A 27-year-old Woodhaven native on Monday announced his intention to seek a primary with incumbent Democratic Mike Miller in the state’s 38th Assembly District.
Etienne David Adorno, currently on leave from his post as an aide to Councilman Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan), announced his candidacy at the pedestrian plaza at Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway.
Adorno is a member of Community Board 9 and the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, and said party leadership has not been as responsive to the needs of Woodhaven as he would like to see.
“I’m your neighbor,” Adorno said. “I ride the J train ... We’re all taxpayers. As a taxpayer, I should expect to have police protection; that the Fire Department will come when I call; good education.”
He said on a recent canvassing of the Woodhaven neighborhood he knocked on 2,000 doors and met 14 people who said they knew who Miller is.
“The incumbent is sitting content in his office in Albany,” he said. “He has had 2 1/2 years and nothing is being done.”
Miller (D-Woodhaven) said in a telephone interview on Monday that he is perfectly willing to run on his record in 38th District.
“Including the neighborhood we’re talking about in Woodhaven, whether it’s the senior center I was instrumental in getting opened last year, passing strong sex offender legislation, or dealing with quality-of-life issues by taking the lead in fighting graffiti and taking noise complaints,” Miller said. “I was fielding noise complaints 24 hours a day before block associations began their noise buster campaigns.”
Adorno first thought of running for public office more than two years ago while working as an aide to former Assemblyman and Councilman Adam Clayton Powell IV. He chose the Assembly for his first run, not wanting to sit back and wait for the City Council elections next year.
“People in Manhattan may not remember me,” Adorno said. “They may not remember what you say. But they will remember how you make them feel.”
He said he has an advantage of growing up in a bilingual home speaking both English and Spanish.
“Knocking on doors, I’ve heard one side of an issue in Spanish and then the other side later on in English,” he said.
Powell, who said he has known Adorno’s family for decades, was on hand to endorse his former aide. “People in upper Manhattan still remember him,” Powell said. “I know of his energy and enthusiasm for public service.”
Adorno said he is at a disadvantage in terms of funding, but has been successful in getting volunteers and donations.
“We are the definition of a grassroots campaign,” he said.