September 29, 2021
by: Adam Roberts
Drawing of a map illustrating NYC's Council Districts.
New York City Council Districts. Image: NYC Open Data via Wikimedia Commons.

This past June, New York City held its pivotal primaries for mayor, borough president, comptroller, and City Council. Due to the heavily Democratic lean of the city, the winners for most races were likely decided in these primaries. However, a few races are being heavily contested in the general election.

The most prominent race will be for Staten Island Borough President. Democrat Mark Murphy faces a scandal-plagued Republican opponent, former US Rep. Vito Fossella, whose controversial personal history may convince voters to elect a Democrat to the office for the first time in decades. The Staten Island Borough President’s office is particularly important for architects, as borough presidents wield significant influence over design and construction. Whoever wins will need to address how to reconcile the low-density character of the borough with the city’s housing shortage. In the 2020 census, Staten Island grew the least of any borough.

Meanwhile, Queens is hosting the only competitive City Council race this November. In district 32, which includes the Rockaways, Howard Beach, Woodhaven, and Ozone Park, Democrat Felicia Singh faces Republican Joann Ariola. This district is currently one of three in the city held by Republicans. Like much of the outer boroughs, it saw major swings towards Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election, but it remains to be seen whether those are long-term trends. AIANY strongly supported Singh in her successful Democratic primary campaign. She has been a strong voice on sustainable and resilient design in a part of the city battered by extreme weather events.

While many other races in the general election may not be truly competitive, we still strongly encourage you to vote. The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 2, while early voting will begin on Saturday, October 23. You can find helpful information and resources from the NYC Civic Engagement Commission here.


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