Ten new City Council members were elected to districts in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx on Tuesday after term-limited lawmakers vacated their seats.
It has yet to be determined whether District 30 will have a new council member, with the race between Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Crowley and Republican candidate Robert Holden too close to call. If Holden wins, it would bring the number of City Council newcomers up to 11.
The general election also resulted in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election, a first for a Democratic mayor since Ed Koch won a third term in 1985. De Blasio won 66.6 percent of the votes, with Republican candidate Assemb. Nicole Malliotakis coming in second with 27.67 percent, according to the Board of Elections.
The BOE counted 98.4 percent of voting scanners shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday, reporting that about 22 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the election.
Now that former Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito has hit her term limit, the City Council will also be tasked with choosing a new speaker by early 2018.
Get to know more about each new City Council member below.
Carlina Rivera: District 2 (Manhattan)
Rivera, whose parents moved to New York City from Puerto Rico, is one of two Latinas in the City Council. She served as former District 2 Councilwoman Rosie Méndez’s legislative director, and has been a lifelong resident of the Lower East Side. As a Democrat, she plans to champion affordable housing, small businesses and the community’s seniors.
Keith Powers: District 4 (Manhattan)
Powers, a third-generation resident of Peter Cooper Village, won former Councilman Daniel Garodnick’s seat as a Democrat. He has previously worked for two elected officials in Albany and serves as the district leader for the Democratic Party. In his career, he has worked toward increasing Mitchell-Lama housing, a program that provides affordable rental units for middle- and low-income families, and improving after-school education programs.
Diana Ayala: District 8 (Manhattan/Bronx)
After a highly contested primary election, Ayala won former Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s seat. As her former deputy chief of staff, Ayala worked on legislation that cracked down on the sale of synthetic marijuana, commonly known as K2. An East Harlem resident who has been in and out of the shelter system, Ayala aims to champion causes like housing, gun violence and senior services.
Mark Gjonaj: District 13 (Bronx)
Gjonaj, the founder of real estate development group MP Realty and a former member of the state Assembly, intends to make education and housing affordable for Bronx residents. The son of Albanian immigrants plans to protect small businesses, eradicate homelessness and expand health care.
Ruben Diaz Sr.: District 18 (Bronx)
Rev. Diaz, who served as councilman for District 18 in 2001, was the first person to hold a religious ceremony inside City Hall. Prior to his election to City Council on Tuesday, he served as a state senator, representing areas of South Bronx since 2002 and working toward improving housing, health care and education in the neighborhood. Known for his cowboy hat and conservative views, Diaz writes a column called, “What You Should Know,” for The Bronx Chronicle. He has three children involved in city government, including his son Ruben Diaz Jr., who won a second term as Bronx borough president on Tuesday.
Francisco Moya: District 21 (Queens)
Another former assemblyman who joined City Council ranks on Tuesday is Corona resident Francisco Moya. He became the first Ecuadorian-American to hold public office in 2010, and since has advocated for immigrant rights and organized rallies against hate crimes. He won the Democratic primary over ex-felon and ex-senator Hiram Monserrate, who was convicted of fraud for misusing government funds in 2012.
Adrienne Adams: District 28 (Queens)
A Democrat from Jamaica, Queens, Adams has served as chair of Community Board 12 for three terms, advocating for safer and cleaner streets in southeast Queens. As a supporter of sanctuary cities, she intends to fight for immigrant rights.
Alicka Ampry-Samuel: District 41 (Brooklyn)
From Brownsville, Brooklyn, Ampry-Samuel served as a child protective specialist with the city’s Administration for Children Services. The CUNY School of Law graduate has also worked at the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, and served as chief of staff for Assemb. Latrice Walker. She intends to tackle housing, poverty and homelessness while in office.
Justin Brannan: District 43 (Brooklyn)
A Bay Ridge native and former director of communications for Councilman Vincent Gentile, Brannan is also famous in his neighborhood as a musician, having been a guitarist for two hardcore punk bands, Indecision and Most Precious Blood. He is the founder of the Bay Ridge Democrats, a Thanksgiving meal delivery service called Bay Ridge Cares and The Art Room, a small school for artists. Brannan intends to improve transit, public schools and what he called an unfair property tax system.
Kalman Yeger: District 44 (Brooklyn)
A member of Community Board 14 for 17 years, Yeger has also served former Councilman David Greenfield as senior adviser since 2010. On Tuesday, Yeger emerged as the winner of a feud that began between his predecessor Greenfield and Dov Hikind, when he defeated the latter’s son, Yoni Hikind, in the general election. The feud included “accusations of disinformation, internet smear videos of unclear origin and flame wars between ‘sockpuppet’ accounts on Twitter,” according to Politico. Yeger is a member of Borough Park’s Orthodox Jewish community.