Rockaway community leader launches bid to fill Richards’ City Council seat

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Courtesy of Brooks-Powers campaign

A lifelong southeast Queens resident has launched her candidacy for City Council in the 31st District, the seat currently held by Queens Borough President-elect Donovan Richards.

Selvena Brooks-Powers will run on the “Powers 4 Queens” ballot line in the special election to replace Richards, which is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2021.

“From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to present, we’ve seen food pantry lines grow, the achievement gap amongst our children widen due to lack of broadband access, testing facilities slow to become available and a glaring lack of hospital beds to triage patients,” Brooks-Powers said. “Government has been too slow to act and meet our basic needs. It’s time for a change and for the voices of the community to be heard. I have proudly devoted my life to public service as I’ve witnessed the power of government when it acts and when it fails to do so. And, for these reasons and more, I’ve decided to run for the 31st Council District.”

The district encompasses the neighborhoods of Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens.

Brooks-Powers’ candidacy is embraced by leaders throughout those neighborhoods due to her track record of responding to the needs of the community that led to numerous partnerships that have resulted in COVID testing sites and PPE distributions throughout the district, food distributions, and town halls on pressing interests. As a result, she has been able to garner public and private support to address these needs.

“Selvena Brooks-Powers is a leader who has stepped up time and time again for our community. We’ve worked together during the pandemic to host food distributions, educate the community on civic engagement, and organize voter registration drives, Selvena shows up for us,” Maggie Larkin said. “NYCHA, other renters and homeowners need real advocates in City Hall, and I know we can count on her to deliver and be a voice for us in the City Council.”

Brooks-Powers is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. Her reputation as an effective leader and credible community organizer comes from years of high-impact initiatives on critical issues such as education, voter empowerment, racial and economic justice, M/WBE opportunities, domestic violence, and workers’ rights.

“I am proud to support Selvena Brooks-Powers for City Council,” Jacques Leandre said. ‘She is a strong advocate for our youth and is committed to creating a better community for all Queens families. As COVID continues to hurt our communities and disrupt support systems for our young people, we need leaders at the city level who understand the importance of protecting our youth spaces and community organizations. That’s Selvena.”

Brooks-Powers is currently the M/WBE Compliance Project Manager with the JFK Redevelopment Program. She previously helped Democrats secure a majority in the New York State Senate for the first time in more than 40 years; worked in the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence; and organized with SEIU of the Fight for Fair Economy and the Fight for $15.

She resides in the Rockaways with her husband and daughter.

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