by Adam Roberts
New York City faces a pivotal election in this June’s Democratic Primary, which will determine the outcomes of most races in our very Democratic city. Term limits are forcing most elected officials out of office, including council members, borough presidents, the comptroller, and the mayor. To assist our members with voting, we have prepared a voter guide of candidates who are the strongest supporters of architectural issues. AIANY will also be hosting a series of upcoming programs with candidates to discuss the future of architecture in New York City.
Former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan is an honorary member of AIA New York and a trained architect. Over the course of his career, he has served as NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner, HUD Secretary, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Donovan’s expertise as a long-serving public sector architect would be beneficial in addressing the many critical built environment issues facing the city.
Council Member Brad Lander, who currently represents Brooklyn in the City Council, is running to be NYC Comptroller. Our next comptroller will be faced with addressing many critical architectural issues around on-time payments, procurement policies, and MWBEs. They will also need to guide the city as it emerges from its worst financial crisis since the 1970s. Lander is focused on reorienting the position of Comptroller to reduce inequities created by the city’s financial policies.
Garcia has a long background in city government, most recently serving as Commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation, where she led efforts to reduce the city’s waste. In that role, she also partnered with AIANY on producing the city’s Zero Waste Design Guidelines, which inspired an exhibition at the Center for Architecture. Garcia’s experience in city government and knowledge of the built environment would be helpful in addressing the city’s built environment issues.
AIANY has also partnered with seven other design organizations to launch Shaping a BetterNYC: An Election Primer, which includes online recorded interviews with leading mayoral candidates on critical issues facing our city. These interviews are available both as videos and in written form. We encourage our members to take advantage of this resource to learn more about the candidates’ stances on policies affecting design in New York City.