Huntley Challenges Zinerman For Assembly in District 56

By Jean Brannum |

Contributed Reporting by Celia Bernhardt

Eon Huntley and incumbent Stefani Zinerman are the contenders for Assembly District 56, which covers the Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy neighborhoods. Housing, public schools, and gun violence are the hot-button issues for this election between candidates endorsed by different powerful political action committees. 

Challenger Huntley

Eon Huntley, who grew up in East New York, started his “political” career as a PTA president in the public school system. His wife is a public school teacher as well. Huntley’s love to public education is a major part of his campaign platform. In an Interview with the Queens Ledger, Huntley clarified that he does not support charter schools like his opponent seems to. Huntley said that charter schools get more resources due to private backing, but still receive public funding despite their ability to turn away students. He pointed out that his opponent receives support from charter school advocates. 

“I understand that parents are going to make a choice, but we shouldn’t have a system that’s making them make that choice”, Huntley said. “We should be offering we should be doing, offering more robust funding for public education.”

Huntley also said he hopes to make higher education more affordable. 

Huntley is also a strong supporter of federal and state funding for NYCHA. As a former NYCHA resident, Huntley believes that publicly funded housing would greatly improve the quality of life for NYCHA residents. 

As for gun-related laws, Huntley supports the Not On Our Dime bill, which would prevent nonprofits from supporting Israeli settlement activity. The Assembly bill is sponsored by District 36 Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani. 

Huntley currently works in retail and is an active union member. 

Zinerman’s named accomplishments and support

Zinerman has held the assembly member position for three years. The Democrat is a staunch supporter of providing resources to nonprofits and small businesses in the district. Her biggest accomplishments, her website says, include securing more funding the public schools, supporting the legalization of cannabis, and helping fund gun violence prevention programs.  

Zinerman is also a partner with the National Association of Real Estate Brokers and the NAACP Nextgen program to help African Americans afford homes. She also supports rental assistance programs and homeless housing assistance programs. 

Another platform for Zinerman is police accountability and mental health aid to prevent police intervention. She helped lead the National Night Out, an annual event to promote police-community partnership. 

Currently, she is sponsoring a bill to remove lifetime bans that keep convicted felons from serving on jury duty. 

In previous primaries, Zinerman won by about 56 percent. 

Brooklyn Downtown Star reached out to Zinerman for an interview and did not receive a response. 

Endorsements and Finance Breakdown

Zinerman has been under criticism due to her endorsement from the Solidairy Political Action Committee, which is a pro-Israel organization. She has also received donations from other organizations such as 1199 SEIU, a hospital workers union, and the Great Public Schools PAC, which was created by Eva Moskowitz who founded the Success Academy Charter School network. 

Huntley criticized Zinerman’s support from Solidarity PAC and real estate industry connections. He claims Zinerman is more connected to businesses that would not have district residents in mind. 

“There’s someone who takes money from the real estate industry, it takes money from charter schools, who siphon students,” Huntley said.  

Zinerman has received over $28,000 from political action committees in 2024, which is about 14% of the over $203,000 in 2024 funds overall. One of her top individual contributors is Rev. Alfred Cockfield II, who supported Mayor Eric Adams and founded a PAC to endorse moderate candidates. 

The Democratic Socialists of America PAC endorsed Huntley and is the only PAC donation to his campaign, according to the Board of Elections. His biggest contribution from an individual was Michael McKee, who donated $3,000 to his campaign and is associated with the Tenants PAC, which advocated for tenants’ rights. Huntley has about $117,000 in campaign funds. 

Election day for the primaries is June 25 but early voting will be open until June 23. The winner will proceed to the general election in November. 


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