SD 20 Brooklyn (Sunset Park-Crown Heights-Brownsville)

District 20, Brooklyn (Sunset Park-Crown Heights-Brownsville)

August 2018

Welcome to this special election issue of Tenant/Inquilino.

Many crucial issues about New York City housing are determined at the state level, from the strength of our rent-regulation laws to funding for public housing. Therefore, we have taken the step of sending questionnaires to all candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and for the state Senate in the 20 districts with the highest numbers of rent-regulated tenants.

The primaries will be held on Thursday, Sept. 13, and the general election Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Find your polling place here:


 Zellnor Myrie—Democrat, Working Families

Incumbent Jesse Hamilton (Democrat/IDC, Women's Equality, Independence) did not respond.

Zellnor Myrie—Democrat, Working Families

What is your position on rent regulation, what work have you done in the past to further that position, and if elected, what would you do in 2019?

I would end vacancy decontrol, close the ‘preferential rent’ loophole, and pledge to repeal the Urstadt Law. With our rent laws up for renewal next year, New York has a chance to finally strengthen its rent regulations and tenant protections after decades of landlord-friendly policies. I look forward to advocating for stronger tenant protections and rent laws in the state Senate in the next legislative session.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the New York City Housing Authority, and how would you address it?

Our NYCHA buildings are in an alarming state of disrepair and as a result, thousands of children are being exposed to dangerous levels of lead. Cross-national studies have shown lead exposure can have adverse effects on short-term health and long-term behavior. Our state government needs to act to protect these children by removing all traces of lead from NYCHA buildings.

Do you believe that there is a need for more affordable housing in New York, and if so, what would you do to meet that need?

We need further investment in affordable housing. While the city’s five-year $20 billion affordable-housing plan is a positive step, we need further investment to stem the tide of gentrification and overdevelopment. I would also push for the use of neighborhood median income when determining affordability levels for new developments, rather than the current system that includes New York City and wealthy suburbs in the calculation.

What would you do to address the homelessness in New York State?

New York needs to adopt a “housing-first” initiative like programs implemented in other states. As New York City's homelessness rate climbs to numbers not seen since the Great Depression, we desperately need to find homes for the thousands of rough sleepers in New York. Through a “housing-first” initiative, we can provide people with the support they need to recover and finally get off the streets.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

Citizens United was a disastrous decision that opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending in our elections. Our country is worse off because of it, and we need a constitutional amendment in order to prohibit this type of spending in future elections.