An Early Look at Central Brooklyn City Council Democratic Primary
By Mary Alice Miller
The 41st and 42nd Council Districts are the must-watch races in this year’s June Primary.
Challengers have stepped forward to potentially unseat long-term incumbents Darlene Mealy and Charles Barron, both of whom serve 12 years (three terms) in the Council, sat out for a term, ran for and won their seats again, and are running for another term.
Pending the outcome of court hearings, Mealy is being challenged by Reginald Bowman, Isis McIntosh Green, and Joyce Shearin.
Isis McIntosh Green interned with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and at age 22 became Chief-of-Staff and Policy Director for Assemblywoman Latrice Walker. Her legislative work focused on affordable home ownership, bail reform, voter registration, women’s reproductive rights, election reform and higher education equity. Most recently, McIntosh served as Deputy co-Executive Director for the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission. McIntosh is a proud alumna of Brooklyn Technical High School.
Reginald Bowman is a long-term resident of Seth Low Houses. He served three terms as president of the City Wide Council of Presidents of the New York City Housing Authority. Bowman’s community activism included resident empowerment and economic development. Bowman has used his technical skills in business, civic, and public relations strategy, data statistics systems, business plan strategy development, and collaborations and partnerships with government and corporations to develop public policies for community improvement.
Joyce Shearin attempted a run for City Council in 2017, but did not appear on the official candidate list.
Barron is facing a repeat challenge from Chris Banks, as well as from Jamilah Rose.
Chris Banks founded East New York United Concerned Citizens Inc., an anti-poverty program that provided services for seniors and youth. He co-founded the East New York Collaborative, a community-building organization. Banks currently serves as president of the 75th Precinct Council and is president of the Van Siclen Block Association, where he leads local improvements such as green thumb planting initiatives, public art projects, and graffiti removal. Banks has served on Community Board #5 as co-chair of the Aging, Transportation, and Education committees. He serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Boulevard Houses Nursery Day Care, where he oversees several City Contracts of more than $1 million. He successfully organized Starrett City residents to prevent a proposed significant rent increase, and organized seniors to prevent the closure of the Pink Houses Theresa Moore Senior Center and the Penn Wortman Senior Center. Banks also worked with elected officials and organized community members to prevent the closure of the NYPD Community Center.
Jamilah Rose is a social justice advocate who focuses on program development as a grant-writer who is DYCD and DOE certified.
As of April 26, Council members Crystal Hudson (D-35), Chi Osse (D-36), Sandy Nurse (D-37), Rita Joseph (D-40), Farah Louis (D-45), and Mercedes Narcisse (D-46) are running unopposed on the Democratic line.
The New York City Board of Elections has not yet finalized the list of candidates who will appear on the ballot. However, all of these central Brooklyn candidates are registered with the New York City Campaign Finance Program, which matches small-dollar contributions from individuals who reside in New York City.
The June Primary will take place on June 27, 2023, preceded by nine days of Early Voting.