Harrison Marks, a former special advisor for the Barack Obama administration Office of Management and Budget, traces his family’s New York roots back multiple generations. Now, he’s raising his son in Chelsea — and running for NYS Assembly in District 75.
“Chelsea and this district represent the heart of Manhattan,” Marks told Chelsea News. “Everything that New York has to offer is in this district.”
On Friday, Marks released the first campaign ad of any candidate vying for the seat of retiring incumbent Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, a 30-second video that he hopes will connect him with “more and more” voters. “It’s an indicator of the strength of our campaign,” Marks said. “I would love to speak with every single person who lives in our neighborhood.”
Marks, who launched his campaign in the beginning of February, was born in Manhattan and has called District 75 home for the past six years, since working on regulatory policy for the Obama administration. More recently, as part of the Governor’s Reimagine New York Commission, he focused his efforts on aiding businesses through pandemic recovery. It’s an undertaking that strengthened his investment in “understanding the needs of New Yorkers and what the state can try to do to make New York a place where it’s better to work, it’s better to own a small business, it’s better to be an artist,” he said.
In his first week campaigning for NYS Assembly, Marks raised over $70,000. His priorities, if elected: making living in the district more economically accessible, fighting for safer streets and remedying storefront vacancies left in COVID-19’s wake.
His determination stems, in part, from seeing the city through the eyes of his recently-born son, Henry.
“It was one thing for me to see that there was trash piling up on the streets in a way that there didn’t used to be, but another thing for me to be tripping over that with Henry in a stroller,” Marks said. “And it was one thing for me to notice all the vacant storefronts that have cropped up — and there’s several just on our block alone — and another thing for me to be pushing Henry around and think about how his first experience in the world is in this neighborhood that isn’t as vibrant as it was and isn’t as vibrant as we deserve in the middle of the greatest city on Earth.”
“Chelsea and this district represent the heart of Manhattan.” Harrison Marks