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Meet Carolyn 

Public Servant Working for Everyday People
Carolyn Tran, candidate for New York City Council District 25
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A History of Advocacy

As a community leader; I have...

 

  • Championed constituents by connecting community members with social services, navigating City agencies, and developing deep relationships with people and community organizations in the district, often serving as the 311 or one-stop shop to access. 

  • Helped distribute thousands of PPE to essential workers, community organizations and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Oversaw capital and discretionary allocations to local organizations and institutions that contribute to the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of our community;

  • Championed language accessibility by bringing on staff and interns who spoke Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Tibetan, Nepali and Burmese; 

  • Drew support to counter violence against Trans & Gender non-conforming people through facilitating media visibility and coverage. 

  • Supported immigration justice, including the outreach and enrollment of IDNYC; 

  • Supported homeless families by attending advisory board meetings of the Boulevard Family Shelter and facilitating the donation of essential goods;

  • Supported the expansion of public space in the district at Travers Park, Diversity Plaza and 34th Avenue Open Streets;

  • Provided crisis intervention on behalf of 80th Street constituents when National Grid left gas pipelines exposed and unsafe site conditions (2015);

  • Volunteered at the Love Wins Food Pantry, an inclusive LGBTQ+ led food pantry serving over 500 people a week;.  

  • Serve on the Board of Mekong NYC that organizes Southeast Asian communities; 

I am Carolyn Tran.

 

Mẹ [pronounced MAY-yuh] to two daughters. Feminist. Surfer. Public Servant. 

 

I am running because I know the community. Over the last decade, I have served Council District 25, mostly behind the scenes. I began working in Council Member Dromm’s office in 2010 and have served as Chief of Staff for the past 5 years. I provided constituent services ranging from intakes to navigating the bureaucracy of City agencies. In addition, I oversaw budgets that allocate resources in the district, with a focus on reaching the most marginalized communities in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. I never saw myself as a candidate for office, because traditionally these spaces are not designed to support a working, single mom in the pursuit of public office. I am here to change that.

 

I am running because I believe in racially just public education and universal childcare for all. As a single mom to two young daughters, Makana and Makai, I want to make sure their futures are bright and without barriers. I want this opportunity for every child in the district. This means a system that works for all of us, including English Language Learners and students with special needs. Read more about my Education for All platform.

 

I believe Jackson Heights and Elmhurst will thrive when small businesses, street vendors, and worker co-ops thrive and help pave a path out of this recession. I spearheaded cultural celebrations, in partnership with small businesses, family-owned restaurants, and community organizations, that were the first of its kind. These events include: the only Lunar New Year Celebration in Elmhurst, a resource fair to connect residents with jobs and community services; the annual Songkran Festival in Elmhurst to celebrate Thai New Year; Family Day with Friends of Diversity Plaza and SUKHI, a day-long celebration of the neighborhood’s diversity with artists; and ‘Eat Elmhurst,’ an initiative to promote small businesses in the district. Small businesses that value the dignity, safety, and labor of workers are the lifeline to our communities and a path to economic justice for the neighborhood, and I want the district to be assured they have a champion.

 

I am running for fair and just immigration policies. I was born in Honolulu, Hawai’i. I am the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who fled Vietnam to escape war. In one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history, my Mẹ, mother, escaped by boat. She was one of the thousands of “boat people,” whose experience shaped my understanding of the mental, the physical and environmental impact of war. They found physical safety, but it was a challenge to secure stable employment in Hawai’i, and moved to California, where I spent my formative years. I know how immigration can be a path to realizing the American dream and I will advocate for just immigration and workers’ rights and protections, leading with paid time off, healthcare for all, and childcare that supports working parents. Read more about what I will champion for New Yorkers.

 

I am running because I want to expand how democracy works in our City. I have helped older adults and low-income tenants fight eviction and predatory landlords. I want to be a leader that not just helps communities secure stable housing, but who helps empower tenants to organize. I will use my experience in advocacy, my expertise in government, and my deep partnerships with community-based organizations to champion policies that make our neighborhoods stronger and able to withstand the fluctuations of the market. Read more about my Housing for All platform.

 

I am running because the district needs a leader who stands up for racial justice. For too long, we have ignored the structures that have led us to over-policing in our schools and on our streets, at the expense of community safety. I marched with Black Lives Matter, bicycled over 100 miles with the Justice Rides, and advocated for a City, where all of us can have equal opportunity, regardless of zip code, skin color, or income.

 

I believe that our democracy is stronger, when residents use the power of protest and organizing, which keeps the government accountable, and gives elected officials the courage to champion progressive legislation. As an Asian American Studies major at San Francisco State University, I was inspired by the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program; social activists such as Grace Lee Boggs, Yuri Kochiyama and Richard Aoki whose legacy spoke to the power of Black and Asian solidarity. I have continued in this spirit, volunteering with the Love Wins Pantry and serving on a nonprofit board that champions dignity for low-wage immigrant workers, and fights deportations and evictions.

 

Our district is stronger when there are more people engaged. This looks like everyday people including women, Black, Latinx, Native, Asian American, and LGBTQIA+ communities understanding the intricacies of how the government can work for them, and making decisions about how our City can work better for all of us.

 

In 2009, I moved to Queens to pursue a masters from the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment at The New School and in 2013 Jackson Heights became my home.

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This campaign is greater than me; this campaign is a coalition of community organizers, mothers, women, LGBTQIA+ activists and allies. This campaign is about welcoming everyone who has been left out of the democratic process, to have representation on the issues that matter. This campaign is a call to #ShareTheMic, because that’s the only way to make change.

 

I am not your typical candidate. 

 

I am Carolyn Tran and together, we will create the change that we want in this City. Grab a chair and have a seat at our table.