2021 Elections: Q&A with Keith Powers, who’s running unopposed for re-election to 4th City Council District seat

Councilmember Keith Powers ( Photo courtesy of Councilmember Keith Powers office.)

City Councilman Keith Powers wants a second term in his 4th City Council District seat in Manhattan after being elected by the people three years ago — and this time he is the only candidate in the race.

The district covers the Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill, Yorkville, Central Park South, Midtown East, Times Square, Koreatown, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Waterside Plaza, Tudor City, Turtle Bay, Murray Hill and Sutton Place.

We recently interviewed Powers about his re-election pursuit and his plans for the next four years.

Why are you running for City Council?

For the last three years, I’ve been fortunate to represent the district I grew up in, and hope to continue improving the quality of life of constituents in my district. I’ve also been proud to serve as the Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee during a transformative time in our criminal justice system and to pass meaningful legislation that has improved many New Yorkers’ lives. 

Tell us about yourself and your relationship to the district.

I’m a third generation resident of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, where I’ve lived my entire life. My dad ran a small business in the neighborhood, so I have longstanding ties to my community and the folks that live here. I worked for State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Jonathan Bing prior to running for office.

What are the biggest challenges facing the district and how will you solve them?

My district and our city at large face enormous challenges in the years ahead, and the City Council will need leaders who can guide New York City through a just recovery. That will not only include the ongoing pandemic, but navigating a fiscal crisis, strengthening the social safety net, securing housing protections for tenants, and addressing the continued disparities in this city that have been further exposed during COVID-19. I am committed to fighting for a fairer, more equitable New York. 

What will you do differently than the incumbent?

I am fortunately the incumbent, and in my second term I look forward to continuing to work hard on behalf of my constituents and New Yorkers across the city. 

What’s your political experience?

I’ve been proud to serve as a member of the City Council for the last three years. Prior to that, I was a member of Community Board 6, served as a Democratic district leader, and was on the Board of the Tenants Association for my neighborhood, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. I also worked for local elected officials.

Any official endorsements?

I am endorsed by New York State Nurses Association, Voters for Animal Rights, United Federation of Teachers, PSC-CUNY,  DC 37, Communications Workers of America, the Hotel Trades Council, 32BJ SEIU, United Federation of Teachers, New York City Central Labor Council, Local 802 AFM, New York State Iron Workers District Council, Teamsters, PSC-CUNY, the Four Freedoms Democratic Club, the Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club, the Jim Owles Democratic Club, the East River Democratic Club, the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club, UFOA, LiUNA, and TWU 100.