New York State Assembly member, District 50
Jun 16, 2022
When Emily Gallagher won the race for state assembly in New York’s 50th district in July 2020, she defeated 47-year incumbent Joe Lentol in a stunning upset — and a win for progressives.
Gallagher, a self-described socialist who had previously been a member of Brooklyn Community Board 1, ran on a platform of environmental sustainability, housing justice and transit improvement — all issues she describes as fundamentally local.
“The state is much more broken than the city,” she told The City during that race. “A lot of people that I talk to, when they have complaints, don’t even know that the issue is a state issue — all the housing stuff, the MTA, water- quality standards.”
Gallagher, who represents parts of Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Fort Greene, grew up in Rochester and has been known to rock a Black Flag T-shirt. Now 38, she moved to Greenpoint shortly after graduating from Ithaca College in 2006. Her first foray into politics came in 2016, when she ran unsuccessfully for Democratic leader of New York’s 50th district against 32-year incumbent Linda Minucci, losing with 44.9 percent of the vote.
She was soon thereafter appointed to Brooklyn Community Board 1, where she uncovered community board abuses. When she suggested that the board use special city council funds for a service that tracks constituent issues, the board revealed it bought an SUV instead. (Whoopsie.) “I try to choose battles that are activist battles,” she told The City.
Since taking office, Gallagher has introduced the All-Electric Buildings Act with New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, arguing it would cut the state’s carbon emissions by millions of tons. And she’s pushed for greater financial transparency, writing in Crain’s New York Business: “When anonymous limited- liability companies can gobble up New York City apartments and buildings with almost no oversight, everybody loses — except for oligarchs, tax cheats and bad landlords.”
“Revenue remains my biggest priority, and winning the fight to tax the kinds of wealth that have not previously been in the lexicon of what was available to the state,” she told Greenpointers about her goals for office. “That would help us solve a lot of our problems. We really just need more money, and we need it to come from people who can spare it.”