Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union


NY State Senate District 20

«NY State Senate District 19 NY State Senate District 31»




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Rubain Dorancy (D)

Jesse Hamilton (D)

Guillermo Philpotts (D)


Dorancy (D)


Rubain Dorancy (D)

Campaign Website

On the Issues


Currently: Principal and Owner, Triad Consulting Strategies

Previous Work: Senior Administrator, NYC Department of Education; Vice President, Community School Board ; Chair, Haitian American Association for Political Action-PAC (HAAPA-PAC)

Education: BA, CCNY; MS/MPA, Baruch College; JD, Brooklyn Law School; SDA/SBA certificates, Long Island University School of Education

On the Issues

Civil Rights

Supports "programs that will increase crime prevention and safety while ensuring our civil rights and our neighbors' civil liberties...[such as] local partnerships and using community-based models."

Supports the Women's Equality Act.


Supports "policies that will increase access for small businesses and minority and women-owned enterprises...[as a way to eliminate poverty and] reduce many of the injustices in our community."

Supports raising the minimum wage.


Works as a senior administrator in the NYC Department of Education.

Advocates for universal pre-kindergarten, and increasing free after-school programs and community schools.

Proposes partnership of Medgar Evers College with local communities in the district to provide career opportunities.

He went to law school "to study law to think about how civil rights and education law could be approached in a way to ensure we were adequately addressing the opportunities in the achievement gaps." BK Reader

"When we have public officials that aren't making the connection between access to high quality education and employment; the relationship between unemployment and high levels of criminality; the relationship between lack of opportunities and adult development... These are all inter-connected; they are not unrelated. The violence we see in Brownsville can be traced back to poor education. So, we have to see the inter-connectedness between all of these different factors and begin to think about policymaking and laws through big ideas." BK Reader

On solving social inequities through education equality: "'Sometimes to solve a problem, you have to make it bigger. ...You have to think about these policies in a broader, comprehensive context.' To him, that means tackling problems at schools to deal with poverty and unemployment. Solutions would include ensuring 'fiscal equity' for public schools, re-establishing school boards and making sure charter schools accept students with the same demographics and needs of the communities where they're located.'It's not to punish them. ...It's actually to allow the charter schools to fully live up to their original intent,' which was to teach traditional public schools 'how to get it right.'" DNA Info

"I want the 20th senatorial district to become the most literate district in NY. And by that, I mean more than educational literacy. I mean financial literacy: We need to understand the language of finance and money; political literacy: We need to understand the language of the constitution and of civic engagement; social-emotional literacy, how do you cultivate healthy relationships with your counterparts and other cultures? ...These are life skills young people are going to need to know how to navigate in order to move forward, in order to thrive. So, how can we partner with other local institutions to educate people about these kinds of literacies?'" BK Reader


"It's very easy to encourage development. Brooklyn really has become the next Manhattan. But what we really don't want is for Brooklyn to become the next Manhattan, where you have abject poverty sitting in the shadows of blinding affluence and people are, like, okay with that...What we want to think about is, how do we ensure that low-income and middle-income people also get to enjoy the cultural masterpieces of Brooklyn. How do they get to benefit from their commitment to the community over the last 20, 30 years?" BK Reader


Supports the DREAM Act. DNA Info


Organizations: Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn; New Kings Democrats; 1199SEIU; Amsterdam News; Teamsters Joint Council 16; CWA District 1; CWA Local 1109; New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV); Empire State Pride Agenda; Citizens Union; NY Daily News

Individuals: Mayor Bill de Blasio; Hakeem Jeffries, US House of Representatives (NY-8); Yvette Clarke, US House of Representatives (NY-9); Former Council Member Una Clarke (D-40); Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-45); Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-34); Council Member Carlos Menchaca

Hamilton (D)


Jesse Hamilton (D)

Campaign Website

On the Issues


Currently: Director, State Senate 20th District Office; Attorney, NYC Department of Finance; District Leader (D-43); President, Lincoln Civic Block Association; President of the Rosa Parks Independent Democratic Organization

Previous Work: Legal Counsel, State Senate District 20 Office; Vice President of Community Board 8, Crown Heights

Education: BS, Ithaca College; JD, Seton Hall University; MBA, Long Island University

On the Issues

Source for Jesse Hamilton's issue stances, unless marked otherwise: Gotham Gazette Questionnaire

Top 5 Legislative Priorities↓

In his Hamilton's own words:


1. Raise the minimum wage to $15/hour in New York City and at least $10.10/hour statewide.
2. Pass the DREAM Act so all our children have an opportunity to pursue higher education.
3. Pass the Women's Equality Act, because women deserve equal pay for equal work, discrimination-free workplaces, and the opportunity to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions
4. More funding for our schools which have been chronically underfunded by a biased education funding formula. We need at least $2 Billion more annually for New York City schools.
5. Affordable Housing. We must leverage every resource at our disposal to make sure development projects include housing that is truly affordable for low income residents.





In addressing how to utilize NYS' multibillion dollar surplus by, stated: "We need to fully fund our schools and infrastructure projects across the state. Infrastructure improvements to transit can create jobs and get our people and our economy moving again."



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 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 an NYS jobs program, stated: "Our labor unions have tremendous apprenticeship programs that can serve as a great pipeline to jobs that can help build and maintain the middle class. We should work with our brothers and sisters in labor to examine ways to expand these programs and create living wage jobs."

Supports "encouraging collective bargaining, increased unionization, and shared employee ownership." Website


Opposes implementing Common Core state standards.

Supports maintaining the cap on charter schools.

Stated that government should not pay for location of charter schools in private space or 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: "We must correct the funding formula so that low-income school districts receive the aid they need for our children to succeed."


Opposes hydrofracking in NYS.

Stated that municipalities should decide, via zoning processes, whether hydrofracking occurs in their jurisdiction.

Good Government↓

Supports reducing individual campaign contribution limits, only if public financing of campaigns is implemented.

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:

  • Same day voter registration,
  • Early voting,
  • No-excuse absentee ballots,
  • Reforming special elections,
  • Instant runoff voting,
  • Granting voting rights to parolees,
  • Consolidating state and federal primaries,
  • Lowering the voting age.

In addressing how to properly monitor and enforce ethics laws and appropriate conduct of legislators, stated: "There must be a strict procedure in place to determine is [sic] misconduct has occurred, and if so, it should be dealt with in the most serious manner possible."

In addressing legislative oversight of public authorities such as the MTA and Port Authority, stated: "We must make sure that state authorities answer to those they are supposed to serve. The MTA must do a better job of providing service and we must never see a repeat of what happened with the public utilities post Superstorm Sandy."


In addressing challenges with the NYS Health Exchange rollout and the high cost of Medicare, stated: "The initial creation of the healthcare exchanges took entirely too long, but overall, compared to other states, New York's rollout was relatively successful."

Housing and Development

Supports mandatory inclusionary zoning at the 50-50 ratio.

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 must examine mandatory inclusion zoning and make sure that anytime state dollars, via tax cuts or subsidies, are provided to a project, that the project is providing a tangible public good in the form a truly affordable housing."

In addressing the rising cost of commercial rents and the loss of local retail businesses, stated: "We should consider a program similar to the rent regulations on residential tenants. We cannot have our small businesses, who are the economic engine of our economy, continue to be pushed out by skyrocketing commercial rents."

Advocates for investments in public housing, increasing "services for NYCHA residents, making sure our senior centers and community centers are fully funded and more money is allocated for repairs. ...I will work to end the cycle of displacement of residents from their homes and fight to protect the affordable units in our community." Website

Supports "offering tax abatements & exemption to property owners" in order to develop and maintain an "accessible, affordable and integrated housing stock." 504 Democratic Club

Stated that he worries about "downsizing" longtime tenants of Tivoli Towers, and "agressive tactics in housing and development." DNA Info


Would vote yes on the DREAM Act.

Supports non-citizen voting.

Supports drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Supports creation of a "universal ID for all New Yorkers." Website


Stated that the biggest infrastructure needs in the district are: "We need more classroom seats and more affordable housing. We must work to leverage state resources so development projects create affordable housing units."

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: "Yes. If the localities prove themselves incapable of oversight, then the state should step in."


In addressing road safety, and the appropriate approach to balancing the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, stated: "We must lower the speed limit, create more pedestrian plazas and walkways and make our streets more bicycle friendly."


Organizations: Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats; 32BJ SEIU; New York Communities for Change; Tenants PAC; Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 1180; Bridge and Tunnel Officers Benevolent Association; the Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12; District Council 37 (DC 37); United Federation of Teachers (UFT); New York State United Teachers (NYSUT); Transportation Workers Union (TWU); AFL-CIO; Uniformed Fire Officers Association; Metal Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46; Local 14 Operating Engineers; Local 94 Operating Engineers; Independent Neighborhood Democrats; Stars and Stripes Democrats; Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform

Individuals: Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President; Velmanette Montgomery, NYS Senate (D-25); former Congress member Ed Towns (D-11, D-10); former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; Brad Lander, NYC Council (D-39); Steve Levin, NYC Council (D-33); Darlene Mealy, NYC Council (D-41); Vincent Gentile, NYC Council (D-43); Alan Maisel, NYS Assembly (D-59); Karim Camara, NYS Assembly (D-43); Nick Perry, NYS Assembly (D-58); Felix Ortiz, NYS Assembly (D-51); Joan Millman, NYS Assembly (D-52); Rhoda Jacobs, NYS Assembly (D-42); Annette Robinson, NYS Assembly (D-56); Maritza Davila, NYS Assembly (D-53); Steve Cymbrowitz, NYS Assembly (D-45); Bill Colton, NYS Assembly (D-47); Peter Abate, NYS Assembly (D-49); Alec Brook-Krasny, NYS Assembly (D-46); Jo Ann Simon, Candidate for NYS Assembly (D-52); John Liu, Former NYC Council Member and Comptroller, Candidate for NYS Assembly (SD-11); Bill Thompson, Former City Comptroller and Mayoral Candidate

Philpotts (D)

Photo Currently Unavailable

Guillermo Philpotts (D)


Previous Work: 


On the Issues

*Research Ongoing

*Research ongoing





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


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