Meet the City Council’s New Members: Inez Barron

Meet the City Council’s New Members: Inez Barron

Meet the City Council’s New Members: Inez Barron
January 28, 2014

For twelve years, the name Barron has been one of the most well known in the City Council— evocative of conviction, bombast and controversy. Now with Charles Barron term limited out of office, a new Barron, Inez, will assume her husband’s seat.

“I want to continue to build on that legacy,” explained Inez to The Amsterdam News when she was on the campaign trail last year. “Having been married to Charles for over 30 years, I’ve learned from him how to get results without compromising my principles.”

Though she is not quite as outspoken as her husband, Barron showed that she is no shrinking violet during her two and a half terms as a member of the State Assembly, representing a district that largely overlaps with her Council seat. She was the Democrat who voted the most infrequently with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and only the second member of the chamber from her party to call on Silver to resign over his handling of sexual harassment allegations brought against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

Prior to her career in politics, Barron spent 36 years working in the city’s public school system, first as a teacher, and later as an administrator, ultimately retiring as a principal. A critic of the current construct of mayoral control over the Department of Education and an opponent of what she has called a “two-tiered” system of charter schools, Barron told City Limits, “If you can go into a building where they’re collocating, you can tell, by many indicators, which portion or which floors are the charter schools. That’s not right. Children know that there is a difference between the services they’re getting.”

In addition to reforming the education system, creating affordable housing, and addressing economic and social injustice, Barron’s vision for improving her district includes bringing in a trade school, opening a science museum, and revamping the area’s waterfront.

Whatever she champions Barron made it clear to the Politicker blog that she will do so with an approach that embraces the hallmark of her surname: “The people appreciate someone who’s not namby-pamby, wishy-washy, but someone who is firm. That’s what our community appreciates.”

District: 42
Neighborhoods represented: Parts of East New York, Brownsville, East Flatbush and Canarsie
Policy focus: Education, social justice, affordable housing, economic development
Date of birth: February 16, 1946
Birthplace: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Education: B.S. in physiology, Hunter College; M.S. in reading and special education, Bank Street College of Education
Previous occupation: Assemblywoman
Family: Husband: Charles; two children, Jelani Johnson and Jawanza Barron
Party: Democrat
City & State