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City Council Primaries June 27: What Brooklyn needs to know

Hotly contested Brooklyn city council districts and their respective candidates

June 27, 2023 Daniel Cody
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WHAT IS THE CITY COUNCIL PRIMARY ELECTION, WHY IS IT IMPORTANT AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

The primaries are the way that voters choose who represents their party in the New York City Council’s general election, which occurs on November 7, 2023. The winner of the primary elections runs on the party ticket for that district on November 7: it’s like choosing which Democrat or Republican you’d like to see in the citywide legislature, of course, depending on your registration and the results of the general election in November. 

The primaries are important for many reasons, but Brooklyn remains heavily affiliated with the Democratic Party, so voting in the primary delivers the public a choice between Democratic candidates. Yet, many neighborhoods in Brooklyn tend to elect Republican and Conservative Party councilmembers, and it’s important those voters voice their preference among that field of candidates as well. Not all districts have primaries for all parties, and whether or not you can vote in the primary is tentative to your party registration.

The city council recently redrew maps for the elections to adjust for population shifts accounted for during the 2023 census. Many city council districts in Brooklyn (33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 45, 49 and 50) remain uncontested because there is no challenger to the Republican or Democratic incumbent (or sitting) city council representative.

 City council primaries operate on a ranked choice voting system, meaning that voters list candidates in order of preference on the ballot.

IMPORTANT BROOKLYN PRIMARIES ON JUNE 27

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 34: WILLIAMSBURG, BUSHWICK, AND RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS

 CANDIDATES

 Jennifer Gutierrez

Here’s where Jennifer Gutierrez stands on important issues, according to NYC votes.org:

 

CRIME

“We need to focus on getting guns out of the hands of our children, and increase funding for community resources we know work: mental health and substance abuse services, dignified housing and violence interruption in schools.”

 

INFLATION

“Everyday New Yorkers have been struggling to make ends meet in our city; rent has skyrocketed and the price of milk and eggs are at an all-time high. Right now, we need to focus on strong social service investment across the government to support families who need it most.”

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

“We need to stop the rampant tenant displacement happening in District 34, think creatively about where and how we can build real affordable housing, and ensure we have adequately resourced housing set aside for seniors and the aging.”

 

HOMELESSNESS

“We have a crisis of the unhoused, and that’s partially due to massive waves of displacement. We need to keep people in their homes, and build more dignified housing to help get people on their feet. We should also invest in workforce training programs and mental health services.”

 

RACIAL INEQUALITY

“All New Yorkers deserve to thrive. I approach all the work I do through an equity lens – from fighting against years of digital redlining that resulted in thousands without access to broadband to making sure that our Black and Brown workforces are getting the pay they deserve.”

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

“District 34 knows how to organize: from advocating against the fracked gas pipeline to fighting for the BQGreen to reverse the inequities that have plagued the area. We need more green space, and more open space, and during my time over 500 new trees have been planted.”

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE 

Jennifer Gutierrez is a Colombian American native to Queens but a sitting representative of the ‘Quooklyn’ areas in Bushwick, Williamsburg and Ridgewood neighborhoods. Gutierrez is currently the chair of the tech committee in the city council, and the vice chair of the city council’s progressive caucus. She has advocated for the availability of family-centric health care, such as access to doulas and midwives, and her top three priorities are universal child care, the strengthening and expansion of tenant protections, and environmental justice.

Gutierrez was involved in organization for the Arizona Democratic Party, and was previously the campaign manager for Antonio Reynoso’s campaign for councilmember (Reynoso is currently Brooklyn Borough President). Gutierrez served as Reynoso’s chief of staff. She was also an organizer for the NYC council office of Diana Reyna. She was instrumental in the passage of the Right to Know Act, which brought transparency to police stops, and the Waste Equity Bill, which reduced the amount of trash trucks and associated pollution in North Brooklyn. She lives in Bushwick.

 

Paperboy Love Prince

Here’s where Paperboy Love Prince stands on the issues:

CRIME

Paperboy Love Prince has not made any recent public statements or informational notices regarding the increase of crime in Brooklyn and citywide.

 

INFLATION

Paperboy Love Prince supports the revaluing of personal housing subsidies, like section 8 housing vouchers, to be in line with inflation. This is the only approach to inflation that the candidate takes according to publicly available information.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

Paperboy Love Prince supports a guarantee to housing, or a “right to housing.”

 

This would include a prohibition of evictions without a proposal for rehousing, the regulation of rents “everywhere” within their district and the wide scale lowering of rents, as well as the construction of 200,000 public housing units per year for five years to the highest environmental standards, according to their website. The entire “right to housing” agenda is as follows, according to their website:

 

“Prohibit rental evictions without a proposal for public rehousing. Implement a universal rent guarantee creating a safety net against unpaid rent for tenants and landlords alike. Regulate rents everywhere on the territory and lower them in large cities, adopt a housing shield that limits the share of income spent on housing. Build 200,000 public housing units per year for five years to the highest environmental standards. Raise the minimum threshold of social housing per municipality to 30%, increase sanctions against municipalities that do not comply with the law and order the Justice Department to systematically take over from defaulting mayors. Impose a progressive tax on high speculative real estate transactions to finance the fight against substandard housing. Protect private homeowners from excessive taxes with special emphasis on the elderly. Make it mandatory to renovate “thermal apartments” before renting them out. Fight against substandard and unhealthy housing: make a “rental permit” mandatory throughout the United States (prior authorization issued by the public authorities), launch a major housing renovation plan, use the right of pre-emption and guarantee decent and rapid rehousing for poorly housed people. Restore public aid for low-income housing, avoid rent increases on re-renting and guarantee rehousing at constant rent in the context of rehabilitation or reconstruction.”

 

RACIAL INEQUALITY

Paperboy love prince supports the following in terms of fighting racism, anti-semitism and discrimination, according to their website:

 

“Implement a global action plan against all forms of discrimination (employment, housing, education, health, etc.) to guarantee the right to full citizenship for all children born in the United States and give conditional status to non-citizen parents. Create an Equality Commission with a Discrimination Observatory and specialized units within public services and appeal courts. Implement the receipt for identity checks by law enforcement agencies to fight against racial profiling, accompanied by training, monitoring and sanctions. Establish February 4 as a national holiday in memory of the victims of slavery and their struggles, in addition to the day of commemoration specific to each overseas territory. Opening the archives on the wars of decolonization. Repeal the law against “separatism” and the law against “asylum and immigration” and enforce the law making all persons convicted of incitement to racial hatred ineligible”

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

 

Paperboy Love Prince supports the launching of major ecological projects in order to do job-creation.

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Paperboy Love Prince is a “remarkable” Puerto Rican, Colombian and Panamanian individual and native of Washington, D.C. who is the grandchild of founders of the Elim International Fellowship Church. They have a passion for the arts and the arts community in District 34. In 2020, Paperboy ran for both congressional representative and mayor, yet was unable to secure either of those offices. Yet, they secured 20% and 9% of the electorate in those races, respectively. They currently run the Paperboy Love Prince “Love Gallery” in Bushwick at 1254 Myrtle Avenue, which is a “futuristic mutual aid hub and community space,” according to their website.

 

 

 

 

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 41: BEDFORD–STUYVESANT, BROWNSVILLE, EAST FLATBUSH, CROWN HEIGHTS, AND OCEAN HILL

CANDIDATES

Reginald Bowman

Here’s where Reginald Bowman stands on important issues, according to publicly available information:

 

CRIME

Bowman’s approach to crime is poverty centric, which includes the following, according to his campaign website:

 

  • Implement policies that target the root causes of poverty, such as lack of access to affordable housing, healthcare, and education.
  • Increase funding for community policing programs and support initiatives that improve public safety.
  • Work with local organizations and community leaders to identify areas of need and develop targeted solutions that address the unique challenges facing the district.

 

INFLATION

Reginald Bowman does not have any publicly available information regarding his approach to inflation.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

Reginald Bowman aims to make housing more accessible and in turn reduce poverty.  

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Reginald Bowman is a resident of Brownsville’s Seth Low Houses and is the Senior Member of the NYCHA Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP) since 1995. Mr. Bowman is the President of CCOP Brooklyn East District and President of Seth Low Houses Resident Association. He is the former President of Remeeder Houses, a 260-unit Section 8-Project-based Rental Assistance Program Development in East New York.

 

Mr. Bowman was elected to 3 terms as President of CCOP from 2007–2015. He served as a Member of Community Board 16 and as President of Community School Board 23. Bowman’s top issues are housing infrastructure & modernization senior healthcare & human services youth education & school choice.

 

Isis McIntosh Green

Here’s where Isis McIntosh Green stands on the issues, according to her campaign website and nycvotes.org:

 

CRIME

Crime is not a major component of McIntosh Green’s platform. 

 

INFLATION

Infaltion is not a major component of McIntosh Green’s platform, which mostly has to do with anti-poverty and public health centric issues. Access to healthy and affordable food, or lack thereof, is a consequence of inflation.

 

“The 41st district has high rates of food insecurity. Through collaboration with community organizations, we can increase access to healthy and affordable food options, including advocating for funding for community gardens, farmers markets, and supporting food banks and pantries.”

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

“The 41st district needs affordable housing and improved public housing conditions. By working with community members and stakeholders, we can increase funding for the redevelopment of NYCHA housing and address issues such as poor ventilation, lead paint, and outdated appliances, which contribute to respiratory illnesses and mental health concerns.”

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Isis McIntosh Green is a native of Brownsville and the former chief of staff under Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, which is a natural path for her given her parents were public servants. McIntosh Green is endorsed by the Working Families’ Party, and has experience as a policymaker in the areas of elections, criminal justice reform, and legislative affairs. McIntosh Green is the Executive Director of the Progressive Democratic Political Association. McIntosh Green is also an avid proponent of incentivizing educational attainment and workforce development within her district. 

 

Darlene Mealy

Here’s where Darlene Mealy stands on the issues, according to her campaign website and nycvotes.org: 

 

CRIME

Mealy for the people will align and support Crisis Management Organizations, Mental Health Initiatives and Rehabilitation Programs to aide in bringing the level of crime to an all time low in the 41st Council District.

 

INFLATION

“Inflation is at an all time high due to the pandemic. I will align and provide support to initiatives provided by the city and the federal government to aide in lowering the debt ceiling.”

 

PROTECTING DEMOCRACY

“When re-elected I will continue to fight to ensure that our democracy is fair and balanced not for some but for ‘all people’!”

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

“Housing should be affordable for all.”

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Sitting councilmember for District 41, Darlene Mealy, has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for her alleged political absence and lack of action and legislation, and she faces a fierce challenge from her incumbents. City and State reports that she missed a third of her meetings as councilmember this year. 

 

 

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 42: EAST NEW YORK, NEW LOTS, REMSEN VILLAGE, SPRING CREEK, STARRETT CITY

CANDIDATES

Chris Banks

Here’s where Christ Banks stands on the issues, according to his campaign website and nycvotes.org

 

CRIME

“Crime is a top concern of many District 42 residents & stakeholders. We can’t simply police our way to safety. Fighting crime requires a common sense approach where law enforcement sees residents as partners they are accountable to.”

 

INFLATION

“Inflation has a severely negative impact on communities like District 42 where many seniors reside and live on a fixed income. Government must use every tool in the legislative arsenal to combat inflation and make our communities as affordable as possible.”

 

Banks also believes in increasing access to healthy food in District 42 addressing the area’s food deserts and lack of fresh fruits and vegetables, and “Providing robust and effective constituent services to address community needs,” according to his website.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

“Everyone deserves a dignified living situation. However, the over saturation of homeless shelters in low income communities often makes an industry that exploits those who are unhoused. We must address homelessness by creating cycle breaking opportunities for self sufficiency.”

 

Banks plans to address the lack of affordable housing, and the lack of homeownership, to benefit the long-term housing needs of his district, including protecting NYCHA housing and establishing a “common sense” housing safety plan, according to his website.

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Chris Banks was the president of the 75th Precinct Council, Sgt. at Arms & past co-chair of the Aging, Transportation, and Education committees, BK CB5. He was raised in East New York. Banks’ top three issues are addressing public safety concerns, creating truly affordable housing options and creating senior and youth programs.

 

Charles Barron

Here’s where Charles Barron stands on the issues, according to his campaign website: 

 

CRIME

“The root causes of crime are poverty, unemployment, and inadequate funding for mental health services. Billions of dollars must be allocated for anti-poverty, workforce development, and mental health.”

 

INFLATION

“Regulating corporate price control of their product, not raising the interest rate, is the best solution for inflation.”

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

“Affordable housing must be defined by the neighborhood’s median income, not by the AMI (area median income) of New York City. That will combat gentrification of Black and Brown neighborhoods.”

 

“Forty percent of all new housing developed with city subsidies should be set aside for the homeless.”

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Charles Barron is the current councilmember for District 42. He was previously a New York State assemblymember for the 60th District. Barron is affiliated with Operation P.O.W.E.R. (People Organizing and Working for Empowerment and Respect), an East New York political organization. He was chief of staff for Rev. Herbert Daughtry before running for the New York city council himself. When he originally ran for councilmember in 1997, Barron was endorsed by Al Sharpton. His top three issues are eliminating poverty and unemployment, combatting homelessness with affordable housing and quality affordable healthcare.

 

JAMILAH ROSE

Here is where Jamilah Rose stands on the issues, according to nycvotes.org and her campaign Facebook page:

 

CRIME

“I have been fighting for safer streets by promoting more and better youth and young adult programs. I have also worked with improving our schools. And I believe we must improve community police relations.”

 

INFLATION

“The price of eggs, milk and rent is sky-rocketing. It is harder for us to just survive. I will fight for fair prices and better wages.”

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

“I support the building of true affordable housing in our district. We must make sure that the opportunities for housing go to local residents first. I support fair rents and quality conditions in NYCHA.”

 

“More of our residents have been experiencing housing insecurity due to lack of employment, mental health and the pandemic. We must make sure we provide assistance for those in need. We also must make sure that our community is not overburdened with shelters.”

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Jamilah Rose is a Latin American grant writer from East New York. She believes in people over profit. Her top three issues are affordable housing and NYCHA public safety, quality of life education, youth and senior programs. 

 

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 43: BAY RIDGE, DYKER HEIGHTS AND BENSONHURST

Wai Yee Chan

CRIME

“Ensuring our community feels safe is my top priority. I will fully fund our police to ensure they’re able to solve and stop crime, work to get illegal guns off our streets, and will increase our city’s investment in mental health services to help stop crime before it happens.”

 

INFLATION

“We must address inflation at all levels of government. At the local level I would expand property tax rebates to middle-class homeowners, the Fair Fares program, and the Emergency Food Assistance Program to keep money in the pockets of New Yorkers.”

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

“We must ensure all New Yorkers have access to truly affordable housing. I support reforming our property tax system, and legalizing ADUs like basement and garage apartments. I also support the conversion of unused office space into affordable housing.”

 

“No one in our community should be living on the streets. I would invest in more mental health services and work to ensure that long term affordable supportive housing options are available instead of shelters.”

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Chan was previously the director at Chinese-American planning council and a teacher at New York Chinese school. She serves on the Asian Affairs Advisory Council for the Office of Mayor Eric Adams and the Alliance for Families with Developmental Needs, the Board of Directors at NYU Langone Family Health Center, and on the Asian Advisory Board of CaringKind, a non-profit dedicated to caring for those with Alzheimers and Dementia. She also serves on the Language Assistance Advisory Committee (LACC). Previously, she was the director of community engagement in the Office of Councilman Justin Brannan. Her top three issues are increasing public safety, ensuring high-quality education, and protecting and expanding senior services. She is originally from Hong Kong. 

 

Stanley M. Ng Mr

Here’s where Stanley M. Ng Mr stands on the issues, according to nycvotes.org and his campaign website: 

 

CRIME

“Residents don’t feel safe. I will work to strengthen public safety, reduce violent crime, and protect all New Yorkers. Specifically, I will work with law enforcement, legislators, and prosecutors to address the disturbing rise in Anti Asian Hate Crimes across our city.”

 

INFLATION

“There is an affordability crisis here in NYC. Inflation is hitting New Yorkers, particularly at the grocery store. I want to establish a permanent food bank in our district to provide free and low-cost food options to working families and elderly residents on a fixed income.”

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

“There is an affordable housing shortage in New York City. We need to construct more affordable housing. I, as a retired person, support Aging in Place and providing aid to our long term residents so they can still afford to live at their residence while on a fixed income.”

 

“The main cause of homelessness in district 43 is the shortage of housing. We should expand the number of affordable housing units to get people off of the streets. We should also consider legalized basement apartments when viable to increase the supply of housing.”

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Stanley M. Ng Mr sat on the District 20 CEC Community Education Council, CCHS Citywide Council for High Schools. He is affiliated with UA3, COPO, and was previously a computer programmer. His top three issues are public safety, education choice, school funding and food and housing affordability. He was previously a computer programmer. 

 

Susan Zhuang

Here’s where Susan Zhuang stands on the issues, according to nycvotes.org and her campaign website

 

CRIME

“We must make our city safer. We need to partner with local anti-violence groups to get the guns off our streets, address the mental health crisis, create tougher penalties to stop hate crimes and bias attacks, and support law and enforcement.”

 

INFLATION

“We need to hold companies and utilities accountable for price gouging and ensure they are not taking advantage of consumers. We must also rein in inflation that harms working families the most.”

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

“The affordability crisis is impacting everyone. It’s not only low-income families that are struggling to make rent, but middle-income households like firefighters and teachers as well. We need to invest in creating mixed-income affordable housing across all of NYC.”

 

“The City’s approach to homelessness is just wrong. Shelters are not a solution; they are just a band-aid approach. We must create permanent, truly affordable housing citywide that provides wraparound services such as mental health and addiction resources, as well as job training.”

 

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

Susan Zhuang was previously the chief of staff for New York State Assemblymember William Colton. She is a board member of the Asian American Pacific Islander Public Affairs Association, AAGG PAC, the founder of Leaders of Tomorrow, the former vice president of the Brooklyn United Progressive Democratic Club and the former vice president and founder of the Young Democrats of Southern Brooklyn Political Club.


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