Stacy Lynch, Esq. has had a front row seat to some of the most victorious political campaigns. It’s no surprise that she’s decided to run for public office.
In an exclusive interview with the AmNews, Lynch is announcing that she’s running for City Council to represent District 7 which includes the Upper West Side, West Harlem and Washington Heights neighborhoods of Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, Hamilton Heights and Sugar Hill. The seat is currently held by Mark Lavine.
“People need help and people need to feel like their government is here to help them so they can stand on their own without having to worry about basic quality of life issues,” Lynch said.
The daughter of late political consultant powerhouse Bill Lynch Jr., Stacy currently serves as deputy director of intergovernmental affairs for Mayor Bill de Blasio. Her father held the same position under Mayor David Dinkins in the early 1990s.
After law school, Lynch got her start at the Marshall Firm working in entertainment law. She then worked as general counsel at her father’s consulting firm, Bill Lynch Associates.
Stacy entered City Hall in de Blasio’s administration as an assistant commissioner at the department of youth and community development. Her position as deputy director of intergovernmental affairs keeps her close to the city’s first lady Chirlane McCray.
With years of being on the front lines of the political arena, Lynch told the AmNews she’s running for City Council because the office is connected with the community.
“I haven’t even considered any other office,” she said. “My focus right now is to be really in tune with the community and figuring out how I can continue to do some of the good work that folks have been saying I’ve been doing. The best place to do that is really in City Council.”
Her years working on campaigns and with other politicians developed into a passion for running for office, she said. While exploring different careers, Lynch says no matter what she did, she was always wrangled back to public service. For example, while working as an associate at the Marshall Firm, Lynch would volunteer on weekends offering free legal services to uptown organizations.
“It’s one of those things that’s always been a part of me,” she said. “If you are a person of color, public service seems to be ingrained in who you are as a person. I’ve never been a calculated person who said, ‘I definitely want to be a politician or run for office.’ Other people saw it in me first before I did.”
She’s currently developing her policy platform, which she says won’t be finalized until she talks to the right stakeholders in her district. Lynch says many policies and rules have been developed with little community input. Key issues impacting District 7 on Lynch’s agenda are affordable housing, community land use, small businesses and access to quality education.
“The pandemic has shown us a clear divide whether it’s digital and more,” she said. “In District 7, I think there are a couple things we need to address from digital divide in the home and in the schools, support for the teachers and how to bridge the gap between West Harlem, Washington Heights and the Upper West Side. A Parent Teacher Association that has an incredible and large budget on one end should also have the same thing on the other.”
Lynch said she also wants to focus on homelessness in her district. The COVID-19 pandemic caused mass unemployment creating the possibility that a large number of people will soon be homeless once eviction moratoriums are lifted.
“We have to look at how we can support folks so they are not kicked out of their home and street homelessness increases,” she said.
Citywide, Lynch wants to support her education platform by giving more funding to school and public libraries. She wants to organize a citywide plan for affordable housing and another for NYCHA. With the current climate, Lynch also wants to focus on citywide police reform.
“There’s still an opportunity for community groups, elected officials and for the police department to come to the table and figure this out in a real way,” she said. “I know police officers that want change within the system because it doesn’t suit them. We all know leaders and constituents who also want change because the current system doesn’t fit them.”
At the time of the 2021 city elections, the city will still be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine is expected to be widely available and New York City should be back to some form of normalcy. Lynch said supporting small businesses, healthcare and housing should be a priority.
“Small businesses are the lifeline of the community. When small businesses close, jobs leave,” she said. “I have family members who felt the healthcare they received wasn’t where it needed to be. That could’ve been a pre-COVID issue that was exacerbated. We clearly need to figure out healthcare and the healthcare system and how to better serve New Yorkers in a very real way.”
Lynch concluded by saying she’s honored by the people who’ve had faith in her to run for City Council. She wants voters to know that she’s no different from them.
“I breathe the same air and I have the same concerns,” Lynch said. “I walk my dog throughout the district and talk to folks just like everyone else does. I’m a normal New Yorker.”