Greenpoint native plans 2021 run for northern Brooklyn council seat
A Greenpoint native is looking to seize on the momentum of progressive, grassroots victories to bring her into the City Council — and she’s hoping to face stiff competition.
Victoria Cambranes is looking to represent City Council District 33, which covers a large swath of the northern Brooklyn waterfront including Boerum Hill, the Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, Vinegar Hill and Williamsburg.
This will be a second run for Cambranes, 32, who first tried for the seat in 2017 against incumbent Councilmember Stephen Levin. In 2021, Levin will be term-limited out of the council — alongside 35 other councilmembers — and this time around, Cambranes is looking forward to a crowded field of young insurgents.
“This is the start. 2021 is going to be a huge opportunity for me because I won’t be running alone. Many seats — like comptroller and mayor — will be opening up and this is an opportunity for a new government,” Cambranes told the Brooklyn Eagle. “Having announced early puts out the signal. There are lots of people on the edge and this will hopefully give them the motivation to run.”
Cambranes was first pushed to run for office following the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, which prompted Cambranes to insert herself into local progressive politics. She launched the political party Progress for All in 2017 as a challenge to the Democratic status quo, and later joined the New York arm of the Democratic Socialists of America.
“This is an opportunity for a galvanizing force for people trying to introduce progressive policy. It’s not about fringe ideas coming to the forefront, but how do we benefit the most people,” said Cambranes.
Her campaign bid comes as the more left-leaning wing of the progressive movement looks to grow their influence across Brooklyn. Cambranes is looking to get the endorsement of the DSA, already reaching out to the group’s more notable member State Sen. Julia Salazar to ensure the move.
Salazar’s state district overlaps with the City Council district in North Brooklyn, one of the major strongholds for the DSA.
“I have been working closely with and speaking with State Sen. Julia Salazar. I would welcome their endorsement, but there is nothing official yet,” Cambranes said.
The DSA has made housing and tenant rights a major issue going into the coming election, with many tenant organizers eyeing runs for key state and local offices.
Cambranes is one such candidate, positioning her campaign in steadfast opposition to the development sweeping across the borough.
“Housing is a top priority. Right now, I am in the process of gathering as much information as possible,” she said. “Developers are encroaching on everyone’s lives. The early days of rolling over tenants is done.”
Cambranes will officially launch her campaign in Greenpoint on Sept. 8 at an old pierogi factory located on North 15th Street.
“Though it’s a cheeky nod toward Greenpoint and Williamsburg, it was more so that a friend had an amazing manufacturing space,” said Cambranes. “I don’t come from a rich background or can self-fund my campaign, so it’s going to take some time to get funding going.”
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