Faith Bondy Jumps into City Council District 4 Race, Marking Four in Hunt for Seat

Long time East Side community activist is the latest candidate seeking District 4 City Council seat which won’t be up for grabs until 2025. Incumbent Keith Powers is term limited and finishes at the end of that year.

| 11 Jun 2024 | 05:25

The general election for the seat held by term-limited city council member Keith Powers in District 4 is not until November 2025, but community activist Faith Bondy, the current president of the Tilden Democratic Club, became at least the fourth person to officially announce for the seat on June 6, Our Town can report exclusively.

The winner in the heavily Democratic district will probably be decided in the Democratic primary which is only a year away. While Powers has made no official endorsement, Bondy is aligning with his policies for the sprawling district which includes Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper Village, Kips Bay, Tudor City, Carnegie Hill, Yorkville, Sutton Place, Murray Hill, parts of the Theater District and up to the low 90s on the Upper East Side.

“The residents of the East Side have been very well-served by Council Member Powers and now we have to build on all that he has accomplished,” Bondy said in a wide-ranging interview with Our Town. “As an experienced community advocate, Democratic club leader and school leadership team and former PTA president, I’ve spent my adult life as a champion for our communities,” she said

As a public school parent, education is big part of platform for the 50-year-old community activist. “The admissions process is constantly changing, and it can be confusing to parents and kids,” she continued. “Nobody should have to travel an hour or more to find a quality education.” Bondy said she will push to make sure all schools have the proper resources to assure quality educational opportunities for all children in the district.

Bondy is married to civil court judge Matthew Bondy, who grew up on the East side. They own their apartment in Midtown East where they live with their two daughters, Lila, a high school freshman, and Rose, who is graduating elementary school and will be attending a NYC middle school next year. Bondy is also a member of Central Synagogue, a reform congregation at 123 E. 55th St.

While she and her husband currently own their home, earlier in their relationship they lived in rent stabilized apartment, and she says she will be a strong advocate for rent stabilization and new affordable housing.

Regarding Eric Adams’ “City of Yes” rezoning proposals, Bondy said she is generally supportive of revising building codes to make it easier to build housing, “but it has to be done responsibly.”

“We need to plan for our city’s future and its anticipated expansion, but we must do so responsibly and in consultation with the community,” asserted Bondy. “We should be a city that is open to development. We need housing that’s affordable so young people can stay and move here and families and seniors can as well. That said, community always must be at the table.”

There’s also the issue of congestion pricing. In sprawling District 4, residents above 60th street worried that their streets would become flooded with more cars trying to avoid the $15 toll below 60th St. if congestion pricing was enacted as planned. Below 60th Street, residents trapped within the congestion zone complained they should have had an exemption, or at least a steep discount similar to the deal in London.

Of Gov. Kathy Hochul surprise June 5 announcement that she was postponing congestion pricing tolls indefinitely, Bondy commented, “Reducing traffic, improving street safety, reducing pollution and better funding our transit systems are all important. But as I’ve always said, any congestion pricing plan needs to come with a resident exemption and be mindful of its real impact on communities.”

”In the city council,” Bondy continued, “I will be guided by and prioritize the needs and concerns of those who live and work in the community. I will work every day to deliver our fair share of funding, resources, and opportunities in order to protect and better the quality of life for all our families.”

One big quality of life issue is the abuse of mopeds and e-bikes. Stricter laws and enforcement are needed, she said.

Bondy is also parks advocate and a member of Sutton Place Parks Conservancy. Further, while Central Park is a tremendous resource, she noted that there is a dearth of other good parks and green spaces in District 4.

Two other community activists whose names had been mentioned as possible candidates for the seat, Kevin O’Keefe and Mark Thompson, are instead endorsing Bondy.

Said Thompson in a statement, “I know she’ll fight for us, for clean and safe streets for more funding for public education and to beautify the place we live in by prioritizing our parks and green spaces.”

O’Keefe also released a statement of support: “Faith is a smart voice of reason with a deep love and understanding of our community.”

Keith Powers was the Democratic leader in the City Council until he was pushed aside by speaker Adrienne Adams in a surprise shakeup earlier this year but is still considered an influential behind the scenes power broker. Reached by Our Town, Powers said, “The race is nearly a year away so definitely understand the need to raise money, earn support and talk to voters.”

While Powers has yet to make an endorsement of any candidate, he did tweet Bondy’s press release announcing her candidacy on his official X account on June 6.

Bondy’s official entrance makes her the fourth known candidate in the District 4 race. First to declare— as exclusively revealed by Straus News’ own Arlene Kayatt— was Ben Wetzler, a former Upper East Side district leader now living in Stuy Town. They were subsequently joined by Rachel Storch, the current chief operating officer of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue and a Tudor City resident; and Luke Florczak, an ex-Marine musician who also lives in Tudor City.