Democratic Candidate Crystal Hudson, Co-Director of Outreach for the City Council, is running for District 35’s seat held by term-limited City Council Majority Leader and Councilmember Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bed-Stuy).
If successful, Hudson would be the first openly gay Black woman elected to City Council.
Hudson credits her strides in fundraising, $66,328 currently, to her strong connections in the community and positions she held in offices for Cumbo and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. She has also served on Community Board 8, and has held positions on the boards of Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, North Prospect Heights Association, and New Leaders Council.
Hudson plans to campaign for COVID-19 recovery, housing, land use and development, education, transportation and safe streets, and addressing violence and community safety.
Hudson, a third-generation New Yorker and resident of Prospect Heights, attributes her commitment to public service to her mother’s decline in health back in 2013.
“I felt like I wanted to do something more meaningful and that’s giving back to the community. Working for the community that has given so much to my family,” said Hudson.
Her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; and as her primary caregiver, Hudson learned how difficult it is for working families to navigate bureaucratic systems and access resources. As a result of that struggle, she became a fierce advocate for seniors.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Hudson said she’s done everything she can to keep her mother and other seniors safe. Initially, said Hudson, she went around knocking on doors to check on people before creating the Greater Prospect Heights Mutual Aid (GPHMA), a group of mutual aid workers that have practices learned from “people of African descent and those who are indigenous and native to the United States.”
“The piece that’s really central to my campaign is thinking about our whole trajectory through life. So ensuring that children have access to quality education, that workers have access to good jobs and wages and benefits. And that when we’re older, we have safe and secure housing. And we don’t have to fear being displaced, and we can age gracefully and with dignity in our own homes,” said Hudson.
On key issues, like police reform, Hudson said she is still in support of reallocating funds into social services, hospitals, youth employment, and cure violence models that are proven to help protect the community.
In terms of the murky school reopenings planned for later this month, Hudson said that unions have done a good job advocating for both teacher’s and student’s safety above all else.
She said, as far as housing goes, small homeowners and renters should be protected and advocated for the cancellation of rent, evictions, mortgage and property tax sales. “We shouldn’t be penalizing people at a time when there’s so much uncertainty. There’s been record job loss. It’s unconscionable to me that we can be dingin people for not having paid a water bill or a tax bill when we know that there is no work and there’s been layoffs and people are struggling,” said Hudson.
Before getting into politics and public service, Hudson spent over a decade working in marketing and advertising with the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the NBA’s Washington Wizards, and then at Amtrak.
To revitalize the MTA and transportation services, she said, we need federal funding and to ensure the protection, health, and safety of essential transit workers.”We need funding for the MTA which shouldn’t be coming out of rider’s pockets,” said Hudson.
Hudson said she still loves basketball and compared New York City during this COVID crisis to its underdog teams.
“We’re not always going to have winning teams, but we continue to persevere. And we continue to standby our home teams, with the hope that we’ll one day come out victorious. A championship. That really is the story of New Yorkers. During difficult times and trying times and unprecedented times, we still root for the home teams. We root for and support one another, and eventually, we’ll come out victorious,” said Hudson.