“It would be a shame if we lost some of our most diverse seats. We need to ensure that our council reflects that diversity, particularly now, in the era of the Trump administration.”–City Councilmember Rafael Espinal to El Diario, through Voices of New York

City Council Races a Test to Latino and Women’s Power
El Diario, through Voices of New York
“Beyond the question of who will emerge triumphant in this municipal election – which will begin with a primary on September 12 and conclude with a final vote on November 7 – the concern of many voters and analysts is that, unless voters defend them on the ballot, women’s representation and Latino political power in the council will lose steam…’Our city risks going from having its first Latina speaker to having no Hispanic women in the council. A large part of the population would lose its voice in our government at a very critical moment,’ [expert John Greenfield] pointed out.'” Our take: It’s somewhat a coincidence that so many Latino, female councilmembers are resigning or termed-out simultaneously, but this article touches on a subject that could use greater investigation: could the Democratic party be doing more to cultivate Latino female leadership?

A Rarity: City Council Candidate Releases Detailed Reform Agenda
Gotham Gazette
“Candidates across the city this year are running for City Council on all sorts of issues, but only one has released a detailed list of government, campaign finance, and voting reform proposals. That agenda, called ‘Sunlight in the City,’ has been put forward by Keith Powers, a Democrat competing in the crowded field to replace term-limited City Council Member Dan Garodnick on Manhattan’s East Side…Powers’ reform agenda also comes as he is has been attacked by opponents for his work as a lobbyist.” Our take: Even if you don’t think all aspects of the reform plan are workable, it offers a kind of specificity that is allowing real critique and discussion.

Candidate for Brooklyn civil court judge files malicious prosecution lawsuit against ex-DA Charles Hynes
The Daily News
“A candidate for Brooklyn civil court judge is filing a federal malicious prosecution lawsuit against ex-DA Charles Hynes, who he says used staffers and politicians to wrongfully prosecute him for voter fraud, the Daily News has learned. As a result of O’Hara’s conviction — which took three trials by former prosecutor John O’Mara to land the guilty verdict — his law license was revoked and he became a felon, served 1,500 hours of community service and paid $20,000 in fines.Two decades later, the District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit overturned O’Hara’s conviction — fulfilling a promise the late DA Ken Thompson made to during his 2013 campaign.” Our take: It certainly would be interesting to go before a judge with as big an axe to grind as O’Hara must have with the criminal justice system and the DA establishment.

DA Candidate Anne Swern Presents Her Vision For The Office
Kings County Politics
“Originally born in Flatbush, but raised in Long Island, the seasoned law professor has always had an eye for change. As an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, she is always pushing for increased reform in the criminal justice system…Swern also touts her previous work under four former district attorney’s as a catalyst for her commitment to equal justice for the residents of Brooklyn.” Our take: Who has the skills and commitment to end mass incarceration, as well as close Rikers, have become key topics in the DA race.

Sal Albanese, de Blasio’s primary opponent, has plenty of experience to draw from
“It has been a common refrain for Sal Albanese. This year marks his third run for mayor—fourth if you count 2001, a race he pulled out of early. He also ran unsuccessfully for state Assembly in 1978 and Congress in 1992. But Albanese, who was born in Italy, came to Brooklyn at age eight and spent 11 years as a public school teacher, made his biggest mark during a 15-year run as a city councilman representing Bay Ridge and other neighborhoods in southwest Brooklyn, which then, as now, can lean conservative. ‘It’s considered one of the most difficult seats for a Democrat to win in the city,” Albanese said in 1993.'”Our take: Albanese sure is a go-getter. But we’d love to learn more about his work in the legal and financial field over the past two decades since he left Council.

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