By now, you’ve hopefully applied for and maybe even received your absentee ballot for the NYS Primary Election on Tuesday June 23, 2020. You must fill out your ballot and send it in the mail by MONDAY JUNE 22 in order for your vote to count, unless you plan on voting in person. If that’s the case, early voting is taking place right now through June 21st. Before you vote, here’s what you need to know about North Brooklyn Primary Races.
If you are unsure about who represents you you can use this tool to find all of your reps just by putting in your current address.
To help you place an informed vote, we’ve created a rundown of the candidates running in the following races:
U.S. Congressional District 7
Nydia Velazquez (Incumbent)
Paperboy Love Prince
NYS Senate District
Julia Salazar (Incumbent)
NYS Assembly District Leader
Tommy Torres (Incumbent)
Samy Nemir Olivares
Find more information on the power that each of these offices hold here.
NYS Congressional District 7
(the only tri-borough congressional district in NYC):
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, 67, has represented New York’s 7th district since 1993 and is currently serving her 14th term. She is the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee and a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. When Velazquez was elected she became the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in the house.
On her website, Velazquez promotes herself as a fighter for the rights of the underrepresented who works with sensibility and compassion to encourage economic development, protect community health and the environment, combat crime and worker abuses, and to secure access to affordable housing, quality education and health care for all New York City families.
Recently, Velazquez stayed true to her role as proponent for small businesses by traveling to D.C. just after recovering from her own spout with the virus to vote for additional funding for the “mom and pop businesses” that have been hurt by the pandemic.
Paperboy Love Prince (D)
Activist, Rapper and Bushwick local Paperboy Love Prince, 26, will run in their first bid for office next week. After previously working as an influencer for Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign, Prince has initiated their own race that is focused around a simple mission: bringing love back to democracy. Rather than the intense division that has plagued political rhetoric across the country, Paperboy says they are focusing on building love in all communities and embracing technology as a vehicle to do so. They plan to fight for universal basic income, medicare for all and public transit reform. Also on their list of policy reform: ending the war on drugs and the legalization of sex work. Their name and their platform have caught quite a bit of attention on social media and Love has trademarked their campaign with the slogan “it’s our time.”
After successfully defending their spot on the ballot next to Velazqueez, and a recent uptick in both individual donations and volunteer campaign organizers, Paperboy believes they have a real chance to cause an “upset” in this race.
NYS Senate District 18
JULIA SALAZAR (INCUMBENT)
Salazar, 27, a freshman incumbent and the youngest elected woman to the NYS Senate, is a Florida-born member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) who unseated longtime incumbent Sen. Martin Dilan in 2018. She is also the Chair of the Committee on Women’s Health. Through her first term Sen. Salalzar has continued to support tenant rights, criminal justice reform, equal protection for women and immigration justice, which includes her role as co-sponsor of the NYS Dream Act and the “Green Light” bill that grants access to a driver’s license regardless of immigration status. She also helped in the very recent repeal of 50-a to increase transparency on issues of police misconduct.
Key Endorsements: Sen. Bernie Sanders (D), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D), Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D), Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D), New Kings Democrats, Working Families, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), NYS Immigrant Action Fund, Citizen Action and more.
KEY ENDORSEMENTS: District Leader Tommy Torres, Assemblyman Erik Martin Dilan (D), District Leader Arleny Alvarado McCalla, District Leader Linda Minucci, District Leader and State Committeeman Anthony Jones, District Leader Steve Cohn, the Coalition to Keep NYCHA Affordable, and others.
Marte is a Brooklyn native, raised on Halsey street by Dominican parents. He was a staffer to former NYS Assemblyman Vito Lopez who presided over the 53rd district until 2013. Marte says that his main priorities in the district are education and housing along with empowering senior citizens, preserving affordable housing and protecting North Brooklyn businesses, including one proposal to close bars at 10 p.m.
Earlier this year City & State reported that his social media postings might suggest he is more right-leaning than his self-proclaimed-socialist opponent. And even more recently, Marte has been accused of a “scam on the elderly” by promoting a free COVID antibody testing event outside of the Williamsburg NYCHA Houses via an unauthorized healthcare provider. He, along with Assembly District Leader Tommy Torres, is said to have advertised the testing on flyers distributed to residents of the Williamsburg Houses and planned to conduct testing on NYCHA property without proper approval.
NYS Assembly District 53 Leader
District Leaders are the executive committee members of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Two leaders represent each AD and serve for a two year term unpaid. They have the power to select leadership of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and approve the rules and actions of the party as well as represent the party in the larger NYS Democratic Party.
TOMMY TORRES (INCUMBENT)
No Official Website Available
KEY ENDORSEMENTS: Assemblyman Erik Martin Dilan and others.
Tommy Torres was elected as District Leader in 2016 and before that he was Commissioner of the Williamsburg Sports League and Assistant Principal of the Grand Campus. Torres is a Brooklyn native and part of the older democratice establishment. He was recently accused of promoting fraudulent coronavirus antibody testing at the Williamsburg Houses with Andy Marte. He has been campaigning with Marte this primary season.
SAMUEL NEMIR OLIVARES
Samy Olivares is a queer progressive candidate seeking to unseat Torres as District Leader “to ensure the community’s voices are heard.” Samy is of Puerto Rican-Dominican descent and plans to use his own experience to relate to the plight of working families in the community. He’s previously organized with the Center for Popular Democracy right here in Bushwick and has worked to protect immigrants rights, reform the criminal justice system and reform housing and healthcare policies. Currently, Samy serves on both local community and school boards to advocate for better afterschool programs and to protect small, immigrant-owned businesses.
Cover Photo By Erik Kantar
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