Jeffries vs. Barron: Head-to-Head On the Issues

Comparing the positions of both Democratic candidates for the newly created 8th Congressional District in Central Brooklyn.

It's decision time.

With voting set to begin Tuesday in this year's first-of-a-kind early summer primary, registered Democrats in the 8th Congressional District will make a choice between Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Councilman Charles Barron.

Will it be Barron, D-East New York, a former Black Panther and schoolteacher who has gained the endorsements of and , among others?

Or will it be Jeffries, D-Fort Greene, —perhaps due to his pledge to knit together the district's traditional African-American voting base with an influx of new, mostly white, residents?

To help voters decide, here is a head-to-head matchup of the respective candidates' views on important issues based on a mix of Patch's own reporting, the reporting of others, or statements in the public record.

Affordable Housing

For. On the state level, Jeffries has promoted extending current rent protections and creating new affordable housing—including pushing for a promised 2,000 units at Atlantic Yards. In the Assembly, he was a vocal critic of the state Senate during for millions of subsidized units throughout the city in 2011.

For. As a representative of one of the hardest hit Council Districts in terms of foreclosures, Barron has laid the blame for the housing crisis squarely on Wall Street and national Republicans. He also recently joined critics of the Atlantic Yards project at calling for developer Bruce Ratner to deliver on promised affordable housing units.

Atlantic Yards

Fiercely opposed. As a Congressional candidate, Barron has emerged as one of the most forceful critics of the soon-to-be-opened Barclays Center and the rest of the Atlantic Yards redevelopment project—calling on residents to boycott Brooklyn Nets games and arena concerts such as Jay-Z's planned series of shows in September.

Highly critical. Compared to Barron, Jeffries' position on Atlantic Yards redevelopment has been more nuanced, with the Fort Greene Democrat calling for more oversight in the form of that would create an independent board to keep the best interests of the community in mind.

Marriage equality

In favor. As a state legislator, Jeffries voted "Yes” several times in an ultimately successful legislative push to grant same-sex couples the ability to marry in New York State.

Opposed. In a Capital New York interview last year, Barron said he was against same-sex marriage. During earlier this month, Barron chose not to respond to a question regarding his position on marriage equality.

Stop and Frisk

Opposed. The East New York Democrat told police at the FGA's June debate, “If you want to stop and frisk somebody, stop and frisk Wall Street."

Opposed. Last week, Jeffries stood side-by-side with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to announce a proposal —a key issue in many stop-and-frisk searches. The proposal later died in the state Senate due to staunch upstate and Long Island Republican resistance.


For. Jeffries has made several statements that have been highly supportive of continuing our relationship with Israel—a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. "He is a true blue friend of Israel and has a sophisticated sense of America's unique role in a complex, interconnected world," said Sen. Charles Schumer in a statement endorsing Jeffries.

Allegedly against. Several prominent lawmakers, including former Mayor Ed Koch, recently blasted Barron for past comments made in regards to Israel's right to exist.

Jim June 25, 2012 at 08:49 PM
hAKEEM jEFFRIES BRAGS ABOUT BEING A lawyer and an elected official. He knows posting his campaign posters on public property is against NYC law. Yet he's doing it. Are the laws for the voters, not him?
rjgx June 26, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Jeffries is clearly the better candidate. Less beholding to the old-school Brooklyn political machine, more forward thinking, more in-tune with the new economic, social, and political realities, endorsed by Governor Cuomo (the most effective Governor we've had since his Dad was in office). This is a no-brainer. Vote Jeffries.
anthony m. June 26, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Interesting that Israel made the list of issues but Unemployment (10.8% in BK) and Education (which is in crisis and a highly divisive issue in this town) did not...
Sharon June 26, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Is it "more forward thinking and in-tune with the new" to violate the laws of no-public posting? He not only has stapled his campaign posters all over, he has even put them within the barriers that forbid eletioneering at polling places. The laws don't apply to the annointed one.


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