This election year has already proven interesting on the national level and locally, the interest has also spiked, as voters across Central Brooklyn will have more options to choose from to represent their interests in Albany.
Longstanding State Senator Velmanette Montgomery of the 25th district will faceoff against up-and-comer Michael Cox for a seat she has held for 32 years. The district includes most of Bedstuy, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, and parts of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Park Slope and Sunset Park.
With a passion for the Brooklyn that raised him, first-generation Grenadian American Cox is ready to enter the ring and fight with intensity for affordable housing and education — bringing a fire he feels has been lacking in the current administration for quite some time.
“Sometimes as a community, because we respect people, we have a hard time telling them that it’s their time to step down, or that it’s their time to move on,” Cox said.
Cox, a graduate of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education, began his career as a public school teacher in East New York. He later went on to work as a policy advisor to Congressmen Gregory Meeks and was appointed by the Obama Administration to the United States Commerce Department where he worked as an advisor to the assistant secretary for Economic Development and the Assistant Secretary of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs.
With his own eye for job creation and interest in supporting small businesses, Cox points out that while Brooklyn is steadily growing up, the current administration has not opened doors to small business owners to gain access to these opportunities.
“There are 30 or so new high rises, in Downtown Brooklyn alone, and what we haven’t seen is my opponent Senator Montgomery helping small business get access to those contracts,” he said.
Montgomery’s decorated resume includes being a lead proponent of school-based healthcare as a model system delivering comprehensive primary and mental health services to children of all ages in the school setting.
Also, Montgomery’s Teen Health Agenda includes legislation requiring the teaching of age appropriate, medically accurate sexuality education in kindergarten through 12th grade, among other things.
Despite her experience and work within reforming her core issues of the State’s juvenile justice, foster care, and adoptive care systems, Cox believes the 25th district deserves a new leader to usher in a new phase that serves the community’s needs.
“What’s clear is that most people are not happy with our state of education, affordable housing — or lack of affordable housing — so we have to look at who is able to change those things, what they’ve been doing and when we look at who’s been able to change those things the State senator has simply not done enough,” he explained.