Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union


NY State Senate District 34

«NY State Senate District 31 NY State Senate District 11»








Jeff Klein (D) G. Oliver Koppell (D, WF) Carl Lundgren (G)


Klein (D)


Jeff Klein (D)

Campaign Website

On the Issues


Record in Office

Currently: NYS Senator for the 34th District (2005-Present); Co-Leader & President, Pro Tempore of the NYS Senate

Previous Work: NYS Assembly Member for the 80th District (1995-2004)

Education: BA, Queens College-CUNY; MPA, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs; JD, CUNY- Law School

On the Issues


Proposed Mitchell-Lama 2020, which "calls upon NYS to invest $750 million over five years to restart New York's most successful middle class housing program."

Policing and Criminal Justice

Sponsored the SAFE Act and ensured funding for the SNUG Act


Organizations: Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Workers (RDWSU); Joint Council 16; District Council 9; Hotel & Motel Trades Council (HTC); Transport Worker's Union (TWU) Local 100; Uniformed Fire Officer's Association Local 94; Plumber's Local Union No. 1; Steamfitter's Local Union 638; Liberty Democratic Association; Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club; Mason Tenders' District Council of Greater New York and Long Island; The Detectives' Endowment Association; Sergeants Benevolent Association; 1199SEIU; Superior Officers Association; Empire State Pride Agenda; Citizens Union; Bronx Chronicle; NY Daily News; New York League of Conservation Voters; NYS Nurses Association

Individuals: NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo; NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; Assembly Member Marcos Crespo (D-85); Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz (D-81); Assembly Member Mark Gjonaj (D-80); Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda (D-87); Council Member Andrew Cohen, (D-11); Council Member James Vacca (D-13), Assembly Member Amy Paulin (D-88); Assembly Member Michael Benedetto (D-82); Council Member Annabel Palma (D-18); Council Member Ritchie Torres (D-15); Council Member Vanessa Gibson (D-77); Former Council Member June Eisland; Village of Pelham Trustee Joe Marty; Lewis Goldstein, Executive Committee of NYS Democratic Committee; Former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer; Bronx Democratic County Committee Chairman, Assemblyman Carl Heastie; Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz

Record in Office

NYS Senate Committee Assignments:

Independent Democratic Conference Membership:

Koppell (D, WF)


G. Oliver Koppell (D, WF)

Campaign Website

On the Issues


Record in Office

Currently: Attorney, G. Oliver Koppell & Associates

Previous Work: NYC Council Member for the 11th District (2002-2013); NY Attorney General (1994); NY State Assembly Member (1970-1994)

Education: BA, Harvard University; JD, Harvard Law School

On the Issues

*Source for G. Oliver Koppell's issue stances, unless marked otherwise: Gotham Gazette Questionnaire

Top 5 Legislative Priorities↓

In his own words:
1. Increasing the minimum wage immediately to $10.10 and to $15 in the near future.
2. Women's Equality agenda, involving economic justice, non-discrimination, and the right to choice
3. The NY DREAM Act
4. Comprehensive campaign finance reform, including public financing
5. Expanded mass transit development; Energy conservation; Restrictions on hydrofracking


In addressing how to utilize NYS' multibillion dollar surplus, stated: "Surplus should be used to address urgent problems, including deteriorated infrastructure, healthcare needs, including deficit of NYC HHC, increases to education aid to reduce class sizes, and potentially to make the tax system more progressive."

Civil Rights↓

Would vote yes on the full, ten-point Women's Equality Agenda.
Opposes the strategy of removing the 10th point in the WEA, which deals with abortion access, in order to push for passage of the other 9 points with less controversy.


Supports minimum wage increase to $15, indexed to inflation. Huffington Post

Supports a statewide minimum wage at $10.10.
Stated that municipalities such as NYC should be able to set their own minimum wage.
In addressing developing a NYS jobs program, stated: "New York State should provide for increased job training and use workers to enhance infrastructure reconstruction and development."


Supports implementing Common Core state standards with changes.
Supports maintaining the cap on charter schools.
Stated that government should pay for co-locations of charter schools in public school buildings.
Supports statewide universal pre-kindergarten.
In addressing how the legislature can ensure that adequate funding is distributed to all school districts to comply with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity decisions, stated: "The legislature must reform the school funding formula and provide enough money to meet the mandates."


Opposes hydrofracking and supports a moratorium on it. Website

Stated that municipalities should not decide, via zoning processes, whether hydrofracking occurs in their jurisdiction.

Good Government

Supports reducing individual campaign contribution limits.

Supports instituting a public-matching campaign-financing systems statewide.

Stated that Governor Cuomo should not have dissolved the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption.

Supports implementing the following reform measures to increase voter participation and reduce barriers to voting:

  • Early voting,
  • No-excuse absentee ballots,
  • Reforming special elections,
  • Instant runoff voting,
  • Granting voting rights to parolees,
  • Consolidating state and federal primaries.

In addressing how to properly monitor and enforce ethics laws and appropriate conduct of legislators, stated: "A special permanent investigator or investigation commission should be established with term appointments and non-partisan requirements. Full disclosure should be required for all legislators, including, with safeguards, clients and business interests of legislators."

In addressing legislative oversight of public authorities such as the MTA and Port Authority, stated: "The legislature should have regular hearings on MTA and Port Authority operations. There should be a special consumer advocate to represent utility consumers."


In addressing challenges with the NYS Health Exchange rollout and the high cost of Medicare, stated: "It is too early to full evaluate the operations of the health exchanges. The legislature should have oversight hearings and develop responses to problems identified."

Housing and Development↓

Supports mandatory inclusionary zoning but is "not prepared to support a specific ratio for all projects."
Opposes reforming the Scaffold Law from absolute liability to comparative negligence.
Supports reforming the Urstadt Law.
In addressing the affordable housing needs in the state and city, stated: "We need to provide State funding to enable the development of more affordable housing. The State should also mandate inclusionary zoning so that affordable units are made available."
In addressing the rising cost of commercial rents and the loss of local retail businesses, stated: "Zoning changes should encourage more commercial space availability. Second-floor commercial development should be encouraged, as in Hong Kong."


Would vote yes on the DREAM Act.
Opposes non-citizen voting.
Supports drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.


Stated that the biggest infrastructure needs in the district are: "better safeguards against storm damage, both on the coast and inland; numerous roads and bridges need to be rehabilitated; many subway stations need comprehensive rehabilitation; elevators and escalators at subway stations need to be provided."

Policing and Criminal Justice↓

Supports broken windows policing.
Supports the legalization of marijuana.
In addressing whether there is a role for state government in overseeing the conduct of municipal police forces, stated: "The State can play a role in mediating controversies. State District Attorneys should investigate and prosecute improper police conduct."


In addressing road safety, and the appropriate approach to balancing the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, stated: "I support the lower speed limit recently enacted. I support separate bikeways isolated from motor traffic, as on several NYC avenues. For pedestrians, I support timed crossing signals at all intersections with beepers at main intersections for the blind."


Organizations: Working Families Party; Northwest Bronx for Change; Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC; Amsterdam News; Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club; Tenants PAC; Janel Towers Tenants Association; Public Employees Federation; New York Times; Sierra Club; The New York Times; Yonkers Tribune; 504 Democratic Club; Janel Towers Tenants Association; Americans for Democratic Action (ADA); Blue America; The New York Carib News; KidsPAC

Individuals: Gustavo Rivera, NYS Senate (D-33); Liz Kreuger, NYS Senate (D-28); Betsy Gotbaum, Former NYC Public Advocate; Michael McKee, Treasurer of Tenants PAC; Bill Samuels, Former Finance Chairman, NYS Senate Democratic Campaign Committee

Record in Office

NYC Council Committee Assignments:

Attorney General: 

Lundgren (G)


Carl Lundgren (G)

Campaign Website

On the Issues


Currently: Chair, Bronx County Green Party

Previous Work: Candidate, Bronx Borough President (2013); Candidate, NY State Senate District 34 (2012); Candidate, NY State Assembly District 82 (2010)

Education: Coursework, NY Institute of Technology

On the Issues

*Research Ongoing

*Research ongoing





Candidates' statements taken from their respective websites and press releases, unless otherwise noted.