Pro-housing group splurges on ads for Carlina Rivera

City Council member Carlina Rivera (right) and Open New York's Logan Phares (Carlina Rivera, Open New York)
City Council member Carlina Rivera (right) and Open New York's Logan Phares (Carlina Rivera, Open New York)

As the city’s wildest congressional race draws to a close, pro-housing group Open New York is launching a five-figure ad blitz in support of City Council member Carlina Rivera.

The campaign expenditure is by far Open New York’s largest and shows that the group has some financial muscle to back up its endorsements. The advertisements will run on social media platforms and aim to highlight Rivera’s support for new housing as she battles nine other Democrats for an open seat representing Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“Carlina is really the only vehemently pro-housing candidate in the race,” said Samir Lavingia, a member of Open New York. “She’s a very forward-thinking person who has a plan and detailed ideas instead of empty talking points.”

The endorsement of Rivera, who represents parts of lower Manhattan in the City Council, in Tuesday’s primary also rewards her support for the Soho/Noho rezoning.

“The housing crisis most requires that we create more housing supply,” Rivera’s campaign website reads. It also lists her support for community land trusts, rezonings that create affordable housing and more funding for public housing.

A poll released Monday by Emerson College and PIX11 found 13 percent of respondents plan to vote for Rivera. That placed her in a tie for third with Westchester Rep. Mondaire Jones, who joined the race after reapportionment set him up against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in a suburban district.

Attorney Daniel Goldman led the poll with 22 percent, followed by Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou at 17 percent. Nearly one in five voters said they were undecided, but realistically, the contest is wide open. Accurate polling in a race like this is virtually impossible.

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Rivera’s competitors take widely different views on housing issues.

Goldman emphasizes the need for more public-private partnerships, calling on the government to let developers “do what they do better than the government (i.e., building),” while demanding greater community benefits.

Niou, among the most progressive contenders, says she will fight for a “Mitchell-Lama style housing program” to create more 100 percent affordable housing, while Jones, a former resident of Section 8 housing, points to his record of increasing funding for public housing.

Open New York hired its first staff member 17 months ago and has since added two more, including a political director, Logan Phares.

“These ads are a testament to how our organization has grown and brought housing to the forefront of the political conversation,” she said of the independent expenditure to boost Rivera. “They will run across social media platforms and highlight Carlina’s record of supporting historic housing and climate resiliency projects, as well as the other candidates’ failure to do so.”