On June 28, Greenpoint residents will vote for their representatives in Congress, State Assembly, and State Senate. As a largely Democratic district, winning the primary is generally indicative of who will win the district overall. While congressional and assembly elections every two years are nothing new, it is important to note that Greenpoint’s political boundaries have shifted.
To accommodate for population shifts as enumerated by the most recent census, the New York state legislature recently redrew the legislative maps that state officials represent. The Senate district that Greenpoint is now in, District 17, is entirely new. Senator Julia Salazar will still represent her portion of the neighborhood, but this means after 2022, we will no longer be represented by Brian Kavanagh – we’ll have someone new.
Here are the candidates who have already announced their runs.
Serving in Congress since 1992, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is a self-styled champion of women’s rights (she’s the House sponsor for the Equal Rights Amendment). Until 2013, Maloney represented the 14th district, which became the 12th district after redistricting. Now state legislators recently redrew the map again, and some say that the new borders strengthen her hold, as they now contain less of the progressive waterfront areas in Brooklyn and Queens, and more of a wealthier base in Manhattan. She currently serves on the committees for financial services and government oversight and reform. Congresswoman Maloney has yet to lose an election.
A Queens native and non-profit founder who cut her political teeth by organizing self-defense classes in her neighborhood when she was only a teenager, Abdelhamid is a first time candidate and a member of Democratic Socialists of America. As a DSA member, issues such as housing and economic justice are at the forefront of her campaign. Justice Democrats, the same grassroots group that bolstered AOC, endorsed her campaign. Abdelhamid supports a Green New Deal and a human-rights first foreign policy.
Activist and community organizer whose work often focuses on voting rights. “In 2018 she started ‘Step Up and Vote,’ a program registering and educating voting-eligible students at HBCUs,” Greenpointers reported last July. She also testified before the New York State Senate about voting rights in 2020. Aside from voting rights, Contreras priorities include universal childcare, healthcare, and affordable housing.
A lawyer and parent advocate running as a moderate Democrat, Maud Maron previously ran for city council in Manhattan. She opposes mask and vaccine mandates in schools and has publicly espoused transphobic views (#IStandWithJKRowling is mentioned in her Twitter bio). Unlike her more progressive colleagues, Maron does not support many criminal justice reforms such as implementing anti-bias training in schools, and has openly rejected the “Defund” slogan. She has served as the president of Community Education Council District 2.
Will the third time be the charm for his Congressional campaign? That’s what attorney and NYU lecturer Suraj Patel hopes! Patel, who previously mounted two unsuccessful campaigns for the seat in 2018 and 2020, supports Medicare For All and restoring funding to NYCHA. His campaign website touts a proposal called the Family Opportunity Guarantee, which includes subsidies for childcare and nationwide universal pre-K. He also calls for the country to invest more money in education and technological development through his “Discovery Hubs” proposal. In 2018, Patel came under fire when comments that he made on Facebook about then-underage gymnast McKayla Maroney resurfaced.
The incumbent whose grassroots campaign successfully unseated long-serving former Assemblymember Joseph Lentol. Gallagher has a background in community organizing and is affiliated with the DSA. Gallagher has pushed for transportation reforms such as the Make McGuinness Safe campaign and has spoken out against the proposed NBK Pipeline. “I’ve introduced legislation to protect workers, cut emissions, audit tax giveaways to developers, improve pedestrian safety, reform prison oversight and support people struggling with substance use disorder,” her campaign website states.
O’Sullivan is a political newcomer who’s mounting a campaign based on what he sees as working-class values. He works as a firefighter in Williamsburg. His website highlights his support for unions and small businesses. He also mentions that the needs of seniors in our community are also one of his top priorities.
Gonzalez is a first-time candidate and tech worker who is affiliated with Democratic Socialists of America. A Queens native, she told Greenpointers in a recent interview that her top three campaign priorities are housing justice, building publicly-owned renewable energy, and single-payer health care.
A fellow Greenpointer, Françoise Olivas is a small business owner and environmental activist who has lived in New York for thirty years. Small businesses are a campaign priority, as well as ensuring an emphasis on those that focus on sustainability and environmentalism. Olivas supports Universal Childcare and the New York Health Act.
A Queens native who served on New York City Council from 2008 to 2018. Crowley most recently lost a narrow election for Queens Borough President in 2021. She founded 21 in ‘21, an organization that aims to elect more women to office in New York City.