Candidate Profile: Stephen Pierson (CD 33)
Stephen Pierson (CD 33)
Political Party: Democrat
Office Seeking: City Council District 33
Opponents: Stephen Levin (D)
Currently: Founder & Director of Canteen Arts; Member of Community Board 2; County Committee Member
Education: Brown University (BA)
Endorsements: Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Committeewoman Jo Anne Simon, State Committeeman Chris Owens, New Kings Democrats President Alex Low
About Stephen Pierson:
Pierson is the son of two high school teachers and has been a resident of Brooklyn for 14 years, having grown up in northern Connecticut. He is the founder and director of Canteen Arts, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit. Pierson is also a member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 2, serving on its Youth, Education, & Cultural Affairs committee, as well as being a Democratic County Committee member and a member of the New Kings Democrats. He says his two year old daughter, Nishka, will be attending public schools.
Key Campaign Issues:
Education: Pierson wants to expand access to after-school programs, ‘defend’ Pre-K education, and prevent library closings. Full education platform can be found here.
Affordable Housing: Pierson wants to push for construction of “far more affordable” units, demands that developers who renege on their promises lose their special tax breaks and pay fines, and ensure that “affordable” actually means affordable. Full details of his affordable housing plan can be found here.
The Environment: Pierson supports the maintenance, improvement, and expansion of public parks and playgrounds, demands that the city move forward in its reforms of solid waste disposal, will fight to stop the pollution of waterways, and wants a plan to prevent flooding along Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal. Full details can be found here.
Transparency: One of the early focus areas of Pierson’s campaign has been transparency and criticizing his opponent, incumbent City Councilman Stephen Levin, for his relationship with Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who has been accused of several types of wrongdoing. Pierson has proposed measures to prevent this type of corruption and cronyism, including:
- Forums on his website that allow for in-depth proposals and debates of ideas.
- Constant open community meetings that are actively publicized.
- Town-hall style meetings and debates that focus on the more contentious community issues.
- Office hours from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m on weekdays, and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends.
- An email address and phone number for constituents that are always responded to within 24 hours (unlike the slow-to-nonexistent responses that constituents get today).
- A Twitter feed and Facebook page that post constant updates on Council issues and solicit your ideas (unlike the incumbent, whose social media is primarily engaged in self-promotion).
From the Candidate:
“Councilman Levin’s obedient relationship to Vito is costing taxpayers millions of dollars, and is propelling Brooklyn politics and women’s rights back into the late 19th century.”