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Andrea Gordillo, former CoDA president, is running for Council District 2 — will Harvey Epstein, too?

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Updated Feb. 21, 12:00 p.m.: Andrea Gordillo is throwing her hat in the ring for City Council District 2.

Meanwhile, in an interesting twist, Harvey Epstein, who has represented the East Side’s Assembly District 74 since 2018, told The Village Sun he is not ruling out a run for City Council himself.

The Council district stretches from the Lower East Side through the East Village and Gramercy and up to Kips Bay in the E. 30s, also — after the recent redistricting — now taking in Greenwich Village over to Sixth Avenue. It’s currently represented by Carlina Rivera, who will be term-limited out of office at the end of next year.

Gordillo, who is Peruvian-American, is both the chairperson of Community Board 3 and the former president of Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), Rivera’s home political organization. As of Feb. 1, Gordillo is no longer CoDA president; Alana Sinvin is serving as the group’s interim president. CoDA has not endorsed for City Council yet — only having just recently done their endorsements for state Senate and Assembly for this summer’s primary elections.

Gordillo is also the development director for The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Education Center and the City Council speaker’s representative to the Public Theater’s board of trustees. Previously, she was the program manager at the Loisaida Cultural Center.

“I have supported my community through my leadership roles in arts, culture, community development and the local community board, building political power along the way,” Gordillo said. “My campaign is rooted in fidelity and gratitude to the robust legacies of justice and creativity of the people of this district, and an optimistic future full of dignified housing, quality of life and radical imagination for all New Yorkers. I am committed to extending the legacy of the trailblazing women who came before me, who were first elected to this position in 1997, and I am asking your support to power my campaign and make our vision a reality.”

Council District 2 has been represented by CoDA-backed candidates for more than 25 years now, starting back with Margarita Lopez, continuing with Rosie Mendez and up through Rivera today.

At Gordillo’s Feb. 21 launch event, at the Francis Kite Club, on Avenue C, her endorsement by 12 community leaders will be announced. City & State released the list of the dozen supporters — which notably does not include Councilmember Rivera, although it’s admittedly early in the race. Among the dozen are Mar Fitzgerald, the former president of the Village Independent Democrats political club and current chairperson of the C.B. 2 Cannabis Licensing Committee; Meghan Joye, an East Village bar owner and former C.B. 3 member; and Mammad Mahmoodi and Sasha Allenby, both of EVLoves NYC, a group that provides meals for the food insecure.

A first-time candidate, Gordillo is running on a platform of “equity and opportunity, ensuring that every New Yorker has a voice in shaping our city’s future. Together,” she said, “we can build a city where justice prevails, where our rich cultural heritage is celebrated, and where every resident can thrive.”

Allie Ryan has challenged Rivera twice in past elections, but has not announced yet if she will run in next year’s District 2 Democratic primary.

“I’m undecided,” Ryan said.

So far, one other candidate has already announced she’s running: Sarah Batchu, a member of C.B. 3., declared her candidacy even earlier than Gordillo, in December.

Epstein and Rivera rumor

In addition, there is some chatter about a rumor going around that Rivera and Epstein actually might try to do a “swap,” under which Rivera runs for Epstein’s Assembly seat and Epstein runs for her City Council seat.

However, asked for comment, Rivera said, “I have not spoken to Harvey about my or his political future, not at all. So, no, we have absolutely not discussed any of the seats within our districts. Sorry, your intel is bad.”

Harvey Epstein

Epstein, though, confirmed that he might potentially consider leaving Albany for “another position.”

“I am running for reelection now but also exploring my options,” he said. “I am running for reelection this year but open to looking at other positions in the future, including the City Council.”

Flexing his political muscle, in October, Epstein ran for Manhattan County Committee chairperson, but narrowly lost to the incumbent, Domenico “Nico” Minerva.

Frank Gonzalez, an East Village realtor and activist who tried to run for district leader last year but was knocked off the ballot by a CoDA challenge to his petition signatures (by District Leader Paul Newell), recently said he had heard about the potential “seat flip” scenario. The rumors he was hearing were stronger, though, about Epstein possibly making a move than Rivera running for the state Legislature, he said.

“Not sure. Just rumors — by a lot of people of the community,” he said. “Definitely Harvey for City Council but not sure about Carlina for state Assembly — unless she has a house and lives in Albany,” he quipped.

Correction: The initial version of this article incorrectly said Allie Ryan already had decided to run for City Council.


  1. Choresh Wald Choresh Wald February 27, 2024

    It’s a shame because Harvey Epstein is doing a great work as an Assembly member. I had the same concern when Brad Hoylman ran for BP. Luckily for us he’s still a State Senator

  2. Gojira Gojira February 21, 2024

    Agree with Elephant’s Memory, it’s long past time to break CODA’s stranglehold on the district. The population has changed, and we need someone actually willing to work for us rather than just slide in to advance their political career or sit around for 8 years doing nothing and then collecting a fat pension check and lifetime benefits.

  3. John Penley John Penley February 20, 2024

    The neighborhood is a Yuppie Scum real estate developer area and no matter who the Village Sun endorses the “Christadora House ” gentry types are really in control. Can The Village Sun ask her position on Eating The Rich ?

      • The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | February 21, 2024

        Hi, Ben Carlos Thypin of Open New York…we mean, LES3025 (yeah, right) — we also would be surprised.

      • authentic new yorker authentic new yorker February 23, 2024

        Hi, LES3025,
        How about new safe-needle exchanges right next to REBNY office and also Transportation Alternatives office? Or homes of REBNY and TransAlt prinicipals?

        It’s a eally needed service — and of course REBNY and TransAlt would be thrilled. No NIMBY for them.

  4. Elephant's Memory Elephant's Memory February 20, 2024

    Great! Just what we need = continuation of the corrupt 30-year CODA hegemony.

    Will Ms. Gordillo sell out and land in the pocket of real-estate interests, as has Rivera?

    Will she partake in the election scandals and back-room deals of Rosie Mendez and her predecessor, Margarita Lopez, who went on to work for Republican Mayor Bloomberg?

    CODA has become the new Tammany. Time to oust it.

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