Help wanted: There are 11 open Queens City Council seats in 2021, and the city wants you to run

Courtesy of New York League of Conservation Voters

The Queens delegation to the City Council will undergo a sea change in leadership in 2021 as 11 out of 15 City Council districts will have open contests because term limits prevent the incumbent from seeking re-election.

Residents of the borough who have been considering a run, the city’s Campaign Finance Board is launching a “5 Borough Tour” with its first stop in Queens on June 8 providing an overview training session for prospective candidates and campaign leaders.

“The CFB’s matching funds program helps more candidates run for city office, so we want to expand the pool of potential candidates by making our trainings accessible to more New Yorkers,” CFB Executive Director Amy Loprest said. “We hope this will further increase the diversity of candidates running for office and provide better representation for all communities in New York City’s elections. We thank our friends at the libraries for providing space for this important public service.”

Queens Central Library will host the training session on Saturday, June 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. The library is located at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica.

“Public libraries have a unique responsibility to do everything we can to preserve a strong democracy,” Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott said. “Each day we work to provide people with the tools and knowledge they need for full civic participation, and we are glad to support the Campaign Finance Board in enabling more people to seek elected office and build strong communities across New York City.”

Council members that will be term limited out in 2021 include Paul Vallone, Peter Koo, Costa Constantinides, Rory Lancman, Daniel Dromm, Jimmy Van Bramer, I. Daneek Miller, Karen Kozlowitz, Donovan Richards, Eric Ulrich and Antonio Reynoso who represents Ridgewood along with Williamsburg and Bushwick, Brooklyn. Robert Holden, Francisco Moya, Adrienne Adams and Barry Grodenchik are incumbents who may run for another term in 2021. Across the five boroughs, the 2021 election will be the largest election cycle the CFB has seen in its 30-year history with two citywide offices, mayor and public advocate, all five borough presidencies, and 35 City Council districts that are currently held by incumbents who will be term limited out of office.

“Since its inception the library has been our city’s most democratic institution, and so I can think of no finer place to prepare first time candidates for elected office,” Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda Johnson said. “We are proud to partner with the New York City Campaign Finance Board on this important initiative to encourage better representation in our elections.”

The CFB’s Candidate Guidance and Policy staff offers extensive support to campaigns throughout each campaign cycle with candidate services liaisons providing access to training, resources and one-on-one guidance to help each candidate navigate their disclosure requirements and compliance obligations. All candidates are eligible to participate in the city’s public matching funds program.

“Engaged and active citizens are essential for a successful democracy and the best among us are needed to run for office, advocating on behalf of New Yorkers,” The New York Public Library President and CEO Anthony Marx said. “As an institution that welcomes and respects all, The New York Public Library offers an ideal environment to help train the next generation of leaders and we are proud to partner with the Campaign Finance Board on this remarkable opportunity.”

To RSVP for the Queens Central Library training session or events in the other boroughs, visit nycvotes.nyccfb.info/events. The CFB will be adding more off-site trainings this summer so check back at the website for more information.

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