Hussein drops out of District 2 Council race, endorses Vasquez

Erin Hussein

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

East Village resident and City Council candidate Erin Hussein ended her campaign to replace Councilmember Rosie Mendez in District 2 on Thursday. Hussein announced that she would be supporting Lower East Side resident Jorge Vasquez in the election.

She said that one of her primary reasons for withdrawing from the race and putting her support behind Vasquez is his background.

“I’ve lived here for a long time and got to know it even better during my campaign, but at the end of the day it makes the most sense to have the district represented by someone who is Latino, because he can speak to the unique issues from that part of the district,” she said. “The demographics are changing but that’s still true for the most part.”

Hussein added that she also felt Vasquez would fight for the issues important to the district, such as pushing for a public hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act and advocating for rezoning around the proposed tech hub on East 14th Street to prevent out-of-context high-rises from popping up in the neighborhood, and was encouraged that Vasquez has not received donations from real estate developers.

“He gave me his word of honor that he would fight for a full hearing for the SBJSA and wasn’t going to vote in favor of the tech hub unless contextual rezoning was part of that, and his fundraising record doesn’t give me any reason not to believe him,” she said. “That made me feel very comfortable that I could take myself out of the equation and still win, in a way.”

Vasquez said that he was happy to receive Hussein’s endorsement.

“She has run a positive campaign about important issues in our neighborhoods, and I look forward to working with her moving forward,” Vasquez said. “I’ve been passionate about our community for my entire life, and I will use my energy, commitment, and experience to bring about real change.”

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Real estate attorney running for City Council

Erin Hussein (Photos courtesy of Erin Hussein)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Real estate attorney Erin Hussein, a candidate for City Council, said that she was motivated to join the race because she’s invested in her neighborhood, the East Village.

“I’m running for District 2 because of District 2,” she said. “I’ve lived here for more than 20 years and it’s been intertwined with my entire life.”

Hussein, a Democrat, is running to replace term-limited City Councilmember Rosie Mendez. She moved to the city for college in 1988 after growing up in Waterbury, Connecticut. While New York is a bigger city, Hussein said she sees neighborhoods that make up the communities as similar to small towns like hers.

“Cities are organisms,” she said. “It’s a collection of neighborhoods, a collection of people. But we’re becoming less focused on people and more focused on buildings, and on the very wealthy elites.”

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Council candidates for District 2 agree to rezone Tech Hub area

The P.C. Richard & Son store on East 14th Street where the Tech Hub is proposed

Maria Rocha-Buschel

Three of the candidates running to replace term-limited Councilwoman Rosie Mendez in District 2 have all pledged their support for rezoning the area around the proposed “Tech Hub” on East 14th Street. The candidates committed their support at a candidate night hosted by historic preservation groups at the Third Street Music School on Monday night.

Nearly 100 concerned residents packed a recital hall in the East 11th Street building while District 2 candidates, as well as candidates running against incumbent Margaret Chin in District 1, fielded questions about their commitment to historic preservation in the neighborhood.

Candidates Erin Hussein, Carlina Rivera and Mary Silver, all Democrats, were all in attendance for the event, although Jasmine Sanchez and Ronnie Cho, who are also running for the seat, were unable to make it.

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