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Tiffany Cabán Expected to Run for Astoria Council Seat: Report

Public Defender Tiffany Cabán. (Tiffany Cabán)

Aug. 28, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Tiffany Cabàn, the progressive insurgent who narrowly lost the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney last year, is expected to run for the Astoria City Council seat, according to a new report.

Cabàn is looking to run for City Council District 22, currently represented by Costa Constantinides, who is term-limited and must vacate the seat after 2021, City & State reported Thursday.

The 33-year-old public defender filled out a questionnaire for city council candidates seeking the endorsement from the New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), according the outlet.

Cabán got the DSA endorsement in her 2019 run for district attorney and fought tooth-and-nail against the party establishment pick Melinda Katz.

She originally declared victory with more than 1,100 votes ahead of Katz, but when affidavit and absentee ballots were counted, Katz moved ahead by a mere 16 votes. The slim margin called for a weeks-long manual recount in which more than 90,000 ballots were sorted and recounted. At its completion, Katz came out as the winner by a 60 vote difference.

After a fierce court battle, Cabán conceded with just a 55-vote margin behind Katz.

“I am a 32-year-old queer Latina public defender,” she said during her concession speech in August 2019. “I don’t look like our politicians, I don’t sound like most of them [and] I’d never run a campaign before.”

Cabàn outperformed Katz in the DA race among voters in Astoria and East Elmhurst. She won the vast majority of votes in the district.

The race for the 22nd District seat is an already crowded field, according to filings with the New York Campaign Finance Board.

Seven other Queens residents, listed below, are looking to raise funds.

Jaime-Faye Bean
Leonardo Bullaro
Jesse Cerrotti
Evie Hantzopoulos
Felicia Kalan
Nicholas Roloson
Rod Townsend

The Democratic primary will be held next year, as the majority of the City Council vacates their seats due to term limits. Eleven Queens districts will have vacancies.

Tiffany Cabán at Katch Astoria (Queens Post Photo)

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36 Comments

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Louisa

She needs a win and Astoria City Council is the easiest way she can achieve it. Since spring and throughput summer, many people have moved to Astoria from covid 19 hotspots (corona, JH, Elmhurst, etc.) and many have also moved here from Manhatten and Brooklyn for cheaper rent and to escape the shootings and homeless hotels. This will only help her get more votes. In addition many people support the democratic socialists party of america in Astoria.

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Anonymous

We are not here to compete if first timer can win a game. We are here to vote for someone who have experience or potential experience to be a good city council to help Astoria with small local issues. Caban is like A.O.C. They can go for the big “deal” which even attracted the other side of the country to donate for them. Why do we allow people who don’t live in our neighborhood to interfere? We are here just to vote for a small role to make our small community better. This position is not the position for Caban to get to a higher position. Can people who support Caban give us some details about why she is suitable for this job rather than tell people she must win and all the first timer will win.

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Pat Macnamara

Clueless Costa and his trusty podium won’t be missed. Then again he is a step up from this radical. Quality of life in Astoria has been in a freefall. She is ill equipped to reverse this. Expect the homeless encampments on Steinway street to grow.

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Maria

Zohran Mamdani, a first-time candidate for elected office and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America unseated Aravella Simotas in the Astoria Assembly Race. Tiffany Cabán will have no problem winning the city council seat.

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observer

Disappointed to see this. What does she know or care about district schools? Our parks and playgrounds? Childcare? Transportation? The day-t0-day? Defund Police and close Rikers are great, and bail reform was fine. But a City Councilperson deals with *local* issues. She hasn’t put in the work nor lived in Astoria long enough.
I get that DSA wants to run candidates wherever they see a spot they can win. Please don’t “use” our district that way. We need real advocacy and change, not someone merely looking to climb the ladder.

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Rachel

Just like AOC Astoria will vote for Caban. Her supporters are all over Astoria thanks to AOC who has the Ditmars area.

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Gardens Watcher

Nixon, Warren, and Cabán all lost their primary races despite JVB’s endorsement. Let’s see who endorses who this time.

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Anonymous

Caban is pretty much everywhere in the news just like A.O.C. Nowadays you need to be a celebrity politician but I guess her narrative story is not as unique as A.O.C’s. I saw no articles where Caban has mentioned she’s queer until this article. I respect her if she is but don’t use that phrase as a political weapon to get votes. She also once tried to make prostitution legal. She said she wanted to protect the sex workers. Astoria doesn’t need someone like that. And she is not the only candidate in the race. Instead of listing just the names of the other candidates, include more information for the rest of them. The news should allow people have equal resources of all candidates. Here I researched one:
Evie Hantzopoulos

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Jill

Evie Hantzopoulos is a progressive candidate for New York City Council – District 22 which includes Astoria and Rikers Island…. Thats from her facebook page. She is a progressive candidate just like all the other candidates running for City Council in Astoria.

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Anonymous

Thank you for your information. I’m not saying I definitely vote for her. I just used her as an example. Each candidate needs some exposure. I didn’t get chance to list all other candidates. My argument is I can’t trust Caban if she has tried as many positions she can fill herself in regardless if she’s a good fit. I would give other candidates a try when their strengths can help Astoria.

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Ally

She will win in Astoria. We are a progressive district now. They moved into the neighborhood before and much more after AOC won. You need to wake up if you think otherwise. They will surely show up to vote. Their campaigns are highly organized and they do their best to get supporters to vote.

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Anonymous

People nowadays just move into neighborhoods to pursue their progressive dreams. What about the people who have lived in this neighborhood for long time? I always see the current city council Costa Constantinades in the neighborhood. Why did the media only give the spotlight to Caban and A.O.C? It’s only fair if all other candidates have similar exposures. I so far don’t know what A.O.C brought to Astoria neighborhood. All the funds to make our neighborhood better were from local leaders.

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TJ

The people that lived here for a long time are outnumbered by young white voters who actually take the time to vote. The Democratic Socialists of America selects people to run based on the neighborhoods demographic to insure a win.

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Pat Macnamara

She will win in Astoria. We are a progressive district now. How has that been working out? The increase in crime, homelessness, lack of affordable housing, and erosion of quality of life seem to indicate that being a progressive district isn’t a good thing. Zero platform to address any issues. What compels anyone to vote for her?

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Willy

Young people that have adopted extreme leftist ideology. That’s who. Neighborhood gets gentrified and that’s how they vote.

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jj

You can tell by looking at the astoria residents who they will vote for. AOCs and Mamdani name were all over astoria. they love caban.

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Bill

Thank God for term limits. And what’s with de Blasio using our school children as lab rats for the restaurants?

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LIC Direct

VOTE VOTE VOTE. It does not matter. She does not care about the issues and the people in NYCHA and/or Astoria district. We are hip to these political social climbers, who want these cushy jobs, these do nothings and they expect us to vote for them. Black, white, Latino, Asians, all of us are tired, just because we are working poor they think we identify with their views. We are tired of these crappy politicians wannabes, we need home grown people coming up from the streets who grew up here to represent us. we want safety, safe streets, we want our kids to be able to go outside and play and not get shot in a drive by. We need clean streets and job programs alternative programs for young people. With this economy, deficits theres no money for any IT RIGHT now and when we had the money they built $40 million dollar library on the waterfront, our last councilman Mr. Van Bramer in LIC did nothing for the brown, Latino and black people in his district.

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Jefferson's Ghost

LIC Direct: Republican leadership is what’s needed here and you’re not going to get it since the bulk of the electorate are Bolsheviks.

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Erin

Excellent comments LIC Direct & Jefferson’s Ghost.
Question: Are Conservative-leaning Astoria/LIC/Woodside folks interested in meeting and discussing our ideas & getting organized? I would love to meet my neighbors who are like-minded (doesn’t matter if we identify as Democrat or Republican). A local bar where we can sit (OUTSIDE), meet, talk and really get organized? I would love to meet some fellow Conservatives in the neighborhood; and/or people who are dead-set on preserving and improving the neighborhood. Please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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JAstoriaLife

I supported Caban for Queens DA. However it concerns me that her decision to run for a totally different spot means that Caban is more interested in a political job than in issues that she espoused in that earlier race or in Astoria. My preference is for a progressive candidate with a long-term understanding of the Astoria community, the changes, and the issues we face. I wish her the best, but for City Council, I am not convinced that Caban or another newcomer can represent Astoria effectively.

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Pat Macnamara

Does Caban even know where Astoria is? She seems to enjoy spending most of her time radicalizing street vendors along filthy Roosevelt ave in Jackson Heights. The issues faced in Astoria are: increase in crime, lack of affordable housing, crumbling infrastructure, homelessness, and quality of life erosion. What does she offer? Her policies to legalize prostitution and soft on crime policies will improve things? I am thrilled she lost the DA race. Progressives are a criminals best friend!

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Gardens Watcher

So why not change your party and reregister as a Democrat? The GOP only runs placeholders anyway.

At least you would get to vote for someone else in the Democratic primary, which IS the election in NYC. Voters can vote for anyone they want to in the general election.

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J. Smith

How is Caban running in Astoria if she lives in Richmond Hill?
Did she move here? Did she move here recently just to run?
Neighbors & fellow Astorians: We all need to finally get politically active before other people apply their own agenda to our neighborhood. It’s not right. The only way to succeed is to gather and vote for what we want. Other people will do it for us if we do not exercise our Constitutional Rights and actually do something to maintain our own community. If we keep sitting back, not voting and just expect everything to be ok, we will lose what is left of our neighborhood, and NYC.

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Helen

Caban lived in Astoria for a couple of years. She represents many of the new residents and the few long term residents that are left. Astoria is full of short term renters that came here because its cheaper than LIC and enjoy whatever old time neighborhood feel is left.

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Ana

Facts: As of at least April 2019 Tiffany Caban lived in Richmond Hill, Queens. Let’s do some research and some math. She has not lived in Astoria for years and she was not running for any seats or offices in Astoria. She’s another political who is moving around to get a job.

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Lina

Like so many others she moved into AOC’s district. Take a walk around Ditmars. People wearing AOCs T shirts were going around Ditmars today knocking on doors and talking to people. I assume to get signatures for Caban. The only went to specific houses on my block. Typically the ones with young white tenants and minority homes.

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Gardens Watcher

Why? Because she was counting on identity politics to win a borough-wide race against Melinda Katz. Resume should say: former public defender in Manhattan. What has she done for Astoria lately?

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Why does the Radical Right want everything to be PC?

I’m sorry her mentioning her background offended you so much. Is there a nicer way she could have phrased it for you?

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Gardens Watcher

She was running for District Attorney, but she chose to lead with the line “I’m a Queer Latina.” Sounded more like an opening line on a dating app.

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Anonymous

I don’t see it…I think she too far to the right for Astoria…we want Liberal Democrats running Astoria – not a Socialist, they tend to be to dictatorial.

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8-31-20

I guess the media finally succeeded in ingraining in people’s mind that left is good and right is bad, without thinking what each represents.

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