An extraordinary woman is running for City Council in New York City. Her name is Carmen Quiñones, and I’ve known her for thirty years.
When I served in the New York State Assembly, Carmen was my Chief of Staff. She ran my district office with compassion and ran many slumlords out of East Harlem. She also served with distinction and utmost integrity, as a Democratic District Leader in the 68th Assembly District.
For thirty-five years, Carmen has lived in Frederick Douglass Houses and fought for its residents. She is now the Tenant Association President of Douglass Houses.
Back in 1995, a stairwell fire killed two people in Carmen’s building at 826 Columbus Avenue. It was due to cheap, highly flammable paint used in every NYCHA building in New York City. Carmen forced NYCHA to re-surface every single stairwell in New York with safe, non-flammable paint.
For decades, Carmen has hounded NYCHA into observing lead paint safety rules, to provide an environment free of mold and pest infestations, and with adequate heat and functional elevators.
She organized a coalition to prevent NYCHA from evicting thousands of families, in order to sell off and privatize major portions of their housing stock.
For over a year, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Carmen has – and continues to – deliver 17,000 pounds of food each month. Not just in Douglass Houses, but in over a dozen NYCHA developments across the city: as far away as Castle Hill in the Bronx.
Carmen raised three children in Frederick Douglass. She now has 19 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. In short, Carmen Quiñones is a human being in full: with a lifetime of experience and public service. It is my honor to know her, and to support her as the next City Councilperson from the 7th District of NYC.
The election is on Tuesday, June 22.