On the heels of profitable the Queens borough president’s race (technically, the race started as a particular election however COVID-19 upended these plans) to serve out former BP Melinda Katz, Donovan Richards is already defending his submit as three Democrats have thrown their title into the June major race.
Very similar to all of the borough president races, the perks to the highest govt submit for The World’s Borough (nickname for Queens) is considerably symbolic, with some semi-powerful duties that contain choosing members of a group district whose values replicate theirs, providing an advisory opinion to zoning challenges, and commanding a tiny portion of the town’s funds.
Whether or not it is Donovan presiding over the borough or a successor, the Queens borough president shall be tasked to advocate for a borough pummeled by the pandemic, which at one level grew to become the outbreak’s epicenter right here. A borough whose inhabitants is emblematic of a real melting pot, Queens ranks as essentially the most ethnically numerous borough within the metropolis and the third most numerous within the nation, in accordance with a examine by Axios. And it is marred by fears of overdevelopment and gentrification, given the huge Particular Flushing Waterfront District the town has deliberate for Flushing Creek.
The borough has additionally seen a dramatic rise within the affect of anti-machine political teams such because the Democratic Socialists of America, which helped propel lawmakers corresponding to Bronx/Queens Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Queens state Senator Jessica Ramos to workplace. The Democratic candidates have framed their platforms round progressive causes, which may trace at whether or not they’re angling for such assist.
Listed below are the candidates:
A group organizer and an final political outsider, Stan Morse’s activist wheelhouse is centered on fairness by bettering the standard of life in public housing (which requires federal assist), vanquish tax lien gross sales that may cut back homeownership, and supply practically low-cost entry to journey the MTA subways and buses, in accordance with his web site. Morse can also be a significant participant at Justice for All Coalition, a housing group that is made the rounds in calling out poorly maintained properties belonging to the New York Metropolis Housing Authority.
Morse’s marketing campaign shouldn’t be off to the most effective begin as he is solely pulled in $3,700 in donations.
Donovan Richards was sworn into workplace this month, turning into the primary Black man to be voted borough president for Queens, and thus hasn’t had time to execute his imaginative and prescient, which he says is ripe for “business improvement and actual inexpensive housing,” placing a extra reasonable tone than his rivals. That will’ve included bringing the Amazon HQ2 website to Queens, which fizzled following outcry by progressive left teams. Inside his management, Donovan seeks to empower younger individuals to get on group boards and assist financial improvement for all corners of the borough. Past that, Donovan appears to carry the MTA accountable for offering dependable service, offering funding to immigrant authorized companies, and make sure the wheels are set in movement to shut Rikers Island, in accordance with his web site.
Diana Sanchez is the one girl (thus far) working for borough president, and the longtime Queens resident appears to repair points impacting girls, corresponding to confronting human trafficking, offering common primary earnings for girls in shelters, and free afterschool childcare applications for single moms. On high of these points, Sanchez appears to confront unemployment by internet hosting job boards, preserving the ever elevated use of meals pantries stocked, and limiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from getting into colleges, medical clinics, and homes of worship. She can also be advocating for changing parkland into inexpensive housing.
Jimmy Van Bramer
A couple of yr in the past, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who’s time period restricted this yr, had dropped out of the borough president’s race after a non-public household matter saved him from specializing in the run. However he introduced this month that he was again within the race at the same time as his former Council colleague at present occupies the workplace. Arguably essentially the most progressive Democrat within the race, Van Bramer voted towards defunding the police and shutting Rikers Island for 4 smaller jails as a result of they each didn’t go far sufficient in direction of his imaginative and prescient for restorative justice. Van Bramer’s web site additionally indicators assist for small enterprise help, a Queens Inexperienced New Deal, and defending small-time householders from dropping their properties.
Van Bramer poses the best problem to Donovan, having raised $805,313 for the race. After expenditures, Van Bramer’s left with $384,210, 3 times greater than Donovan, who has $114,231 nonetheless left.