Vote 2017: 40th District City Council Seat

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The 40th District in Brooklyn hasn't seen a change in its City Council leadership in more than 10 years, and later this month, voters will choose between the incumbent and three other Democratic candidates to decide whose name gets on November's general election ballot.

The district includes parts of Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.

Incumbent candidate Mathieu Eugene assumed office in April of 2007 after winning a special election, and has been re-elected to office twice. Eugene tells News 12 that the housing crisis is an issue he would address if he is picked as the Democratic nominee again.

Immigration is also a pillar of Eugene's campaign, a hot-button issue as sanctuary cities like New York are under scrutiny by the Trump administration.

Euguene also says he wants to make sure young people have access to resources while supporting after-school programs.

His challenger Jennifer M. Berkely is a former reporter, and current housing advocate. She says she will work to protect tenant rights and preserve affordable housing.

Increasing access to child care is another goal of Berkley's, as she plans to create a community center for all ages while pushing for free or subsidized after-school programs.

Berkley also promises to protect small businesses by providing resources to their owners and training them to thrive.

Challenger Brian-Christopher A. Cunningham has served as an aide to state senators and even other City Council members. But he now works for a nonprofit group that focuses on affordable housing. He says he aims to protect tenant rights, oppose over-development and prioritize low-income households for rest-stabilized units.

Health care is another area of focus for Cunningham, who wants to create a universal insurance system in New York City that would cover everyone.

Cunningham also says he wants the city to invest in more after-school programs and modernize the academic curriculum.

The fourth and final primary candidate is Pia Raymond, a fifth-generation Brooklyn resident who has led multiple community groups in the borough. She says she would advocate for early childhood education and improve vocational programs.

Improving community relations is also a focus for Raymond, specifically by starting a dialogue between longtime Brooklyn residents and their new neighbors.

Raymond says she would also address what she calls the "leadership crisis" by applying her experience as a mother and businesswoman to fixing the 40th District's problems.

Voters will head to the polls in the primaries on Sept. 12.

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