By: Curtis Harris

I am running for City Council because I want to lead next to people, not in front of them. I am the only candidate in the race not controlled by special interest groups. I will stand side by side with my Lubavitch brothers and sisters against racism and hate. 

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is an anti-semitic hate organization. Brooklynites should stand against those seeking to attack Israelis through terror and violence. BDS is failing to condemn violence; they protect and defend terrorists.

I will vote in support of all anti-BDS bills. Six City Council members abstained on the New York City Council version of the anti-BDS bill in 2016.  An abstention effectively counts as a NO since a majority of YES votes are required to pass. We want public officials who support us, not who vote against us.

Anti-Semitism has increased all over the world because of numerous factors, including globalization and populism. Anti-semitic incidents hit an all-time high in 2019. An AD (Anti-Defamation League) annual report found more than 2,100 acts of anti-semitic hate; 56 percent increase in assaults and five fatalities.

The record number of incidents came as the Jewish community grappled with a spree of violent assaults in Brooklyn and Crown Heights. More than half of the assaults nationwide took place in the five boroughs of New York City, including 25 in Brooklyn alone.

As a civic leader born and raised in Brooklyn, I will continue to speak out against antisemitism and all forms of hate and extremism. As the next Councilman for District 35, I will work with my Congressional colleagues to increase funding for non-profit security grants for synagogues, and other religious congregations, schools, and community centers.

Efforts to single Israel out for unwarranted criticism and punishment across the international system have significant roots in anti-Semitism. This anti-Semitic hatred has a long, shameful, and murderous history contrary to our fundamental values as New Yorkers and Americans.

I am a father of 6 children, and I am unimpressed with how the City has handled the education system.  Parents have to do what is best for their children without any outside interference. The City must leave Yeshiva schools alone and allow parents to control their children’s education, not governments. If New York City is interested in improving education, it should focus on its schools.

Deborah Lipstadt, author of “Denying the Holocaust,” says that “antisemitism begins with the Jews, but never ends with the Jews.” As my Jewish neighbors stood with me against racism, I will stand with them because we’re all in this together under one umbrella against hate and discrimination in Brooklyn and Israel.

Curtis Harris is a candidate for the 35th District City Council. His family is from Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, but he was born in Brownsville. He lived in Clinton Hill for a period, and now resides in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Curtis holds a Masters degree of Public Administration from Bernard Baruch College (CUNY) and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Medgar Evers College (CUNY), in Brooklyn, NY. Curtis is a proud father of six children and a proud grandfather to his two year old grandson.

The opinions, content and/or information in this article are those of the author and are independent of BK Reader.

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