Quantcast

Meet the candidates running to represent the 46th Council District

Republican Donald Cranston will face off against Democrat Mercedes Narcisse in the November general election.
Courtesy of campaigns

The race to represent the southern coastal neighborhoods of Brooklyn in Council District 46 seemed like a done deal once candidate Mercedes Narcisse handily won the June primary election with a lead of more than 20 points over her fellow candidates. 

But the bid to represent parts of Canarsie, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Mill Basin became a race again once former Democratic candidate Donald Cranston announced he would be running on the GOP line for the November general election. 

Narcisse, a registered nurse with a history of activism in Canarsie who ran for the same seat in 2008 and 2013, is considered the favorite in the mostly Democratic district against Cranston, a former staffer for various government agencies active in Marine Park who placed fourth in the June primary and garnered 2,791 votes.

Brooklyn Paper caught up with both candidates to talk about their backgrounds and their priorities should they be elected. The candidates’s answers are listed alphabetically by their last name.

Donald Cranston

City Council candidate Donald CranstonCampaign

Brooklyn Paper: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this district?

Donald Cranston: I am a proud graduate of Edward R. Murrow High School, and I went to CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, then transferred to St. Francis College, where I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree. I’ve worked for various City and State agencies, including the Board of Education, Battery Park City Authority, New York City School Construction Authority, and the New York State Senate. My broad experience gives me a perspective others lack.

BP: What experiences have prepared you for the role?

DC: I have a long record of working with various civic, political and charitable organizations, bringing people together for a common cause, and getting things done for the people of Brooklyn. In the City Council, you need to be able to work with people from very different communities and backgrounds, otherwise you cannot get legislation passed into law.

BP: What issues relevant to your district would you hope to tackle in your first year?

DC: I want to see more police assigned to walk our neighborhoods, getting to know the people and the problems that our section of Brooklyn face. I think cops who are embedded in the community will be far more effective. Our schools needs to refocus on literacy, math, and science. Our city needs to redirect resources from posh Manhattan neighborhoods to working-class neighborhoods in Brooklyn, like ours.

BP: Do you support the expansion of bike infrastructure in District 46?
 
DC: Cycling is wonderful exercise, but many older residents find bicycles limiting. It’s tough to bring home groceries for a family on a bike. Or take the kids out on a bike. And that’s in nice weather. If it’s raining, snowing, or 20 degrees out, bicycles are not a good fit for families and seniors. That’s not being anti-bicycle, it’s being pro-people. As our population changes, we’ll revisit it. What our district really needs is more mass transit. We have one subway stop in the entire district, so more bus service is critical.
 
BP: As a coastal district, District 46 is particularly at risk to the effects of climate change. What do you hope the council does over the next four years to mitigate these effects? 
 
DC: I want the Council to shift resources from wealthy Manhattan neighborhoods to working-class areas like our district. When we get heavy rainfall, sewers backup into people’s basements. We need the city to install backflow controls to prevent sewage from pouring into people’s homes.

Mercedes Narcisse 

City Council candidate Mercedes Narcisse.Courtesy of campaign

Brooklyn Paper: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this district?

Mercedes Narcisse: I am the best candidate for this district because I am running to represent every single individual, family, business, and institution in this district and not just a select few.  I was raised in this district and I have raised a family in this district.  I have assessed the entire district based upon community input of the and understand the needs and desires of this district to make this a place to live, work, and enjoy.

I am a True Democrat who was overwhelmingly supported by a district that is majority Democratic.  They elected me to be the Democratic nominee in a crowded field of eight candidates because I have been doing the work for District 46 that was neglected for decades. 

BP: What experiences have prepared you for the role?

MN: I have co-founded, led, and been a part of a variety of civic organizations and clubs such as Canarsie By Choice, the 69th Precinct Council, Community Board 18, and more, that have helped me to understand the character and needs of the district.  As a result, I gained name recognition amongst the residents and was constantly called upon to resolve and navigate issues that they were experiencing. 

BP: What issues relevant to your district would you hope to tackle in your first year?

MN: Given that the district has no hospital and very limited healthcare facilities with the lowest rates of vaccinated individuals and highest percentage of chronic illnesses in NYC, I would like to use existing multipurpose spaces to open a Community Health Center that can really serve the community.  Healthcare centers are trusted sources for the community, especially for immigrant communities, so there is a need to have one here in District 46 that has a large population of first-generation and second-generation immigrant communities.

I also want to serve the school districts to promote additional programming for students, teachers, principals, superintendents, and of course, the community. I would also point out that it is extremely important to skill as re-skill our workforce and bring workforce development programs that provide a lucrative income for families to the district. There are a lot that I would like to accomplish especially as it pertains to decent and affordable housing and basement conversions.

BP: Do you support the expansion of bike infrastructure in District 46?

MN: I would have to take my cue from the community.  While this area is considered the suburbs of Brooklyn, access to additional transportation, especially as it pertains to better cardiovascular health, is not a bad idea.

BP: As a coastal district, District 46 is particularly at risk to the effects of climate change. What do you hope the council does over the next four years to mitigate these effects? 

MN: I hope that the work on building the sea wall and gates for these areas could be completed. I know that DEP and DDC have begun this work, and I am hoping that my colleagues in government are able to advocate collectively to gain additional funding from all levels of government to fix these sewage infrastructural issues that develop as a result of these climate changes. 

New York City’s general election, where voters will make their choices for city council, mayor, public advocate, and more, is Nov. 2. Early voting begins Oct. 23. Find out more about where and how to cast your vote here, and enter your address to view a sample ballot here. 

More from Around New York