Senate District 18 - Democratic Primary 2012


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Age: 33
Former General Counsel, Brooklyn Borough President

Education: Fordham College at Rose Hill (degree not reported); Fordham University Law School (JD)

Jason Otaño is running for election because he believes he will provide the district needed representation. He previously served as the General Counsel for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, working on constituent matters and other legal issues. In this capacity, he served as the Borough President’s representative on various pension boards. Otaño supports Citizens Union’s reform agenda, believing that state campaign finance reform and redistricting reform are top priorities. As a former pension board member, he does not support extending pension forfeiture to current public officials, because it would create a contractual problem and  a possible erosion of public pensions. Having worked in New York City government, Otaño in particular thought that legislation to prevent mayoral charter revision commissions from “bumping” citizen initiated referenda was an important reform the state should enact. The other issues he would address if elected include creating more affordable housing and ensuring that there is sufficient education about tenants’ rights. He additionally supports increased economic development and addressing issues such as co-location of charter schools. Citizens Union believes that Otaño would be an energetic and capable representative for the district, and would be an independent voice for reform issues in Albany. Due to his strong commitment to and in-depth understanding of reform issues, Citizens Union prefers Otaño.


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Age: 62
Senator, NYS Senate

Education: BS (name of degree-granting institution not provided)
Martin Malavé Dilan is the current incumbent for Senate District 18, having served in the senate since 2003. He previously served in the City Council from 1992 to 2001. He is running for reelection because he believes he can further the Senate Democratic Conference’s agenda, particularly if they regain the majority, completing work they started when in the majority. Dilan supports state campaign finance reform and would vote in favor of second passage of the redistricting constitutional amendment. He did not vote, however, in favor of legislation to create an independent redistricting commission as sponsored by Senators Valesky and Gianaris when he was in the majority. He also supports further legislative oversight of the state budget. Beyond reform, Dilan’s main issues if reelected include a new millionaire’s tax, transportation issues including high-speed rail, and reworking the 421-a tax abatement for developers to require thirty percent affordable housing in new developments. While Dilan speaks in support of many of Citizens Union’s reform issues, we question his commitment to advancing reform given his past lack of support for redistricting reform and whether he will stand up to leadership as an independent voice in favor of reform.