(Voter Guide) Mary Silver – City Council District 2
This candidate statement is part of The Lo-Down’s 2017 Voter Guide. To view the main page and to learn about other candidates on the ballot in New York City’s Sept. 12 Democratic Primary, please click here.
Residence: Murray Hill/Kips Bay resident for 25 years, and previously lived in the East Village during graduate school at NYU.
Office: City Council District 2
Current Occupation: Attorney
Why are you seeking this office?
I am running because I want to be a champion for education in the City Council. I have been an education advocate, community activist and attorney for twenty years. I have served as class mom, PTA president, School Leadership Team member, and Community Education Council officer. I now serve on the Community Board focusing on housing, homelessness, human rights and education, as well as on the advisory board for the 30th Street Men’s Shelter. Teachers, principals and public school parents have asked me to run for this open seat. This is not a stepping stone for me, my only focus will be to continue to serve this district as your City Council Member.
What are your professional qualifications for this position?
I have a Ph.D. and J.D. from New York University. I am an attorney and a former teacher. In 2010, I received the New York State Senate’s Women of Distinction Award for my community activism and education advocacy. For over 20 years, I have lived, worked and raised a family in Council District 2. My three daughters are graduates of New York City public schools.
I served as class mom, PTA president, member of the Community Education Council in District 2, and currently serve on Community Board 6 and the advisory board for the 30th Street Men’s Shelter. I raised over $3 million in funding for New York City public schools, identified new school sites to ease overcrowding, and expanded after school programs for children.
Top Legislative Priority: What is the first piece of legislation that you would introduce if elected?
The Small Business Jobs Survival Act has been delayed in the City Council since the 1980s, despite overwhelming support. If elected, I would make this my first priority. District 2 – and all of New York City – is rapidly losing small businesses. We must do more to protect small businesses and the jobs that they provide.
In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue faced by the people who live on the Lower East Side? How would you deal with this issue as an elected official?
The issue I hear most from voters is affordability. We are facing a humanitarian crisis when it comes to displacement in our district. Families, seniors, and young people are being pushed out of their homes and communities to make way for luxury high rises and condo developments.
The City must do more to expand our affordable housing stock and strengthen rent stabilization. Under the Bloomberg administration we lost thousands of precious affordable housing units, and despite the push from Mayor de Blasio, we are still woefully in need of more units.
As City Council Member, I will push to end real estate tax benefits like 421a that give away billions of dollars in tax revenue for far too few new affordable units. We should be using that money to build 100% affordable buildings with supportive housing services.
BA, Hofstra University
JD, NYU Law School
Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA)
Stonewall Veterans Association
New American Democratic Club
New American Women’s Forum
New American Youth Forum
Community Board 6, Manhattan
Advisory Board for the 30th Street Men’s shelter
Community Education Council – District 2 (previous)
New York State Bar Association
Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Murray Hill Neighborhood Association
Gramercy Neighborhood Association
Financial Statement: Campaign Finance Board
Video Statement: NYC Votes