StreetsPAC Endorses Candidates in State Senate and Assembly Primaries

Tuesday September 13 is primary day, and today StreetsPAC released its endorsements for New York State Senate and Assembly races. In heavily Democratic NYC, the primary winners will almost certainly go on to win the general election in November, if they face a challenger at all.

“For most state legislative races, incumbents are virtually guaranteed re-election, so our focus was on the handful of races for open seats, as well as those few contests in which there were legitimate, well organized and well funded challengers,” said StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure in a statement.

All seven StreetPAC endorsees have pledged to support the Move NY toll reform/transit funding plan, the expansion of the city’s automated speed enforcement program, and more Select Bus Service routes. Here’s who got the nod.

In Queens Senate District 10, which covers Springfield Gardens, Rosedale, and parts of Ozone Park, Jamaica, and Far Rockaway, StreetsPAC prefers Adrienne Adams over incumbent James Sanders Jr. Adams sees speeding in the district “as a particularly vexing problem,” according to StreetsPAC, and wants to increase transit funding and improve bus service. There is no Republican candidate in this race, so the primary winner will take the seat.

Senate District 31 in Upper Manhattan is an open seat, with incumbent Adriano Espaillat headed to Congress. StreetsPAC likes Micah Lasher, former staffer for Michael Bloomberg and Eric Schneiderman, to succeed him. Says StreetsPAC: “While his main opponents, especially labor organizer Marisol Alcantara, are compelling candidates, we believe Lasher has the greatest potential to help navigate critical issues like Move New York, and increased deployment of speed cameras, through the murky waters of the State Senate.” Other Dems vying for the seat: former City Council member Robert Jackson and tenant’s rights activist Luis Tejada.

In Assembly District 44 (parts of Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, and Midwood), StreetsPAC favors Robert Carroll to replace James Brennan, who is retiring. Carroll, an attorney, “has a good command of the issues facing the MTA,” says StreetsPAC, “and is determined to find a win-win solution to the contentious issue of restoration of express service on the F subway line.” Carroll faces R.M. Curry-Smithson and Troy Odendhal in the Democratic primary.

StreetsPAC pick Paul Newell is in a six-candidate contest for former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver’s seat in Lower Manhattan’s Assembly District 65. “While we also gave high marks to Gigi Li, the former Chair of Manhattan CB3, we believe Newell is the strongest of the candidates on safe- and complete-streets policies,” says StreetsPAC. Newell is running against Alice Cancel, who won a special election to succeed Silver, along with Li, Yuh-Line Niou, Jenifer Rajkumar, and Don Lee.

In Assembly District 72, covering Upper Manhattan, StreetsPAC endorsed Carmen De La Rosa to unseat incumbent Guillermo Linares. De La Rosa is former chief of staff for City Council transportation chair Ydanis Rodriguez. According to StreetsPAC, De La Rosa “played a key role in the passage of a number of pieces of legislation related to Vision Zero, and she’s firmly committed to improving public transit and street safety.” George Fernandez is also running for this seat. The Dem primary winner will have no opposition in November.

Incumbent Felix Ortiz gets the nod in Brooklyn’s Assembly District 51 (Sunset Park, Greenwood, Red Hook). Ortiz, who serves as assistant Assembly speaker, authored legislation to ban the use of handheld phones while driving, says StreetsPAC. Ortiz sponsored this year’s “textalyzer” bill, which would allow investigators to field-test motorists’ cell phones after a crash. Ortiz is unopposed in the primary.

Incumbent Jo Anne Simon is StreetsPAC’s choice in Assembly District 52 (Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus). StreetsPAC says Simon “has a long, distinguished record of advocacy for better transit and safer streets.” Simon was an early co-sponsor of a bill supporting the Move New York toll reform plan. Simon has no challenger in the primary.

Founded in 2013, StreetsPAC is NYC’s first livable streets political action committee.

  • Guy Smiley

    Here’s Robert Carroll (Assembly Candidate in the 44th) blocking the Ocean Parkway bike lane:

    http://www.robertcarroll2016.com/bio

  • JudenChino

    Here’s my F – Express solution. Let’s give them the F Express in exchange for tearing up the Prospect Expressway and replacing that with a low line park and pedestrian/bikeway.

  • RyanMcShane

    In Micah Lasher’s mailings (after mailings, after mailings & etc. … there’s real money backing him) he’s mutton dressed as lamb. The progressive bona fides get trotted out, but not a word about the neo-lib entries on his c.v.

    I’ll take your word for it that he’s a decent choice on safe streets and transit. Maybe my mailbox holds the clincher today. It’s nice that he so insists on keeping in touch. Still undecided though.

  • iSkyscraper

    I share your trepidation, but Lasher is backed by Bloomberg, who did a heck of a lot more for street resdesign than the lackeys before or after. Jackson is unlikely to win, the real competition is Alcantara. But she brings two bits of baggage – she is allied with the Espaillat / Rodriguez political machine, which is notoriously funded by the livery cab industry and anti-toll, and she is part of the wacky independent Democrat movement which promises to muck up the Senate even further by caucusing with the Republicans there.

    So given that context, Lasher looks like a home run.

  • Morris Zapp

    Eh, Lasher is a conservative playing liberal to get elected in a liberal district. He’s spent a lot of the campaign trying to explain away what he’s done politically. Seems like an opportunistic phony to me.

    As you say, Alcantara has suspect IDC ties. I liked Jackson until he was bought off by the polystyrene people.

    I don’t see a clear winner (for the public) in this race.

  • Jonathan R

    Espaillat supported East River bridge tolls, and Rodriguez supports MoveNY. How are they anti-toll?

  • iSkyscraper

    Espaillat flips and flops – he was strongly against tolls in 2010.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/03/04/espaillat-to-westchester-my-district-is-your-doormat/

    … as he does what the livery lobby tells him to do. You have no idea how powerful this lobby is in Upper Manhattan. Besides the legal donations to politicians, the players in that business also control many of the illegal nightclubs, which rely on political support for liquor licenses and to keep cops at bay. (They also do a lot of not-so-legal bundling.) He’ll be in Congress now, of course, but his successor would be expected to fall under the same influences.

    Rodriguez does as Espaillat tells him to and has shown no common sense in his support for west-side ferries and love of street parking.

  • Sabina

    Thanks for endorsing someone in Assembly District 65. Looking forward to, hopefully, Paul Newell replacing Sheldon Silver’s pick.

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