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Queens assemblyman launches campaign for New York state attorney general

Assemblyman Clyde Vanel formally announced his candidacy for New York state attorney general on Monday, Dec. 6. (Photo courtesy of Vanel's campaign)

State Assemblyman Clyde Vanel formally announced his candidacy for state attorney general on Monday, Dec. 6, pledging to serve as the “people’s lawyer” in the upcoming democratic primary election next year. 

Vanel joins a list of five candidates in the race for state attorney general as the current occupant of the office, Letitia James, announced her campaign for governor in October. 

Vanel is an attorney, entrepreneur, private pilot and community advocate who was elected to office in 2016 to represent the 33rd Assembly District that includes the neighborhoods of Cambria Heights, St. Albans, Hollis, Queens Village, Bellerose and parts of Floral Park. 

The southeast Queens lawmaker released a video on Monday highlighting his upbringing in Cambria Heights, the struggles his Haitian immigrant parents faced to raise 10 children, his track record of fighting for marginalized communities and working families, as well as his vision to serve the people of New York as attorney general.

“I am running for attorney general to be a voice for the voiceless, a champion for marginalized communities and a symbol that a son of Haitian immigrants from Queens can rise to the highest levels of law and government to serve the people of New York and represent their interests, not those of the rich, powerful and well-connected,” Vanel said. 

According to Vanel, he has prided himself on giving back to the community that gave him the opportunity to rise up and fulfill his parents’ dream, from being the first in his family to earn a law degree and becoming a pilot and entrepreneur, to later entering public service. 

Vanel is the chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Internet and New Technology, where he works to ensure that the state is prepared to regulate and leverage emerging technologies like cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and more. 

In his campaign for state attorney general, Vanel is fighting for protection for homeowners and tenants from predatory loans, foreclosures and evictions. His agenda also includes closing the digital divide and ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to affordable, quality broadband internet access, advocating for consumers and fighting back against online and telemarketing scams targeting the elderly, and championing environmental justice. 

“As attorney general I will be guided by the values my parents taught me and that all working class New Yorkers hold dear — that we must help those who need it the most by pursuing justice, fairness and equity, and as the people’s lawyer, I will always strive to meet that call to action,” Vanel said. 

Vanel is currently the owner and operator of Vanel Law Firm P.C. where he focuses on intellectual property law, business law, wills and estate planning. As an entrepreneur, Vanel is also the owner and operator of TrademarkReady.com, which provides trademark filing and protection services. He also previously owned and operated Vanel on First, a restaurant, bar and lounge in lower Manhattan. 

He is also the founder of the New York Metro chapter of the Black Pilots of America Inc., which trains and exposes the community and youth to the field of aviation. Vanel has worked extensively in political community empowerment and mentored young men with Eagle Academy in the Bronx and Queens, and the Young Men’s Rites of Passage with the Allen A.M.E. Church in Jamaica. 

The assemblyman holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Boston University School of Law, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Science & Technology Law, and a Bachelor of Science in aviation administration and an Associate of Applied Science in aerospace technology from Farmingdale State College, where he served as president of the student body government. 

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