35th District City Council Race: Cumbo, Fox Line Up Big Endorsements

City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) last Saturday secured major endorsements while her opponent, Ede Fox, continues to garner support from labor unions –– including the Transportation Workers Union (TWU), which formerly endorsed Cumbo.

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

Cumbo, who is running for her second term, received endorsements from her predecessor, New York City Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James, Speaker of the New York City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Vanessa Gibson.  The three elected officials along with other Cumbo supporters gathered in the Garden of Eden outside of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene.

“I’ve passed the mantle to Laurie Cumbo and we are here today to endorse this fabulous city council member,” said James.  “I’ve stood alongside Laurie Cumbo to fight for affordable housing in the city and that’s why we need to continue her legacy and her dream for four more years.”

James also commented on the work Cumbo has done as the head of City Council’s Committee on Women’s Issues. “We need to rise up our women and girls. No one has done more to fight for and lift up young women than the chair of the Women’s Committee Laurie Cumbo,” added James.

Speaker Mark-Viverito was also in attendance and affirmed her support of the incumbent. “Council Member Cumbo has fought and made sure her constituents have the resources they need. We need Council Member Cumbo – she is one of Brooklyn’s finest legislators and I’m proud to call her my colleague,” she said.

“I am humbled by these endorsements and by the honor of representing this district in the City Council,” said Cumbo. “Together, there is so much we can achieve over the next four years.”

Ede Fox

Meanwhile, Fox shored up two labor endorsements –– the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Transportation Workers Union (TWU Local 100)–– the latter of which formerly endorsed Cumbo.

“Yes, we did endorse Laurie four years ago, but we had an issue with her position on Vision Zero and arrest of bus operators (she sided with de Blasio),” said TWU Local 100 spokesperson James Gannon.

Cumbo supported the mayor’s 2014 Vision Zero plan that sought to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in New York City. The initiative included speed limit reduction, increased enforcement and the implementation of the right-of-way law which made the failure to yield a misdemeanor should a driver injure or kill a pedestrian. While the law exempted any government official on duty, bus drivers were not exempted and are subject to fines and up to 30 days in jail if found guilty.

Under the new law, several bus drivers who struck pedestrians were arrested.

Traffic fatalities reached a historic low in 2016, but the law was eventually ruled unconstitutional by a Queens County judge last year.

“Our PAC department conducted interviews with both candidates.  It was not an easy choice. There was a consensus, however, among our PAC department and leadership that Ede will be more responsive to our issues and labor issues in general,” added Gannon.

The candidates will face-off during the September 12 primary election.

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