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Race spotlight: Mathylde Frontus vs. Steven Saperstein

Steven Saperstein.
for Brooklyn Paper
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Mathylde Frontus vs. Steven Saperstein

Frontus and Saperstein are battling to claim an Assembly seat tainted by the corruption of disgraced former Assemblywoman Pamela Harris, who resigned in April after the Feds charged her with stealing money from storm-recovery agencies. The 46th Assembly district covers Coney Island and parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, and Gravesend.

FRONTUS

• Won a close Democratic primary, beating opponent Ethan Lustig-Elgrably by 51 votes.

• Grew up in Coney Island. Began her studies at New York University at 16-years-old. Earned her PhD in social policy administration from Columbia University, and most recently worked as an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia University and New York University schools of social work.

• Founded a pair of local community organizations, Urban Neighborhood Services and the Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative.

SAPERSTEIN

• Ran for Council last year in the 48th District and lost to Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) by a 23-percent margin.

• Grew up in Brighton Beach. Graduated from New York University and Syracuse University College of Law before receiving Masters degrees in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education from Hunter College and School Leadership from Touro College.

• Worked in the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting during the Bloomberg administration.

Issues

• Both candidates have pledged to end the corruption that has plagued the seat. Both candidates support the Public Officers Accountability Act, an ethics reform bill that would mandate the disclosure of funds appropriated by the governor and legislators and establish a commission on conduct, among other measures. Frontus also supports posting details on appropriations of state discretionary funds online.

• The candidates have both pledged to tackle gun violence in the community in different ways. Saperstein supports community policing and body cameras for all police officers, along with creating a “quality-of-life coalition” with an online database to log community complaints. Frontus pledged to replicate her previous work bringing clergy, school leaders, law enforcement, and community organizations together to create and fund new anti-violence programs.

• Both candidates have made education a cornerstone of their campaigns. Frontus wants to fight for school funding on the state level, along with increased mental health services in schools. Saperstein wants to build new schools in the district to reduce overcrowding; prioritize access to science, technology, engineering, and math programs; and secure more state funding for after-school programs.

Updated 8:07 pm, November 5, 2018
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