Oct. 25, by Nathaly Pesantez
Incumbent Democrat Stephen Levin will debate Victoria Cambranes, an independent, on Sunday as they vie to represent the 33rd Council District.
The live debate will take place on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at The Commons Cafe, located at 388 Atlantic Avenue, and is being hosted by the progressive WBAI Radio 99.5 and Citizens Defending Libraries. The event is open to the public, although space is limited. It will also be streamed on Cambranes’s Facebook page.
“I’m very excited,” Cambranes, the 30-year-old independent candidate said. “It’s going to be an opportunity for voters to get information out of the candidates.”
Cambranes, a Greenpoint native, said that the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016 played an initial role in why she wants to enter politics. While she has always voted Democrat, Cambranes believes the Democratic Party bears some responsibility as to how Trump got into office.
But the final straw in her decision to run was motivated by the death of cyclist Neftaly Ramirez over the summer. She was incensed by the tragedy, since she had reached out to the Department of Transportation and local officials prior to his death calling for safer streets in Greenpoint. After his death, Cambranes went to the Board of Elections, who told her it was too late to run on the Democratic ticket, but that she could run as an independent.
Cambranes, who has created the Progress for All Party, plans to address issues including affordable housing, development, transportation, and infrastructure in the district if elected.
Stephen Levin, who has represented District 33 since January 2010, is running for a third term and continues to advocate for the creation of affordable housing and responsible development, according to the 2017 NYC Campaign Finance board voter guide. Education and child welfare are also among his interests.
Councilmember Levin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday’s debate.
The general election, in which voters can choose who the next mayor, public advocate, comptroller, and their city council member will be, is set for Nov. 7.