Queens City Council Races Endorsement Round Up Jan. 29, 2021

Citywide Election Round Up

U.S. Rep. and Queens County Democratic Party Chair Gregory Meeks announced his pick for the City Council District 31 Special Election. 

Meeks endorsed City Council Candidate Selvena Brooks-Powers, Democrat running in the Special Election to replace Borough President Donovan Richards. Brooks-Powers is running on the Powers 4 Queens ballot line in the February 23rd Special Election.

“I am excited to endorse Selvena Brooks-Powers for City Council,” said Meeks. “She has strength, she has unparalleled experience, and she is an advocate that we can count on to deliver better for all parts of Southeast Queens and the Rockaways. She’s the progressive voice our community needs fighting for our students, seniors, and working families.” 

And over in the special election for District 24, City Council Candidate James F. Gennaro received the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman.

“Jim is a fighter who gets results. Not only does he have a real record of accomplishment from his time in the City Council, he has a vision for how to move Queens forward,” said Ackerman. “I saw all the great work that he did for our community as well as his visionary legislative leadership to author fifty major environmental laws to clean our air and water. Jim is the leader we need to get us through the COVID crisis and to get our community and our City back on its feet. I urge our community to vote for my friend Jim Gennaro on February 2nd.”

Meanwhile, City Council Candidate Austin Shafran, who is running in the City Council District 19 Primary race, was endorsed by the NYC Central Labor Council, which has 1.3 million members across 300 unions, in their first round of endorsements and by State Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal. 

“They say you know it when you see it, and in Austin I see an energetic and experienced public servant who will work hard to do a lot for our communities. Like Austin, as the father of a young child and someone who grew up in the area, I know that we will have a fierce and thoughtful fighter and advocate on our side,” Rosenthal said. “His mix of public policy expertise, private sector experience and a dad’s determination to protect the neighborhoods where his children are being raised, is what I want for my family and those I represent. I look forward to working with him as the partner I know he will be — for me and our communities in the City Council.”

In the same race, City Councilmember Peter Koo announced his endorsement of City Council Candidate Richard Lee in his campaign for the 19th Council District. 

Koo has represented the 20th District in the City Council since 2010. Koo is a small business owner in Flushing and knows the daily struggles families are facing, especially now amidst a pandemic. His endorsement of Lee is, in part, because of that shared experience, he said; Lee similarly owns a small business and understands what city residents are going through.

“I’m confident that Richard Lee has the necessary experience to deliver for the people of the 19th district as a member of the City Council,” said Koo. “His experience as the Budget Director at the Office of the Queens Borough President and past experience with policy as a housing advocate and small business owner makes him the most qualified to lead Northeast Queens through the rest of the pandemic and the recovery period.”

City Council Candidate Sandra Ung, who’s running in the City Council District 20 primary, was endorsed by a labor coalition. 

Labor Strong 2021, a coalition of labor unions that includes SEIU 32BJ, Communications Workers of America District 1, District Council 37, the Hotel Trades Council and the New York State Nurses Association, endorsed Ung in her bid for office. Collectively, these unions represent over half a million New Yorkers. The unions represent workers from across the economy, including many essential workers and healthcare workers.

“I am honored and proud to have received the support of SEIU 32BJ, CWA, DC37, HTC and NYSNA. These unions represent many of the workers who form the backbone of our city – essential workers that kept New York running through the pandemic,” Ung said. “Organized labor has been at the forefront of uplifting women leaders and I look forward to partnering with them, their members and local community residents to deliver a just recovery for working families.”

Labor Strong 2021 endorse City Council Candidate Tiffany Cabán as well. 

“I am so grateful and honored to have the support of the Labor Strong 2021 coalition whose members are essential workers on the frontlines” said Cabán. “Building safe and healthy communities starts and ends with organized labor. The daughter of a retired elevator mechanic, I experienced that personally growing up. The organized labor movement has shaped who I am, my politics, and how I approach my work. I am so proud to receive the endorsement of Labor Strong 2021 and will work tirelessly to champion their fight in the City Council.”

Cabán was also endorsed by Zephyr Teachout. 

Zephyr is an anti-corruption and anti-monopoly expert who backed Cabán in her 2019 run for Queens District Attorney.

“Tiffany is incisive, strong, and serious, with deep experience,” said Zephyr Teachout. “Tiffany is leading the City and country in laying out a vision of what criminal law and policing should look like, at a time where that question is front and center. She is a brainiac organizer.” 

Meanwhile, City Council Candidate Steve Behar, who had a severe case of COVID-19 and was hospitalized but who is now back on the campaign trail, announced that City Councilmember Barry Grodenchik endorsed him to replace him as District 23’s representative on the Council. 

“For over 5 years Steve Behar has served as my counsel at City Hall. Steve knows City Hall inside and out and will be ready to serve our district on day one,” said Grodenchik. “No other candidate has the experience and the knowledge to be ready to immediately fight for our district.  We need a tough person to take on the Mayor’s office so that our district is not short changed.  The next Council Member will be dealing with a health crisis, an economic crisis and a fiscal crisis. Only Steve is prepared to handle all of these crises.” 

In the same race, the Asian American Alliance of New York will be announcing their endorsement on Saturday of City Council Candidate Debra Markell who is also running for Council District 23. 

Their endorsement will be announced during a press conference on Saturday, January 30 at 2 p.m. outside of the Santoor Indian Restaurant located at 257-05 Union Turnpike in Queens.

City Council District 29 Candidate Lynn Schulman was endorsed by the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO (NYC CLC), the largest and broadest labor coalition in the city, representing over 300 unions and over 1.3 million members. 

“We believe Lynn Schulman has what it takes to win, and to take on the enormous challenges ahead on behalf of working families in New York City,” said NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez.

And City Councilmember Robert Holden, who is running in the June primary to keep his seat, was endorsed by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). 

“Robert Holden’s dedication to his community has been proven throughout his career. He is a staunch advocate for children and has earned our endorsement because of his commitment to public education,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michal Mulgrew. 

UFT also endorsed Queens Borough President Donovan Richards in the Queens Borough President’s race, City Council Candidate Sandra Ung in District 20, City Councilmember Francisco Moya in District 21 who is defending his seat, Shekar Krishnan in District 25 and City Councilmember Adrienne Adams in District 28 who is defending her seat. 

Finally, the Queens United Independent Progressives (QUIP) endorsed three first-time City Council candidates running in the Democratic primaries in June: Ingrid Gomez, in District 21; Jaslin Kaur, in District 23, and Felicia Singh, in District 32.

“We are thrilled to endorse these three women, who have been leaders in their communities and champions for the progressive values and policies we share,” said Shawna Morlock, Co-Chair of QUIP.

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