With two major City Council races set for Districts 27 and 28, the PRESS of Southeast Queens has compiled a rundown of the candidates running for office and the top issues they intend to address. The Democratic primary will be held on Sept. 12.
City Council District 27
Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans,
Queens Village and Springfield Gardens
I. Daneek Miller
Councilman I. Daneek Miller is a relatively new face on the scene in Southeast Queens. Winning his seat in 2013, the former MTA Union president turned politician has made a name for himself on the council. During his years on the council, Miller has been a staunch advocate for social justice, religious and racial tolerance and a champion for education.
In addition to his efforts on equality and schools, Miller worked with his Southeast Queens colleagues Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and former councilman Ruben Wills to address the foreclosure crisis that shook neighborhoods such as St. Albans to their core in the late 2000s. He has also pushed for public transit equity in Southeast Queens, where a lack of transportation options have hurt the economic growth and quality of life for constituents.
Former Marine and NYPD Police Lieutenant Anthony Rivers made a name for himself in City Council District 27, where he has frequently taken on unaddressed issues in Southeast Queens. Founding the grassroots community organization People for the Neighborhood, Rivers has repeatedly criticized the handling of longstanding issues in Southeast Queens, including the inundation of homeless shelters, educational quality and the lack of programs for seniors.
Although he has repeatedly reiterated in the past that politics did not appeal to him, Rivers has jumped into a race for the 27th City Council District with the hope of enacting the kind of change that he’s been advocating on a local level for years.
City Council District 28
Jamaica, Richmond Hill,
South Ozone Park and Rochdale Village
From the moment she entered the race, Adrienne Adams had the backing of Queens Democrats representing the borough at the city, state and federal level. Although she announced her candidacy just a month and a half before the September primary, the Community Board 12 chairwoman made up for lost time with two key endorsements out the gate: U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) and Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights).
Adams’ resume is an extensive mix of education, ground-level community activism and civic projects. Following an unsuccessful run against state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-South Ozone Park) last year, Adams hopes to bring her years of experience in community work to the City Council. Adams is focusing on the issues of illegal dumping, illegally parked trucks that have destroyed quality of life and the over-saturation of homeless shelters. These issues have all been associated with the city’s neglect of Southeast Queens.
Although he’s the youngest candidate in the race, David has the most experience in city government work. Upon receiving his master’s degree in public administration, David spent the past decade as the executive director of the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, vice president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation and co-founder of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance. During that time, David also served as the chief of staff for the city’s Administration for Children’s Services as well as a member of Community Board 9 and many other organizations.
Announcing his candidacy for office in February, David said that his motivation for running for the council is seeing the lack of local government involvement in his community. Without a voice advocating for the needs of District 28, David said that quality-of-life problems have been allowed to reach an all-time high. He wants to tackle affordable housing, education, public safety and the over-saturation of homeless shelters. David believes that a fresh start with an experienced council member is what the district needs.
While Hettie Powell has no experience in public government service, the attorney and former teacher has spent her entire career helping families and advocating on behalf of immigrants and criminal justice reform. She has volunteered time at local schools to educate students on anti-violence and law, and has served 14 years on the Rochdale Village Board of Directors. Powell has focused her career on assisting those in need and now hopes to bring that drive to the city council.
At the top of her list as a council member, Powell want to ensure that quality education is available for all District 28 children. She also said that she wants to push for youth and senior services as well as affordable housing and economic development that would benefit the community.