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Meet Me

I have fought hard to ensure that City government delivers for those New Yorkers who always seem to be overlooked by our elected officials.

I am a neighborhood kid born, raised, and always Brooklyn. I grew up in a tight knit community on Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights in the 80s and 90s. I graduated from neighborhood schools, had my bar mitzvah in a local church with a famed abolitionist history, and reached my sporting peak at 7 years old playing tee-ball in Cadman Plaza Park.

I was raised in a home that valued our community. A normal evening included tagging along with mom to a board meeting of the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, which provides early childhood education for public housing residents, or having an early dinner with dad before he spent the evening volunteering with New Yorkers experiencing homelessness at our neighborhood synagogue on Remsen Street. Learning from my parents, my grandparents, and my big sister, led me to public service.

Shortly after college, when I came home to Brooklyn, I learned about how corrupt and dysfunctional the Brooklyn Democratic Party was under the leadership of boss Vito Lopez and I decided to do something about it. I was a founding member of a group called New Kings Democrats. Ever since 2008, we have been a thorn in the side of the machine bosses and the status quo, working to bring transparency, accountability, and integrity to Brooklyn politics.

Since 2008, we have been a thorn in the side of the machine bosses and the status quo, working to bring transparency, accountability and integrity to Brooklyn politics.

Back then the corrupt party machine dominated Brooklyn politics and reformers had nowhere to go. Against all odds and the full power of the party machine, we ran an insurgent campaign and I won a tight election in 2010 to become the District Leader in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. I took on the machine in one of its strongholds, and started a people-powered movement that has continued electing reformers to this day. The position didn’t come with a salary, but it afforded a platform to advocate and solve problems. As District Leader, working with the community, I helped open a new supermarket in a food desert - and got 90% of the jobs to go to local public housing residents. We secured new open spaces and community gardens on Java Street and Myrtle Avenue, and we fought successfully to permanently extend the G train south into Park Slope and Kensington. Today, more progressives than ever before are active and voting in local democratic primaries and holding their leaders accountable. We need to keep that spark alive in order to turn political activism into a government that works for the people.

I believe this so strongly because I have spent most of my career as a public servant in New York City government. For a decade, I was given opportunities to create changes I believed in and to challenge policies I opposed. I have seen the underbelly of government and I know that getting big things done requires tenacity, creativity, and unwavering values. I have fought hard to ensure that City government delivers for those New Yorkers who always seem to be overlooked by our elected officials. In 2014, I led the design and implementation of IDNYC, which can now be found in the wallets of over 1 million New Yorkers - providing the first U.S. government issued photo identification for many of our city’s 600,000 undocumented residents. For “unbanked” New Yorkers, I negotiated the creation of safe, affordable bank accounts that have benefited thousands of people. I’ve worked tirelessly to open shelters and supportive housing developments for people experiencing homelessness, and I have successfully advanced more protected bicycle lanes and busways.
I love being a part of the organizations and institutions that make Brooklyn special. I have served as a board member of Community Board 2, the Brooklyn Public Library, IMPACCT (an affordable housing and tenant organizing group), and more. I now work at St. Nicks Alliance, a 45-year-old community based organization in Williamsburg, where we run job training and placement programs, provide early childhood and afterschool programs, offer quality senior services, and organize and empower tenants.

Since college, I have rented four different apartments over 11 years across Greenpoint. I currently live with my girlfriend in an apartment in one of our neighborhood’s quintessential clapboard buildings on Lorimer Street. I believe deeply in the DIY ethos of our community and I know that no problem, whether big or small, fixes itself - you have to roll up your sleeves and fight with everything you've got. This has been especially true since COVID hit. I’ve set up multiple food distribution initiatives each week at public housing developments and joined regular park clean-ups across our community to work with others to respond to our new normal.

Being your Council Member would be the most important job I ever hold. It would be my honor to lift up our community and fight like hell alongside you to realize the district we deserve.

Being your Council Member would be the most important job I ever hold. It would be my honor to lift up our community and fight like hell alongside you to realize the district we deserve.

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PAID FOR BY LINCOLN FOR CITY COUNCIL
© Lincoln Restler 2020
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