Rebecca Lynch, a young, progressive candidate endorsed by the Teamsters Union, the City Council’s Progressive Caucus, and the Working Families Party, promises to work hard for the district, and she says she knows how to work smart too.
She described herself as “someone who sincerely loves and is a product of our district, and has the skill and work ethic to go to City Hall and get what we need.”
The 27-year-old set herself apart by raising more money than each other candidate in the first disclosure cycle.
Lynch grew up in Glen Oaks and attended NYC public schools, PS 186 in Bellerose, MS 67 in Little Neck and Townsend Harris High School.
She cited the Samuel Field Y as one of the formative spaces of her childhood, where she took advantage of the programming and interacted with other children in the district. As an adult, Lynch served on the board and volunteered hundreds of hours to the Y, which she said was a cornerstone of the community, especially for seniors. She also served on the board of Alley Pond Environmental Center.
In 2009, Lynch graduated from Colby College with a degree in Government. When she came back to New York City, she worked as a Senior Associate at Beaudoin and Company, where she was a registered lobbyist, advocating for unions at the city and state level.
She also got her feet wet in the political arena by serving in a volunteer position as a Democratic District Leader.
Her work got her noticed by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign, and when he was elected in 2013, Lynch left both positions to become Assistant Commissioner for Community Affairs for the Mayor’s office.
Lynch said the work experience was critical in helping her learn the legislative process inside and out. In her capacity as a union lobbyist, she attended city council meetings and got to know “every member of the city council” and work with every city agency, including the Department of Transportation, the Department for the Aging, the Department of Education, and the Office of Emergency Management. She considers herself the only candidate that has worked so closely with the City Council.
“They’ve been exposed to the work I’ve done, how prepared I am,” she said.
Other candidates have attempted to argue that Lynch is to close to the center of power, and a currently unpopular Mayor.
But Lynch dismissed the notion that she was part of the political establishment.
“It’s not enough to just dismiss someone who’s worked for the government as being an insider,” Lynch said. She added that “the narrative that anyone who has ever had experience in government is tainted” was a “dangerous” one.
“I’m a fiercely ethical and independent person. I’m not beholden to anybody. I’m not beholden to a political machine, I’m not beholden to the mayor, I’m not beholden to unions,” Lynch stressed.
The candidate also said that more women were needed on the City Council, with only 15 women and 36 men.
Democracy in its best form is representative of the people,” Lynch said.
She attributed the problem to “political insiders” being handed the right to run, at the expense of “smart, tough, effective” female candidates who are “never showing up on the ballot.”
If elected, Lynch promised to address overcrowding in the district’s schools. She pledged to visit the School Construction Authority on her first day in office and demand that they find a suitable location for a new school in the district.
“It is unacceptable that there are trailers at Benjamin Cardozo High School that have been there for over a decade,” she said.
Lynch also said she would fight for transportation improvements, including better bus service and fixes for potholes.
“We are very much a part of New York City, and we not only deserve, we have to have better transportation,” she said.
Reach Lynn Edmonds at (718) 357-7400 x127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Ellinoamerikana