Alex Bores’ run for New York State Assembly in District 73, which spans from Murray Hill through the Central Park side of the Upper East Side, is unique; if elected, he’d be the only Democrat with a degree in computer science. The foray from a foundation in engineering and technology to a future in politics isn’t so much a giant leap, as it is a hop, skip and a jump to a world he believes he’s well-equipped to shake up.
“I like the results,” said Bores, who’s also a Democratic District Leader. “Are we delivering for middle class families? Are our schools getting better? Is the subway running on time more? Are our greenhouse gas emissions going down? That focus on results and accountability, I think can be the same across both” tech and government.
Bores launched his campaign in the first week of March, stepping forward with an agenda to increase funding for public schools and the MTA, up renewable energy in the fight against climate change and make the city one in which more New Yorkers can afford to live. It’s become a crowded field since incumbent Assembly Member Dan Quart’s December announcement of his impending retirement; Bores is joined by a handful of others — including activist Kellie Leeson, Community Board 8 Chair and attorney Russell Squire and immigrant advocate May Malik — in vying for the seat in Albany.
The computer scientist’s unusual background may help him stand out amongst the crowd — already, he’s raked in over $83,000 in funding for the primary, the highest total (excluding personal loans) declared thus far. “I’m really thrilled with our momentum,” Bores said.
A True Local
Bores grew up in District 73 as part of a union family — and with a grandfather who worked as an NYPD officer. He attended the local public schools P.S. 6, Wagner and Hunter in his youth, an upbringing that he believes sets him apart from his competition yet again. “I’ve spent my entire life on the East Side of Manhattan,” he said. “So these are my neighbors, these are my friends. These are people I went to school with or parents of people I went to school with.”
On the East Side, Bores said, locals have expressed to him their sense that nothing much is getting accomplished up north in Albany, that the government hasn’t been up to the task of providing for their community. “They think about ineffectiveness, they think about — and especially with past administrations — corruption,” he said. “They think about just inefficiency, a dysfunctionality.”
It’s a perception that Bores hopes to change himself.
Prior to his run for Assembly, Bores worked adjacent to and in tandem with government; His “track record,” as he calls it, includes adding the Roosevelt Island Tram to Google Maps, working to better connect those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic with financial relief in multiple states and founding a nonprofit called Foresight Partners, which provided campaign cybersecurity training following the 2016 U.S. elections.
Now, branching out into politics proper, Bores intends to focus on a plethora of issues plaguing New Yorkers in his district and citywide with the same results-oriented work ethic. To address MTA shortcomings, he’d direct spending toward “upgrading the signals between trains that let us know where trains are,” so as to increase the number running on any given day. For the environment, he’d like to achieve “100 percent renewable energy” and close existing power plants that he says pollute our air.
As for affordable housing? “I have watched, over my decades living on the East Side, as many of my friends, who I went to school with, grew up and realized they could no longer afford to live in this neighborhood, to live with their friends,” he said. “We need to find ways to ensure that the city is welcoming to people at many different income levels.”
With the June 28 primary quickly approaching, candidates are beginning to kick into high gear. Bores feels ready for the challenge, eager to “improve New York state government from the inside.”
“I’ve spent my entire life on the East Side of Manhattan. So these are my neighbors, these are my friends. These are people I went to school with or parents of people I went to school with.” Democratic District Leader Alex Bores