Rumblings of 2021 City Elections

Brooklyn Bridge in the morning. Photo from 123RF.

Editor’s Note: While KCP is busy covering this year’s state and national elections, it is next to impossible to not also keep an eye on the 2021 citywide elections where the mayoral, comptroller, all the borough presidents offices and a large majority of city council seats are up for grabs. This irregular column will track some of the rumblings and candidates already jockeying for position.

Curtis Harris Sends Open Letter to Open Barclays Center During COVID Pandemic

Curtis Harris

Curtis Harris, who is running for term-limited City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo‘s (D-Fort Green Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) seat has submitted an open letter to Empire State Development (ESD) officials Howard Zemsky and Eric Gertler calling for the agency to consider utilizing the Barclays Center as a COVID-19 Relief center.

“I address this letter to you since Barclays Center is on public land and is controlled by Empire State Development,” wrote Harris.

“As a result of the City and State of New York looking into reducing restrictions on businesses, public spaces, and sheltering in place due to the covid-19 pandemic, I am calling on the authorities controlling the Barclays Center to consider using the Center for Covid-19 relief. Loosening restrictions has shown throughout the country that there will be a spike in the number of Coronavirus cases and resulting deaths.

While our hospitals in Brooklyn are using their resources as best, they can, opening the Barclays Center for Coronavirus pandemic relief will help our healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers by providing the space for this relief. Its use can be best determined by the healthcare professionals who need it.”

Also cc’d in the letter is Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Briget Rein Calls on CFB to Delay Matching Funds Deadline

Briget Rein. Contributed Photo.

City Council Candidate Briget Rein, who is looking to succeed term-limited City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Windsor Terrace, Gowanus, Columbia Waterfront, Borough Park, Kensington) has called on the City’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB) to delay the July matching funds threshold deadline due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The current schedule to qualify for $8-to-$1 public matching funds requires candidates to reach thresholds by July for an initial December 15, 2020 disbursement deadline.

In a letter to the Campaign Finance Board, Rein asked the board to delay the deadline so that all candidates have the opportunity to reach the requirements.

“Though we do not know when things will return to normal, these months before the July deadline are crucial. Many candidates, including myself, have been focused on our families, our communities, and our small businesses. Rightfully so, our focus should be in these areas and on how we will help our city recover, rather than asking for money from our already struggling neighbors,” wrote Rein.

Josue Pierre Lobbies for More City Funding

Democratic District Leader Josue Pierre

Democratic District Leader Josue (Josh) Pierre, who is running to succeed term-limited City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene (D-Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) in an op-ed for the BK Reader, called for the city, which is in the middle of its Fiscal Year 2021 budget negotiations to better fund things that matter to communities of color.

“Funding for education, affordable housing, social services, jobs, and economic development are all at stake today. Programs like Fair Fares and the Summer Youth Employment program are the types of programs that neighborhoods like Flatbush need today. 

“During times of economic crisis. I’m determined not to allow budget cuts at the expense of the 40th Council District or in any working-class communities across NYC,” he added. “We cannot allow New York to become unlivable for the most vulnerable among us. Join our campaign and read more about how we can create a better future for our communities.”

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