photo provided by Committee to Elect Nikki Lucas
by Joanne Nichols for East New York News
This week NYCPolitics.com listed the Leading Candidates for 2021 based on voter support and financial support. East New York’s 2021 City Council candidate and long time Starrett City resident, Nikki Lucas, made the list. Lucas is running in 2021 to become the next City Council member in the 42nd District, which includes East New York and parts of Brownsville, Canarsie and East Flatbush.
Lucas stated, “I feel blessed that our campaign is being recognized for the work we are doing to connect with residents in the district. Without the support of the residents we would not see this early success. We have a long way to go and I have no intention of slowing down. In fact we will step things up a few notches as soon as 2021 hits.”
According to NYCPolitics.com the Campaign Finance Board is providing $8 to $1 matching funds for those candidates who surpass the threshold of local voter support, which is a combination of funds raised and the number of local donors. Those who surpass the threshold to receive matching funds are considered to be the leading candidates for the 2021 elections and rightfully so because they were able to garner support from local voters.
Lucas raised $23,495 and received $126, 282 in matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board, doubling her nearest opponent and making her the leading candidate in the district.
Lucas added, “East New York is in desperate need of positive change. Hotel shelters and storage facilities are popping up all over the neighborhood and those are sure signs of two things, increased homelessness and displacement of tenants. 2021 is just a couple weeks away but we are still facing the same issues that we have been facing for the past 20 years. We cannot look at the housing lottery as our answer to affordable housing. 99.9% of East New Yorkers are unable to win lottery housing so that is a complete failure and not reality. There are ways to increase affordable housing throughout the district and I am looking forward to getting into City Council and writing legislation to create real citywide affordable housing for our young people and seniors.”
Lucas noted, “we recently organized the Coalition to Save NYCHA, which is an initiative to stop city officials from handing over the NYCHA real estate portfolio to private developers. In just a few days nearly 400 people have joined us to Save NYCHA. What’s sad is that the process to privatize NYCHA didn’t just start. The process started 15 years ago and our current elected officials sat by and watched it happen. They weren’t transparent with the tenants and now the community finds itself fighting from behind once again.”
Lucas is referring to the city’s plan to hand over its NYCHA real estate portfolio to private developers, and how the current elected officials were exposed for not being transparent with the tenants.
If Lucas wins the 2021 City Council race in East New York it would be the first time in 20 years that a person without the name Barron would represent East New York in City Council. Charles Barron, who was the Councilman from 2001-2013 and then went on to become the Assemblyman in the District, a position that he currently holds, is running against Lucas. Charles Barron’s wife, Inez Barron, who is the current City Council Member is term limited out. She switched to City Council after being in the Assembly for two terms, and now Charles is running once again to switch seats from Assembly to City Council.
The seat switching tactics by the Barrons actually go against everything they said they stood for when they first entered politics over 20 years ago. Back then they talked badly about the Boyland and the Towns families for holding multiple political seats. Charles running for City Council is even more egregious because he and his wife switched once already and he is running to go back to a seat that he held for three terms (2001-2013). When he was in the City Council he raged against Bloomberg for extending his two terms as Mayor, to three terms, which also allowed Charles to celebrate three terms in City Council. Back in 2008 Charles didn’t want Bloomberg to have 3 terms but now that Inez Barron is termed out, Charles Barron wants 7 combined terms between himself and his wife, plus the 6 terms they spent in the NY Assembly. If you total all the terms in years, we’re talking about 32 years that the Barron’s have been going back and forth between the City Council and NY State Assembly.
One thing that we do know for sure, is that 2021 will be an interesting year in New York City politics.
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