Congressional Contenders

Max Rose


Swinging by the studio today is Max Rose on our sixth Congressional Contenders episode. We’ll sit down for a discussion with Max, who is running in the Democratic primary for NY11, the (for now) Republican controlled House of Representatives district covering Staten Island and South Brooklyn. Each candidate in the series had unlimited time to talk about their issues and ideas, but most importantly the facts, concepts and details that lay behind those ideas and their beliefs.

Max Rose spoke with us about the centrality of public safety to a holistic social-services overhaul that threads through healthcare, Opioid addiction, gun violence, policing, infrastructure, and more. We also got into the weeds on criminal justice reform, especially the Conviction Review Unit that Max observed first-hand while working for the late Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.

A quick reminder as well that all candidates will begin petitioning registered Democrats in the district this March, seeking to gain enough signatures to get on the ballot for the primary. You can only sign once, so start getting a feel for each candidate and if you are particularly impressed, reach out and help to engage more voters and help your candidate move forward past petitioning! Remember it isn’t just about the candidates… this is your opportunity to build experience in local politics as well, and making your voice heard!

Max Rose hanging out with Dan and Rachel

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Congressional Contenders

Paul Sperling


Today we welcome Paul Sperling to the fifth episode of our Congressional Contenders series. In this continuing series, we sit down for a no-time-limit discussion with each candidate running in the Democratic primary this summer for New York’s 11th Congressional district, representing Staten Island and South Brooklyn. We asked each candidate to talk with us about their platform, their ideas, and most importantly the facts and issues that they think their constituents should know in the upcoming primary.

Paul Sperling swung by the studio to discuss his plans for improved rail infrastructure, workers cooperatives, bringing large employers to Staten Island, and improving healthcare in the district. We also touch on the green economy, cannabis legalization, and improving education in the district with debt forgiveness, free trade schools, and more school construction and hiring.

A quick reminder as well that all candidates will begin petitioning this March, seeking to gain enough signatures to get on the ballot for the primary. So reach out to the candidate that you’re rooting for and help with the petitioning drive to engage more voters for the upcoming primary and help your candidate move forward to the next round!

Paul Sperling chats with Rachel in the studio

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Congressional Contenders

Zach Emig

Zach Emig standing next to Radio Free Bay Ridge co-hosts Dan Hetteix and Rachel Brody.
Zach Emig with Dan and Rachel before the recording.

We’re pressing on with the fourth part of our Congressional Contenders series. We sit down for a no-time-limit discussion with each of the Democratic primary looking to represent South Brooklyn and Staten Island in Washington D.C. We asked each candidate to talk with us about the issues that most motivate them. Join us as we dive deep into their proposals and get to know more about them.

Our guest today is Zach Emig, an MIT engineering graduate and bond trader. Zach announced his candidacy all the way back in May of last year. We’ll discuss Zach’s long haul on the NY11 campaign trail and dig into his “Narrows Agenda” for improving the district. We’ll discuss corporate and income taxes, the opioid epidemic, technology, and immigration. We also touch on the partisan rancor that is affecting national and local politics, and how to solve it.

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Congressional Contenders

Mike DeCillis


Update: Mike DeCills has withdrawn from the race as of February 26th. He gave his endorsement to Michael DeVito Jr. on March 6th, 2018.


February is beginning to heat up! March is approaching, which means it’s time for our Democratic primary candidates to begin preparing for petitioning. To help you choose which candidates you might want to volunteer for or support, we’re bringing you part three of our Congressional Contenders series.

Our guest today is Mike DeCillis, a former EMT, retired police officer, and an attorney and special-ed teacher. We’ll discuss Mike’s long career including deep-dives into healthcare, pharmaceuticals, police training, vocational education and disability rights, and labor law. We also touch on immigration advocacy and the state of Democratic politics on Staten Island.

Mike teaching a class. Photo courtesy Mike DeCillis for Congress, 2018.

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Congressional Contenders

Michael DeVito Jr.


It’s 2018, which means the Democratic primary for NY Congressional District 11, which includes Staten Island and South Brooklyn, will be getting into gear soon!

Our first guest for the New Year is Michael DeVito Jr., a former Staff Sergeant in the Marines in addition to a non-profit director focusing on at-risk youth.  In light of that, we spent alot of time with Michael looking at his congressional run through the lens of mediation and conflict resolution. We spoke in detail about how a more empathetic approach could kickstart Federal programs in transit infrastructure, pharmaceutical reform, workforce development, the green economy, and more.

Michael DeVito Jr. in the studio with Rachel and Mary.

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Congressional Contenders

Boyd Melson


Welcome to our series on Congressional Contenders for the Democratic primary nomination in NY Congressional District 11! Currently held by Rep. Dan Donovan (R) there is a wide field of challengers – and we’re here to bring you discussions with each and every one of them.

Our first guest is Major Boyd Melson, US Army Reserves, who recently withdrew from the race to volunteer for deployment to the Middle East – but met with us to discuss spinal cord injuries, stem cell research, the opioid epidemic, his non-profit work, and some of the problems in today’s politics. It’s the perfect starter to our series on the candidates vying for your primary vote in June 2018.

Breaking News: Listen to the very end of the show for our first Radio Free Bay Ridge exclusive…Boyd Melson tells us who he’s endorsing now that he’s out of the race!

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