A legion of Upper East Side community leaders announced their support today for Julie Menin in her campaign for City Council, citing her vast experience in city government.
Menin, who stepped down from her role as the de Blasio administration’s census director in November, is seeking to replace the term-limited Council Member Ben Kallos in the District 5 seat. On Wednesday, she released a list of endorsements from 55 community leaders from across the district, including those from district leaders, political club members, NYCHA advocates, block associations and union members.
Those who spoke to Our Town about supporting Menin’s campaign noted the importance of the upcoming city elections, and that the district needs a proven leader fighting on the constituents’ behalf.
“This is not a moment where you need a novice,” said Lisa Mercurio, who serves as president of the East River Fifties Alliance. “This is a moment where you need a really experienced candidate: somebody who really knows their way around the city, who knows their way around city government and understands what the politics are, who also is going to have a tenacity to get things done.”
Mercurio said she and many other members of her organization have been impressed with Menin’s resume and her willingness to meet with residents and listen to them describe the difficulties faced within the district.
“[She’s] a human being who not only possesses warmth, but also has a great acumen and for what needs to be done going forward in a city that is going to be as challenged as this one is and will be,” said Mercurio of her endorsement of Menin.
Saundrea Coleman, who is a co-founder of the Isaacs-Holmes Coalition, NYCHA activist and public housing resident, said she first became acquainted with Menin while volunteering as a census worker and saw her capability in this work firsthand.
“She’s the most qualified candidate,” said Coleman, adding that she sees Menin as someone who will stand with NYCHA residents and push back on privatization efforts. “I’m looking forward to another City Council member that will put their boots on the ground with us residents.”
Andrew Fine, who serves as vice president of the East 86th Street Association, cited Menin’s temperament and approach to governing as qualities that won over his support.
“She’s got a really rational approach to the issues that we’re facing on the Upper East Side,” said Fine. “She stands out in terms of her proven track record of delivering for her constituency, and I think that she’ll do the same and deliver for the 5th District.”
In a statement announcing these endorsements, Menin said she was honored to have the support of community members across the district.
“All of these leaders know we need strong, experienced leadership in the City Council during this crisis,” said Menin.
Menin also recently earned the support of the Central Labor Council, which represents 300 unions in the city, as well as endorsements from the United Teacher Federation, DC 37 (municipal employee union), 32BJ SEIU, Hotel Trades (HTC), Communication Workers of America and the New York State Nurses Association.
The Democratic Primary election will take place June 22.