Mathylde Frontus, the Democratic nominee for the vacant 46th District State Assembly seat, recently clarified her separation from the non-profit organization she founded.
Frontus was also quick to defend her non-profit Urban Neighborhood Services (UNS) against allegations of shady-dealings between her run for the State Legislature and her non-profit history, and in particular distancing herself from any comparisons to disgraced former Assemblywoman Pamela Harris.
“I feel like these false claims are racially motivated because my nonprofit had nothing to do with Pam. She ran a youth program in her home and I ran a brick and mortar full-service social service agency which had an array of programs such as helping people find jobs and apartments and helping the formerly incarcerated. The size and scope of our services cannot be compared,” said Frontus.
Harris is currently facing a sentencing in the coming days for federal corruption charges involving Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding meant for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Frontus started UNS back in 2004 and ended her role as Executive Director of the organization back in 2016 when it merged with the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCC GCI) in July of the same year.
According to the most recent 990 filing on GuideStar.org for the year 2015, the non-profit brought in $290,940 in revenue, of which Frontus paid herself roughly $60,000 in salary. According to her documents, on paper the organization doesn’t exist anymore but still serves the community as part of JCC.
According to the UNS website, the non-profit provides daily quality of life services to the community like senior support services, veterans outreach and job and housing assistance search.
“I am not affiliated with it in anyway. Before I ran for this seat, I was on the Advisory Board of UNS because JCC put together an advisory board for the center. But once I knew I was going to run for this seat I stepped down from the advisory board so there wouldn’t be a conflict of interest. So I have no relationship to it whatsoever,” said Frontus.
Perhaps a bit trickier will be Frontus strategy in distancing herself from her two for-profit businesses, Avant-Garde Consulting and Avant-Garde Behavioral Health Resources. The business are consultancy firms offering strategic advisement in among other things grant writing for non-profits that often receive some or a large portion of their funding from government.
According to the business websites, both are in their very early stategs and have few clients listed.
I’m not entirely sure [what to do with the business if she is elected], but I don’t plan to have anyone else run them in my place. It’s a small firm with just me and one consultant (for Avant-Garde Consulting) so I would probably remain inactive while in the legislature,” said Frontus of the for-profit businesses in an email.
“I have not been seeing any clients since I’ve been campaigning and I do not intend to do any business through my firms once I get to the assembly. My consulting practice has always been on the side as I do other things like teaching, etc. I will have to hit the pause button once I transition into the Assembly,” added Frontus.
Frontus is facing a competitive race for the vacant seat against Republican nominee Steve Saperstein. The district includes Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and a slice of Brighton Beach.
The general election is November 6.