ELECTION 2017

Candidate Positions on Key Issues

Election 2017

New Yorkers are heading to the polls again this year.  Partisan primaries are scheduled for September 12th, and the general election follows on November 7th.  Here on the Upper West Side, District 6 incumbent City Council Member Helen Rosenthal (D) is being challenged by candidates Cary Goodman (D), David Owens (I), William Raudenbush (I), and Mel Wymore (D). LANDMARK WEST!  is a 501(c)3 and cannot (and will not) endorse any candidate. We have created this page as a service to inform West Side voters about candidates’ positions on issues most directly relevant to LANDMARK WEST! and our constituents.  All candidates were asked to participate.  This page will be updated as additional issues arise and position statements are returned.

REGISTER TO VOTE

Listen to audio of the event HERE.
View photos HERE.

Read coverage from the West Side Rag and the West Side Spirit.

Candidates’ Bios

Helen Rosenthal (D)

Provided by Helen 2017

Helen Rosenthal is the Councilmember for District 6. Helen’s office helps thousands of residents stay in their homes, providing monthly housing clinics with free legal service. Through her legislation, Helen has almost doubled the income requirement to qualify for rent stabilization for both seniors and people with disabilities. Helen heard from hundreds of parents, teachers, and residents, about school rezoning and supported the parents who voted to approve new zone lines to alleviate overcrowding and concentrated poverty. She has empowered workers, giving them a fair share of their work, through her worker cooperatives initiative. Helen continues to make our streets safer, our schools stronger, and our parks greener. At City Hall, Helen has fought to save taxpayer dollars and strengthen women’s rights. As Chair of the Contracts Committee, Helen compelled City Hall to retract a bloated $1.1 billion DOE contract. She saved the city over $600 million after the contract was rebid to over a dozen firms – most of which are owned by women and people of color. She is also promoting economic equity by advocating for the MWBE Certification Program.

 

Cary Goodman (D)

Provided by Dr. Cary Goodman

I have lived and worked as a community organizer on the Upper West Side for four decades, but I’ve never run for public office. I am running now because the incumbent has betrayed our community by serving the special interests of the Museum of Natural History and other over-developers. As someone whose children went to the neighborhood’s public schools and as a retired public school teacher, I am also running to change the hypersegregated nature of our school district. Finally, as a senior, I don’t think enough is being done by the city to assist those who made this the great neighborhood that it has become, and I intend to give seniors the resources they deserve. All of this is thanks to your support. But to get more done, I need your help. I hope I can count on your vote in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, September 12th. Together we can continue making progress for our Upper West Side community.

Mel Wymore (D)

Provided by Mel 2017

In the 29 years Mel Wymore has lived on the Upper West Side, he has been one of our community’s most active and effective leaders. After 22 years representing us on Community Board 7―including two terms as its elected chair―Mel won the 2013 endorsement of The New York Times for his record of real results in our community. In just one example, Mel took on some of New York’s biggest developers and forced them to pay for the first new school building on the Upper West Side in 30 years, 600 units of permanent affordable housing, and $20 million for park expansions and renovations. An engineer by training, Mel is the right choice to curb unregulated overdevelopment, stand up to big real estate and save small businesses, stop overcrowding in our schools, expand affordable housing and services for seniors, and clean up our neighborhood.

 

David Owens (I)

Provided by David Owens

Born at St. Vincent’s Hospital on W. 12th Street to a Jewish mother, Sheila, and Afro-American father, Miles, David Owens lived on W. 57th Street before moving to the Upper West Side in 1971. He attended PS-84 on W. 92nd Street, then enrolled at the McBurney School on W. 63rd, where he ran cross country, wrestled, played football and baseball – and was elected school president. Owens received his Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies from Cornell. After college, Owens played baseball in the US and the Dominican Republic before becoming a member of the American Stock Exchange, where he traded equity derivatives. He has run in the NYC Marathon, boxed in the Daily News Golden Gloves, studied musical theater at Julliard, and made his stand up comedy debut at Stand Up New York on W. 78th Street. In 2004, Owens obtained his NYS real estate salesperson’s license and today is a VP at Halstead Property LLC. In 2006 he founded the New York Grays Baseball Club, a 501(c)3 helping kids get into college through education and baseball. He is running because, “You can’t say anything, if you don’t do anything!”

 

 

 

William Raudenbush (I)

Provided by BigBill2017

William Raudenbush chose to live on the Upper West Side with his girlfriend, Ginger, and their dog, Charlie Meatball, because they fell in love with its character and quality of life. Bill teamed with Olive Freud and, later, LW! to challenge 200 Amsterdam Ave., helping file the zoning challenge which has thus far put the project on hold. No other candidate was involved in organizing the filing of the zoning challenge, although Bill appreciates their current support. Bill also helped organize and fundraise to hire an attorney for the American Museum of Natural History’s incursion into Theodore Roosevelt Park. Although this issue is complex, Bill looked at all the facts and took a hard stand for what he believes is right, not just what is popular. These efforts continue his public space advocacy work implemented in his former home of Colorado, most notably curbing global mining corporations from polluting a critical watershed, culminating in a National Monument designation by former President Obama. Zoning issues and quality of life are Bill’s forte, which will afford him a position of strength on the City Council to bring outdated zoning laws in line with the spirit of their intent. (NO MEGA TOWERS!)

 

Current LW! Land Use & Preservation Policy Priorities

Mega-Development Invading Our Neighborhood

Example:  200 Amsterdam Avenue

Developers SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America are proposing to construct a 668′ tall tower on a gerrymandered zoning lot that sprawls across the Lincoln Towers superblock.  The Upper West Side community has submitted an official Zoning Challenge to the Department of Buildings, prompting the city to put permits on hold until the developer submits additional information.  Catch up on this Advocacy Issue HERE.

 

Example:  West 66th Street

Extell Development has filed plans for a 25-story building, but has raised yellow flags by acquiring four contiguous lots on West 66th Street and gaining options on unused air rights and zoning lot mergers with at least three other adjacent properties.  The resulting tower could reach a height unprecedented on the Upper West Side and has the potential to impact the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District, alter the Central Park West skyline, and cast shadows deep into Central Park.  Catch up on this Advocacy Issue HERE.

Helen Rosenthal (D)

Read Helen’s 7/26/17 statement on “mega-development invading our neighborhood” HERE.

Cary Goodman (D)

A request for a statement on the topic of “mega-development invading our neighborhood” was sent to Cary on 7/26/17. His response is HERE.

Mel Wymore (D)

Read Mel’s 7/26/17 statement on “mega-development invading our neighborhood” HERE.

 

David Owens (I)

Read David’s 7/26/17 statement on “mega-development invading our neighborhood” HERE.

 

William Raudenbush (I)

Read Bill’s 8/01/17 statement on “mega-development invading our neighborhood” HERE

Influence of Real-Estate Developers & Their Lobbyists on Land-Use Decisions

Example:  Congregation Shearith Israel

Congregation Shearith Israel plans to build a new community house topped by five floors of luxury residences (totaling nine stories) on the West 70th Street midblock defined by five-story brownstones (in the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District).  The Board of Standards & Appeals (BSA) granted zoning variances allowing the new tower to exceed the district height limit by more than 50%.  LW! and neighbors have filed a lawsuit that describes how the BSA’s institutional bias towards developers is damaging our neighborhoods.  Catch up on this Advocacy Issue HERE.

Helen Rosenthal (D)

Read Helen’s 7/26/17 statement on “the influence of developers and their lobbyists on land-use decisions” HERE.

 

Cary Goodman (D)

Read Cary’s 7/26/17 statement on “the influence of developers and their lobbyists on land-use decisions” HERE.

Mel Wymore (D)

Read Mel’s 7/26/17 statement on “the influence of developers and their lobbyists on land-use decisions” HERE.

 

David Owens (I)

Read David’s 7/26/17 statement on “the influence of developers and their lobbyists on land-use decisions” HERE.

 

William Raudenbush (I)

Read Bill’s 7/26/17 statement on “the influence of developers and their lobbyists on land-use decisions” HERE

 

Ensuring Appropriate Improvements to Landmarks

Each year, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission holds public hearings on hundreds of applications for work on landmark properties throughout all five boroughs.

Example:  American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (an Individual Landmark within the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District) seeks to expand its footprint within Theodore Roosevelt Park, requiring the demolition of three structures and occupying approximately one quarter acre of parkland.  Catch up on this Advocacy Issue HERE.

Helen Rosenthal (D)

Read Helen’s 7/26/17 statement on “appropriate improvements to landmark sites” HERE.

Cary Goodman (D)

Read Cary’s 7/26/17 statement on “appropriate improvements to landmark sites” HERE and HERE.

Mel Wymore (D)

Read Mel’s 7/26/17 statement on “appropriate improvements to landmark sites” HERE.

David Owens (I)

Read David’s 7/26/17 statement on “appropriate improvements to landmark sites” HERE.

William Raudenbush (I)

Read Bill’s 7/26/17 statement on “appropriate improvements to landmark sites” HERE

Protecting Small Businesses

Small businesses contribute to the character, spirit, and quality of life of the Upper West Side community.  High rents and big chains are squeezing them out.  With them go basic services to residents and good-paying local jobs.

Helen Rosenthal (D)

Read Helen’s 7/26/17 statement on “small business protections” HERE.

Cary Goodman (D)

Read Cary’s 7/26/17 statement on “small business protections” HERE.

 

Mel Wymore (D)

Read Mel’s 7/26/17 statement on “small business protections” HERE.

David Owens (I)

Read David’s 7/26/17 statement on “small business protections” HERE.

William Raudenbush (I)

A request for a statement on the topic of “small business protections” was sent to Bill on 7/26/17. It will be posted once received.

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