Tuesday: City Council Candidates for District 39 Debate Livable Streets

In Democrat-dominated New York City, much of the electoral action happens on primary day. This year’s primaries are fast approaching: Voters go to the polls on September 15, four weeks from tomorrow. Contests for City Council seats, the Manhattan District Attorney’s job, borough presidencies, Public Advocate, and City Comptroller will by and large be decided on that day.

One of the more intriguing races is shaping up in the 39th
Council District
, which includes parts of Carroll Gardens, Park Slope,
Kensington, and Borough Park. This is the seat being vacated by Bill de Blasio —
who opposed congestion pricing last year and came out in favor of bridge tolls late in
the game during the MTA funding debate this spring. The district is heavily transit-dependent, mostly car-free [PDF], and situated in prime New York City "bike belt" territory. This election should put a strong, smart voice for progressive transportation policy in City Hall.

If you live in the 39th and care about green transportation and livable streets, you’ll want to come out tomorrow night for the candidate debate Transportation Alternatives has put together. TA director Paul White will moderate the event, featuring the seven council candidates, who will discuss their views on "the bike network, congestion pricing, pedestrian safety, the MTA and livable streets issues of all stripes."

The more people attend, the more the candidates will appreciate that these issues matter to their potential constituents. Here are the details:

  • When: Tuesday, August 18, 7:00 – 8:30pm
  • Where: PS 321, 180 7th Avenue (between 1st and 2nd Street)
  • Who: City Council candidates for District 39 (John Heyer, Brad Lander, Joe Nardiello, David Pechefsky, Gary Reilly, Josh Skaller, Bob Zuckerman)

If you don’t live in the 39th, Streetsblog will have more on your local race soon. TA has sent out questionnaires to all the candidates for City Council, Borough President, Manhattan DA, and citywide office. Check here during the next few weeks for coverage of their responses.

  • I don’t live in the district, but I want to say that out of all the candidates, Gary Reilly is the only one I’ve heard of. He has been very vocal in favor of congestion pricing and bridge tolls, as well as other transit improvements like the F express.

  • Gary Reily’s voice for improved F & V service into Brooklyn has been fantastic, and Brad Lander’s been a big advocate for a vast city widenetwork Bus Rapid Transit. The rest of the candidates thus far have yet to get transit oriented, other than some generic soap box speeches at subway stations speaking loudly against MTA cuts, but remaining silent on any realistic ways to pay for the services.

  • mfs

    I’m a partisan about this, but Brad Lander has a comprehensive and progressive transportation and sustainability platform, as well as a record of results on livable streets and sustainability. That’s why he is endorsed by the NY League of Conservation Voters and supported by prominent local environmental leaders. I look forward to seeing the debate and the exchange between the candidates.

  • Liza

    I met David Pechefsky while I was collecting signatures to get Reverend Billy on the ballot, and if I lived in the 39th I would definitely vote for him. He’s running for the Greens and is an avid cyclist. I mean, just check out his website: http://www.pechefskyforcitycouncil.com/.

  • Joe

    Even if the website didnt list the rest of the people running for his position. I actually support George Smith for city council because of all the great stuff he has done not only for the people in the district, but people in every district of brooklyn.. He is a community leader in charity events, fundraisers, and runs his own business. I know if a man can run a very successful business, he will be very good at representing a great district. The district he was born and raised in

  • bobby

    OOO yea I have heard great things about mr. smith… I really hope he wins I seen him in a pizza place on 7th ave in park slope where the owner fully support him and made a george smith day. He had great ideas, im sorry this website favors one side and doesnt even see the other side

  • I don’t often disagree with Paco, but I have to in this case.

    He wrote “the rest of the candidates thus far have yet to get transit oriented,” but that’s not true. Josh Skaller (full disclosure: I have endorsed Josh and donated to his campaign) is a strong advocate for transit, cycling and walking. Among other things, he’s been an outspoken supporter of Park Slope Neighbors’ two-way Prospect Park West and 8th Avenue campaign, and has advocated with PSN against Whole Foods’ plan for a massive parking lot at 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue. He was an early supporter of the 9th Street bike lanes, and will work tirelessly in the Council to expand and defend the bike network. He’s an avid cyclist and does not own a car.

    I have zero doubt that Josh would be a forceful leader in the Council for Livable Streets and better mass transit.

  • Tom Baur
  • Randy Manne

    Just because George Smith spent a year in jail for robbery while impersonating a police office, and is currently out on bail for sexual assault, does not mean he shouldn’t be elected. Just not in Brooklyn. Send this thug back to prison and let him win the hearts and votes of the people in his cellblock.

  • Lisa

    @Liza – that’s funny. Brad Lander signed my Rev Billy ballot petition, when he came knocking on my door while campaigning.

    I missed this candidate forum…any further thoughts?


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