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Good government group backs Erik Bottcher (CD-3), Julie Menin (CD-5), Gale Brewer (CD-6), Shaun Abreu (CD-7), Julie Won (CD-26), Lincoln Restler (CD-33), Crystal Hudson (CD-35), and Brandon West (CD-39) earn Citizens Union’s preference in their respective races for City Council

New York, N.Y. (June 7, 2021)— Today, Citizens Union announced its preferences in 11 contested primary elections, including the races for Manhattan Borough President, Brooklyn Borough President, Manhattan District Attorney, and eight City Council seats.

After undertaking a rigorous evaluation of 70 candidates running for office, Citizens Union preferred Jo Anne Simon for Brooklyn Borough President; Brad Hoylman for Manhattan Borough President; and co-preferred Alvin Bragg and Tali Farhadian Weinstein for Manhattan District Attorney. Citizens Union also preferred Erik Bottcher, Julie Menin, Gale Brewer, Shaun Abreu, Julie Won, Lincoln Restler, Crystal Hudson and Brandon West in their respective races for City Council. 

To encourage voters to use Ranked Choice Voting in the upcoming primary election, Citizens Union issued ranked choices in four of the races evaluated. Citizens Union will issue their preferences in the citywide races for Mayor and Comptroller later this week. 

Candidates were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • alignment with Citizens Union’s reform agenda, specifically views on ethics, election reform and police accountability; 
  • ability to advance their agenda once in office; 
  • knowledge of the needs of their constituents; and
  • ability to wage an effective and competitive campaign.

“This election, which will usher in a large turnover in city government, couldn’t come at a more important time for New York City, as we look to recover from the devastation caused by the pandemic. The stakes are high. At this crucial moment in our city’s history, it is important that voters elect candidates who show the competence and capability to bring the city together, and are committed to transparency, accountability, and accessibility in government,” said Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of Citizens Union. 

In the race for Brooklyn Borough President, Citizens Union preferred Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, ranked Council Member Antonio Reynoso second and Khari Edwards third. “Jo Anne Simon has an impressive track record as an Assembly Member, civil rights attorney and community activist. She has a strong grasp of the powers of the office, and would make an excellent Borough President for Brooklyn,” said Gotbaum. “Voters in this race should also consider Antonio Reynoso, an energetic and thoughtful candidate who is capable of building diverse coalitions, and Khari Edwards, who has strong administrative and government experience.”

In the race for Manhattan Borough President, Citizens Union preferred State Senator Brad Hoylman, and recommended voters rank Council Member Mark Levine second. “Brad Hoylman understands what it takes to be an effective Borough President and has the knowledge and the skillset to hit the ground running on his first day in office. He is the right person to serve Manhattan at this crucial time,” said Gotbaum. “We encourage voters to rank Mark Levine, who has for eight years capably and effectively served upper Manhattan in the City Council, second.”

In the race for Manhattan District Attorney, Citizens Union has issued a dual preference for Alvin Bragg and Tali Farhadian Weinstein. “The race to succeed Cy Vance features two talented and extremely well-qualified candidates whom we prefer in this crowded field — Alvin Bragg and Tali Farhadian Weinstein,” said Randy Mastro, Citizens Union’s Board Chair. “Both have impressive backgrounds as experienced prosecutors at multiple levels of government. Bragg emphasized that he would pursue fundamental reforms in the criminal justice system and address community concerns, including safety. Farhadian Weinstein emphasized that she would focus on public safety as the core mission of the office, sees it as essential to the City’s recovery, and is also committed to ensuring fairness.”

Citizens Union June 2021 endorsements:

Brooklyn Borough President

  1. Jo Anne Simon
  2. Antonio Reynoso
  3. Khari Edwards

Manhattan Borough President

  1. Brad Hoylman
  2. Mark Levine

Manhattan District Attorney

  • Dual preference of Alvin Bragg and Tali Farhadian Weinstein

City Council District 3 (Manhattan- Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron, Upper West Side)

  1. Erik Bottcher

City Council District 5 (Manhattan- Upper East Side’s Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place, El Barrio in East Harlem)

  1. Julie Menin

City Council District 6 (Manhattan- Central Park, Lincoln Square, Upper West Side, Clinton)

  1. Gale Brewer
  2. Jeffrey Omura

City Council District 7 (Manhattan- Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights)

  1. Shaun Abreu

City Council District 26 (Queens- Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, Dutch Kills)

  1. Julie Won
  2. Amit Bagga
  3. Brent O’Leary

City Council District 33 (Brooklyn- Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg)

  1. Lincoln Restler

City Council District 35 (Brooklyn-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant)

  1. Crystal Hudson

City Council District 39 (Brooklyn- Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington)

  1. Brandon West

For follow up, please contact Jake Oliver at Anat Gerstein, Inc. at
[email protected] or 347-361-9983

About Citizens Union
For 120 years, Citizens Union has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include increased voter participation and civic engagement, greater police accountability, and an accurate 2020 census. Learn more at www.citizensunion.org.

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