Brooklyn Heights

State Sen. Brian Kavanagh: ‘Brooklyn will not be lost in the shuffle’

B’klyn’s new waterfront state Senator serves Lower East Side, too

December 8, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Then-Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, center, at a recent press conference about the upcoming L Train shutdown. To the left is City Councilmember Stephen Levin, and to the right is Sen. Marty Golden. Photo courtesy of Sen. Brian Kavanagh’s Office

The Brooklyn waterfront’s new state Senator Brian Kavanagh wants residents of the 26th District Senate seat formerly held by Daniel Squadron to know that “Brooklyn will not be lost in the shuffle.”

Kavanagh announced on Thursday that he has resigned from the New York State Assembly, where he represented the 74th District on Manhattan’s east side, and has taken his oath of office in the Senate, where he will be representing the Brooklyn waterfront from Greenpoint to Carroll Gardens as well as lower Manhattan.

In a special election held during November’s general election, Kavanagh defeated Republican challenger Analicia Alexander with 85 percent of the vote.

A Kavanagh spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle on Thursday that Kavanagh will be focusing on issues important to residents of the Brooklyn waterfront, including affordable housing, inappropriate development and overcrowded schools.

In his new seat, Kavanagh will represent the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, the Columbia Waterfront, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, the Navy Yard, Vinegar Hill and Williamsburg.  His Manhattan district extends from Battery Park City through Chinatown, the Lower East Side and Tribeca.

“I’m grateful that the people of the 26th District have elected me to serve them in the state Senate. I look forward to representing communities throughout lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront,” Kavanagh said in a statement. “This district has real needs — from promoting affordable housing, to improving transit and mitigating the impact of the looming L-train shutdown, to preventing inappropriate development, to ensuring our schools have the resources they need, to preserving and expanding green spaces.”

Kavanagh’s office says his legislative priorities in Albany include modernizing New York’s antiquated election laws, preventing gun violence, protecting the environment, enacting stronger tenant protections and fixing the city’s beleaguered transportation system.

Squadron resigned unexpectedly to accept a job heading Future Now, a nonprofit political organization.

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While well regarded, Kavanagh went through a nomination process that raised eyebrows. Some of Brooklyn’s Democratic reformers objected when Kings County party boss Frank Seddio gave him the nod with no input from the local county committee. Across the river, Paul Newell, a district leader in lower Manhattan, took the majority of the local votes. A spokesman for Brooklyn’s Democratic Party, however, told DNAinfo that there was no requirement for Seddio to put the selection up for a vote, and that Seddio “consulted many members of the party who all got behind Kavanagh.”

Before joining the Senate, Kavanagh served 11 years in the Assembly, was chief of staff to then-Councilmember Gale Brewer, worked in three mayoral administrations and practiced law.

Kavanagh’s father, an Irish immigrant, worked as a police officer and his mother was a community leader who worked for many years at the Staten Island Advance. Kavanagh attended Regis High School in Manhattan, Princeton University and New York University Law School.

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