2012-12-21 / Top Stories

Brooks Enters Council Race

By Miriam Rosenberg

Selvena Brooks Selvena Brooks Another politician has thrown her hat in the District 31 City Council race, crowding a field for an election where no decision has yet been made on when that election will be held.

It is clear that there will be a special election to replace Councilman, and now senator-elect James Sanders Jr.

Election law requires a special election be called, but the Governor has to wait until after Sanders takes his state seat in January. Then, officials have 20 days to call for a special election.

Wannabes for Sanders’ city seat are already positioning themselves for an election that will probably take place sometime in February or March of 2013. The most recent candidate to throw her hat into the ring is Selvena Brooks, a life-long southeast Queens resident and Rockaway Beach home owner for the last six years.

“Our community is in need of real leadership with real solutions who are willing to fight for the resources necessary to ensure our neighborhoods thrive,” said Brooks in an email to The Wave. “Now is the time to trade in empty answers for tangible results. Following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy we need a leader with a vision looking to rebuild, and I am that candidate.” Brooks began her career of public service as a volunteer for former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green. After returning from college she took a position as Director of Constituent Affairs with State Senator Malcolm Smith. With Smith she climbed the ladder becoming Deputy District Director; Downstate Press Secretary; and, when he became the Senate Majority Conference Leader, she was appointed Press Secretary. She was later promoted to the role of Deputy Chief of Staff.

She later became External Affairs Senior Associate and Patient Advocate at Peninsula Hospital. All these accomplishments, she feels, make her ready to represent the 31st City Council district. “My career has been filled fighting tough battles to bring real change and solutions,” said Brooks. “Understanding the true value of coalition building I have partnered with agencies on all levels of government, grassroots organizations, unions, and elected officials to address some of the city's most controversial issues. Most recently I fought to build support for an increase to the federal minimum wage and a fairer economy for all.” Brooks has also been busy in serving her community.

“I have served in many organizations, including the NAACP- Jamaica Branch, the Allen Liturgical Dance Ministry at the Greater Allen Cathedral, and I have chaired several committees within Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – most notably helping to raise $144,000 for scholarships and community programs. Several years ago I helped to reorganize the Youth Branch of the Jamaica NAACP and served as a co-advisor for two years. I recently accepted a position to serve on the board for the newly formed Lupus Connection, a new organization tasked with raising the awareness of Lupus. We are in the beginning stages and are working towards having our first event very soon.” Currently one of her main concerns is to help the areas affected by Superstorm Sandy. “Right now rebuilding our community post-Sandy is the most important issue. We need to ensure our concerns are heard and funding reaches Southeast Queens and the Rockaways.” Brooks is the fifth to announce her candidacy to replace Sanders. The others are Donovan Richards, Sanders’ chief of staff; lawyer and community activist Jacques Leandre; Earnest Flowers, the chairman of the Elmer H. Blackburne Democratic Club in southeast Queens and the media chair for BLCA of NYC; and community activist and former chief of staff for Sanders, Michael Duncan.

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