Rebecca Harary. a first-time political candidate who founded two neighborhood schools, announced plans to run against Assemblymember Dan Quart in the state assembly district representing the Upper East Side.
Harary announced her candidacy for District 73 at the Metropolitan Republican Club in mid-March,
Harary, 52 years old, is the founder of the Imagine Academy for Autism and Yeshiva Prep High School for children with mild learning challenges. In 2012, she became the founding director of the Moise Safra Community Center, a community resource now under construction on 82nd Street in the heart of the Upper East Side.
Harary, married for 32 years and the mother of six, said she is running for office “to be a voice for our district’s interests, to represent our concerns in Albany, and to find solutions for the challenges we are all facing.
“Clearly Albany needs reform,” she said. “Working to clean up our state legislature is a high priority for me.”
Harary said Quart had failed the neighborhood. ”Have you ever heard him champion term limits or transparency? Or independent solutions to any district issue? He remains a stealth assemblyman. Our district deserves more.”
Quart, who was elected to the assembly in a special election in 2011, said in a statement, “Whether it’s been fighting to keep handicapped-accessible polling places like Central Synagogue open, or co-sponsoring legislation in the Assembly for reforms like allowing online voter registration, I’m proud of my record in fighting to increase political participation and voter turnout. I’ve fought Republican-led efforts to curb voter participation throughout my career, and at the same time I’ve worked hard to make sure that new voters in our district, like my Republican opponent, can register to vote quickly and easily.”
Harary said she considers former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg her political model. “New York was safer, cleaner, quieter and stronger under Bloomberg,” she says.
Harary comes to politics from a family of educators. Her mother, two sisters and her three daughters all are teachers. Harary says de Blasio’s “chummy alliance” with the United Federation of Teachers gives public school teachers “excellent benefits, but leaves New York’s kids without access to the tools they need to compete ... I am willing to stand with anyone, including charter school developers, who is willing to put education and the well-being of our children first. It’s time for a change.”