Community Activist Nikki Lucas is the Democratic nominee running in the special election for State Assembly District 60, covering East New York, Starrett City, Brownsville, and Canarsie.
Last year, Lucas ran in a heated race for City Council in District 42 against pillar of the community Charles Barron and lost. She’s since made the pivot to running for Barron’s now empty state assembly seat.
“I can go on and on about the issues that still exist and we have not seen legislation really authored out of this district for a district that has so many issues,” said Lucas about why she’s running. “We should see more legislation and more protections put in place as well as resources and funding put into this area, and we just haven’t seen it. It would be criminal not to pursue being able to make a bigger change.”
In a county committee meeting in Starrett City in January, Lucas was selected as the Democratic nominee for the special election. The Brooklyn Paper reported that the “weighted” vote of the committee members had
Lucas winning with 13,882.5 votes over her competition from Working Families Party Keron Alleyne, who had 1,953.75 votes. Lucas said she earned the support of the community and residents who make up the committee and was happy to have it.
Lucas has a strong backing from the Kings County Democratic Party, including Party Boss and Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Sen. Roxanne Persaud, and labor unions.
She has served as an advocate in the community for over 20 years. “I have a record of service,” said Lucas about serving different neighborhoods and public housing developments in the district on the ground. “I live in Starrett City, but I am East New York.”
She is a former female district leader for Assembly District 60. She serves on committees for Community Board 5, is the co-founder and member of the East New York Brooklyn Collaborative, a member of the PTA, and founder and president of The People First Democratic Club and The People First Education Fund.
Lucas was initially from New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA’s) Mitchel Houses in the South Bronx. She said her father moved her, her mother, and her sisters to Brooklyn’s Starrett City in the late 1970s looking for a safer environment for his family. “It’s one of the largest federally subsidized communities in the country,” said Lucas about Starrett City, “and one of the most diverse communities as well.”
Her parents were heavily involved in their community and participated in local campaigns. Lucas’ mother still resides in Starrett City, while Lucas currently lives across the street and takes care of her father’s pressing healthcare needs, she said.
Lucas said that affordable housing and solving the homelessness crisis is a priority for her, as well as quality health care, equitable resources for education, and public safety. She also has a robust 21st Century Rescue Plan for East Brooklyn that lists her plans for each neighborhood inside and outside of the district.
“It never stops. We’ve knocked on thousands of doors, we have a phone banking operation, we’ve made sure to engage churches, at train stations, anywhere we can find the voters,” said Lucas about the race currently.
She said she has always made voter education central to her platform, to pull local voices together and make sure they are voting.
“There’s so many people that support change but many that we don’t have access to and still so many that weren’t aware that there was a special election happening. I have more work to do,” she said about the low early voting turnout.
Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w