Antonio Reynoso began his political career as an organizer for New York Communities for Change, before landing a job in 2007 working for Brooklyn Councilwoman Diana Reyna. Reynoso had larger ambitions, however, and weighed running for his boss’ seat before the City Council passed a term limits extension, allowing Reyna to run for another term. It was a blessing in disguise for Reynoso, who ran Reyna’s successful re-election campaign in 2009, and was later elevated to be her chief of staff.
“I was thinking about running for office [in 2009], but thought I was too young when I was 26 and I wasn’t prepared,” Reynoso said. “But then [the] term limits [extension] happened, and I wasn’t personally happy it happened, but it did give me an opportunity to rethink whether I wanted to run. I thought, ‘I’ve got four years to go, four years to learn more, four years to be a better person, a better leader.’ ”
As he prepares to enter the Council, Reynoso is focused on two issues especially germane to his district: public education and housing. Reynoso would never have been able to become a councilman, he said, were it not for the stellar education provided by his local public schools, one of which, P.S. 19, was recently shut down for underperformance. One of his key goals will be to ensure that the schools in his district have all the necessary resources to provide the same education he received.
On housing, Reynoso noted that in Williamsburg and Bushwick, “You’re either rich or poor.” He believes establishing affordable housing developments will help provide his constituents a gateway to the middle class.
“It is a tale of two cities in Williamsburg,” Reynoso said. “We need to start working on incentivizing and encouraging developers or anyone that’s building in Williamsburg to build middle income housing. That’s going to be the way that we can thwart gentrification and sustain our community long-term.”
Neighborhoods represented: Williamsburg and Bushwick, Brooklyn; Ridgewood, Queens.
Policy focus: Education, housing
Date of Birth: May 9, 1983
Birthplace: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Education: Le Moyne College
Previous occupation: Chief of staff, Councilwoman Diana Reyna