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


ChristopherMarteCropped.jpgChristopher Marte, Council District 1, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Christopher Marte, who nearly beat current Council Member Margaret Chin in the 2017 primary for this seat, is a Lower East Side native who most recently has served as New York State Director for Arena. He supports pedestrianizing the Seaport District, as well as a substantial part of the Financial District, and wants to see a protected crosstown bike lane on Chambers Street, among other routes. Marte will advocate to allow delivery cyclists to use the Hudson River Greenway, and has pledged to introduce legislation that will require that "protected" bike lanes actually provide physical protection for cyclists.


Gigi Li, Council District 1, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – We also like Gigi Li, who has served as Margaret Chin's Chief of Staff for the past two years, and have ranked her as our #2 choice in this race. She wants to build out a better network of protected bike lanes across the district, especially connecting the east and west sides, and is committed to working to rein in placard abuse, which continues to plague lower Manhattan.

BillyFreelandCropped.jpgBilly Freeland, Council District 5, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – There's a deep field contending for the Upper East Side Council seat held currently by Ben Kallos, but Billy Freeland earned our endorsement for his passionate commitment to changing the district's streets. Freeland, an attorney and activist, has been an outspoken supporter of better biking infrastructure, improved public transit, and expanded green spaces. He's put forth a detailed transportation plan that includes overhauling Third Avenue and transforming Citi Bike into a public utility, and he has a long-term vision to reconnect the East River waterfront with the adjacent neighborhoods by eliminating the FDR Drive.

JulieMeninCropped.jpgJulie Menin, Council District 5, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Julie Menin, who has an impressive resumé of public service, has released a detailed and progressive transportation plan of her own. She would expand sidewalks, advocate for more busways, and for integrating Citi Bike into the transit system, and has also called for reimagining the FDR.

KimMoscaritolo.jpgKim Moscaritolo, Council District 5, Manhattan (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #3 – Kim Moscaritolo, an activist and journalist, earned a place in our ranking thanks to her own thorough transportation vision. She wants to expand loading zones and incentivize off-hour deliveries, build more dedicated bike and bus lanes, and increase the accessibility of the transit system.

MarioRosser.jpgMario Rosser, Council District 9, Manhattan (Challenger) – Mario Rosser, an activist who works in tech, is committed to building more dedicated bike lanes in his Harlem district. He's pledged to advocate for bringing the Harlem River Greenway into a state of good repair, and to improve and speed up bus service in Harlem, which many people, especially seniors, rely on to get around, by pushing for more bus lanes and transit-signal priority, and by cracking down on placard abuse. Incumbent Bill Perkins did not participate in our endorsement process.



ShanequaMooreCropped.jpgShanequa Moore, Council District 12, Bronx (Challenger) – Shanequa Moore, a social worker and non-profit entrepreneur, is challenging Kevin Riley for the northern Bronx seat he won in a special election in December. (Mr. Riley did not participate in our process.) If elected, Moore would advocate for redesigning wide and dangerous streets, like Boston Road. She supports the city's scooter-share pilot, and wants bike-share expanded to the district as well, accompanied by new protected bike lanes to keep riders safe. Moore also wants to expand sidewalks, and to create more Open Streets.

JohnSanchez.jpgJohn Sanchez, Council District 15, Bronx (Challenger) – John Sanchez, who ran a competitive third in the March special election for this seat, currently serves as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6. He has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. Sanchez has been vocal about the need to reduce automobile use, and would accomplish that in part by supporting new busways on Fordham Road and Third 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.



TiffanyCabanCropped.jpgTiffany Cabán, Council District 22, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Primary voters in this western Queens Council district have a number of excellent candidates from whom to choose, but for us, two rose to the top. We gave a narrow edge to Tiffany Cabán, whom we endorsed in 2019 when she ran for Queens DA. Cabán supports redesigning streets, creating car-free superblocks, and lowering speed limits as ways to get Vision Zero back on track. She'll advocate for a 21st Street busway, and a Queens bus-network redesign that adds more service.

EvieHantzopolousCropped.jpgEvie Hantzopolous, Council District 22, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Evie Hantzopolous earned our very strong #2 ranking in the race with her commitment to improving bus service, allocating more space for safe biking, and creating more public plazas and Open Streets – like the 31st Avenue Open Street, in which she has played a lead organizing and operating role.

ShekarKrishnanCropped.jpgShekar Krishnan, Council District 25, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Shekar Krishnan, a civil rights attorney and activist, is our top choice to succeed term-limited Council Member Danny Dromm. Krishnan will prioritize building more transit corridors in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and more busways and dedicated bus lanes on streets like Northern Boulevard, where he supports a comprehensive redesign. He'll also advocate for a network of connected and protected bike lanes, and more space for pedestrians throughout the district.

Carolyn Tran, Council District 25, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – We also really like Carolyn Tran, who spent several years as Danny Dromm's Chief of Staff. She supports building a protected bicycle arterial network, an equitable expansion of Open Streets, ending parking minimums, and removing police from traffic enforcement.

AmitBaggaCropped.jpgAmit Bagga and Julie Won (Co-Endorsement), Council District 26, Queens (Open Seat) – The crowded race to succeed term-limited Jimmy Van Bramer includes a number of outstanding candidates, and we were ultimately unable to choose a favorite between our top two. Amit Bagga, who was Deputy Director of New York City's successful 2020 Census effort, and a veteran of City Hall, is committed to improving the plight of the city's delivery cyclists. He wants to expand Select Bus Service, and force compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act to make the transit system universally accessible. Bagga supports accelerated expansion of Citi Bike, and implementation of the Freedom Ticket.

JulieWonCropped.jpgJulie Won, who works in tech and has a community-service resumé that would fill a page, will bring an advocate's passion to the fight for better street design. While commuting on her bike last November, she was struck by a hit-and-run driver who left her in the street. She'll prioritize bike lanes that are protected by concrete, and supports comprehensive curb reform. Won will also work to improve transit service, and to expand the city's Fair Fares program.

Jesse Laymon, Council District 26, Queens (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #3 – While he didn't quite crack our top two, Jesse Laymon was a close third in our 26th District candidate ranking. He too has laid out a progressive streets platform, which calls for miles of new busways and protected bike lanes, more permanent Open Streets and plazas, and a major overhaul of the way we allocate curb space.

JuanArdilaCropped.jpgJuan Ardila, Council District 30, Queens (Challenger) – Juan Ardila, who's challenging incumbent Council Member Robert Holden, has made expanded transportation access for residents of this Queens district a centerpiece of his campaign. Ardila will advocate for better bus service, especially routes that connect to transit hubs, to reopen former LIRR stations that once served the district, and more improved subway station accessibility. He's also committed to bringing Open Streets to local neighborhoods, and to pushing for a connected network of protected bike lanes.



LincolnRestler.jpgLincoln Restler, Council District 33, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Two candidates in the race to succeed Steve Levin, who is term-limited, stand out from the pack, and both would make terrific Council Members. But we give the edge to Lincoln Restler, a founding member of New Kings Democrats who spent several years working in City Hall. He's laid out a progressive vision for safer streets and better public transit, and believes the 33rd Council District should be a model in that regard for the entire city. He'll advocate for a network of concrete-protected bike lanes, safer intersections, improved bus service, and seamless integration of fares for all transit, including Citi Bike.

ElizabethAdamsCropped.jpgElizabeth Adams, Council District 33, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Elizabeth Adams, who's served as Legislative Director for Steve Levin, dedicated her own time to helping create the North Brooklyn Open Streets Community Coalition. She's committed to redesigning McGuinness Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, and supports Transportation Alternatives' 25x25 plan. She helped write the bill that would allow citizens to report illegal and dangerous parking, and supports creating bike boulevards in multiple neighborhoods. The 33rd District will be in good hands if either of these excellent candidates prevails.

CrystalHudsonCropped.jpgCrystal Hudson, Council District 35, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Voters in Brooklyn's 35th Council District, which is generally well served by transit and is a short bike trip to job centers in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan, have a chance to elect a new Council Member who will make public transportation and safe streets a priority. Between two stand-out candidates, we give the edge to Crystal Hudson, a former marketing executive who spent the past few years working in city government. She's laid out an expansive and progressive vision for improving transportation in New York City, from increased investment in Vision Zero, BRT and Open Streets, to transitioning the NYPD out of traffic enforcement, to expanding protected bike lanes and secure bike parking – all of it centered around equity for Black and brown New Yorkers.

Michael Hollingsworth, Council District 35, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Our strong second choice in the 35th is Michael Hollingsworth, a tenant organizer and activist with the Democratic Socialists of America, an organization adept at winning races in this part of Brooklyn. Hollingsworth has outlined his own progressive transportation and environmental platform, including support for an expansive network of protected bike lanes, more Open Streets and green space, major improvements to transit and accessibility, and a restorative justice approach to traffic enforcement.

SandyNurseCropped.jpgSandy Nurse, Council District 37, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Sandy Nurse is a community organizer and carpenter challenging Darma Diaz, who won the seat last year. Nurse is determined to improve transit service for the district, in which two-thirds of residents don't have access to a car. She'll advocate for more Select Bus Service, accessibility upgrades – especially at the Broadway Junction transit hub – and expansion and connection of the bike network. Nurse also welcomes more Open Streets, as well as the creation of new pedestrian plazas. Council Member Diaz, who submitted a promising response to our questionnaire, did not complete an interview.

RodrigoCamarena.jpgRodrigo Camarena and César Zuñiga (Co-Endorsement), Council District 38, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Brooklyn's 38th Council District is another place where primary voters will have a wealth of qualified candidates from whom to choose, and it's a key reason we're co-endorsing our top two picks. Rodrigo Camarena, an immigrant advocate, will make improving conditions for delivery cyclists a priority. A regular bike commuter, he wants to greatly increase transportation options in the district, including more and safer bike lanes, improved bus service, and ferry service that integrates with New York City Transit to make it an option for more working-class residents.


César Zuñiga, who has capably chaired Community Board 7 for the past few years, is adamant about revitalizing Vision Zero, especially in light of the still-unaddressed dangers along Third Avenue. He'll advocate for improved bus service for underserved neighborhoods like Red Hook and Dyker Heights, and for building out a robust protected cycling network. Zuñiga is also a big fan of Open Streets, and will push for more city funding to operate them.

Alexa Avilés, Council District 38, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #3 – Alexa Avilés, a foundation executive and activist, is an advocate for making public transit free. She'll push for more dedicated busways, and for widening and physically protecting bike lanes with concrete barriers, and she believes that Citi Bike should be integrated into the transit system.

BrandonWestCropped.jpgBrandon West, Council District 39, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Four candidates aiming to succeed term-limited Brad Lander were highly credible contenders for our endorsement, but we are giving the nod to Brandon West, who led the "Rep Your Block" campaign as president of New Kings Democrats and has experience in City Hall as a budget analyst. An advocate for a "15-minute city," he'll push for integration of the fare system across all transit, which he thinks should ultimately be made free. He also supports building a citywide network of protected bike lanes, bringing back the B71 bus, and improving conditions for working cyclists.

JustinKrebs.jpgShahanaHanif.jpgShahana Hanif, Justin Krebs, and Doug Schneider (Co-Endorsement), Council District 39, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – We couldn't find enough daylight among Shahana Hanif, Justin Krebs and Doug Schneider to rank them separately, but all three would be champions for safe streets and public transit, and would continue and enhance Brad Lander's legacy in the 39th District. They all support building out a safe, connected bike-lane network, improving transit service and making the system more accessible, and dedicating more public space to people rather than cars. 

RitaJosephCropped.jpgRita Joseph, Council District 40, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Voters in the 40th District have the opportunity on June 22nd to elect a successor to the City Council's longest-tenured member, Mathieu Eugene, for whom transportation has been an afterthought, at best. But things are about to get much better. Of several qualified candidates, two stood out to us, and first among them is Rita Joseph. An educator, Joseph will advocate for better public transit, including 14th Street-style busways and more-accessible stations. She'll push for faster expansion of Citi Bike and the protected lanes necessary to keep riders safe, as well as secure parking solutions for personal bikes.

Josue Pierre, Council District 40, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Our very strong second choice is Josue Pierre, a local district leader and veteran of the New York City Comptroller's office. Pierre, who rides his bike for transportation, supports implementing more protected bike lanes, especially on dangerous roads like Linden Boulevard. He'll fight to make transit service more reliable through dedicated bus lanes, and believes new developments should be required to provide secure bike parking.

NikkiLucasCropped.jpgNikki Lucas, Council District 42, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Brooklyn's 42nd District has been represented in the City Council by either Charles or Inez Barron for the past two decades, but that could change this year. Both Nikki Lucas and Wilfredo Florentino promise to bring a greater focus on transportation issues. We gave Lucas the edge, given her name recognition as a former district leader. She'll advocate for better transit accessibility – like more station elevators and bus shelters – and will push to have Linden Boulevard, where a friend was killed a couple years ago, redesigned with physically separated bike lanes and better pedestrian protections.

Wilfredo Florentino, Council District 42, Brooklyn (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – Wilfredo Florentino, who's served for several years as Transportation Chair of Community Board 5, is also deeply committed to tackling transit and street-safety issues. He'll push for more engagement from NYCDOT, dedicated bus lanes, and elimination of two-fare zones.

AnthonyBeckford.jpgAnthony Beckford, Council District 45, Brooklyn (Challenger), Ranked Choice #1 – Anthony Beckford, and activist and organizer, is challenging incumbent Council Member Farah Louis. We gave Beckford the nod based on his record of advocating for safer streets. Beckford, who's been hit by drivers three times in the district, will advocate for better bike infrastructure, citing deadly Coney Island Avenue along with East 53rd and 55th Streets as priority corridors. He's also committed to improving bus service, and scrapping the MTA's diesel buses for newer electric models.

Farah Louis, Council District 45, Brooklyn (Incumbent), Ranked Choice #2 – Farah Louis, who succeeded Jumaane Williams in the City Council in 2019, shows some promise as a potential advocate on transportation and street safety issues. We couldn't get past her vote against the Streets Master Plan soon after she took office, but her positions on bike infrastructure are evolving, and she's committed to improving transit and micro-mobility options for constituents, supports automated enforcement, and is pursuing pedestrian safety upgrades around the district.


Staten Island

AmoyBarnes.jpgAmoy Barnes, Council District 49, Staten Island (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #1 – Amoy Barnes, an organizer with experience working in City Hall, is running for the open seat on Staten Island's North Shore currently held by Debbie Rose, who is term-limited. She'll make improving transit options for her constituents her mission, with an eye toward quicker and more reliable commutes through implementation of real BRT and transit-signal priority, and she'll push for expanded fast-ferry service. Barnes, who's committed to making Staten Island more bike-friendly – she called the fact that the 15-minute bike ride from her home to the ferry feels so unsafe a "disgrace" – will advocate for more protected bike lanes, and won't rest until Staten Island gets its fair share of Citi Bikes.

RantiOgunleye.pngRanti Ogunleye, Council District 49, Staten Island (Open Seat), Ranked Choice #2 – We were also impressed by Ranti Ogunleye, an educator with a passion for working with youth. He'll prioritize the long-promised North Shore BRT route, and will advocate to make transit more accessible. Ogunleye ditched his own car a year-and-a-half ago in favor of commuting by bus or on foot.



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published this page in News 2021-05-28 12:34:13 -0400
StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.