46 AD Race: Harris Makes Her Case For the Dem Nod


Amid glowing words of praise and a heartfelt and moving back story, Pam Harris, last night, made her case before about 20 Democratic Party district committee members on why she should be the Party’s choice to run for the vacant 46th District Assembly seat in a the upcoming November special election.

Among those in attendance offering moral support at Peggy O’Neill’s Sports Bar in Coney Island was Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams while adjacent Assemblyman William Colton and Coney Island City Councilman Mark Treyger offered glowing words of endorsement.

“Pam Harris has a proven track record of service to this district,” said Colton, noting that Harris was a member of her block association, is a retired corrections officer, has been active with the community board and local police precinct community council, and has helped countless people left destitute in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Treyger recalled first meeting Harris in Coney Island when he was running for city council and his amazement at how she knew the issues the community faced off the top of her head. These issues included the need for more community programs for youth and seniors, fighting the rise in crime and for more local employment, he said.

“Pam also went to the hospital with me when someone in the community was shot and stayed with the family until she knew the person was out of danger,” said Treyger, adding her tremendous involvement in getting Coney Island back on its feet in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and that her non-profit organization Coney Island Generation Gap has found jobs for over 50 people from the neighborhood.

Pam Harris and City Councilman Mark Treyger speak with a constituent at Peggy O'Neill's in Coney Island.
Pam Harris and City Councilman Mark Treyger speak with a constituent at Peggy O’Neill’s in Coney Island.

Treyger also mentioned that although Harris is based out of Coney Island she partly grew up in Bay Ridge as her father lived there for years. He also observed that the economically and ethnically diverse district – including Coney Island and Dyker Heights with a chunk of Bay Ridge and smidgeons of Brighton Beach and Gravesend –  is united as shore front communities and share much in common in that respect.

Harris recounted growing up in NYCHA’s Mermaid Surfside Houses, and how she earned both her bachelors and masters degree, and how she is now a homeowner in Coney Island with her husband, Leon.

She said the top issues she will confront include the illegal conversions of single family homes in Dyker Heights to multiple family homes which contributes to overcrowding at local schools, and to confront the scourge of illegal drugs in which many local youth are getting addicted – mainly with heroin in Bay Ridge and crack cocaine in Coney Island.

The seat opened up last month with the retirement of Alec Brook-Krasny, who took a job in the private sector. While Harris remains the frontrunner, she is not a lock to get the Democratic nod as Brook-Krasny endorsed his former chief-of-staff, Kate Cucco, who also remains in the race.

Should Harris secure the nomination, she will likely face GOP frontrunner Lucretia Regina-Potter – also a lifelong local resident – in what could be a competitive and spirited race.