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June 13, 2018
by Adam Roberts
Congressional Districts of Downstate New York. Courtesy Wikimedia.

The 2018 election season in New York State is about to begin. On Tuesday, June 26, New York will host its first of three elections this year, the Congressional Primaries. AIANY strongly encourages its members to vote. For those who would like to register for future elections, please click here or fill out a voter registration form at the Center for Architecture.

Below is a brief description of the competitive congressional primaries in New York City.

9th District (Central and Southern Brooklyn): Democratic incumbent Yvette Clarke, who first took office in 2007, is being challenged by Adem Bunkeddeko. Clarke grew up in politics, the daughter a City Council Member. Bunkeddeko is the son of Ugandan refugees and graduated with an MBA from Harvard.

Clarke has cited her and her family’s many decades of public service as reason to reelect her. Bunkeddeko claims Clarke is not active enough and that the district, which is suffering from rapid gentrification, needs a representative more focused on economic justice issues. More information can be found here.

11th District (Staten Island, Southern Brooklyn): Perhaps the marquee match-up of all the races, former Republican US Representative Michael Grimm is challenging his Republican successor Dan Donovan. Grimm served from 2011-2015, until he resigned and later went to prison for tax evasion.

Both candidates claim to be close to Trump, though Trump has endorsed Donovan. Grimm is seen as being the more conservative candidate, developing a Trumpesque reputation in Congress. Meanwhile, Donovan has been portrayed as a more moderate Republican closer to the Party’s leadership. More information can be found here.

12th District (Manhattan’s East Side, Northern Brooklyn, Western Queens): The only of the competitive primaries to be occurring in Manhattan, the seat is currently held by 13-term Democratic incumbent Carolyn Maloney. She is facing a spirited challenge from 34-year-old hotel executive Suraj Patel, who has managed to outraise her at many points in the campaign.

Maloney is running on her many years of experience and long history of accomplishments, such as securing funding for the 2nd Avenue Subway. Patel is challenging her from the left, arguing she is not progressive enough for the district. More information on the race can be found here.

14th District (Northern Queens, Eastern Bronx): Long-term Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley is facing a strong primary challenge from 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Crowley is a powerful and high-profile Member of Congress and a potential successor to Nancy Pelosi. While Ocasio-Cortez is an underdog, she has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and has strong support from the Democratic Socialists of America.

Crowley is running on his working-class background and his ability to contrast himself well with Trump. Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez is running on being a woman of color and further left than Crowley. More information can be found here.

Pulse Points:

  • The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development has issued an RFP for its first mandated modular project. The project is an entirely affordable building in East New York, with 10% of the units being reserved for the formerly homeless. More information can be found here.
  • On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, the New York City Council’s Committee on Transportation held hearings on a number of proposed residential parking programs. More information can be found here.
  • AIANY is still accepting sign ups for the Zero Waste Challenge, which is a competition among offices to see how much each office can reduce waste. Click here to sign up for the introductory breakfast on Friday, June 15. You may also email ZeroWaste@aiany.org for more information.

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