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Steven Raga, Former Chief of Staff to Brian Barnwell, Announces Run for 26th District Council Seat

Steven Raga (Photo: Courtesy of Raga For Queens)

Feb. 21, 2021 By Christian Murray

The list of candidates vying to represent the 26th Council District is continuing to grow.

Steven Raga, the former chief of staff for Assembly Member Brian Barnwell, is expected to officially announce today that he is running for the seat that is currently occupied by Jimmy Van Bramer, who is term limited. He will be the 19th candidate in the race looking to represent Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Astoria.

Raga, who is an active member of the Filipino community and is a resident of Little Manilla in Woodside, said he has been mulling a run for some time. However, he said that the anti-Asian crime wave and racist rhetoric has been the ultimate deciding factor as to why he decided to join the race now.

“We need to address these issues,” Raga said. “The city has played down this issue for far too long.”

Raga, who was Barnwell’s chief of staff for four years, has a long track record in government as well as in the non-profit sector. Raga currently works as the Northeast Regional Manager for Policy and Advocacy for the Susan G. Komen Foundation where he oversees healthcare legislation in 11 states.

He has been a member of Community Board 2 since 2016 and sits on the boards of Woodside on the Move, Queens Pride, and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA). He is also the Founder of Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro) which he started in Woodside in 2009.

Raga comes into the race late and has yet to raise funds. Several candidates have a significant head start, having more than $100,000 in campaign funds in hand.

UPDATE: Raga officially announced on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 5pm over Zoom

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Experienced Challenger

Having difficulty picking a candidate in this 20+ race. Yet, Raga is one of the few with actual political experience and knowledge. I’m not Filipino but the majority of my neighborhood is, so change for them is change for me.

Nida Bejosano Goudeaux

Very proud of him! At some point of my life, I was living in New York and the “Woodside Area” was a familiar place and this brought me back some refreshing engagement and knowing that we have a common ancestry or origination, made me even prouder to know somehow like him is exploring and progressing a political career especially in the State of New York—immensely an achievement and our pride and honor!! God bless and good luck to Mr. Steven Raga!

Nida Bejosano Goudeaux

I am very proud of him! As a former New York resident and being close distance-wise at some point during my stay in Queens and being familiar somehow to the Woodside area, my heart into his political belonging has a refreshing attachment to his chosen path of a progressing political career—-my immense moral support. God bless.

A dime a dozen of liberals

Lets see… His motivation is clear, but lets see his reasoning: white suppression excuse or actually callout the blacks for the hate crimes?

"the blacks" ?

Raga oversees healthcare legislation in 11 states. Does your “the blacks” comment have anything to do with that, or this article at all?

Reading is fundamental

Did you read the article? He was motivated by Anti-Asian attacks, so will he address that most attacks were done by blacks. Let me guess you don’t see color, only shades of gray. Or are you another progressive enabler? Probably both.

No mention of "the blacks" in the article

The vast majority of anti-asian hate crimes were committed by white assailants, not “the blacks.” Please point out where in the article he mentions “the blacks.”

Oops, completely wrong, what an embarrassment. Sad!


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