Candidate Profiles: Laurie Cumbo To Run For City Council Seat In 35th District

October 18, 2012 Editorial Staff
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Laurie Angela Cumbo officially entered the race for City Councilmember of the 35th Council District on Thursday, October 11. The native Brooklynite and founder of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) said she is “motivated to run [in order to address] the inequity that plagues government and impacts every element of our lives.”

The impact of these conflicts “range from education and safety to development and community services,” she told this paper.

The 35th Council District is currently represented by Councilmember Letitia James, and covers communities such as Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and parts of Bedford Stuyvesant. James will be vacating the seat at the end of her term in 2013, and is rumored to be considering a run for city Public Advocate – a role currently filled by Bill de Blasio.

Cumbo’s opponent will be Khari Edwards, an aide to former Governor David Paterson (who will be profiled here next month).

Cumbo considers her experience founding and building MoCADA as a vibrant community organization to be invaluable. “I have created jobs, after school programs, internship programs, economic revitalization programs for local businesses, curriculum development, cultural tourism initiatives and college preparation programs,” she said.

MoCADA was born 12 years ago out of Cumbo’s passion “to create social, political and economic change through the arts,” she said in a statement. Her work has helped produce over 100 exhibitions and more than 500 public programs, including 13 years of the Annual KIDflix Film Fest where numerous trained interns are now working throughout the world.

The museum expanded, becoming a community mainstay, and Cumbo is more than proud for the work she has done. Cumbo leaves MoCADA in the hands of James Barlett, who began on October 1 as the museum’s new executive director. Cumbo will stay around as a consultant until January 2013.

“I look forward to beginning this journey to reinvent and create a more sustainable community that will preserve our greatest asset, which is our diversity,” Cumbo added.

The native Brooklynite graduated from New York University with a Masters degree in Visual Arts Administration and ambitiously envisioned what has now become the “Town Hall Institution of Brooklyn,” where topics such as women’s rights and gun violence are discussed among thousands of attendees. She is “Brooklyn inside and out.”

“I am passionate about community and will continue to fight to create a more equitable community for future generations,” she concluded.

On October 16, she initiated a campaign called $30,000 in 30 days to raise money online and provide an opportunity to have people support the campaign. Visit her website at: to learn more.

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