Heastie endorses Riley for 12th district

Heastie endorses Riley for 12th district

Moses Kuwema

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has endorsed Kevin Riley's candidature for the city's 12th council District.

The special election was necessitated by the expulsion of Andrew King from the City Council in October following recommendations by a City Council Ethics Committee.

Speaker Heastie shared the reasons why he would be voting for Riley on his verified social media platform Saturday.

"Dear Neighbors, Let me share why I’m voting for Kevin Riley to be the next City Councilman for the 12th Council District. 

" Twelve years ago I met Kevin through a mutual friend, who said there was something special about this young man. After the introduction, I was so impressed, I offered him an internship in my office.  

"As an intern, I became even more impressed with his character, professionalism and commitment to our community. As he was finishing his internship, I offered him a job upon his graduation. He started as a community liaison handling constituent issues. 

"He continued to show such great promise, I promoted him to Office Manager and then to his current title of Community Relations Director," wrote Speaker Heastie. 

Speaker Heastie said that Riley has been the main driving force behind the community finally getting a $60 million YMCA. 

He said for decades this community has been wanting a place where community members could come together. 

He added that Riley worked with the YMCA, Contractor, Labor and the community to bring this to fruition and that that dream was four months away from being realized.

"But there is so much more to Kevin.  He is a mentor for the MY Brothers Keeper Program, which looks to improve life outcomes for young men of color.  

"He is a founding member of the DAD Gang, which is an organization committed to changing the negative stereotypes of how black fatherhood is viewed.  Kevin also hosted fitness workouts with our seniors at the neighborhood centers," wrote Speaker Heastie.

He said during the COVID-19 pandemic, Riley has also spent countless hours making food and water deliveries to constituents, hand sanitizer and masks giveaways to the community and PPE to essential workers.  

"Kevin never rested on his laurels and went back to school to achieve his Masters Degree. Finally Kevin’s best attribute is being a God fearing family man. He is a Member of Butler Memorial United Methodist Church.

"Kevin’s most important people are the women in his life, His beautiful daughters Brooke and Kate, fiancé Danielle and an extremely amazing Mom. Let me not forget his sister Simone and his niece Niya. I couldn’t be prouder to support this young man. 

"He is everything we hope young black men should aspire to be.  He is supported by all major unions; 1199, DC 37, UFT, TWU, NYSNA, CWA, 32BJ amongst others. I hope I can count on you to join me in supporting this great community servant to be our next City Councilman," concluded Speaker Heastie.

Early voting for the special election started Saturday and will go on up to December 20. The election day is December 22.