Primary guide: City Council District 27


As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the City Council District 27 primary candidates (St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Jamaica , Baisley Park, Addisleigh Park;parts of Queens Village, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens), who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.

Name: Manuel Caughman

Party: Democratic

Current Occupation: Community Activist

Personal Info: Three daughters, four grandchildren

Platforms/Issues: Manuel “Manny” Caughman is an active resident of southeast Queens. He has served his community working as president of the Brinkeroff Action Association and is affiliated with various community organizations, which include, but are not limited to: the Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club, 180th Street Business Improvement District (“BID”), Citizens Advisory Committee, Station 6 Feasibility Study, Customer Advisory Council; US Postal Service, Community Board 12, and the 113th Police Precinct Community Council.

Caughman has served as a legislative aide to Assemblymember William Scarborough working with state, city and federal agencies on problems of foreclosure prevention, housing, employment, education, health care, environmental issues, public safety and other community issues.

Caughman’s honorable discharge from the US Air Force where he was a Radar Operator, along with his work with community groups, municipal agencies and his longtime community service, makes him an outstanding candidate for City Council.

Caughman’s top priorities are: education, public safety, health care, job creation and environmental issues.

Name: Joan Flowers

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Attorney

Personal Information: Flowers, a Kingston, Jamaica native, migrated to the United States in 1965. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and graduated with a degree in merchandising in 1972. She was married in 1969 and raised three boys, then earned her undergraduate and law degree after her children were in school full-time.

She first began her law career at the borough’s Legal Aid Society in the Criminal Defense Division. There, she defended those who could not afford a private attorney. In 1990, she opened a private practice which she still heads today. She has served on various community boards including the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club, and was a part of the pro bono foreclosure project through the Queens County Bar Association. Presently she is the elected

Democratic State Committee member for the 29th AD, Part A and is very involved in community happenings.
Platform/Issues: Flowers is seeking to represent the residents of Distrct 27 in City Hall so that she may continue to fight for the health, education, welfare and high standard of living that the residents deserve.

Name: Greg Mays

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Founder / Executive Director of A Better Jamaica, Inc., Parks Chair for CB 12 and the immiediate past president of the Addisleigh Park Civic Organization

Personal Information: Mays was born in Jamaica Hospital and attended P.S. 15, I.S. 59, Bayside High School and Medgar Evers College. He received a BBA in accounting from Howard University as well as an MBA from Harvard University.

In 2007, Mays founded A Better Jamaica, a nonprofit organization engaged in activities designed to strengthen his beloved Jamaica with programs such as Family Movies in the Park, Jamaica Reads, the Jamaica Ball and more.

Platform/Issues: Mays hopes to address education, economic development, community safety and security, local nonprofits, senior citizens, housing, and health and wellness.

Mays will endeavor to expand early literacy efforts, expand art offerings and college/career guidance, and will expand entrepreneurship training and provide training and job support for court involved youth and adults.

Mays also hopes to end stop and frisk, expand community policing, address flooding issues and expand Beacon Program sites. He will also hire a nonprofit specialist to assist local nonprofits, and protect and expand senior centers.

Additionally, Mays will endeavor to expand HIV/AIDS awareness, promote healthy living, provide activity vouchers for kids in financially challenged families and much more.

Name: I. Daneek Miller

Party: Democrat; Working Families

Current Occupation: President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056 which represents NYC Transit’s Queens Bus Operators and Mechanics; co-chair, MTA Labor Coalition of 29 Union

Personal Info: As a single parent after his wife’s passing, he conceived and negotiated the first-ever provision supporting child-care for municipal workers in the U.S.; child of pastor and NYC school aide. A 35-year district resident.

Platforms/Issues: A community and labor activist, Miller knows the power of building coalitions to deliver for the community. Most recently, his efforts restored bus service, including the Q27, Q42 and (next January) Q77, to make it easier for residents to reach work, school, medical appointments and other activities. As a product of our public schools and as a single parent whose children attended NYC public schools, Miller wants to improve public education and empower teachers with the resources and tools they need to educate our children and grandchildren. He’ll introduce Participatory Budgeting as part of a program that engages residents and builds coalitions to meet community needs. The only candidates to speak out against the NYPD’s illegal stop and frisk policy, Miller will fight for more jobs in the community and protect programs for our seniors and our youth.

Name: Clyde Vanel

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Attorney

Personal Info: Community Advocate

Platforms/Issues: Vanel will work on the following important issues: promoting job creation in NYC and in District 27, improving education by stopping school closures and getting parents and the community to meaningfully participate, improving crime prevention while eliminating the illegal stop-and-frisk policy, working on tax reform to give relief to seniors and the middle class and working poor, improving the environment by working on the flooding problem, working to improve access to quality health care, and working on affordable housing and addressing foreclosures.

Name: Sondra Peeden

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Full-time candidate, consultant

Personal Information: Peeden was raised in St. Albans and attended the Woodhull Private Day School in Hollis, St. Francis Prep and was a member of the first graduating class of the Center for Writing and John Browne High School. She then studied psychology and early childhood education at Marymount Manhattan College and later substance abuse counseling at the Outreach Training Institute.

Peeden has worked on the city, state and federal levels of government and has dedicated her adult life to public service.

Platform/Issues: Peeden is focused on stabilizing the community and hopes to first begin work on small and medium businesses development, reforming the educational system, addressing the housing crisis, reforming the NYPD and protecting and enhancing youth and senior services.