The Bronx, NY – On Monday, December 12th, Assemblymember Mark Gjonaj announced his decision to run for New York City Council at the Chippewa Democatic Club in Westchester Square. A lifelong resident of The Bronx, Assemblymember Gjonaj will campaign to replace Council Member James Vacca in District 13.
With Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblymember Michael Benedetto, Congressman Joseph Crowley, community leaders, his wide Roberta, and family by his side, Assemblymember Gjonaj cited the desire to better represent the community as the reason to run for city-wide office.
“I have been very fortunate to serve you in the State Assembly and am looking for a great opportunity to continue that service. I have decided to run for New York City Council, without matching funds, to better address the quality of life issues residents of City Island, Pelham Bay, Throggs Neck, and Morris Park struggle with every day. From City Hall I will be in a better position to create more jobs, enhance our neighborhoods, increase our police force, and combat homelessness. I look forward to displaying the type of leadership my neighbors have come to know and expect from me,” said Assemblymember Mark Gjonaj.
During his announcement, Assemblymember Gjonaj expanded on quality of life issues and how he would continue his work to minimize their impact on Bronxites as a City official. These include holding Mayor de Blasio to his promise of closing Rodman’s Neck in City Island, allocating resources to confront the increase in homeless population, and supplying local precincts with additional officers to combat the uptick in drug crimes.
Over the last four years, Assemblymember Gjonaj has been an advocate for affordable housing and senior citizens. In the last legislative session he introduced legislation that would create a Tenant Rent Increase Exemption Program (TRIE) which would allow eligible families living in affordable housing, who earn $50,000 or less per year and pay half of their income in rent costs, to have their rents capped and frozen.
More recently, Assemblymember Gjonaj has worked to address many quality of life issues Bronxites are currently facing. After learning about the dangers of synthetic marijuana, the Assemblymember worked with his colleague Jeff Klein to introduce legislation to address the distribution and use of the dangerous substance.
The Bronx’s Council District 13 includes part of Pelham Bay, Throggs Neck, City Island and Morris Park.
“Mark Gjonaj is an exemplary elected official and a friend whose deep commitment to his community can be felt in every corner of it. Mark springboards to action whenever our neighborhood is in need, partnering with me to organize important community town halls on pressing issues whether it be the Legionnaires’ outbreak in Morris Park or concerns over heroin abuse and meeting these issues with action by bringing free Legionnaires’ screenings for those without insurance or opioid overdose reversal kits. In Albany, as an assemblyman, he’s partnered with me on important legislation to combat K2 and in our district he’s dedicated to helping his constituents. There is no better person to serve in the New York City Council than Mark Gjonaj, which is why I endorse him in his campaign for the 13th District,” said Senator Klein.
“As someone who has had the opportunity to work closely with Mark Gjonaj, I can attest to how deeply he cares about the communities he represents and his ability to deliver for them,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “He’s an inclusive leader who knows what it takes to create ladders of opportunities for hard-working families and I have no doubt he will translate the experience he’s had in the NYS Legislature to improve the lives of his constituents as part of the City Council. He’s a leader Bronxites can trust and I’m proud to support him!”
“I am proud to endorse my friend and colleague, Mark Gjonaj, to be the next Councilman in the 13th District. Working hand in hand with Mark in the State Assembly for the past four years has convinced me that he has a love for our community and the energy and vision to work to ensure that the Pelham Parkway-Morris Park-Allerton-City Island-Pelham Bay, Westchester Square, Country Club, Waterbury/LaSalle and Throggs Neck communities will not be neglected. He is truly one of the hardest working members in public service today,” said Assemblymember Michael Benedetto.