The Candidates 2022: Deborah Glick for Assembly District 66

New York will have two primaries this season: June 28 for State Assembly and state-wide offices; August 23 for State Senate and Congress. I will be talking to candidates for both federal and state offices, starting with the Assembly (with links to other candidates at the bottom). And I have asked them to answer the TCQ&A so they can add their own words.

When I first got in touch with Deborah Glick, she was in session in Albany and let’s just say there were a few issues to tackle: protecting voting rights across the state, adding additional levels of gun safety protections, ensuring affordable housing for seniors, and a range of bills designed to protect the right to have an abortion.

It’s a lot.

“Last week was quite grueling — late hours and not a lot of sleep,” she said. “Debates on gun safety and reproductive health take a little bit longer usually, and the voting rights piece was complicated — we were in the weeds trying to make sure that counties working on their own were not doing things to unduly restrict access to the ballot.”

Glick, 71, took office as the representative for Assembly District 66 in 1990, but her issue-oriented approach to service did not start there. During college (she grew up in Queens Village and has her bachelor’s from Queens College and an MBA from Fordham) and immediately afterwards (she worked at a printshop in Tribeca on Hudson Street) she was involved in political organizing — the war in Vietnam, the first Earth Day, and of course the fight for abortion rights. When she started college, abortion was illegal.

“And then there was Stonewall. I was barely out to myself let alone the world, but that all changed quickly,” she said.

Her work for a good decade after continued to be issue-oriented, not so much electoral politics. “Then in 1980 the country lost its mind and elected Ronald Regan and I thought, ‘You know, you actually have to pay attention to who’s in office.’ That was the aha moment — that getting at the very least involved in working in campaigns was necessary.”

She started campaigning for progressive candidates downtown but never saw herself as a candidate herself. (“One time I was on the street campaigning with Liz Holtzman who was running for comptroller. One of her issues was establishing a Police Integrity Unit, and this big guy got right up next to her and said, ‘How many cops are you going to put in jail?’ She just looked at him without batting an eye and said, ‘Every single one that disgraces the badge.’ And I thought, oh wow she is tough, I could never do that.”)

But after several of the candidates Glick worked with over the years got close but couldn’t secure a city office, they pointed to her. The demographic of the assembly district had shifted over time, and the gay community had no representation anywhere. That was 1989, and she has never lost an election since.

A lot has changed, of course, in the 32 years she’s been going to Albany. When she arrived there were very few women or people of color, and no women with young children. Now there’s a baby caucus. Her neighborhoods, and especially adjacent ones (most notably Fidi and BPC) have gotten denser and taller — yet affordable housing continues to be residents’ #1 complaint and priority.

So there are still so many issues — and so many of the same issues — that Glick wants to tackle, even after three decades.

“A lot of what has driven me my entire adult life was the right of women to control their own bodies. And the flip side of that coin was the right of LGBTQ people to control their own destiny, and there is still work to be done,” she said. “I do this because I have a passion for public service and over time you become somewhat committed to or proprietary about the people you represent. I think I bring a lot of know-how, understand the levers of power and want to be certain that people are treated fairly and equitably. The passion for serving has not eroded.”


1. How long have you lived in the district? 
I was born and raised in Queens, but have lived in the district for the last 40 years.

2. Married? Partnered? 
My wife Leslie is a naturalist, writer, and former Vice President of the New York City Audubon Society.

3. Kids? Pets?
Leslie and I have two cats, though there has been a long list of lovely felines in our lives.

4. Where do you live? 
I have lived in the same studio apartment on Bank Street, right by Abingdon Square, since 1976.

5. What do you do for a living? Or, what did you do before you decided to run for this office?
Before becoming a member of the State Assembly I worked in government as Deputy Director of General Services at the City Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development and briefly worked in the printing industry. Though since being elected I have exclusively been a full-time state legislator.

6. What are the first three issues you will tackle if you win the election?
1. Affordable Housing – Our district, and New York City as a whole, has seen skyrocketing rents in the past few years which the city has taken little action to combat. This year the legislature passed my bill to expand the SCRIE and DRIE programs which provide rent increase exemptions for low-income seniors and people with disabilities in former Mitchell-Lama developments. I am also a co-sponsor of and have been fighting for Good Cause Eviction legislation, which would go a long way towards protecting tenants, and will continue my work to prevent luxury developers from displacing long standing downtown tenants.

2. Reproductive Health – Given the supreme court will likely strike down Roe, and far-right extremist state legislatures across the country are passing laws or already have laws on the books to ban or limit abortion, it is more important than ever that we take action on this issue. Three years ago my and Senator Krueger’s legislation, Reproductive Health Act, was passed and finally codified Roe vs Wade into state law in New York. But just guaranteeing abortion rights in New York is not enough. We need to pass legislation to establish the Reproductive Freedom and Equity program, so anyone seeking an abortion in a state where it is no longer legal has the financial means to come to New York and receive the health care services they need.

3. Pedestrian Safety – We need to ensure that our streets are safe and walkable for all residents of downtown Manhattan. We need more protected bike lanes to both make it easier to bike downtown and so cyclists don’t have to ride on the sidewalk. Additionally, we need to pass laws to limit dangerous driving, like legislation I recently passed with Senator Gounardes to allow speed cameras in school zones to operate 24/7.

7. Who is the first person you will hire – or what is the first staff position you will fill?
While I plan on retaining most of the staff working in my office currently, I have always tried to have a licensed social worker in my district office to provide high-quality constituent services to residents of the 66th District. This is a practice I will undoubtedly continue when I need to make future hires.

8. What are the three most important issues for New Yorkers right now?
1. Growing real estate speculation which has increased housing costs and led to a large rise in homelessness and the displacement of longtime residents of many neighborhoods.

2. Many would rather not walk in downtown Manhattan at the moment. There is a buildup of trash on the curbs and a noticeable increase in rodent population that comes with it. We need to fully fund the Department of Sanitation and limit the causes of trash buildup to solve this issue.

3. Access to quality public education and affordable higher education is on the minds of not just New Yorkers, but people across the country. As chair of the Higher Education Committee I’ve been fighting to make college more affordable for everyone and this year was able to secure additional funding for formerly incarcerated students, part-time students, and low-income students – including foster youth.

9. What do you think is the most important thing to help the district recover from the pandemic?
We need to make sure tenants who have been struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic are protected and can stay and continue contributing to their vibrant communities. I am very glad that this year we were able to provide an additional $800 million to replenish funds for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, so those who were unable to apply in the past have the opportunity to do so, and provide assistance for small building owners who have struggled as well.

10. Why are you running for office? What do you hope to change, or do better?
I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments my office has been able to achieve in Albany and the district during my tenure in the Assembly. From successfully pushing for the creation of a new public middle school on Morton Street, to passing the law requiring the MTA to make 100 key subway stations fully accessible, to banning conversion therapy. However, there is still a lot I am fighting for in the capital that needs to be seen through, like passing Good Cause Eviction legislation. I have a passion for public service and helping people, and am excited to continue this work!

11. Most-frequented restaurants: La Bonbonniere in the West Village easily has the best pancakes and French Toast in the city, though Bubby’s Huevos Rancheros is fabulous as well.

13. Sweet-tooth satisfaction: Absolutely anything from Tea & Sympathy will cure my sweet cravings.

14. What’s your drink order? Stella or a screwdriver.

17. I’m so glad Li-Lac is in the district, because without it I’d lose weight .

18. How I stay fit: Walking, walking, and more walking. Luckily the 66th district isn’t that large, and walking it end-to-end is a great way to spend a nice afternoon and speak with constituents.

19. Where I get beautiful: Miano Viel

20. What’s the district’s best-kept secret? The Mysterious Bookshop on Warren Street. I love mystery novels and am always able to find a book or author I haven’t yet read there.

21. A recent enthusiasm: Podcasts

22. Rainy-day activity: Reading

23. I take out-of-towners to: Hudson River Park

24. Pet peeve: People who don’t pick up after their dogs.

26. My most memorable celebrity sighting: Regé-Jean Page who plays the Duke in Bridgerton.

27. Tribeca could use more Trees and fewer Cars .

28. If I could change one thing about the district: More open space and trees.

29. A business I’d like to have here: LL Bean

30. A business I miss: The card store on 8th Avenue [Roger & Dave].

31. Proof that change is good: The Q line extension. While the Upper East Side is certainly not the first place I would’ve chosen to put additional subway stops, I think we need to expand the subway to areas of the city in the outer boroughs that are transportation deserts and complete the 2nd Avenue line that would run from East Harlem to the Lower East Side.

32: A new building I admire: Whitney Museum. A new building I don’t: Hudson Yards .

33. Best reason to go above 14th Street: The Central Park bird sanctuary.

34. What’s your favorite park in the city?
Hudson River Park. It is an oasis in a largely greenspace devoid downtown Manhattan and, even though we have dire need for such a park, Assembly Gottfried and I have had to fight tooth and nail in Albany to protect it.

36. I wish you had asked me about: Climate Crisis


The Candidates 2022
Ryder Kessler for Assembly District 66
Brian Robinson for 10th Congressional District
Brad Hoylman for 10th Congressional District
The latest in the race for the 10th Congressional District (May 27)



  1. Deborah Glick has been working in Albany for all of the issues that are important to New York and lower Manhattan. Just to mention a couple that were not covered in the interview, she favors affordable housing in the 5 World Trade Center development and keeping the Elizabeth Street Garden from being destroyed. She has been an outstanding member of the Assembly and she should be reelected to continue her great work.

  2. I’m very curious how Deborah Glick supporters justify this bizarre corruption.

    “Democratic Assembly members Peter Abbate Jr. of Brooklyn and Deborah Glick of Manhattan put in for their pensions as they are seated for another term in the Legislature, according to the state Comptroller’s Office. Based on their years of service, age and previous salaries, their pensions could each be about $57,000, according to a calculator on the state Comptroller Office’s website.”