EAST FLATBUSH — It’s only a matter of time before Public Advocate-Elect Jumaane Williams officially takes office, in the meantime, eight candidates are gearing up for another looming special election.
In Alphabetical order, they are Anthony Alexis, Anthony Beckford, Monique Chandler-Waterman, Louis Cespedes Fernadez, Farah Louis, Jovia Radix, Xamayla Rose and Adina Sash. Of the candidates who’ve declared, all but one, Jovia Radix, have opened a committee. Some even began fundraising in early January.
The 45th council district covers East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park, and Midwood. More than 188,000 live in the district of which approximately 61 percent are either African American or Caribbean American.
The district has an 8 percent unemployment rate with the bulk of residents working for the private sector (75%), according to NYC Planning data, and the largest single employment sector is educational services, and health care and social assistance, accounting for 38% of jobs. Median household income is just over $58,000. The majority rely on public transportation to get to work.
Like the public advocate’s race, the council special election (should there be one) will be a non-partisan race. Candidates will have the option to decide between an $8 to $1 or $6 to $1 matching funds. Whether or not a special election occurs depends on the time frame in which the New York Board of Elections certifies the public advocate’s race.
Here are the candidates in alphabetical order:
Since 2016, Anthony Alexis has been supervising city-funded seniors centers in Brooklyn. Prior to his work with seniors, Alexis began working for the New York State Assembly in 1997 and later the New York City Council where he acquired extensive governmental experience. Alexis developed an interest in government at Brooklyn College where he was active in student government and lobbied the state legislature against budget cuts to the City University of New York (CUNY).
Alexis is a member of the Brooklyn College Alumni Board where he earned his undergraduate degree and is currently enrolled in a Masters program at Long Island University in Brooklyn.
He has cultivated his civic involvement and community services as a Flatbush YMCA volunteer. Alexis served as the president of the 42nd Assembly Community Democratic Club and Brooklyn Young Democrats, a group he co-founded with Gregory Atkins in the mid-90s “with a mission to motivate and encourage young people to participate in the political process.” The club was later revived after having been de-chartered in 2006.
- What’s impacting the nabe? Employment, Housing, and Youth Services
Anthony Beckford has lived in the district his entire life. He began a career in advocacy at the age of 12 when, as a student at Winthrop JHS, he spoke up to help stop a rezoning proposal.
He currently attends Southern New Hampshire University where he studies psychology with a focus on mental health and works as a celebrity booking agent. The single father of a 7-year-old is a U.S. Marine veteran, he served between 2001 and 2002.
He founded Black Lives Matter Brooklyn in January 2019, an organization he intends to use to advocate for the Black History Education bill. Beckford is the Leader of the Brooklyn sector of Copwatch Patrol Unit, which is a police accountability group that documents police interactions in the community as well as protests
Beckford was recently awarded citations by Borough President Eric Adams, Councilmember Mathieu Eugene and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez for his activism and advocacy throughout the community and New York City.
Beckford is a member political and community groups: Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Ernest Skinner Political Association, JFREJ, Brooklyn Young Democrats, Brooklyn Young Democrats, New Kings Democrats, Muslim Democratic Club of New York, NYPAN, BPAN, CBID, Central Brooklyn Political Action Association, Lambda Independent Democrats, Brooklyn Progressive Alliance and My Brother’s Keeper.
- What’s impacting the nabe? Affordable Housing, Immigration, Criminal Justice Reform
Monique Chandler-Waterman is a public servant, advocate, and activist. Her term as president of the East 29th Street Block Association marked her foundational work in civic engagement, which is guided by her desire to improve lives. As an active, lifelong resident of East Flatbush, Chandler-Waterman recognizes the needs of the community and works for everyday families and residents. In 2005, she served on the Youth Committee and Block Association Committee for Brooklyn Community Board 17. She later served as a Civilian Advisor for the NYPD 67th Precinct.
In 2008, Chandler-Waterman founded East Flatbush Village Inc., in response to the lack of youth services in the community. The non-profit provides programs for youth and resources to families including mental health tools through S.T.A.N.D. (Self-care, Tender-love, Always, Needed, Daily) and solution-driven initiatives to eliminate violence in the community through E.N.O.U.G.H. Anti-violence Initiative.
With a Master’s in Business Administration under her belt, she later served as Director of Community Outreach for Councilmember Jumaane Williams between 2012 – 2014.
Monique is a recipient of the Caribbean Life Impact 40 under 40 Award. She has also been recognized for her work in the community with the Shirley Chisholm Woman of Distinction Award, Sesame Flyers International Community Award, Community Board 17 Women of Distinction Award and much more.
- What’s impacting the nabe? Public Health & Safety, Education, Housing
Lou Cespedes Fernandez
Lou Cespedes Fernandez is a native of New York City and first-generation Cuban-American. He is a graduate of Pratt Institute School of Architecture and is a building professional with expertise in working with the Department of Buildings, MTA, NYC Economic Development Corporation, and the NYC Port Authority. He began his career designing community centers with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and later in the private sector on JFK Terminal 4 in Queens and St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island.
An urban and homeowner advocate, focused primarily against rezoning efforts in East Flatbush and works to improve housing access and private property literacy. For the last decade, his activities have increasingly been toward planning, housing development, and building initiatives for state and municipal governments.
His recent zoning and technical work with Pratt Center for Community Development resulted in legislation recently signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to legalize basement and cellar apartments through a pilot program for E. New York to be expanded throughout the boroughs.
In 2017, Cespedes Fernandez ran for City Council in Brooklyn’s 45th District against Jumaane Williams. His primary issues are Housing Access Security and Homeownership, Education and Vocational Training, Homelessness and Un-Employment.
- What’s impacting the nabe? Housing Security, Unemployment, Education Alternatives
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Louis has been an advocate fighting for her community since young. As a member of Cortelyou Road Church of God in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Louis created mental health programs that helped the church and the community come together as one to help those in need.
As the deputy chief of staff and budget director to Public Advocate-Elect Jumaane Williams, Louis supported the council member and helped him make critical decisions on which organizations in the district to fund.
Louis has worked with several community groups to promote health and wellness, financial literacy and civic/community engagement, including the Haitian American Caucus, Haitian Centers Council and Flatbush Development Corporation.
As a city council candidate, Louis aims to continue fighting for her community around economic development, affordable housing, and access to quality education.
- What’s impacting the nabe? Health & Wellness, Affordable Housing, Economic Development
Xamayla Rose is a longtime Brooklynite, born and raised in the 45 council district. She serves on the board of Community Board 17.
Rose’s political and policy work began when in 2005, her brother, Christopher Rose, was brutally attacked and murdered over an iPod at the age of 15 near their Flatbush home. Since then she’s dedicated her life to combatting violence in her role as the Managing Director of Policy and Advocacy of the Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign–a non-profit that aims to address the systemic causes of violence and strengthen families in Central Brooklyn.
In 2008, she worked for the borough president’s office where she worked on the early adoption of raise the age, close 2 home juvenile justice reforms, cure violence. During that time, she also ran HIV public health campaigns, jobs programs and oversaw Community Boards 3 and 16 as well as the Business Improvement Districts in Bedford Stuyvesant and Brownsville.
She plans to strengthen the communities in District 45, by examining how they can better allocate funds to support the safety nets in our community by financing local, grassroots nonprofits that effectively work right here in East Flatbush, Flatbush, Canarsie, Midwood, Flatlands and Marine Park.
Rose has an associate degree from Kingsborough Community College, a bachelor’s in marketing from York College and an MBA from Metropolitan College of New York.
- What’s impacting the nabe? Maternal-infant health, Land Use, Housing
Jovia A. Radix received her Juris Doctorate from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law in Hempstead New York. Radix is admitted to the New York State Bar Association. Prior to pursuing her Juris Doctorate, Radix served as the Brooklyn Regional Representative to New State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Radix has served in various government and political positions and has served her community in various levels of government. In addition, Ms. Radix assists her family in the direction and management of a tutoring program facilitated by the Barbados Ex-Police Association.
Radix is the Vice-President of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club Young Democrats.
She is the eldest child of Dr. Joseph Radix, Dental Director at the Brownsville Multi- Service Family Health Center(BMS), and Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, Justice of the Appellate Court of the State of New York, second department. Radix was born in Brooklyn and has two sisters, Jenneate and Josyl. She is also the owner of a beloved dog, Bentley.
Radix received her Master’s degree in Public Administration, with distinction, from Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus in 2014 and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009.
- What’s impacting the nabe? Sanitation, Transportation and Immigrant Services
Instagram celebrity Adina Sash is also running for the hotly contested council seat. Sash did not respond to several requests from Bklyner, but here’s what we know about the candidate.
Best known as “Flatbush Girl” on social media, the Orthodox Jewish 31-year-old boasts more than 40,000 followers. The mother of two grew up in the district but now lives just outside. But according to a Kings County Politics article she’s looking to relocate in time for the election after she and her family move out of her parents’ home.
On social, you can see the outspoken Brooklynite advocating for women in Orthodoxy as the self-described “most fearless outspoke voice from within [her] circles.”
She’s also been a fierce advocate against anti-Semitism, and doesn’t shy away from advocating for those in the LGBTQ community. Late last year, Sash lashed out against the “kosher certification establishment” when two Brooklyn restaurants canceled two events where gay comedian Leah Forster was to perform.
Sash ran unsuccessfully against Democratic District Leader Margarita Kagan in the 45th assembly in 2018.
- What’s impacting the nabe? Sash did not respond before post time. We’ll update if and when she does.