StreetsPAC Announces Third Round of 2017 City Council Endorsements

Photo:  Momos/Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Momos/Wikimedia Commons

Four weeks from today, New Yorkers will head to the polls for the city’s primary election. With Democrats dominant in nearly every City Council district, in most cases the primary — which in local races is often decided by a small number of votes — will determine who will be making decisions about city transportation policy come January.

Yesterday, StreetsPAC, the political action committee that advocates for livable streets and better transit, released its third round of endorsements for council races. (Click for StreetsPAC’s first and second sets of council primary picks.)

Endorsees announced Monday include two incumbents, one challenger, and StreetsPAC favorites for open seats in Manhattan and the Bronx.

Council District 4: Upper East Side, Midtown East, Stuyvesant Town, Murray Hill: A former staffer for Assembly Member Jonathan Bing and State Senator Liz Krueger, Keith Powers is StreetsPAC’s choice to succeed term-limited Dan Garodnick in District 4. Powers supports dedicating 14th Street to transit, cyclists, and pedestrians when the L train is shut down for Sandy-related tunnel repairs, according to StreetsPAC. Powers says he wants “complete-streets treatments” for Fifth and Sixth avenues, and will advocate to close gaps on the Second Avenue bikeway and East River Greenway. Eight other Democrats and one Republican are also competing for this seat. See Gotham Gazette for a comprehensive list of candidates in District 4 and other 2017 City Council races.

Council District 6: Upper West Side: StreetsPAC wants another term for Helen Rosenthal, who faces a primary challenge from Mel Wymore and Cary Goodman. StreetsPAC says Rosenthal is “determined to make Central Park’s loop fully car-free, and will push for protected bike lanes on the Park’s transverses.” According to StreetsPAC, Rosenthal has committed to working with the Parks Department to “improve the hilly detour for cyclists along the Hudson River Greenway between 72nd and 83rd Streets” — a project she supported.

Council District 15: Fordham, East Tremont, Allerton: Incumbent Ritchie Torres is the StreetsPAC pick in this Bronx district. StreetsPAC says Torres wants the council to pass a home rule message endorsing the Move NY toll reform plan, and supports safer street designs on the Grand Concourse and East Tremont and Arthur avenues. Torres tells StreetsPAC he “wants to see Vision Zero education made an integral part of police training.” Torres has no challenger in the primary.

Council District 18: Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester: StreetsPAC likes Amanda Farias in the race for the District 18 seat, which will be vacated by term-limited Annabel Palma. Says StreetsPAC: “Her top priority is improving transportation access for constituents. She’ll advocate to bring NYC Ferry service to Soundview, expand Select Bus Service in the district (especially connecting to the ferry), and work to improve subway accessibility.” StreetsPAC says Farias wants to bring Citi Bike and safer street designs to the district. Five other Democrats, along with one Green and one Republican candidate, are competing for the seat.

Council District 40: Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Lefferts Gardens: StreetsPAC has endorsed Brian Cunningham in the Brooklyn district currently represented by Mathieu Eugene, who is seeking a third term. According to StreetsPAC, Cunningham, former chief of staff for Council Member Laurie Cumbo, has committed to press for expanding bike lanes on Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn Avenue, and Kingston Avenue, and wants a pedestrian plaza at the Franklin Avenue triangle. StreetsPAC says Cunningham supports making Prospect Park permanently car-free. In addition to Cunningham and Eugene, Pia Raymond and Jennifer Berkley are running in District 40.