Candidates Forum for New York State Assembly Districts 68 & 72
Join us for our Candidates Forum for New York State Assembly Districts 68 & 72. We’re inviting all of the candidates for these races to attend, introduce themselves, and answer questions from our staff and members about key environmental issues impacting our community. RSVP here.
Tell us about who you are and why you are running for office, including your core values and vision:
Daby Carreras – New York State Assembly District 68 Candidate (Republican)
Spanish Harlem is my home, here in East Harlem – el barrio has been forgotten by New York State, we are a proud community of people, who needs a leader for our fight on the island.
Eddie Gibbs – New York State Assembly District 68 Candidate (Democrat)
On January 18th, 2022, I was elected to represent New York’s 68th Assembly District, which encompasses East Harlem and Randall’s Island as well as parts of Central Harlem and the Upper East Side. That day, I also became the first formerly incarcerated individual elected to the New York State Legislature, and only the second to serve in any U.S. state legislature.
My journey to elected office is unusual compared to my colleagues, but I appreciate having the opportunity to share it with We Act 4 Change.
I have lived in East Harlem my entire life. I was one of five siblings raised by a single mother in public housing. I know what it’s like to be hungry, to struggle, and to be cast aside by society.
Throughout my youth, I didn’t always make the right decisions. Poverty drove many of my actions that led to trouble. My friends and I simply wanted money in our pockets. We were trying to survive in a community deprived of opportunity. None of us had jobs, so we hit the streets and started hustling.
When I was 17 years old, I unintentionally took the life of another man in an act of self-defense. To this day, it was the lowest point of my life. In that moment, I finally understood that there is no glory in violence; no peace in winning a fight; no joy in being the reason there’s more pain in the world.
I am the first formerly incarcerated person to be elected to the New York Assembly, but the truth is, there’s another New York where guys with a record like mine don’t make it. They are left behind, trapped in a vicious cycle that engulfs the lives of our youth here in East Harlem. It leaves our communities broken, deprived of resources, opportunity, and hope.
Today, the 68th Assembly District is at a crossroads. Gun violence is on the rise, rent is skyrocketing, people need jobs, but most unsettling, people are stuck in an endless struggle of suffering. I know this struggle very well because I’ve lived it.
COVID-19 exposed many of the injustices across our state. I witnessed them firsthand, through my work with seniors in East Harlem. I’m running because government must fight for those who are most vulnerable like our seniors, who lined up every morning on the food lines.
Government needs to fight for people like them.
We need to continue to center a strong COVID recovery, create public safety with an emphasis on mental health and criminal justice reform, support our seniors, many who are struggling right now, address our affordable housing and NYCHA crisis, improve our hospitals and healthcare system, fight for environmental justice, and ensure our criminal justice system is fair. That’s why I’m running.
I’m a community organizer and activist in East Harlem with over 30 years of service in my community. I am running for re-election to the State Assembly because our community needs a strong comeback focused on equity, public safety, and justice. I am running for re-election because I believe no one will fight harder than me for New York’s 68th Assembly District.
Wilfredo Lopez – New York State Assembly District 68 Candidate (Democrat)
My name is Wilfredo Lopez, and I am the product of a hard-working family and a proud member of the Puerto Rican diaspora. I live in El Barrio, East Harlem and serve the community as a liaison for my local community board and as a member of the Metropolitan Hospital Community Advisory Board and I am a democrat running to be the next Assembly member for the 68th assembly district here in East Harlem.
Having grown up in an under-resourced community, I’ve faced many of the same struggles that we face in East Harlem. I now live here and plan to raise my family here, I want to work together with the community and fight in Albany to create solutions for what we need and deserve, basic dignity. I want people in East Harlem to earn enough to thrive, not just survive, and leave a better future for our kids. I want healthy food and clean water, and a safe neighborhood, without over-policing. I want to fund our schools, guarantee universal healthcare, and defend working peoples’ right to organize into unions. I want to unite my district and cast out the rhetoric that tries to divide and distract us from what we have in common. That is why my logo is reminiscent of the 6 train, the one symbol that unites my district.
Tamika Mapp – New York State Assembly District 68 Candidate (Democrat)
Who knew this Girl Scout and teenaged mom could make an impact? As the State Committeewoman one of the things, I am responsible for is voter engagement. Our district lacks unity and resources. Our public housing is being sold without any tenant input. Money that was earmarked for uptown housing was diverted to Hudson Yards. Tax exemptions for affordable co-ops and condos expired, leaving thousands of homeowners vulnerable. The Puerto Rican debt crisis is out of control and family land is at risk. Gun violence is rampant and all we are doing is marching, we are being oversaturated with treatment centers, our children and seniors are hardly thought about and meanwhile the school to prison pipeline is as strong as it ever was.
When I finished working on Obama’s campaign in November 2012, he told us to go home and be the change we wanted to see in our communities. He didn’t have to tell me twice.
Since then, I have raised my voice on behalf of the community as I have dared to challenge the status quo. I have led by example and put my money where my mouth is to invest in these campaigns and more important invest in you. I’m proud to say since our first race in 2013 we have grown and educated ourselves on the issues and gotten things done.
We have fought to increase the number of trained geriatric social workers, mental health professionals, and volunteers to ensure we are meeting the needs of our seniors and providing access to healthcare and medication.
We have stalled Blueprint for Change and been vocal about our opposition to the Public Housing Preservation Trust Act.
We have lobbied for a living wage, we got $15 but we can do $24, and women need to be paid the same rate as men and have access to union jobs.