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Meet Your City Council: Learn More About NYC’s New Lawmakers

THE CITY surveyed incoming and recently arrived City Council members to learn about their priorities for their district, their first-term goals and more. What you don’t know about your new representative might surprise you.

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City Hall, Oct. 5, 2021.

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Along with a new mayor, New York City is welcoming a new City Council Jan. 1. Among the legislative body’s 51 seats, 35 will have a fresh occupant, many of them women of color

Some won special elections in the past year as seats became vacant — in two cases because members had been removed for ethics or criminal violations.

One new lawmaker, Darlene Mealy, defeated a sitting Council member, Alicka Ampry-Samuel. The rest of the newcomers ran for seats vacated because of term limits — including three returning members who had been term-limited out of Council seats themselves in the past.

What does the City Council do? You can learn more about that here


THE CITY reached out to the new class of Council members with three questions and a request for a one-sentence answer to each. What you don’t know about your new representative might surprise you.

Some responses have been edited for length.

Manhattan

Christopher Marte (D)

District 1 – Chinatown, Tribeca, Lower East Side

Councilmember Christopher Marte

Christopher Marte/Facebook

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? Unchecked luxury development is causing rapid displacement throughout my district, destroying affordable housing and working-class immigrant communities. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. My top priority is land use, and passing the community-based Chinatown Working Group Rezoning Plan.  
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Scarr’s Pizza has the best slice in the city and does a lot to support the community. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I love to cycle and watch cycling, and even join fantasy leagues with my friends during the road racing season.  

Erik Bottcher (D)

District 3 – West Village, Chelsea, Midtown West

Councilmember Erik Bottcher

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The homelessness and housing crisis.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Providing additional resources and support to those experiencing serious mental illness.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Tea & Sympathy, an amazing little British restaurant on Greenwich Avenue.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I play the guitar just a little bit better than I sing, and my singing has generously been described as “enthusiastic.”

Julie Menin (D)

District 5 – Upper East Side

Councilmember Julie Menin

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? We’re still struggling to get to an equitable recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic: We face a high unemployment rate, many of our small businesses are still struggling, and we are not providing the critical services to deal with homelessness, sanitation and mental health crises.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Small businesses are the backbone of our city and we need legislative solutions such as legacy small business legislation and a one-stop portal for all city licenses to protect them.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? As a former small business owner I am in awe of the hard work of all of District 5’s business owners, but I am partial to the Mansion Diner because my kids and I love the breakfast there.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I am the mother of four kids, including a set of twins and a 4-year-old daughter.

Gale Brewer (D)

District 6 – Upper West Side

Councilmember Gale Brewer

Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The biggest challenge is the need for a better “Quality of Life.” The concern about the real or perceived lack of public safety is on the mind of all constituents.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I would like to see better management of our streets, plazas, sidewalks and open spaces with a Public Realm Czar, and staff. 
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Ivan’s Pharmacy.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? Over the years, I have had 35 foster kids, thousands of interns, and have taught hundreds of students at CUNY and Barnard College. I love being surrounded and challenged by young people.

Shaun Abreu (D)

District 7 – West Harlem, Morningside Heights

Councilmember Shaun Abreu

Shaun Abreu for City Council/Facebook

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? Pandemic recovery. Many of our families are still reeling from the loss of loved ones, as well as the loss of jobs and income. Children have lost learning opportunities and struggled with social isolation in ways that we are only beginning to understand. Small businesses have been pushed to the brink.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I want to see universal access to after school programs for all of the city’s public school students.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? I’ll go with MACC — a wine bar in Manhattan Valley that has made a real effort to build community and provide a stable work environment.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? When I was 6, I broke my arm while playing Batman and Robin with my brother. I, Robin, wore a towel cape and attempted to fly. In due time I learned that neither I nor the character can fly.

Carmen De La Rosa (D)

District 10 – Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill

Councilmember Carmen De La Rosa

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted systemic issues in our community including deeply entrenched institutional racism, the looming economic crisis and housing instability.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term? The creation of an Immigrant Bill of Rights to protect immigrant communities, families, individuals and workers.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? My favorite restaurant is Dyckman Express on Dyckman Street.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I was orphaned as an infant and adopted from the Dominican Republic.

Did Not Respond:

Kristin Richardson Jordan (D)

District 9 – Central Harlem

The Bronx

Eric Dinowitz (D)

District 11 – Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Norwood

 

Councilmember Eric Dinowitz

Emil Cohen/Mayoral Photography Office

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The lingering effects of COVID-19, and the impacts it had on our school children, older adults, working families, and small businesses. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I am already working on legislation to make the voting process easier and more accessible to everyone.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Lloyd’s Carrot Cake exemplifies what it means to be a local small business — they have the best carrot cake in the nation and are an invaluable community partner.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I used to travel around the country, and even performed for President Obama with my Jewish a capella group, Six13.

 

Kevin Riley (D)

District 12 – Wakefield, Co-op City, Eastchester, Williamsbridge

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? Quality of life issues, such as improving sanitation infrastructure to keep our community clean and implementing more cure violence alternatives to create safe spaces for our youth. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I would like to focus on the implementation of trade programs within the New York City Department of Education system, in addition to the roll out of cannabis legalization and how it can benefit our communities. 
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? D’spot Cafe and Juice Bar is a hidden gem in my district for fresh juices, food, and more. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I am an avid boxer and have been practicing for two years now.

Marjorie Velázquez (D)

District 13 — Morris Park, City Island, Throggs Neck

Councilmember Marjorie Velazquez

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? A lack of resources from transportation to education to healthcare to infrastructure. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Setting specific and achievable timelines for major infrastructure projects funded within the city’s capital budget.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Fetish Brow and Beauty Bar.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I’m a cat mom!

 

Pierina Sánchez (D)

District 14 – Morris Heights, University Heights, Fordham, Kingsbridge

 

Councilmember Pierina Sanchez

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? With a median income of $21,000 and the highest rate of eviction notices during the pandemic, housing and income security are the biggest challenges in our district today.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. My legislative priorities will be anchored in building community wealth, through creating and preserving more affordable housing with ownership opportunities; and protecting and empowering workers, including owner/workers in worker co-ops, small businesses and street vendors.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? This is a tough question because my district is home to so many amazing places! A few favorites places to eat: El Jobo on Burnside, El Valle and Fokkus on Fordham Road, Family’s Cafe on Jerome Ave; and of course, to get my hair done — Maribel’s on 183rd! 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I enjoy all shows mystical and magical, so I’m a big fan of “Shadow and Bone,” “The Nevers” and “The Irregulars.”

 

Oswald Feliz (D)

District 15 – Bedford Park, Fordham, Bathgate, Belmont

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? One of the biggest challenges my district faces is the severe lack of opportunity, which has led to many issues, including a public safety crisis.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Racially and economically desegregate our school system, which is currently one of the most racially segregated systems in the nation. 
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? I support all of the businesses in the district that I proudly represent, but Antonio’s Trattoria on Arthur Avenue has the best chicken parmesan, so it earns the title of being my favorite restaurant. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I find the underwater world to be fascinating. I became a certified scuba diver two years ago in the Bahamas, and have had the privilege of scuba diving and exploring the waters of the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Costa Rica. 

 

 

Althea Stevens (D)

District 16 — Claremont, Concourse, Highbridge, Morrisania

 

Councilmember Althea Stevens

Courtesy of Althea Stevens for City Council

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? District 16 needs more community services and resources focused around increasing food security. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I would increase funding for the Health Bucks program, expand the pool of individuals eligible to receive them to combat the growing issue of food insecurity, and expand the locations where Health Bucks can be used — not everyone has access to a local farmers’ market.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Honey Deli on Sheridan and 166th Street
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I have two turtles, Purple and Squirt.

 

Amanda Farías (D)

District 18 – Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester

Councilmember Amanda Farías

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

 

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? There is a need to address the two-fare zone, an incoming Metro-North station and its affordability for our community, making the ferry more accessible for neighbors and building supportive infrastructure to address the many challenges we have in effectively being mobile.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Just a few of the things I would like to do include eliminating two-fare zones, expanding ferry access in The Bronx, municipal control of buses as well as clean energy buses, and finally working towards a long-term plan to create a transit line that connects The Bronx and Queens without required detours to Manhattan.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Mr. Lee’s Toy Shop is a staple in our community and everyone’s go-to toy shop where you can get a bicycle or some Pokémon cards — it’s been around my entire life in District 18.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know about you? When I was younger I actually wanted to be a veterinarian: I love animals and have always had deep care for their well-being — both for those in our homes and our city wildlife!

Queens

Sandra Ung (D)

District 20 – Flushing, Murray Hill

Councilmember Sandra Ung

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? One of my top priorities is ensuring that we provide accurate and culturally competent translation services [for city services].
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I would like to see improvements made to 311, especially to ensure more timely and accurate services in languages other than English.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Flushing Ice Cream Factory!
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I’ve run the New York City Marathon twice! I love running because it really forces me to not look at my phone for a bit — it’s my alone time.

Tiffany Cabán (D)

District 22 – Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside

Councilmember Tiffany Cabán

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? District 22 houses nearly every environmental hazard you can think of, from awful rates of asthma to terrifying vulnerability to superstorms; relatedly, District 22 tenants and small homeowners are really struggling to afford rent and mortgage payments, particularly amid the pandemic, but more permanently due to the ever-present threat of luxury developments displacing working class residents.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I am hopeful that we’ll be able to pass HALT Solitary Confinement this year, but if we aren’t, you can bet I’ll be making that a priority in my first full term.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Come on! I can’t choose just one! I’m thinking of Astoria Bookshop, HiFi Records & Cafe, The Brass Owl, and so many more. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I’m a Little League coach at Elmjack... my fall ball team of 12-14 year-old boys just made it all the way to the championship and this summer I got the chance to help out with 4-year-old tee-ball.

Linda Lee (D)

District 23 – Little Neck, Oakland Gardens, Douglaston, Floral Park

Councilmember Linda Lee

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? I’m very focused on helping seniors age comfortably in New York City, since in districts like mine the options for senior transportation are limited and many are faced with being priced out of their homes. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I’m looking into legislation that would cut down on the timeline for city contracts so that projects can be delivered more quickly, since right now it takes far too long and the delays often end up costing us more money.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? This is a tough one! I’d have to say New Mart near my home because the employees there treat me like their daughter, their produce is always fresh, and you can get fresh bungeo-ppang (fish-shaped Korean pastries) from the stall right outside.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I’ve been a musician my entire life and I sang for my husband at our wedding!

James Gennaro (D)

District 24 - Kew Gardens Hills, Jamaica Hills, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? Public safety is the biggest challenge in the 24th Council District and throughout the city. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. My main legislative and budget priority is to expand the city’s storm sewer capacity to better be able to reduce flooding events from ever more frequent high-volume rain events.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Annam Brahma Indian vegetarian restaurant on 164th Street and 85th Avenue in Jamaica Hills. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? Two documentary movies featuring my environmental work which I appear in have been produced: “Fuel,” a movie about biofuels, was made in 2008, and “Gasland,” a movie about fracking for natural gas, was made in 2010…I got to go to the Sundance Film Festival as a  “cast member.”  But I went with my family and paid all my own expenses. 

Shekar Krishnan (D)

District 25 – Jackson Heights, Elmhurst

Councilmember Shekar Krishnan

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? We were the epicenter of the epicenter of the pandemic, the result of decades of disinvestment in our district.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Universal child care: year-round. Full workday.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Fuska House, (a street vendor selling Bangladeshi snacks — so good!)
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I love basketball — we need a hoop at City Hall!

Nantasha Williams (D)

District 27 – Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens

Councilmember Nantasha Williams

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? Quality of life has painfully declined, whether it’s illegal dumping, illegal truck parking, speeding or lack of resources for our young people.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Universal basic income in New York City.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district?  The Nourish Spot, whose address is 107-05 Guy R Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11433.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I am currently in a PhD program, and hope to finish my dissertation in 2022.

 

Lynn Schulman (D)

District 29 – Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill

Councilmember Lynn Schulman

Ben Fractenbeg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? COVID exposed the fatal lack of hospital capacity in Queens. Expanding accessible and affordable health care resources is the most critical challenge facing my constituents.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. My top priority is fixing the lack of hospital capacity through capital funding, zoning changes and legislation.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Aigner Chocolates — a family- owned store that I have found is the best place to satisfy my sweet tooth.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I am a long suffering New York Jets fan who has eternal hope that they will someday be a great football team.

 

Joann Ariola (R)

District 32 – Howard Beach, Breezy Point, Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park, Broad Channel, Ozone Park, Woodhaven

Councilmember Joann Ariola

Katie Honan/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, where lives were lost, infrastructure was proven to be a major challenge in District 32. Our sewer systems need the necessary funding to be regularly maintained and upgraded. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I will legislate to restore funding to the NYPD for additional staffing, sensitivity training, language learning programs and an opportunity for NYPD officers to obtain a master’s in social work so that they can be more effective especially when responding to domestic violence calls. 
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? The Gift Is Love in Rockaway Beach. It’s a wonderful store with the most beautiful gift items. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I’m obsessed with my Boston terrier, Rocky.  

Selvena Brooks-Powers (D)

District 31 – Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens

City Councilmember Selvena Brooks-Powers

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The surge in the Omicron variant, coupled with the lack of adequate health care. There is a dire need for a trauma center on the peninsula. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Providing access to sufficient health care and hospitals in District 31, ensuring communities across the City have an equitable distribution of shelter facilities, codifying appropriate bereavement leave for parents following a miscarriage or still-birth and combatting food insecurity.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? From Locals Collective coffee shop and Goody’s in Arverne to our newest business, Essential Kitchen, the first-ever black-owned culinary incubator, supporting mom-and-pop shops and the entrepreneurial spirit ensures my district thrives for generations.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? Some know that I enjoy dancing, but may not know that I am a part of the Allen Liturgical Dance Ministry. I also enjoy traveling.

Did Not Respond:

Vickie Paladino (R)

District 19 – College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, North Flushing and Auburndale

Julie Won (D)

District 26 - Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside

Brooklyn

Lincoln Restler (D)

District 33 – Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Greenpoint

Councilmember Lincoln Restler

Courtesy of Restler Campaign

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? Tackling the climate crisis is the existential challenge of our time. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. Making affordable housing truly affordable by eliminating city subsidies and tax breaks for unaffordable housing and ending the 130% area median income threshold, which allows developers to claim they are providing “affordable housing” to a single New Yorker making $108,000.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Pet Emporium on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights has been owned and run by a Palestinian-born mensch named Sammy, the Mayor of Montague, for three decades. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I once had an unassisted quadruple play on the t-ball field at Cadman Plaza. 

 

Jennifer Gutierrez (D)

District 34 – Williamsburg, Bushwick, Ridgewood

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? We need to focus on building community-based solutions and ownership to prevent future inequities and pillaging of our basic rightful resources: housing, food, and health care. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. We can not allow big real estate to have the upper hand in zoning, and community based planning is the only way we can ensure that our communities are getting what they need, focusing more on community land trusts and non-profit developers.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? There are so many to choose from, but if I have to narrow it down, closest to me is a Venezuelan arepa spot called Arepa Guacuco — my family and I eat here at least twice a week.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I was pregnant for the majority of the time I was campaigning! I gave birth at the end of November.

 

Crystal Hudson (D)

District 35 – Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill

Councilmember Crystal Hudson

Gabriel Sandoval/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? We need low- and moderate-income housing that meets the needs of local residents to ensure the Black and brown folks who have historically been displaced can stay in the neighborhoods they’ve called home for generations.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. To address the disproportionate impact COVID had on Black and Latinx New Yorkers, I want to bolster investment in our public hospital system and community health initiatives that serve communities with the greatest health disparities.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Ode to Babel — it’s a small, Black-and-women-owned bar in Prospect Heights that has served as a place of refuge for queer people in Brooklyn where we can be together in community as our true authentic ourselves. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know about you? I was the first graduate in the 124-year history of Spelman College — an all-women’s HBCU — to wear pants to graduation. 

 

Chi Ossé (D)

District 36 – Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights

Councilmember Chi Ossé

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The biggest challenge is the need for truly affordable housing: Over the past decade, Bed-Stuy lost 22,000 Black residents and gained 30,000 white residents. With increasing rents, It will be one of my main priorities to provide housing for those that are being displaced.  
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I would love to work on and pass legislation that would help create, strengthen and protect worker co-ops.  
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Zaca Café!   
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I’m left handed and can’t whistle!

 

Sandy Nurse (D)

District 37 – Cypress Hills, Ocean Hill, Brownsville, East New York

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The communities within the 37th District are facing housing displacement and gentrification due to the increase of luxury and market rate development that our long-term residents cannot afford. 
  2. Name one legislative goal you would like to accomplish within your first two-year term. We want to do as much as we can listed on our platform.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? I love diners! Paphos Diner at Broadway Junction is a place you can regularly find me. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know about you? I’m a carpenter and can build houses.

Alexa Aviles (D)

District 38 – Sunset Park, Red Hook

Councilmember Alexa Avilés

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The lack of equity in city funding and responsiveness is clear in our district in the way trash lingers on our sidewalks for days, when our schools lack basic infrastructure like air conditioning during the summer, and when NYCHA residents spend weeks on end without heat or working gas. 
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. The Council has passed legislation protecting workers in the fast-food industry already, but we know of other industries wrought with worker abuse including domestic, construction, and delivery workers that could benefit from expanding Just Cause workplace protections for all workers.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Small businesses and vendors are so integral to what makes our district special, and I’ve brought a few of my incoming colleagues to the district to La Flor de Izucar, a family-owned and run Mexican bakery in the heart of Sunset Park.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? It’s the holidays and around this time of year I love to get together with family, enjoy music, sing and dance, and this year I’m looking forward to a coquito after all my fundraising is done.

Shahana Hanif (D)

District 39 – Park Slope, Gowanus, Kensington, Windsor Terrace

Councilmember Shahana Hanif

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? Educational inequity: our classrooms are segregated, our class sizes are too large, and our public schools are failing to meet the needs of students with disabilities and English language learners and their families.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I would like to pass a remote telework bill which would allow public sector employees a permanent option to work from home throughout the pandemic and beyond: it is a crucial workplace protection and accommodation for disabled and immunocompromised workers.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? I have too many! I love to treat myself to solo dinners at Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats — their fresh tagliatelle in a creamy spinach sauce topped with ricotta cheese is heaven. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I recently learned how to ride a bicycle: I learned as an adult with a women of color bike collective! I speak, read, and write in Bangla.

Rita Joseph (D)

District 40 – Flatbush, Ditmas Park, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens

Councilmember Rita Joseph

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing your district today? One out of eight District 40 students, many of which are my students, have experienced homelessness in the last five years.
  2. Name one legislative goal you would like to accomplish within your first two-year term. My team and I are going to do everything in our power to get the Class Size Reduction bill passed.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Though it’s hard to pick a single favorite small business (there are too many to choose from), I love spending time at Greenlight Bookstore, where I’ve spent many afternoons looking for good reads; also, I’m super excited that the workers there just won union recognition and are now negotiating for their first contract!
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know about you? I stayed teaching at PS 6 all throughout the campaign (as a matter of fact, I am teaching up until winter break)!

 

Mercedes Narcisse (D)

District 46 – Canarsie, Flatlands, Marine Park, Mill Basin

Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? We must support small businesses with grants and low-interest loans to help them rebuild, revitalize and hire local. Tenants and small property owners also will need economic support as the eviction moratorium is scheduled to end in January.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. As a registered nurse, health care is obviously near to my heart. I would like to pass legislation to continue to expand health care to all New York City residents. One of my goals is to create a community health center in each NYCHA facility in the city. 
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? Tell me what you’d like to eat, and I’ll tell you where in the 46th you can get it; West Indian cuisine, bagels, heroes, Kosher deli, burgers, and everything in between, all sold at mom-and-pop businesses. 
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I love basketball. I support the Knicks too, but the Brooklyn Nets have stolen my heart. 

Did Not Respond

Darlene Mealy (D)

District 41 – Brownsville, East Flatbush, Crown Heights

Charles Barron (D)

District 42 – East New York, Starrett City

Ari Kagan (D)

District 47 – Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst 

Inna Vernikov (R)

District 48 – Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Midwood

Staten Island

Kamillah Hanks (D)

District 49 – North Shore

Councilmember Kamillah Hanks

Courtesy of Kamillah Hanks Campaign

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? The biggest challenge in the 49th District today is similar to the rest of the city, and that is how we deal with the results of a global pandemic in terms of restoring public safety, supporting our educational system and giving small businesses the support needed for our city to prosper.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. I will be working with key stakeholders to develop a master plan through a needs assessment to determine the legislation needed by the people of my district.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? JMT Media, a minority woman-owned public relations and marketing business led by Jaclyn Tacoronte.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? I’m a trained fine artist, excellent cook and flamenco aficionado.

David Carr (R)

District 50 – Mid-Island

Councilmember David Carr

David Carr/Facebook

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? I have been seeing too many “For Sale” signs in the last year as I went campaigning and that is because it is too expensive to live here — nothing contributes more to that problem than rising property taxes on top of onerous COVID-19 mandates.
  2. Name one legislative goal for your first two-year term. We need to enact real property tax reform and end unnecessary COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.
  3. What’s your favorite small business in your district? I have a lot of favorites, but the place I probably frequent the most is Pastosa Ravioli on Richmond Road.
  4. Enough about politics: What is something about yourself that your constituents might not know? Reading history is probably my biggest passion outside of work but when I want to unwind I love to watch Japanese anime.
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