Though unsuccessful in her attempt to unseat veteran U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) in June’s Democratic primary, Lindsey Boylan (D) is ready and eager to be the candidate who will succeed Gale Brewer (D) as Manhattan Borough President.
Despite the urging of her husband and other loved ones to take a break after the primary, Boylan felt obligated to make a difference amid the newfound challenges New York has faced.
A former Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Special Advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), Boylan feels that the problems she has wished to tackle since her congressional campaign have worsened since June.
“We are in the middle of a second spike in this pandemic and untold economic pain, untold personal pain,” she said. “I’m fighting for a recovery for New York City that prioritizes the needs of people, and it couldn’t be more important or urgent.”
Boylan has expressed deep respect for Brewer since her time representing Boylan’s district on the City Council, hoping to “move this office forward.”
“She was my first example of what a city leader could be, and she’s infinitely impressive because she always shows up,” said Boylan. “I think we’re going into a time period where the borough president, is going to have to, like Gale, be everywhere, listening constantly, and in this moment in time, push, advocate, and sometimes less comfortably for the changes that we need to prioritize.”
As borough president, she plans to reevaluate how Manhattan addresses housing and zoning issues, noting that “the last nine out of the ten upzoning proposals have been in low-income communities of color.”
“This mayor’s approach to housing has not had the reach and thoughtfulness that is required to actually get more housing in the city,” said Boylan.
Other issues she plans to address include improving parks and green spaces, pedestrianization of space, and support for small businesses.
Despite the challenge posed by the pandemic, Boylan has noted that the mixture of in-person and remote community board meetings has helped boost civic engagement and increase diversity. “I think we miss a whole host of people in our community and their needs when we have a structure that makes it hard to engage, whether through the community board or the community education council,” she said, noting that she makes appointments to these panels.
Boylan made it clear that while we don’t know just how severe the current problems will become or how it will be resolved, she has what it takes to navigate Manhattan through the storm.
“We don’t know what the federal assistance will be, and for me that makes it all the more important to have someone in this position to use the entire toolbox to ensure that whatever assistance is coming to New York, whatever methods we need to, someone is responsible for advocating for the needs and the desires of our borough and our community in equal manner. Not for one city council district versus another, but for our whole community,” she said.