CROWN HEIGHTS — Since Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams took office in January, no one has taken over his old job as state senator representing Crown Heights and Sunset Park, one of four empty state-level seats in Central Brooklyn.
"There’s services there that need to be in place," he said at Borough Hall Wednesday. "I’m really troubled we went an entire four months without the residents of the assembly districts, the senate districts — throughout the state, they were not part of the budget conversation."
He had hoped Governor Cuomo would have called a special election to fill the seats, but said that it may now be too late for that.
“The governor remained vague for a great period of time and I believe now it’s too late to be on the June election,” Adams said, referring to the congressional primary slated for June 24. “It looks like all of these seats are going to go up in September.”
Among the Brooklyn seats that are currently empty are Adams' former State Senate District 20, Councilwoman Inez Barron's former Assembly District 60, which encompasses Brownsville and East New York; Councilman Rafael Espinal's Assembly District 54, which serves Bushwick and Cypress Hills; and Assembly District 59 where Councilmember Alan Maisel covered parts of Marine Park and Canarsie.
In the past, Cuomo had reportedly said special elections would be expensive, but Adams doesn’t think that’s a good reason to keep a seat empty.
“There is no dollar amount that could be attached to the right of representation by New Yorkers,” he said. “It strikes at the core of what is important to us as Americans.”
Adams is not alone in his thinking. The City Council passed a resolution in February urging the governor to call a special election to fill the vacancies, according to records. Councilmembers Espinal and Barron held a press conference Wednesday to highlight the issue, asking Cuomo to hold elections as soon as possible.
“For these communities to go all this time without representation is simply not fair, it is not right and it is unacceptable” Barron said, according to a report by JPUpdates.com.