city enacted into law her bill making the Open Streets program permanent, more equitable, and more robust. Rivera also recently introduced legislation that would require a restaurant to provide restroom access to delivery workers who are making deliveries on their behalf. She's called for the widening of the Second Avenue bike lane, and if re-elected, she'll work to expand loading zones and implement more curb extensions and daylighting.

ErikBottcher400x400.jpgErik Bottcher, Council District 3, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Erik Bottcher, who was Corey Johnson's Chief of Staff for six years, is running to succeed his former boss. He’s committed to bringing street-safety improvements to 10th Avenue, including a protected bike lane, and has pledged to work to extend the Sixth Avenue protected bike lane south of 9th Street. Bottcher will work to make the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program more stringent, and to push Albany to remove restrictions on the operation of speed cameras, and his sanitation plan calls for getting trash off crowded city sidewalks and into containerized waste corrals. He's also committed to timely and complete implementation of the Streets Master Plan.

KeithPowersCropped.jpgKeith Powers, Council District 4, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Keith Powers, who won his East Side Council seat in 2017 with StreetsPAC's backing, has delivered on many of his campaign promises, including extension of Sixth Avenue's protected bike lane to Central Park, the closing of the gap in the Second Avenue bike lane, and the creation of the busway on 14th Street. In his second term, he's committed to advocating for more protected bike lanes and safer intersection treatments in his district. He's a supporter of creating a busway on Fifth Avenue, and also wants the city to replicate the successful 14th Street model on 34th and 96th Streets.

SaraLindCropped.jpgSara Lind, Council District 6, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Sara Lind, who's running for the open seat on the Upper West Side currently held by Helen Rosenthal, has laid out a progressive vision for improving street safety and public transit. She advocated for the Central Park West protected bike lane, and has called for the implementation of similar lanes running crosstown from Central Park to Riverside Drive, as well as safe cycling paths across the park to the East Side. Lind has proposed reimagining Broadway, including rezoning the area for more flexible mixed uses, dedicating the northbound lanes to buses, bikes, and pedestrians, with access for local pickups and drop-offs, and more greenery and community space. She'll also advocate for busway treatments on West 57th and West 72nd Streets. Gale Brewer, who's had a distinguished career in city government and a good record on transportation issues, and who held this seat before becoming Manhattan Borough President in 2014, is also on the ballot, but we believe Lind will bring fresh ideas and energy to the City Council.

MartiAllenCummingsLarge.jpgMarti Allen-Cummings, Council District 7, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Marti Allen-Cummings, who’s running for the open seat in upper Manhattan held by Mark Levine, would make implementing crosstown busways on 125th, 145th and 157th Street a priority. They would advocate for significantly increasing the number of protected bike lane miles in the district, and for subsidizing Citi Bike to fuel more rapid expansion of the bike-share program. Allen-Cummings would also like to double the number of Open Streets across the city, and will advocate for better conditions for the city's working cyclists. In a race with a number of qualified candidates, we believe voters will do well to elect Allen-Cummings.



PierinaSanchezLarge.pngPierina Sanchez, Council District 14, Bronx (Open Seat) – Pierina Sanchez, who's a native of the district she's running to represent, served as New York Director at the Regional Plan Association before working on housing, land use, economic development and labor issues at City Hall. At RPA, she played a key role in drafting the 2017 Transportation and Equity Agenda issued by StreetsPAC and other advocacy groups. She'll continue to focus on those issues in the City Council, especially faster and more reliable bus service, an expanded Fair Fares program, and adoption of the Freedom Ticket for intra-city trips on Metro North and the LIRR. Sanchez will also advocate for redesigning streets for people, with more protected bike lanes and traffic-calming features, and she wants to eliminate parking placards for all but the most essential uses.

AmandaFariasCropped.jpgAmanda Farias, Council District 18, Bronx (Open Seat) – Amanda Farias was born and raised in the community in which she's seeking election. She ran for the seat in 2017, finishing second to Ruben Diaz, Sr., who is not running for a second term. Farias, a board member at the Riders Alliance, will prioritize improving transit access for residents of her East Bronx district. She'll advocate to expand the Fair Fares program to serve more low-income straphangers, and to bring Citi Bike across the Bronx River. She also wants to see a network of protected bike lanes connecting the district's neighborhoods, new busways, and a big increase in the number of Open Streets. We also think highly of Michael Beltzer, another repeat candidate from 2017, but we believe Farias is best positioned to deliver transportation improvements for the 18th District.



AustinShafran.pngAustin Shafran, Council District 19, Queens (Open Seat) – Austin Shafran, a Bayside native with experience in city, state, and federal government, is running for the open seat he nearly won eight years ago, losing to current Council Member Paul Vallone by fewer than 200 votes in the 2013 Democratic primary. Though the Northeast Queens district is a transit desert with a decidedly suburban feel, Shafran would like to expand Open Streets, calling the Bell Boulevard Open Street "tremendous." He's pledged to work with neighborhood stakeholders to expand the local bike network, and will seek community input in developing a safe bike lane on Northern Boulevard to link residents to transit. He'd also like to see the area's bus routes better connect to the closest LIRR stations.

JohnChoe.jpgJohn Choe, Council District 20, Queens (Open Seat) – John Choe, who leads the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, is running to succeed term-limited Council Member Peter Koo. Choe has been perhaps the biggest booster of Flushing's recently implemented Main Street busway, and will continue to push for transit improvements if elected. A daily bike commuter, he has a plan to create the "Flushing Ring," a protected bike lane network that would feed the downtown area. He'll also advocate for more bike parking, and expansion of Citi Bike and scooter share. He's committed to working to improve conditions for delivery cyclists, and has called for a full ban on parking placards.

JaslinKaur.pngJaslin Kaur, Council District 23, Queens (Open Seat) – Jaslin Kaur, an education-equity and immigration-rights activist, is running for the Queens seat held by Barry Grodenchik, who is not seeking re-election. While the local Community Board recently deadlocked on a vote to just request a bus lane study, Kaur, a devoted rider of the Q46, is committed to improving the district's public transit. She will advocate for dedicated bus lanes on Eastern Queens routes, and for adoption of the Freedom Ticket to increase affordable access to the LIRR. Kaur wants protected (read: jersey barriers) bike lanes installed on key routes, supports completion of the Eastern Queens Greenway, and will work to bring bike share to the district.

NantashaWilliamsCropped.jpgNantasha Williams, Council District 27, Queens (Open Seat) – Nantasha Williams, who nearly won the primary for the local Assembly seat in 2016, has 10 years of experience in government. She's a champion of the Freedom Ticket, and will advocate for bringing bike-, scooter-, and car-sharing programs to this eastern Queens district. Williams believes many wide local streets could be redesigned to help reduce speeding. She'd also like to see Open Streets efforts in places with high concentrations of restaurants, and a redesign of local bus routes to reflect the evolution in ridership patterns and community input.

AledaGagarin.jpgAleda Gagarin, Council District 29, Queens (Open Seat) – Aleda Gagarin, a non-profit executive with a Masters in urban planning, is running on a progressive platform for the seat held for the past dozen years by term-limited Council Member Karen Koslowitz. Gagarin is committed to redesigning streets to improve safety and accessibility, especially for seniors, and to facilitate the building of a robust network of protected bike lanes. She supports implementation of the Freedom Ticket, expansion of the Fair Fares program, and faster, more reliable bus service. Gagarin is also a fan of Barcelona-style superblocks, something she'd like to see piloted in the more dense, transit-rich neighborhoods in her district.

FeliciaSinghHeadshot.jpgFelicia Singh, Council District 32, Queens (Open Seat) – Felicia Singh, an educator, Peace Corps veteran, and lifelong resident of Ozone Park, is hoping to succeed three-term Council Member Eric Ulrich. Her priorities are to improve mass-transit options for district residents, including better bus service from the Rockaway peninsula to the mainland, and more reliable subway service along the A line. She wants to expand Citi Bike service into southern Queens, with a corresponding expansion of a network of protected bike lanes to keep riders safe. Singh will also center accessibility by pushing for more elevators and a better state of repair at subway stations, and more bus shelters with benches to accommodate straphangers.



JenniferGutierrezCroppedJennifer Gutiérrez, Council District 34, Brooklyn/Queens (Open Seat) – Jennifer Gutiérrez is hoping to succeed term-limited Council Member Antonio Reynoso, for whom she's served as Chief of Staff since early in Reynoso's tenure. Gutiérrez is committed to getting Vision Zero back on track, and will prioritize safety improvements along Bushwick and Myrtle Avenues, and Broadway. She'll advocate for expanding the city's protected bike lanes into a true network, and for implementing 14th Street-style busways in the 34th District. Gutiérrez will also lobby for a comprehensive automated-enforcement system that adds failure-to-yield and blocking-the-box cameras to the city's toolkit.

JustinBrannan2020.jpgJustin Brannan, Council District 43, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Justin Brannan, who won his seat in 2017 with StreetsPAC's endorsement, has teamed up with State Senator Andrew Gounardes to begin changing the transportation culture in southern Brooklyn. Brannan, who has a love/hate relationship with the R train, will continue to advocate for improvements to subway and bus service as a key means of getting his constituents out of their cars. He plans to keep pushing for Citi Bike's expansion throughout his district – the first stations were deployed earlier this year – and supports subsidizing bike share to speed up the process. Brannan is also an advocate for delivery cyclists, and recently introduced legislation that would limit the distances of app-based deliveries as part of a package of bills intended to improve working conditions for Deliveristas.


Do you like this post?

Showing 1 reaction

published this page in News 2021-05-21 06:46:53 -0400
StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.