Campaign tactics, not issues, divide City Council candidates in District 11
By Sarina Trangle
Discerning where Andrew Cohen and Cliff Stanton differ in their policies is rarely as easy to determine as the difference between pavement and crushed gravel.
The two District 11 City Council Democratic Primary candidates agree on most issues.
Stop-and-frisk needs reforms.
The creation of an inspector general to monitor police policy was misguided.
Officials should avoid locating schools in the same building.
And Council members should stop taking stipends for chairing committees to curb the speaker’s power.
Mr. Cohen, 44, a Community Board 8 member and attorney, pledged to allocate a portion of his discretionary funding for participatory budgeting, where neighborhood groups and residents vote to decide how to use the money. Mr. Cohen did not specify a dollar amount for this proposal.
Mr. Stanton, 50, a businessman and member of parent-teacher organizations, also supports participatory spending with a baseline of $1 million.
Both candidates have advocated for more parental involvement in public schools while speaking against co-locations. However, Mr. Stanton holds a more supportive stance toward charter schools. He said his experience bringing Tech International Charter School to Kingsbridge was positive and parents should have more school choices for their children.
Mr. Stanton, a Van Cortlandt Village resident, favors paving the Putnam Trail, while Mr. Cohen, a Spuyten Duyvil resident, believes crushed gravel is best.
Both men say they would resign from their current jobs, if elected; Mr. Cohen pledges to stop teaching as an adjunct at John Jay and practicing law, while Mr. Stanton says he will resign from executive roles in businesses he owns and would also consider divesting from them.
Mr. Cohen said he would not advocate for changes to the nomination process for community boards. He suggested constituents hold him accountable for selecting and retaining quality candidates.
KeywordsSarina Trangle, Andrew Cohen, Cliff Stanton, Democratic primary, District 11, City Council, New York, Bronx