District 5 City Council candidate Julie Menin is heading down the final stretch of the Democratic primary race with momentum after a successful final debate performance and endorsements from Upper East Side community leaders.
During Thursday evening’s forum – put on by the East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association – the nearly 200 audience members watching over Zoom were able to pick which of the seven candidates they felt performed the best in each round. In each of the four rounds, which included discussions public safety and policing, transportation, education, and small business recovery, either the plurality or majority of viewers said Menin had the best showing. It’s hard to know how much stock to put into the results of a one-off survey without knowing the demographics of the respondents, but in a race without any polling, this poll does give a little bit of insight into how voters are feeling so close to primary day.
Menin’s performance also earned her the endorsement of the forum’s two moderators: Valerie Mason, the association’s president, and Cameron Koffman, the association’s director of community engagement. (Koffman and Mason are independently endorsing Menin, and not on behalf of E72NA).
“Our City is at a critical juncture and for me, personally, Julie Menin is the right candidate at the right time to represent City Council District 5 as we move forward and work to put COVID in the rear view mirror,” Mason said in a statement “[Menin] came out against the New York Blood Center proposal early on and brings an impressive track record to the table, working for two Mayors, who couldn’t be more different and getting things done - her energy, experience, and ‘can-do’ attitude are just what we need.”
“Impressive Track Record”
Koffman, who fell short in his own primary contest for Assembly District 73 last year, echoed Mason in saying that it’s Menin’s deep experience in city government that has won his support.
“Facing a recovery from COVID with at least 2/3 of next year’s City Council being new members, we need someone with an impressive track record of government experience and leadership,” said Koffman. “Menin has that record and will be ready on day one to fight for us on the East Side. Whether it’s making us safer, reshaping our transportation, or supporting our small businesses, she will best be able to advocate for us at City Hall.”
In addition to Mason and Koffman, Charles Coutinho, who serves as president of the Sutton Area Community, and the East River Fifties Alliance (ERFA) both announced their support for Menin in the competitive District 5 race. Both parties noted Menin’s experience as big assets in a prospective first-time Council member.
“This is a community that understands the importance of local government ... this is not a moment in the rebirthing of New York City in a post-pandemic world where we can afford to be without truly experienced, knowledgeable, connected people like Menin,” Lisa Mercurio, a founding member of ERFA, said in a statement of behalf of the organization’s 2,000 members. “I think she is far and away the one for the job.”
The Democratic primary to replace Council Member Ben Kallos will take place June 22. Early voting begins next Saturday, June 12.
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