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City Council District 41

Preferred Candidate

Tulani Kinard

Tulani Kinard’s questionnaire
Age: 51
Occupation: Minister, artist
Education: New Seminary
Campaign website:

Tulani Kinard is a small business owner, minister, artist, and community activist.  She founded Regal Movement, the first natural hair care salon in Brooklyn, which has also provided job training for immigrants in starting their own businesses.  She also led the effort to pass state legislation creating a new license for natural hair care, which she believes has helped create green jobs.  Ms. Kinard believes that she presents a vision of social justice for the community which is influenced by her activism and work as a minister.

On reform issues, Kinard supports Citizens Union’s reform agenda.  During her interview, she stated that she opposed the extension of term limits and would support an amendment to the city charter to require any changes to term limits be approved by the voters.  Ms. Kinard said she would make decisions with integrity and stand on principles in seeking reform. She would seek to build support for reform issues within the council and community.  She said she would be able to resist pressure from leadership as she would serve her community both with government support and with outside support.

Ms. Kinard’s priorities for the district include arts and culture, establishing a community school board, elder care, creating a climate of peace to end violence, and creating green jobs.  She connected building a green economy to both improving the environment and public health of residents in New York City.  Ms. Kinard proposed that abandoned buildings in the district be used for community purposes, such as community centers for arts and culture and rooftop gardens.  She stated that she is preparing for office by meeting with mentors who are teaching her about the political process and city government, and plans to hit the ground running. Citizens Union believes that Ms. Kinard has a unique vision for the district and the practical experience as a small business owner to work toward achieving her goals.  While her opponents both have experience in the Council, Citizens Union prefers Ms. Kinard because she brings a wealth of experience beyond city government and would be an effective advocate for her district and a competent councilmember.


Tracy Boyland

[Did not return a questionnaire and could not be scheduled for an interview.]
Campaign website:






Anthony L. Herbert
[Did not return a questionnaire and could not be scheduled for an interview.]
Campaign website:





Councilmember Darlene Mealy
Occupation: Member, New York City Coucil
[Candidate did not return questionnaire.]
Campaign website: Not Available

Darlene Mealy, who did not return a questionnaire to Citizens Union, has served as District 41’s councilmember since 2006.  Prior to joining the City Council, she worked for the New York City Transit Authority for 17 years in the Department of Buses Technical Services Division.  Ms. Mealy has also served as a community leader in several roles, such as the Founder/President of a multiple block association organization known as the Fulton Street/Atlantic Avenue/Ralph Avenue/Rochester Avenue F.A.R.R. Community Association, Inc.

During her interview, Ms. Mealy described her positions on several reform issues, such as council discretionary funding and term limits.  Ms. Mealy was one of a handful of councilmembers to reverse her position on the extension of terms limits.  She initially publicly opposed the extension to three, four-year terms, but ultimately voted in favor of the extension, citing the needs of her community and the importance of working with council leadership in order to secure additional funding for her district.  When pressed about reforming the process for allocating discretionary funds, she proposed equalizing the distribution of member items, but did not provide further details regarding reforms to increase transparency and provide for greater accountability.  On other reform issues, Ms. Mealy supports granting the CCRB the power to prosecute the cases it substantiates.  While Ms. Mealy is generally supportive of Citizens Union’s reform issues, her lack of constructive solutions to allay the pressures she faces as a legislator concerns Citizens Union.

Ms. Mealy’s top five issues of importance to her district are affordable housing, job creation, seniors, HIV, and the reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals. She described her accomplishments in these areas, citing the building of additional affordable housing in her district through rezoning efforts, her work with Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson on probation reform, and her work to secure union jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals with the Center Labor Council.  Ms. Mealy believes that she is a “people’s advocate,” and represents the needs of all constituents in her community.  She acknowledged the difficulty she faced in understanding the operations of the council as a new councilmember in order to effectively serve her district, but believes that she has learned from her mistakes and will be an effective public servant if reelected.  Citizens Union believes that while Mealy has a respectable grasp of the needs of her district and has worked hard to serve her constituents, but her lack of insight on certain reform issues and struggles working in the council impede the organization from supporting her reelection.

[Candidate did not return a questionnaire.]

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