Primary guide: City Council District 28


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 28 primary candidates (Jamaica, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rochdale), 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: David Kayode

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Minister at Maranatha Baptist Church and Counselor-Addiction Treatment, DHS NYC

Personal Info: Kayode has lived in Queens for over 20 years and has dedicated his life to being an advocate for public service and human welfare. He is contesting for the seat in his firm belief that he can serve the people of Queens as a councilmember better than his current position as a Counselor in the NYC Department of Social Services, in that he will be provided more opportunity to access to reach out to an even broader spectrum of individuals. He has been an activist all of his adult life serving people of New York City in all aspects of life including and not limited to the welfare of people. He also had a great and humbling opportunity to serve as a Legislative Aide to the Late Councilman White who held the same seat he is contesting for until his sudden death in 2010.

Platform/Issues: His platform includes getting sustainable jobs and economic developments; access to quality education and healthcare; tax breaks, incentives and opportunities for small businesses; foreclosures prevention and mortgage remediation; access to enhanced services for senior citizens and also implementing better programs and centers for youth development.

He especially would like to tap the city’s economic power to end poverty. The city can use its economic leverage to insist that recipients of tax breaks and economic development subsidies create family-sustaining jobs. This can be achieved by requiring businesses receiving financial incentives to provide living wage jobs that include benefits and training. He would also require businesses that receive assistance from the city to implement labor/management training programs to ensure career ladders for workers.

Name: Hettie Powell

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Attorney with the Queens Law Associates

Personal Info: Powell has lived in the community for 31 years, is president of the Rochdale Village Cooperators and started the Rochdale Village Youth Council.

Platform/Issues: In office, Powell will fight to keep schools open and provide resources, including programs for children with special needs. Powell will fight to create good, living wage jobs and ensuring that small businesses get help to expand and hire within the community. Powell will fight for more affordable housing in the district and help homeowners facing foreclosure stay in their homes. Powell will additionally work to open the senior centers and make sure the funding is available to keep open the existing centers.

Name: Ruben Wills

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Incumbent 28th District Councilmember

Personal Info: Councilmember Ruben Wills was born in southeast Queens and raised in the South Jamaica Houses. He is a product of the New York City public school system, graduating from P.S. 40 and Thomas Edison High School. He and his wife, Marcia, are active members of St. Alban’s Congregational Church.

Platforms/Issues: Wills is the co-sponsor of The Community Safety Act, a police reform legislative package aimed at ending the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies. He also authored and introduced The Community Violence Prevention Act, which establishes the city’s responsibility to stem the rise of violence and improve outcomes in the most affected communities.

In office, Wills introduced and passed legislation to limit the number of homeless shelters clustered in one community board, has provided over $1.7 million to support local community groups, after-school and youth programs and senior services. He has also fought for and won the restoration of more than 1,000 daycare slots and negotiated the increase of even more Out of School Time slots for elementary and middle school children.