Chris McCreight Elected as Bay Ridge Dem District Leader

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Chris McCreight

Bay Ridge Democrats residents selected Chris McCreight (D), Chief of Staff to City Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) to serve as the Democratic District Leader of the 64th Assembly District.

The actual 64th Assembly District seat is up for grabs in the November 3 general elections as current Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) is stepping down to run against U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) for the Congressional seat. 

McCreight spoke with Kings County Politics to discuss his prior political background and desired goals in his new role.

Chris McCreight

An early supporter of former President Barack Obama (D), he founded Bay Ridge for Obama, a grassroots movement that led to him organizing the congressional district in the 2008 primary. “From there I kept volunteering or working on campaigns for local folks or people in Brooklyn as a general rule,” McCreight recalled.

This continued with positions on the campaigns of Senator Andrew Gounardes (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Marine Park), former lawmakers including Councilmember Sal Albanese, Assemblymember Karim Camara, and former Councilmember Vincent Gentile.

“For me, the rubber hits the road on the local level,” said McCreight. “I really care about legislation, but I also really care about making sure that you have elected officials who are looking out for the whole neighborhood, not just campaign donors.”

He continued, citing why he stepped up to the plate to become District Leader at this point compared to any other. “This is a really important time for the elections of 2020 and going into the future. And it’s also a very important time for the census,” said McCreight, adding the unique challenges posed by the national leadership of Donald Trump (R). 

“He’s a racist, he’s a fascist, and he’s just the worst thing that happened to this country,” he said. “We need to make sure that any sort of organizational support we can offer to any other areas or anything to make sure that Trump is not reelected and we elect Joe Biden.”

McCreight also indicated that he intends to prioritize local issues. “I want to make sure we keep up the progress we’ve made in this neighborhood over recent years, especially 2018,” he recalled. “We flipped the congressional seat. Andrew Gounardes and Max Rose have been great representatives for our neighborhood.”

McCreight then added that he hopes that Brandon Patterson will defeat Mike Tannousis in the 64th Assembly District election, consolidating Democratic representation of Bay Ridge.

However, he notes that such an accomplishment would be only one small step forward, citing a longtime lack of local representation of Bay Ridge in the Assembly, caused by gerrymandering and other issues. 

“Bay Ridge has not actually had somebody who lives in Bay Ridge represent Bay Ridge in the Assembly for 40 years,” McCreight said, adding that the last time the neighborhood had a local Democrat in the Assembly was in 1944.

“It’s effectively shut us out of one of the chambers of state government. It doesn’t mean that the representatives have been bad, but it’s just the fact that we haven’t had that and I think it’s just unfair. We’re gonna have to redistrict after the census, and we can really push to make sure that when they do redistricting they treat Bay Ridge fairly for once and give us our own assemblymember.”

Ultimately, McCreight recognized that he cannot accomplish his intended goals without the help of his colleagues. “It’s going to be an honor to serve alongside Joanne Seminara, the female district leader,” he said.