The primary elections for the New York City Council are around the corner. On June 22, voters throughout the five boroughs will cast their ballots to help decide who will represent their respective districts. 

The race to represent District 34, which spans across the neighborhoods of Bushwick, Williamsburg and Ridgewood, is heating up. On May 25, two of the race’s candidates — Scott Murphy and Andy Marte — announced they would support each other on this election’s new ranked choice ballots, which a Democratic political consulting firm that arranged the move called “one of the first instances of a cross-endorsement on the city council level.”

Here are the candidates.

 

The city’s 34th district stretches across parts of Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Ridgewood.

Jennifer Gutierrez

Gutierrez’s political experience in New York started with running former District 34 representative Antonio Reynoso’s campaign in 2013, when he bested the late, disgraced former Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez. In her time running Reynoso’s office, Gutierrez’s work has focused on launching participatory budgeting in the district, a way of distributing taxpayer money based on a local voting process that’s open to all local residents. 

“I have a long history of organizing and working in the district and have a deep understanding of our communities’ histories, voices, and needs. I believe it has been my direct organizing experience in our community – like fighting alongside tenants against harassment from their landlords, demanding repairs, and fighting displacements, that will help guide my policies and make me the best candidate. My top priorities when I am in city council would be ensuring that affordable housing and healthcare are human rights, universal child care and after-school are a given, open spaces are funded, we focus on equitable educational opportunities, and to make sure we have a thoughtful and caring approach to justice – instead of funding desperately ill-equipped PD to patrol,” Gutierrez told Bushwick Daily. 

Check out her platform here, which focuses on planks such as “equitable housing,” “food insecurity” and “environmental justice.”


Scott Murphy

A former advertising man who moved to the city 10 years ago and now works for the motorbike startup Revel, Murphy is running on a platform centered on transportation reform, a plank that also includes a commitment to making CitiBikes “free to all NYC residents.” ​ Murphy wrote an op-ed earlier this month on the subject of ending alternate side parking, which is also among the promises of his campaign. 

“I’m very passionate about the community. I’m very passionate about the neighborhood and the people that live here, and I started thinking … I’ve lived and volunteered here for almost four [years] and I just felt like a lot of the endemic problems in the neighborhood weren’t being addressed,” Murphy told us.

Check out his platform here, which also includes planks such as “defunding the police,” “re-funding our communities” and “education.”


Lutchi Gayot

Gayot is also somewhat of a newcomer to local politics but has been around the area for a while, where he runs a company called LG Ventures that he says has employed “dozens and dozens and dozens of people, from cooks to bartenders.” 

Elsewhere in Brooklyn politics, Gayot notably ran as a Republican against Congresswoman Yvettte Clarke last year. “When you take a look at what a lot of other people who are running for office are offering, I felt like we need a lot more deeper policy proposals,” Gayot told Bushwick Daily. 

Check out his platform here, which includes planks such as “foreclosures,” “evictions,” and “vocational & technical training.” 


Andy Marte

Image courtesy of Marte’s Instagram

Another candidate with a curious connection to ex-Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez is Andy Marte, who actually ran Lopez’s failed city council campaign against Reynoso in 2013, where he was reportedly accused of losing account of over $55,000. Following a more recent, also failed, effort to unseat State Senator Julia Salazar last year, Marte is showing up again this year for a rematch against Gutierrez, where he told Bushwick Daily that he’s the “only council candidate that grew up in this district.” (Gutierrez grew up in Queens)

“I have lived in Bushwick my entire life, my family owns a business in Ridgewood, and I worked in Williamsburg for over 15 years. I am running to use my experience in social services — education, housing, and health — to get our city back into shape. As crime increases, businesses close, and services are being cut, New York City is on the verge of a crisis. I have the relationships and experience necessary to bring back our district to a thriving place for all of its residents,” Marte told us for this guide. 

Check out his platform here, which includes planks such as “preserving-community,” “upholding family values” and “promoting healthy living.”


Terrell Finner, who is also listed on the ballot, announced last month that he was dropping out of the Democratic primary but would be running as an independent on the November ballot. Finner told Bushwick Daily that the decision came to him after meeting a prospective voter and realizing that “I could not lie to any other person in my neighborhood by playing into the Democratic establishment’s playbook and promising people, again and again, that their lives are going to be better.”

Information about the city council candidacies of Danny Marin who is also listed on the ballot, could not be found.

Note: this story has been updated to include details about Andy Marte’s campaign.


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