Policy & Politics: A Discussion with NYC Council Candidates
By Tiffany Rose Miller and Bría Mathis
This year New York City will hold one of its largest election seasons in decades, with 35 City Council & all five borough president seats up for grabs. The city will also elect a new mayor for the first time in 8 years! In this panel discussion, listen to three New York City Council candidates as they discuss pressing policy issues in NYC which includes housing, education, healthcare, criminal justice, and racial issues. The panelists include: Juan Ardila, who is running to represent District 30; David Aronov, who is running to represent District 29; and Brandon West is running to represent District 39.
[00:00:00] Introduction by Tiffany Rose Miller, Editor-in-Chief of NYU Wagner Review and founder of the policy podcast.
[00:01:26] Juan Ardila gives a brief introduction on why he is running to represent District 30 in the New York City Council.
[00:01:44] Brandon West introduces himself and discuss why he is running to represent District 39 in the New York City Council.
[00:02:28] David Aronov, former WSA president, introduces himself and why he is running to represent District 29 in the New York City Council.
[00:03:18] Bría Mathis begins moderating the panel discussion.
Bría Mathis is a full-time MPA-PNP student specializing in Management and Leadership and will be graduating in May 2021. Before coming to Wagner, she worked in the New York City local government and nonprofit world managing large-scale programs and initiatives that focused on increasing access and opportunities in marginalized communities. Bría also serves as Chair of Wagner City Government Network and is a Contributing Editorof NYU Wagner Review. She is a native New Yorker and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Juan Ardila is running to represent District 30 in the New York City Council. He is a first-generation American and New Yorker, the son of a Colombian father and Honduran-Cuban mother. His past experience includes working as the Office Manager for City Councilman Brad Lander for 2 years. Juan spent the next two years learning about the policy making process, how city government functions, and how to serve constituents. He then worked at the International Rescue Committee, providing at-risk communities the services his family had been denied.
David Aronov is running to represent District 29 in the New York City Council. If elected, he will be the first Bukharian-American to hold any office in New York and will be one of the youngest members on the City Council. Most recently, David served as the Queens Lead Organizer for NYC Census 2020, where he fought to ensure every family is accounted for in the NYC census. He earned his undergraduate degree from CUNY Hunter College, then attended NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where he earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Brandon West is running to represent District 39 in the New York City Council. Brandon has always been passionate about making democracy work for working people, he began his career volunteering for progressive campaigns and causes at an early age. After getting his undergraduate degree from Haverford College, he went on to get his Masters from NYU at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Brandon believes that a City truly “for the people” is radically different from the one we have now, and will fight to build real power and freedom in the District from the ground up.