Vanessa L. Gibson Credit: Campaign photo

While the city’s attention focused on Eric Adams vs. Curtis Sliwa, there were plenty of other elections around the city. A few of them historic.

Starting with the Manhattan district attorney’s race where Alvin Bragg won 84% of the vote. A landslide. Bragg will take over a position held by outgoing DA Cy Vance for over a decade.

Bragg will be the first Black DA in the borough’s history.

In an emailed statement to the AmNews New York Law School Dean and President Anthony Crowell said that Bragg’s historic victory reflects the work he’s done with NYLS, where he served as a visiting professor and co-directed the school’s Racial Justice Project.

“Only blocks away from the Law School’s campus, we are deeply aware of the legacy and history of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where many of our alumni currently serve,” said Crowell. “At a time when criminal justice reform is at the forefront of our city, state, and national dialogues, District Attorney-Elect Bragg is poised to write a new chapter as historic and impactful as any the Manhattan DA’s Office has ever seen.”

In addition to Bragg’s victory, Jumaane Williams and Vanessa Gibson won elections for public advocate (68% of the vote) and Bronx borough president (80% of the vote) respectively. The latter, Gibson, will take over as the borough’s first Black borough president in 2022.

Gibson didn’t respond to requests for comment but stated on Twitter, “I am honored and humbled to be your choice for our next Bronx Borough President. Your support throughout my whole campaign has been inspiring , and I can’t wait to get to work on behalf of all Bronxites.”

Williams also didn’t respond for comment but did say on Twitter that he was thankful for New York voting for him.

“You gave me your trust when you first put me in this role, and reaffirmed it with your votes last night,” said Williams, on Twitter yesterday. “I’ll never take that for granted and I’ll always be grateful.”

But Williams and Gibson supporters weren’t only in the political realm. City University of New York Chancellor Matos Rodriguez celebrated Williams and Gibson’s victories as a triumph of the CUNY system.

While praising former CUNY graduates for electoral victories, Rodriguez included “Jumaane Williams, who prevailed in his citywide re-election and Vanessa Gibson, who made history. At a time when a top priority facing our elected leaders is to ensure an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we applaud these CUNY alumni for their commitment to public service and their inclusive, focused vision for the city. 

“We are honored to have played a role in their journey to becoming city leaders,” Rodriguez added.

VOCAL-NY Action Fund Co-Executive Director Alyssa Aguilera sees Williams’ victory as another step in the mission to end the drug war, mass incarceration and homelessness. 

“We’re thrilled to see so many VOCAL-NY Action Fund champions win their races and can’t wait to see what progress is to come,” stated Aguilera. “We know these newly elected officials will fight for people living with HIV, who use drugs, who are formerly incarcerated, or are experiencing homelessness. We couldn’t have gotten here without the dedication of our members and leaders, who showed up time and again to get out the vote. Together, we will continue to make New York State a leader in justice and compassion across the country.”

Members of the Black LGBTQ community made history on Tuesday as well.

Crystal Hudson won the seat for City Council 35 (in Brooklyn), Kristin Richardson Jordan won the seat for City Council District 9 (in Harlem), and Chi Ossé won the seat for City Council District 36 (in Brooklyn). Hudson and Jordan are the first LGBTQ Black women elected to the council. 

At 23 years old, Ossé, a former nightclub promoter and activist who’s also the son of the late Reggie Ossé (aka Combat Jack, a former entertainment lawyer well-known in hip hop circles) is the youngest person ever to be elected to the council.

In other news, Kamilah Hanks won the race for City Council District 49 (on Staten Island, taking over for Debi Rose), Cordell Cleare won her election for City Council District 30 (in Queens), Althea Stevens won the seat for City Council District 16 (in the Bronx, which is currently held by Bronx Borough President-Elect Vanessa Gibson), and Rita Joseph won the race for City Council District 40 (in Brooklyn, which is currently held by Mathieu Eugene).

Brad Lander won the seat for New York City comptroller on Tuesday taking over the position currently held by Scott Stringer.

“It’s beautiful and earned and powerful,” said Jordan of her victory, on Twitter. “Take it all in!”

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