New York City Council District 11 Biographies

 

Carlton Berkley is a lifelong New yorker who resides in the Bronx. He has been married for 36 years and is the proud father of three children and grandfather of two. He attends Walker Memorial Baptist Church where he serves as an ordained deacon. Carlton has been a community activist and organizer for over 20 years and continues his work today. He is a member of several organizations such as the Brothers and Sisters Who Care, Discovery for Justice, and the National Latino Officers Association. These organizations fight against all injustices no matter what creed, color, and/or origin. In addition, they tackle issues of police abuse, misconduct, and inequality. He has and will fight for the people who cannot fight for themselves and be a voice for the voiceless.

 

Carlton joined the New York Police Department on July 16, 1984, and retired on July 31, 2004. During his tenure, he was promoted to a second-grade detective and has joined the 100 Blacks in Law-Enforcement Who Care and the National Latino Officers Association. Some of the issues Carlton wishes to address are Public Safety, Housing, and Economic Development. To learn more about Carlton Berkley’s candidacy please visit his site, linked above.

 

Eric Dinowitz is a husband, father, public-school special education teacher, and community activist. Eric found value in helping people and his community at a young age and made a career out of it. As a public-school special education teacher at JFK and Walton Campuses, UFT Chapter Leader, and Democratic District Leader, Eric has spent his entire career fighting to make our community and the lives of people in it better.

In the city council, Eric will make your voice heard to have an equitable recovery from the COVID crisis. He will advocate for policies that safely get our kids back to school and focus on our children and community, not high-stakes test scores; stand with unions, advocate for policies that uplift our small businesses, and support our working families; protect our seniors with policies that allow them to age in place and stay independent; ensure that disabled New Yorkers have equal access to our city.

Whether it be in the classroom, securing accessible transit, speaking out when the MTA wanted to cut bus service, or standing up for seniors, Eric has been there for us, and will make our voices heard in City Hall. EricDinowitzForCouncil@gmail.com

Jessica Haller is a working mom of four, a tech entrepreneur, and a climate advocate, trained by Al Gore. She approaches all City issues through that lens, and is running on a platform of equity, sustainability, and resilience.

 

Jessica understands that the problems we face in our community and across the city are interconnected. She is committed to innovating public transit, a strong Climate Mobilization Act, fighting for racial justice, distributed renewable energy, strengthening services for seniors, growing the middle class, bringing 21st-century skills to public schools, investing in small businesses, and promoting economic opportunity for all.

 

With an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in environmental science and public policy from Columbia University, Jess is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Hazon, the largest faith-based environmental organization in the United States. She has been on the board of the Riverdale Nature Preservancy for a decade. 

 

As a lifelong New Yorker with experience in government, private and not for profit sectors, with years of leadership in the technology and Climate Change arenas, Jess is ready and spectacularly well-equipped to fight for our community and our City. 

Mino Lora is an artist, activist, educator, and the Executive Director of People's Theatre Project (PTP). Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, she moved to the U.S. at 19 years old to attend Manhattanville College where she earned her B.A. in English Literature & Theatre; and later, her M.A. in Peace Studies & Conflict Transformation from The Graduate Institute. 

With the $400 she saved from waiting tables, Mino founded PTP,  a city-wide social justice arts nonprofit that now serves 1,000 young people annually. From launching English literacy programs at her college, to teaching theater in South Africa to girls impacted by HIV, and helping teens produce plays in partnership with the Obama Administration's U.S. State Department - Mino has worked with thousands of students in schools across NYC and internationally. 

Additionally, she serves on the New York Immigrant Coalition (NYIC) and Northern Manhattan Agenda (NMA) leadership councils advocating for immigrant rights and equity in education at the local, state and federal level. 

Mino lives in the Bronx with her husband Bob and their two young children. She’s currently running for NYC Council to represent District 11 in the Bronx, on a progressive, anti-racist platform focused on justice for all.

Abigail Martin is a longtime resident of District 11 where she lives with her husband and three young children. Abigail’s twin girls attend PS 81, the same school her husband attended. Abigail is a social worker and has extensive experience working in the criminal legal system, healthcare system, and child welfare system. Abigail worked for seven years at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA-NYC), an organization that advocates for children in foster care. Abigail managed CASA’s Bronx office and oversaw volunteer operators for the organization. It was in this role that Abigail saw first-hand the devastating impact poverty has on families and how easy it is for vulnerable people to fall through the cracks in the social safety nets designed to help them.

 

Abigail decided to run for City Council after watching COVID devastate the Bronx. Recognizing that NYC has a history of rebuilding from crises of the backs of working families and those on fixed incomes, Abigail felt compelled to throw her hat into the race. City government needs more politicians who understand the intricate workings of city agencies and who are going to fight for affordability, and a just and equitable City for all New Yorkers like Abigail.

 

Dan Padernacht demonstrated his commitment to the Democratic Party in 2010 by withdrawing from the Democratic Primary for State Senate in order to strengthen Gustavo Rivera’s (ultimately victorious) opposition to Pedro Espada, who had refused to caucus with Democrats in 2008. Dan has been a member of Bronx Community Board 8 since 2009, serving as Chair of the Board from 2014–2017, Chair of the Traffic and Transportation Committee from 2017–present (as well as from 2010-2014) and Vice-Chair of its Land Use Committee from 2017–present. Dan was born and raised in the Bronx, part of the third generation of his family to live in the Council District.  Dan is a private practice attorney who represents clients in real estate transactions. Dan is pro bono counsel for the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association and has represented numerous tenants pro bono in housing court matters. Dan teaches mock trial at PS/MS 95, his alma mater. Dan joined the BFRDC in 2011 and has been active since – acting as an Executive Committee member from 2012-2019. He has been a Member of the Bronx Democratic County Committee since 2012 and an Alternate Judicial Delegate since 2014. 

Marcos Sierra, a Norwood resident of Puerto Rican descent, was raised in Manhattan’s NYCHA Douglass Houses before his single mother moved his family back to the Bronx.  Growing up in Public Housing showed Marcos firsthand, the deplorable living conditions faced by many of our NYCHA neighbors.

 

Sierra currently represents the Bronx’s 80th Assembly as Male District Leader proudly serving as the bridge between community and elected officials.  From job fairs, to community events, to working with elected officials and community stake holders to address the K2 issue that was devastating our communities, he has consistently demonstrated his genuine desire and focus on improving our community’s quality of life.

 

Sierra, also an entrepreneur, started his own business, El Flanadero, and holds an AAS in Business Management.  He is also the former Chair of Youth, Education, and Libraries for Bronx CB7, and is a member of the Louella Hatch Democratic Club.

 

Sierra’s life experience has shown him that community resources should be equitable not just equal, and has made him a fighter for Seniors, Education, and Housing among other issues.  Sierra looks forward to fighting for the residents of all neighborhoods making up the quilt-of-diversity, that is the 11th Council District.

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