Candidacy Announcement

Monday, December 28, 2020


I, Terrell L. Finner, am running for New York City Council’s 34th District seat representing Bushwick, Ridgewood, and Williamsburg. I am leading a progressive, forward-thinking campaign centered on improving the lives of residents in the 34th District and New York City at large. I am sharing this letter to ask that you, my family, neighbors and community, support my campaign through donations and by volunteering your time and counsel as I pursue this ambitious endeavor.


My campaign was built from scratch by friends and coworkers who, having little experience in politics, worked tirelessly to bring this committee to fruition. I am forever thankful for their passion for civic and social service. And while this campaign is only 6 days old, I am happy to share that we’ve received over 70 donations in support of my candidacy from artists, non-profit professionals, working class folks, the retired, and college students alike. Despite raising these contributions, our work is not done until every voter in this district receives my campaign message. 


This campaign’s message is simple: access, economy, and arts. Watching my North Brooklyn neighbors survive the challenges of 2020 inspired and empowered me to run for this open council seat. As a General Manager at a nonprofit, I’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating impact that the pandemic has had on our city. Social service agencies spearheaded our city’s covid-19 responses by delivering direct aid to the constituents they serve. I will prioritize their efforts and build upon the resources and ingenuity they have brought to bear over the past year.


Overcoming challenges in my own life is what now drives me to run for City Council. I know what it feels like to be labeled as an outsider. As a child of working class parents, my siblings and I were written off as liabilities by friends and family before we even had a chance. I knew that college would be my way out. In college, I worked any and every job I could find to make ends meet. And with my parent’s encouragement and support, I became a first-generation graduate from Penn State in 2015 with a BS in Health Policy and Administration. The most difficult challenge I’ve had to overcome was losing my big brother to gun violence in 2018. To overcome the pain of this loss, I committed myself to serving others. My brother was someone who used his presence to lift the spirits of others and always spoke out for the underdog — attributes I live by each day.


As a progressive candidate, I believe that Black Lives Matter. I believe that no one is illegal and that undocumented people have a place in our city. I believe in waging war against climate change. I believe in protecting a woman’s right to control her body. I believe that disabled citizens have a right to dignity and access. I believe in LGBTQ rights. I believe in instituting common sense mandates that protect the most vulnerable citizens who live on the margins of our society. I believe that gun violence is a public health crisis. I believe that no child should go hungry and no family should be homeless. I believe that the decisions that affect our community should include more voices— not a few developers, businessmen, and politicians— but the voices of the people, all of us.


I would like to acknowledge the work of Antonio Reynoso as he finishes his final term. Since 2014, Reynoso has worked hard to lead the district. Now, North Brooklyn is ripe for new leaders and I believe I am the right candidate to take his place. I have the passion, drive and experience necessary to lead the 34th district with new and bold ideas for progress.


I ask you to join me as I advocate for real access to housing, education, and healthcare, fairness in economic recovery from the pandemic, and support for our city’s arts and culture sectors. As the next council member of the 34th District, I promise to continue to amplify the voices of everyday people, just like myself and just like you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my campaign at with any questions or comments.


Thank you in advance for your support— VOTE Terrell on June 22nd and November 2nd!