Two challengers in District 28 primary 1

The candidates for Council District 28 include Adrienne Adams, Japneet Singh and Ruben Wills.

Two Democratic candidates have made challenges to incumbent Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica), who has served since winning a special election in 2017, and holding onto it in a general election.

District 28 includes Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village and South Ozone Park, and encompasses a hub of Queens’ South Asian populations, among other new immigrant groups, on the western side and a predominantly African-American constituency to the east. The Chronicle has presented the candidates in alphabetical order. The primary is June 22.

Adrienne Adams (D)

Adrienne Adams was elected to the seat in 2017, after serving two terms as the chairperson of Community Board 12 and as a Queens Public Library trustee. As a councilmember, Adams claimed she’s brought an unprecedented capital budget allotment for the district.

Adams heads of Council’s Public Safety Committee, which has oversight powers over multiple departments, including the NYPD and district attorneys’ offices.

Her post-Covid recovery priorities involve investing in education technology and healthcare. She has also said she plans to introduce a regulatory framework for the legalization of certain kinds of basement apartments.

She has recently made efforts to recognize the culture and contributions of the district’s South Asian and Indo-Caribbean populations by helming three street renamings over the past year.

“I will work to improve the quality of life for all district residents and ensure they never have to choose between their safety and their civil rights. I will continue to fight for affordable housing, high-quality education and small business relief,” Adams told the Chronicle in an emailed statement.

Japneet Singh (D)

Japneet Singh is a 26-year-old Sikh Punjabi activist who founded an advocacy group called the New York Sikh Council after finishing both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Queens College, where he got a taste in student government by serving as student body president.

He told the Chronicle in April that his campaign is aimed at boosting civic engagement, especially with young people in the district, with policy priorities including infrastructure, education and youth and elder services.

Ruben Wills (D)

Ruben Wills, the district’s Council member prior to Adams, left office amidst a corruption scandal. He served two years in prison after being convicted of misappropriating state funds and was released in 2019. In September 2020, the conviction was overturned after it was ruled that the judge unfairly stopped several witnesses from testifying in Wills’ defense. With his criminal conviction reversed, Wills is seeking to redeem himself by winning back his old seat.

Wills has centered criminal justice reform in his campaign with an emphasis on restitution for false convictions. He has also prioritized education funding, citing a program that he used discretionary funding to start called Classrooms without Walls, which provided the capital for technological upgrades to schools.

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