Congress Member-elect Dan Goldman won a jam-packed August Democratic primary, and easily overcame a GOP challenger in the November general election, to represent the newly redrawn 10th Congressional District, which covers lower Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods including Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope and Sunset Park.
Goldman will be heading off to Washington shortly after the new year to be sworn in as a member of the 118th Congress, where Republicans will hold a slim majority.
While this will be Goldman’s first term as an elected official, he’s no stranger to Washington. He was lead counsel in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial and served several years as a federal prosecutor prior to that.
With Goldman due to be sworn in on Jan. 3, amNewYork Metro sat down with the incoming congress member to ask about his legislative priorities, desired committee assignments and thoughts about working with a GOP majority.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.
amNewYork Metro: What are the three biggest legislative priorities that you have coming into Congress?
Goldman: I think the way that I want to represent the district is to make sure that I am advocating for our families, our freedoms and our future. And within that framework, my three top legislative priorities will be to focus on housing for our families in the district. To focus on democracy, obviously, related to our freedoms. And to focus on climate change, environmental justice, and, you know, environmental issues related to our future.
amNewYork Metro: On the housing front, does that look like more money for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), more money for federal housing vouchers?
Goldman: I think it’s all of the above. I am going to partner with [Congress Member] Nydia Velázquez’s leadership in this area, and especially her bill to fund NYCHA and other public housing, and hope to continue to push that forward. But we also need more Section 8 vouchers, so I’ll be pushing hard for that. But there’s also other avenues to focus on that have a federal nexus, but that can also be just helpful to our families who need housing. So, there’s a lot of transparency, accountability, management focus within NYCHA that needs a lot of work. People should not have to live in the conditions that they’re living, with mold and lack of heat, lack of gas, water that can’t be consumed. These need capital improvements to make sure that those things are taken care of. But I also want to be an advocate for affordable housing around the district. Obviously, in the aftermath of the pandemic, homelessness issues have increased. Housing is in severe demand. And so, we need to be thinking creatively and aggressively about how to create more housing, how to end the warehousing of rent-stabilized apartments, how to build new housing that includes significant portions of affordable housing.
amNewYork Metro: On the climate change, sustainability front, what are some of the specific goals that you have for the district there?
Goldman: We need to make sure that we’re prepared for a future storm and that we’re taking this opportunity with so much federal money available to reimagine our parkland, our coasts. Not only to bring it forward in terms of resiliency, but to bring it forward in terms of our public spaces that are our enjoyment I’ve also been working a lot with the community and fellow elected officials on the BQE renovation. As you well know, the triple cantilever in the central part of the BQE is crumbling and needs to be attended to. And we are pushing very hard to reimagine the future of our driving community with climate change and climate impacts in mind. So I’ve joined other elected officials to push to limit the BQE renovation to two lanes to encourage both alternative modes of transportation and alternative modes of freight transportation as well, so that we can get large trucks off of the road. We want to cap it over and use as much of it for public space as possible.
amNewYork Metro: What Congressional committees are you most interested in being on?
Goldman: I’m trying to get on the Judiciary Committee, using my experience, 10 years as a prosecutor with the Department of Justice, and a firm understanding of how the department works. I have a lot of ideas in terms of criminal justice reform matters that I have worked on prior to being a prosecutor, when I was a research assistant and contributor to Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow.” And I also want to use my experience sitting across the table from the incoming Judiciary Committee Chair, [Congress Member] Jim Jordan, for 17 depositions during the impeachment investigation, to be a bulwark against what appears to be significantly overreaching and politicized investigations that he wants to run through that committee. Including potentially [the] impeachment of cabinet secretaries or even [President Joe Biden] for disagreements of policy, which of course, is not a grounds for impeachment.
amNewYork Metro: On the subject of working with Republicans, in your campaign, you did a good job of showing that that was something you could do, working with the other side. How do you see that playing out now that Republicans are going to have a majority even though it’s going to be a slim one?
Goldman: Well, I think the fact that it’s a slim majority, that was made up of a number of new members who won in districts that Biden won and that there’s a Democratic Senate and a Democratic administration is going to put a lot of pressure on the House Republicans to actually deliver results. It will not be enough for them to retain the majority, if they simply focus on these excessive and unnecessary investigations. And so, I do think that there will be opportunities to work with Republicans on our own legislative priorities, and to actually focus on delivering results. I ran on a campaign platform of really being creative, and focused on improving the lives of everyone in my district, in New York City, in New York state and beyond. And so I’m looking for creative solutions in working across the aisle to deliver those results.