Even as god-awful and scary as the national political and social climate may seem these days, it’s more important than ever for Bushwick, Brooklyn and NYC residents in general to vote in local elections. Because as one of the largest cities in the country, New York City government office-holders can have an enormous influence on state and national politics.
On Tuesday, September 12, this year’s NYC primary will narrow down a field of candidates for mayor, public advocate, Brooklyn and Manhattan district attorneys, all five borough presidents, and several City Council seats.
Aside from the high profile mayoral election in which incumbent mayor Bill De Blasio will run against a slew of other candidates from a handful of parties, all but 18 of the city’s 51 City Council seats are up for election.
For North Brooklyn’s District 34 in particular, this means that incumbent Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D) is seeking reelection. He will be running against Tommy Torres (D), the current Leader of the 53rd District.
New York City voters should have gotten their registration cards in the mail a few weeks ago; make sure to visit the NYC Board of Elections website to look up your polling location, and to check your registration status if you didn’t get that important info in the mail yet!
Additionally, useful tools like Who’s on the Ballot will tell you which candidates will be on your specific ballot based on your address. Here are a few helpful lists of offices and candidates that will be on Bushwick residents’ ballots this September:
CITY COUNCIL – 34TH DISTRICT:
Antonio Reynoso (D) – Incumbent council member, works to discourage landlords from displacing tenants and to preserve affordable housing.
Tommy Torres (D) – District leader for District 53, wants to refocus education budgets and to create more affordable and senior housing
Bill de Blasio (D) – Incumbent NYC mayor who took office in 2014. Praised for record-low crime rates but criticized for a rise in homelessness.
Bob Gangi (D) – Activist and co-founder of the Police Reform Organizing Project. Wants to decriminalize marijuana possession, sex work, and fare evasion.
Richard Bashner (D) – Commercial attorney, running on a platform of improving affordable housing, strengthening schools, and transit.
Sal Albanese (D) – Fourth time as a NYC mayoral candidate, wants to reform New York politics, increase affordable housing. and improve public safety.
Mike Tolkin (D) – Tech CEO from Long Island, wants to improve infrastructure, affordable housing, and decriminalize marijuana possession.
Brooklyn Borough President:
Benjamin Kissel (Reform Party) – Former Fox News commentator and host of several popular podcasts on Cave Comedy Radio. Wants criminal justice reform, to save the L train, and to expand the G train.
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all the offices on the ballot. Also, Primary candidates who run in their parties unopposed will not appear on the September 12 ballot.
For a complete list of New York City Primary candidates and offices, visit the New York City Board of Elections. For a list of competitive Council elections, click here. The general mayoral election will take place on November 7, 2017.