Ant Jones, Shememe Minter Sound Off on Brownsville District Leader Race

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Brownsville-native Anthony ‘Ant’ Jones, Male Democratic District Leader for the 55th Assembly, has been seen on the frontline of a few protests for George Floyd with a bullhorn in one hand and infectious energy ready to stir up the crowd in the other. 

Election season in the middle of neighborhoods gripped with civil unrest and a health crisis has brought up some big issues for Brownsville’s District Leaders. KCP caught up with them to ask what they plan to do to serve the community in these contentious times.

Anthony Jones
Shemene “Monique” Minter

Jones, in between marching and protesting in favor of police reform, said that he wanted to make sure “nobody was left off the equity train” now that this historic moment had arrived in the city. 

He said the calls for defunding the NYPD are understandable, but what’s important is holding the police accountable. Jones has had his own fraught history with the law from an adolescent age. 

Since district leaders have influence with who is appointed judge in civil and supreme courts, he said, he would fight to make sure more people of color (POC) got those seats. 

“I would use the word restructure,” said Shemene Monique Minter, candidate for the Female District Leader in Brownsville, about criminal justice reforms.

She doesn’t necessarily agree that appointing more POC judges is the only option. 

“I’m for right,” said Minter, “If you’re going to do the job, and if I’m one of the people that has to help nominate you to get you on the ballot, and I feel that you can do a better job than the counterpart that is maybe my complexion, then I’m for right.”

Minter said her children are all in law enforcement and she is an active member of Community Board 16 in Brownsville. As long as judicial candidates are sensitive and willing to learn about other cultures then she’ll support them, she said.

Minter also noted a likely issue with mail-in ballots because many people have filled out the information envelopes initially sent to people’s homes incorrectly. “A lot of them didn’t understand the process. A lot of them saw the application and didn’t realize that they had to send it back to get the ballot,” said Minter, “ A lot of them are just waiting for the ballot.” 

Minter was speaking specifically about the large senior population in Brownsville that would ordinarily show up at the polls despite the notorious low turnout rate in the neighborhood. COVID-19, unfortunately, has seniors still afraid to leave their homes, said Minter, and vows to take it up with the “corrupt” Board of Elections. 

She is running against Female Democratic District Leader Darlene Mealy. Mealy could not be reached for comment.

 

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