June 27th, 2023
June 17th to 25th
Chris Banks, candidate for the New York City Council, running to represent the communities of East New York, Starrett City, Brownsville, Canarsie, and East Flatbush, that comprise Brooklyn’s 42nd Council District, is a lifelong Brooklyn resident who was born and raised in the neighborhood of East New York.
Chris grew up in an entrepreneurial and labor household, which taught him the virtues of hard work, collaboration, and respect for others from his parents. His mother was an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago, his father, a hardworking man, originally from Houston Texas. His parents moved to East New York, the place they came to call home, after living in other parts of Brooklyn. Chris’ mother was an entrepreneur who owned a nail salon in East New York for fifteen years before joining the Department of Juvenile justice where she worked as a juvenile counselor for 19 years before proudly retiring as a member of DC-37’s Local 371. Chris’ father worked in the food services department of the Houston school system as a milk deliveryman who also ran his own landscaping business to help the family make ends meet.
Chris believes in maintaining a strong spiritual and educational foundation. Chris is grounded through faith as a member of East New York’s Changing Lives Christian Center since 2008. Chris earned his Associates Degree in Judicial Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice building on the education he received while attending PS 213, PS 273, and Anointed Minds Christian Academy, all in East New York East New, before graduating from Leadership Public Service High School in Manhattan.
Chris has always believed in giving back to the community that raised him. From his first job at the local Police Athletic League as an education group leader and adolescent coordinator, to running after school and summer youth programs for the East New York Local Development Corporation, providing services to hundreds of area youth, Chris has always centered his work around strengthening the community.
Seeing the community through a grassroots lens, Chris believes conditions could be made better by building community-based power through partnership and collaboration while identifying ways to amplify the voices of the traditionally unheard. It has always been Chris’ philosophy that strong advocacy is essential when fighting for the needs of the community.
Chris has built on this philosophy by founding or co-founding effective community-based programs including the East New York United Concerned Citizens Inc., an anti-poverty organization that provided senior and youth services to thousands of residents of East New York and the surrounding community. The organization provided housing advocacy, youth mentoring, support services for seniors, and a youth scholarship fund. Chris was also the co-founder of the East New York collaborative, along with Rabbi Avrohom Hecht and then community activist Nikki Lucas, an organization focused on building community through collaboration.
Chris currently serves as the President of the 75th Precinct Council where he has merged his advocacy and love for his community with his efforts to improve police community relations in an area with a history of over policing. Chris revitalized the Van Siclen Block Association, where he serves as the president, leading the organization in the production of various events and initiatives including recreational and social events that have built cohesion on the block and addressed numerous quality of life issues, through block clean ups, snow removal, green thumb planting initiatives, graffiti removal, and public art beautification initiatives.
Additionally, Chris is a former member of Community Board 5 where he has served as the co-chair of the Aging, Transportation, and Education committees, as well as serving as a member of the Executive Committee as the Sergeant at Arms. Since 2018 has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Boulevard Houses Nursery Day Care where he oversees several City Contracts of more than $1 million. He also wrote the green jobs curriculum and performed community outreach for the Italian American Civil Rights Group based in Starrett City and East New York.
Chris is a results-oriented community organizer and a man of action with a proven record of leveraging relationships to achieve wins for his community. Chris has successfully organized residents of Starrett City to prevent a proposed significant rent increase, organized seniors to prevent the closure of the Theresa Moore Senior Center located in Pink Houses and the Penn Wortman Senior Center, preserving vital services for area seniors, and he also organized community members and worked with local elected officials to prevent the closure of the NYPD Community Center. Chris has fought for repairs, clean drinking water, restoration of gas services, heat, and other serious quality of life issues in several NYCHA buildings and has worked with area homeowners and other community residents as part of the East New York Coalition to prevent the creation of additional shelters within the East New York Community. Where protecting the rights of the community is concerned, there isn’t a fight Chris won’t take on.
Chris is running to be your next Councilmember because he believes we need a strong partner in city government to work alongside our state and federal elected officials to provide the leadership the community needs for the future of the district.
District 42 Issues
As your next member of the City Council to represent District 42,
Chris will focus his efforts on
Addressing the lack of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities that benefit longtime residents of the community.
Fighting for and protecting Public Housing (NYCHA).
Creating a safer community for all by implementing a common-sense Public Safety Plan.
Fighting poverty through the creation of job readiness, job training and job opportunities.
Providing resources for the creation and growth of a thriving small business community.
Providing oversight and passing legislation to strengthen the Fair Share clause in the NYC Charter to stop the proliferation of shelters in our community.
Fighting for the creation of more affordable and quality mental and medical care options for our community.
Addressing the education gap faced by our community’s students.
Increasing funding for programs that serve seniors and youth.
Fighting food insecurity created by the area’s food deserts and lack of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Creating better transportation options and a safer environment for transit workers.
Improving quality of life by addressing sanitation and solicitation issues.
Confronting Climate Change and Resilience.
Providing robust and effective constituent services to address community needs.
When it comes to protecting the legacy of the district, while working to shape the future we all deserve, you can bank on Chris Banks!