EXCLUSIVE: NYCHA Tenant Leaders Endorse Crystal Hudson For City Council

Hudson (left) at the Atlantic Terminal Houses NYCHA development. (Photo via Hudson’s campaign)

BROOKLYN – Tenant leaders from four New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments in the 35th Council district– which includes Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, and parts of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant– endorsed Crystal Hudson for City Council in the 2021 elections.

Hudson, a vocal advocate for fully funding NYCHA, is vying to become the first openly LGBTQ Black woman elected to a city office. “Hudson is shaping a campaign platform that focuses on championing local issues like bike lane expansions, city rather than state control of the subway system, educational initiatives, additional job opportunities, and more,” Gay City News reported. “That approach appears to be a reflection of Hudson’s initial goal when entering the public sector: To be involved on a grassroots level in her own community.”

City Council District 35 includes the following NYCHA developments: Ingersoll and Walt Whitman Houses, Lafayette Gardens, and Atlantic Terminal NYCHA developments. Tenant leaders from all four are urging their neighbors to elect Hudson for City Council.

“Crystal Hudson is one of us. As a third-generation resident of this district, she knows our community and has taken the time to truly listen and build relationships,” Darold Burgess, President of the Residents’ Association at Ingersoll Houses, said.

“Ingersoll is proud to endorse her because we know that she will prioritize the needs and concerns of NYCHA residents. In these times, it is more important than ever to know that you have not just a strong representative, but a friend who will fight passionately for more investment in public housing, higher-wage job opportunities, and community safety.”

Crystal Hudson. (Photo via her campaign)

Those in NYCHA developments live in bad conditions. We’ve reported many times about the lack of heat and water in the cold weather, the unsafe conditions, lead paint, and mold. It is no secret that NYCHA is underfunded. In 2017, we reported that approximately $9.4 billion is needed for infrastructure repairs throughout all developments. “This lack of funding results in exposing thousands of NYCHA residents to unhealthy living conditions, with toxic mold found in buildings and the absence of heat and hot water,” we wrote.

“All New Yorkers have a right to safe and secure housing without fear of being displaced; a quality education; a good job with benefits and livable wages; and the opportunity to age gracefully and with dignity in place, in our homes,” Hudson said.

“I’m so proud that my first endorsement is from the leaders of these four NYCHA developments in the district. NYCHA residents have endured unsafe and hazardous environments for far too long. I’ve seen firsthand the power, strength, and beauty of what NYCHA residents have brought to our community for generations, and I’m ready to keep fighting side-by-side with them for the housing they deserve.”

Hudson is launching a video series featuring community leaders, called “Chop it Up With Crystal.” The first video features Tyree Stanback, the president of the Residents’ Association at Lafayette Gardens. Stanback endorsed her for City Council.

“Year after year, budget after budget, NYCHA residents are ignored and pushed aside for the needs of wealthier and more powerful New Yorkers,” Stanback said. “During this pandemic, we’ve seen just how damaging that neglect is for our residents, who have been facing unsafe conditions for years. With Crystal’s relationships in Lafayette Gardens and her extensive experience in the community, she is the ideal candidate to fight for our needs and move forward our priorities.”

The horrible issues at NYCHA were exacerbated by COVID-19. During the peak of the pandemic, “NYC neighborhoods home to public housing developments logged a 30% higher rate of recent coronavirus hospitalizations than surrounding areas,” THE CITY reported in May. “On average, 14 people per 100,000 residents were hospitalized in ZIP codes with public housing, compared to 11 hospitalizations per 100,000 in other neighborhoods, at some point between May 2 and May 5.”

The president of the Atlantic Terminal Tenants’ Association, Celeste Staton, said they endorsed Huson because she has constantly been committed to the community.

“I am confident that as a City Council Member, she will continue to be a fair and strong voice for all of us and fight for the issues that continue to impact the community and our NYCHA Community,” Staton said, “including repairing NYCHA buildings and apartments, ensuring that our streets are safe for all people, young and old, straight and LGBQ as well as also provide more access to higher-paying jobs, quality healthcare, and fair and just housing.”

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Zainab Iqbal

Zainab is a staff reporter at Bklyner who sometimes writes poetry in her free time || zainab@bklyner.com

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