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City Council District 9

Preferred Candidate

Councilmember Inez Dickens

Inez Dickens’ questionnaire
Age: Not available
Occupation: Member, New York City Council
Education: Howard University(Major: Business); Univeristy of Chicago and University of Atlanta (Graduate/Professional)

Inez Dickens, a first-term city councilmember from Harlem, is seeking reelection because she would like to continue to represent the district to which she has brought unprecedented funding in the form of contracts for minority and women owned businesses (MWBE),   enhanced and new programs at Harlem Hospital, city parks, and better educational programs.  She believes she has the experience and roots within the community to continue to fight for the district in a way that her competitors are ill-equipped to do.  Her campaign promises are to continue to fight for: (1) healthcare for the residents of her district since nothing has improved in this area since she was elected in 2005; (2) funding for public bus transportation which largely benefits the seniors in her district; (3) affordable housing which is still woefully deficient, and (4) green jobs within her community. She believes given her real estate background, she knows how to secure funding and get deals done fairly by negotiating effectively with the developers and being an active participant in the negotiations.

Ms. Dickens said that term limits disenfranchise minority voters because you are telling people that they cannot vote for people who best represent the district – seniority in a legislative body means the legislator is more experienced in advocating on behalf of the district and can bring home money for the district.  She believes that 12 years is far better because in the first 4 years it is hard to get anything done, unless you knew the system, like she did.  With respect to council operations, Ms. Dickens said for the most part, the process is already independent of the speaker, but would like to see staff report to the committee members and chair more.  She did not support eliminating outside income because she said there is some benefit to members serving in a public servant role and said that she does not support eliminating committee stipends because being a chair requires a lot of extra work.

On the issue of council discretionary funding, Ms. Dickens said the speaker has done a phenomenal job of increasing transparency of the process even with strong member opposition to reforms.  She said she has been critical of the effect of the reforms on MWBE and small businesses that do not have the capacity or knowledge to complete the process.  Finally, on the controversial 125th rezoning, she said that took a very proactive role in educating the district about the rezoning and how it would affect the indigenous community and culture.  She met with all relevant commissioners and leaders at the state and local level to discuss their role in the rezoning and did a lot to help get loans for b businesses that needed to relocate and help cultural institutions navigate the RFP process.

Based on Ms. Dickens’ strong record, leadership both within her community and the council, and support for much of CU’s reform agenda, she is Citizens Union’s preferred candidate.


Carlton Berkley
Candidate did not return questionnaire.
Candidate could not be schedule for an interview.


Landon C. Dais
Candidate did not return questionnaire.
Candidate could not be schedule for an interview.

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