Running and Politics featuring
In this episode of The Run Wave Podcast, Kim chats with Keron Alleyne, runner and candidate for the NYS Senate 19th Senatorial District in East New York, Brooklyn.
“As a lifelong community member of East New York, Keron uplifts local communities and supports equitable living standards for all New Yorkers.”
We talk about Keron’s entry into running, why he decided to go into politics, his activism, involvement in his community, his opponent for the Senatorial seat, and so much more.
Election day in New York is fast approaching on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, so if you live in Keron’s district 19 in Brooklyn, please be sure that you get out and vote on election day. Every vote is extremely important in this political climate so that we can get elected officials into office that have our best interests at the forefront of their agenda.
Guests featured on the show:
More About This Episode
[00:00:00] Kim: Happy Juneteenth. This is a special edition of The Run Wave Podcast. We are talking running, but we are also talking politics featuring candidate for the New York state Senate, 19 district and Brooklyn Keron Alleyne.
[00:00:25] Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Run Wave Podcast. I am your host Kim, and this is a very special episode because my guest today is runner and candidate for the New York state Senate 19 senatorial district. Keron Alleyne, welcome to the show, Keron.,
[00:00:51] Keron Alleyne: as much for having me, um, I’m really, really excited to be here, um, and to share a bit of my
[00:01:01] Kim: [00:01:01] I’m glad we finally got the chance to connect. I know I’ve been seeing, you know, all of your posts on social media and I’ve been wanting to get you on the show. And you know, now is the right time because it’s it’s election week and we’re coming up on election day on Tuesday.
[00:01:17] So I want you to tell our audience a little bit about yourself, who you are, where you’re from, where you currently live.
[00:01:25] Keron Alleyne: [00:01:25] Thank you for that. Um, I’m Keron Alleyne as stated before and as, you know, quote on the screen, but, uh, to really unpack who I am, uh, I’ve been playing, playing around with a new intro to people because it we’ve throughout this campaign, introduced ourselves to so many people.
[00:01:47] And it can get monotonous, but I really liked this one because it’s the most authentic. It makes the most sense to me. And I think it gives it a better picture of who I am. So. [00:02:00] I’m the runner that’s running for office, putting it out there. Very clear. Um, I’m the gardener that’s so NCDs of change in my community, um, through friends and people, which is definitely, uh, the truth.
[00:02:16] Um, I’m also a community organizer who works for my local community for it. Um, I’m also a father of a three year old who is now walking through the door. Um, I, and I’m also your block
[00:02:37] and, uh, I’m, uh, a husband to a beautiful wife. Um, you know, and I love story is encapsulated in everything that we do. You know, we love each other and we show that through our acts actions throughout the community. So that’s the, the, the generalization that’s the, the me. Um, and, uh, as you can hear, it’s [00:03:00] action packed in here as
[00:03:01] Kim: [00:03:01] usual.
[00:03:02] Sounds like my house.
[00:03:06] Keron Alleyne: [00:03:06] I’m going to ask, where do you find your quiet space?
[00:03:09] Kim: [00:03:09] And this is actually a corner in my bedroom, so I just lock my door and I blocked them out and I get to recording. So you gotta find, you know, space where you can. So it’s quiet now because they’re occupied, you know, but I have to feed them, get their bellies full and.
[00:03:32] Push them off and let them do their thing while I do my thing. So
[00:03:37] Keron Alleyne: [00:03:37] no doubt, but you know, just in terms of who I am, you know, I’m just, I’m someone who’s extremely passionate about the things that are going on directly around them. You know, I’m the quote unquote local guy. I’m the guy who takes the complexities that you see on TV in terms of government and agency understanding and help people who are on the ground, who [00:04:00] can’t understand why a pot hole hasn’t been fixed on that block.
[00:04:03] You know, I’m the guy who, who is that conduit who makes it make sense? You know, I’m the guy who really goes the extra effort to make sure that people have a firm understanding of government community. And how these two entities, as opposed to work in cohesion to make their lives better and better and better, and it should never be worse.
[00:04:22] And anytime it’s worse, that’s what we are. We should be able to step in. You know, I’m an activist, who’s about action. You know, um, I’m very passionate about the things that are going on. Um, not only today because. They’re quote unquote hot, but before they were hot, they were, they were part of my everyday.
[00:04:41] I’m a black man. I’m a black man through and through. Um, however you define that. That is me. Um, and I pride myself on the fact that I feel like I’m the best representation of what it means to just be, you know, a local person, uh, someone that isn’t above the fray, but like [00:05:00] knee deep in it with you, you know, I’m not.
[00:05:02] Um, th this bid for the state Senate is not launched on some, some personality it’s, it’s literally launched because of the conditions that people live in as launched, because I’m not, I’m not ego tripping or anything like that. It’s launched because the community needs this, the community needed radical change.
[00:05:22] When we first announced the candidate to see, uh, January 20th, 20, 20, that’s when all of the public people knew about it, I will say hello to grandpa. Hi grandpa. So, um, all of these, all of these different pieces and fabrics and up who I am. Um, but you know, we are the, on the run wave um, podcasts. So definitely I’m running for real.
[00:05:47] For real.
[00:05:48] Kim: [00:05:48] We are a run podcast. So are you, uh, were you born in Brooklyn?
[00:05:55] Keron Alleyne: [00:05:55] Oh, uh, yes, absolutely. Um, I was, uh, born [00:06:00] in Weeksville. At st. Mary’s hospital, which is the, which no longer exists, but it was the hospital I was born and I grew up in, uh, uh, East New York. I still live in East New York. It is my home community.
[00:06:14] Um, the East is where it’s at. Um, within the, uh, 19th senatorial district, which is the district that we’re running in, um, is East New York, Canarsie Brownsville, ocean Hills, third city, uh, Sheepshead Bay, Omo basin, no basin, middle Island. Um, it’s all of these various neighborhoods is over 300,000 people that were looking to represent, you know, so it’s that massive, massive district and the neighborhood within the 19th senatorial district.
[00:06:44] Uh, Eastern New York that I live in, uh, it comprises the most amount of people within the, uh, senatorial district and the history of East New York is, uh, it, it, it, it depends on who’s telling the story, um, what you’ll get from [00:07:00] it. Um, but it is a community that was neglected and disrespected and through new leadership through the local assembly member and council member.
[00:07:12] I know it’s barren and Charles Barron. Uh, East New York is on the rise. You know, East New York is coming back. East New York is getting the funding that it’s supposed to get East New York is being protected and, um, has the, the radical voices that are needed to get, um, systemic change that we needed in our communities.
[00:07:32] But we don’t have it at the state Senate level, which is why. This bit is, is so important to bring that to fruition.
[00:07:38] Kim: [00:07:38] And we’re going to touch on that later. So this is a running podcast. So I want you to tell us a little bit about your running history. When did you start running and, um, why did you become a runner?
[00:07:52] Keron Alleyne: [00:07:52] Um, so the best way to tell this story. Um, so I, I used to play football [00:08:00] in high school. Um, I was a wide receiver and an outside linebacker. Uh, if you know anything about football
[00:08:10] playing those two positions, it’s almost like, you know, you’re, you’re on the cusp of like being really athletic to be playing both of those. Cause you know, outside linebacker, you have to be extremely mobile and somewhat quick wide receiver. You have to have really good hand eye coordination and really fat.
[00:08:27] Um, and the way it works out for me and, um, you know, playing both of those positions, uh, it gave me an athletic foundation that. What was sound enough that when I went to college and I played football my first day and left it alone, um, I basically went from one 93 to two 40. By the time I graduated from, uh, college.
[00:08:53] And I wasn’t like out of shape, but I wasn’t in the shape that I used to be it. [00:09:00] And in terms of running the quote, um, you know, diabetes runs in your family because nobody runs in your family is my favorite post as to why I started running
[00:09:13] in terms of my family. My, both of my parents are diabetic. Um, my grandparents all diabetic, my grandfather, um, who was the only one who is no longer with us in 2013, passed from complications related to diabetes. And I recognize that, you know, and understanding type one and type two that, you know, this could be it’s written into my DNA, essentially, that this is something I’m going to have to deal with at some point in time.
[00:09:44] So I’ve run to escape that I run to put it off. I run for my own health and wellness. I run from my friends and family to have a prominent example of someone taking care of themselves and understanding that it can be just as easy as walking out to [00:10:00] your house and taking those first few steps. So that’s why I run
[00:10:04] Kim: [00:10:04] now.
[00:10:04] You’re a member of black men run New York city BMR. So how did you get linked up with that running club?
[00:10:12] Keron Alleyne: [00:10:12] So, uh, there was actually a local five K in, uh, East New York. It’s the East New York 5k, I believe this year. Uh, it’s going on its seventh year. Um, and this puts it, like I had known about BMR. Right. Um, I’d seen them.
[00:10:29] How can you miss, uh, organization like black men? Right. Especially as a black man. Um, and you know, I was feeling them out and when came about. A couple of the runners. It’s a good thing. I gave you the prelude with my high school story. A couple of the runners in BMR were teachers of mine from high school.
[00:11:00] [00:10:59] Exactly.
[00:11:03] Superman fix it. Yes. Uh, so w w
[00:11:10] Kim: [00:11:10] you’re giving away Vic’s age? Vic was your math teacher.
[00:11:14] Keron Alleyne: [00:11:14] Rick was one of my math teachers. Wow. He was there and I can’t remember the other gentleman, but he was also one of the, the teachers at boys and girls. I went to boys and girls high school, by the way, um, pride and joy Benstock, just so you know,
[00:11:28] Kim: [00:11:28] and boys and girls, they, uh, we used to battle them on a track back in the day.
[00:11:33] Keron Alleyne: [00:11:33] Oh, and boys and girls used to win, correct?
[00:11:36] Kim: [00:11:36] No, I went to Dewitt Clinton in the Bronx. Okay. We went to borough champs, the city champs, all of that.
[00:11:46] Keron Alleyne: [00:11:46] Okay. But the high, as I know it from my time there, um, champs through and through, but we can get into that later, but in getting involved in BMR, um, Having [00:12:00] a Vic, you know, as a member of the organization was like crucial because it gave me a conduit, gave me a bridge.
[00:12:08] It gave me a connection to the organization. Vic was my connection to the organization. And from, you know, knowing that he was a part of it, I said, okay, they meet on Wednesdays and Sundays I’ll have to go out. You know, I’ll have to check them out and going. I recognize that. They were about, they represented themselves the way that I want to represent myself, you know, as a black man running, um, being change agents in the community, by being an example, I’m running for health and wellness camaraderie.
[00:12:38] Um, they, they checked off every box and now I like to consider myself a part of the pillars that hold up that organization, um, in New York city and really just representing black men. Well, And, um, you know, continuing to push us off fold.
[00:12:55] Kim: [00:12:55] So I want to get into the reason why [00:13:00] you chose to run for political office.
[00:13:03] I just want to read this quote that I came across, that you said, which I thought was great. You said “I don’t come in as a young politician trying to make change. I am an activist.” And you touched on that a little earlier about being an activist. And I just thought that quote was dealt because a lot of politicians, we, we can’t relate to.
[00:13:25] And you’re someone that, you know, you, you, you look like us. You’re one of us. And it’s, you’re someone that young, the younger generation can look up to and have something to look forward to, you know, aspire to be you as well. So, Let’s talk about why you wanted to run for the Senate seat.
[00:13:45] Keron Alleyne: [00:13:45] Running for the Senate seat was a, a no brainer in this respect.
[00:13:50] Um, when. Someone like me, who has a firm understanding of what’s happening in my local community. Um, my day [00:14:00] job is that I’m the deputy district manager for community board five. If you’re familiar with community boards, community boards, uh, local municipal bodies that are responsible for the enhancement of service delivery and the neighborhood.
[00:14:12] And what that means in layman’s terms is that, you know, after you call three, one, one, You call the community board. The community board is supposed to be that quasi, uh, community and city agency that can help, you know, push the community forward by making the, the issues, solving the issues and getting them rectify community boards have direct connections to every agency in the city.
[00:14:38] You know, so understanding the community, the way that I have to do and having a pulse on a lot of the issues, you know, you, you come to realize and recognize that wow, you know, the, the way I representation is, is a direct connection to why. Certain things happen in certain communities [00:15:00] or, um, why certain voices are not heard versus being heard, you know?
[00:15:05] And then when you take an even deeper dive and understand the political framework of communities and how people get elected to office, it will really frustrates you. And then you recognize why they don’t necessarily represent you. Well, so. When I was there, there’s two parts to the community board. So there’s 50 members who sit as the community board.
[00:15:33] No, they either live, work or have a special relationship to the community. And that’s how they get placed on board. Then there’s the district office who is the nine to five staff. That’s where I am now. But before I became a part of the district office, I was on the board. You know, I was one of those local community members was appointed by the local council member and the bar president, because they thought that I could be a great [00:16:00] representation for my community to vote on local issues, which was.
[00:16:04] An honor to me, you know, I really took it as a serious task and being a part of the community board. One of the most monumental tasks that we had, um, come before us was the East New York rezoning. Um, and if you’re familiar with you are familiar, New York city is in a housing crisis point blank period.
[00:16:28] The elected officials can act like they’re not, we’re not in a housing crisis, but we are, which is why there’s so much development that happens. So with this Eastern, you have rezoned, and this is me trying to make this political techno stuff. Real simple,
[00:16:42] Kim: [00:16:42] make it simple for our listeners and me as well.
[00:16:46] Keron Alleyne: [00:16:46] No problem. A rezone is basically they want to build higher. You know, they want to change the fabric of your community by building hire and bring in quote, unquote, affordable housing. [00:17:00] Everybody is shopping around affordable housing, but the immediate question you have to ask is affordable to who? So, and I’m getting this, this story to go a little faster.
[00:17:11] Uh, the East near rezone plan came before us, our community board. We did our homework. We had all the meetings, we had all the conversations and we voted it down victory. Right. Really exciting. Um, it felt like yes, government was working the way that it’s supposed to work. And, uh, Kim, uh, I was rudely awakened by the truth of the matter, because you have to understand where the powers right.
[00:17:40] Community boards votes are nonbinding. Um, as in, you just did advise him it’s an advisory vote. So I can say Ken, you shouldn’t run today. Cause it’s raining. And you’ll say, I got a rain jacket I’m running and you go outside and you run, um, my vote, wasn’t binding it to you. [00:18:00] You can still do what you want.
[00:18:02] And that’s kind of how community boards are. So it’s
[00:18:05] Kim: [00:18:05] more of a suggestion and they do what they want anyway.
[00:18:09] Keron Alleyne: [00:18:09] Right. Um, so where the power lies is in the local city council member and the city council member for, um, East New York is two of them. Um, the one who had been majority of the district, uh, the majority of the rezone district.
[00:18:25] Voted. Yes. And the unwritten rules of the city council is that if you vote, yes. Everybody else votes. Yes. And that’s how it was passed. This is basically the rezone was a gentrification plan. The comptroller put out a report that fifty thousand fifty three thousand people were going to be displaced. And it has happened.
[00:18:47] And I wouldn’t say all 53,000, but people have been displaced by this plan, which is slowly but surely moving forward. People have been harassed, et cetera, et cetera. So, and closing that, that pissed me [00:19:00] off to the highest degree because here I am thinking I’m playing this pivotal role and it wasn’t able to, you know, have the teeth that it should have.
[00:19:11] I went back to GRA when I went back to school, uh, I got my masters in public administration with a specialization in urban affairs. I did so much homework. Every paper I wrote about was on housing, my community, trash, everything, everything you could think of, emergency preparedness, um, I’ve really wanted to ingest and understand how this thing works.
[00:19:33] And upon graduating. I think one of my last presentations to my classmates was that, look, I understand that this is the way our communities function, and we cannot have folks that are so close to the establishment that they do not carry our issues and our voices to the highest of offices. So I’m going to be running for office and my classmates clapped.
[00:20:00] [00:20:00] And wasn’t too sure if it was going to come to fruition, but it will be off fast forward, less than a week from election day. Um, but that’s my long drawn out. Um, it sounds really technical, but it I’m running for office. If this is the edit, we can take I’m running for office because my community. Is in the eye in need of change.
[00:20:26] And I’m in dire need of having someone who is not so caught up in being connected to the establishment that they lose the voices of the people that they represent. And as the state Senator, you have too much power. To let the people’s voices go unheard. And my thing is that we should be heard. And that’s why I might’ve thought it was for short version.
[00:20:51] Kim: [00:20:51] So if you’re not familiar with New York, New York city has different barbells and every borough has different neighborhoods. Now, uh, [00:21:00] Brooklyn has a ton of different neighborhoods. Koran is in East New York, which still feels like. Authentic Brooklyn. It still feels like old school, Brooklyn when I’m there.
[00:21:09] It’s not like Williamsburg, which is just like, the neighborhood has totally changed. Totally. I mean, if you, if you went to Brooklyn years ago, when you walked through now, you wouldn’t recognize the place. Well, that part of Brooklyn, but East New York still feels pure like old school, Brooklyn. So that’s what you’re trying to maintain there.
[00:21:29] Keron Alleyne: [00:21:29] Absolutely. Um, we have a saying in the community, you know, Um, and it, it depends on how you define it, the indigenous people, the people who’ve been here through, through, through and through, um, when you go through the history of Eastern New York, um, the way East, New York as it currently is constructed is due to, um, so.
[00:21:55] Storytime, I’m a community gardener, right? [00:22:00] Um, we have a 4,000 square foot lot in which we grow food. Um, there are over 55 community gardens in my community that in comparison to, uh, the, when we looked at the other boroughs, it’s in the top three citywide with community gardens. Why is that? It’s that way because our community, um, And the believers, the fifties, um, people who lived here didn’t look like us, but we started to look to move in, uh, black and Brown and immediately those folks, they burnt out the buildings.
[00:22:39] This is legit, the history of East New York. They burnt out the buildings. They collected insurance. And left the community completely neglected and unprotected. We moved in, we created community, we took those empty lots, made them into community gardens. We took the homes, bought them, built them up and [00:23:00] really turn this place into a community.
[00:23:02] So the people of East New York should reap the benefits of staying in Eastern Europe, creating community. And giving the city a concept in terms of, when you think about the community gardens, the reason green thumb exists is because people were already doing it before the city got involved. So preserving East New York and helping East New York to rise with the people who have been here.
[00:23:29] Through and through is, that’s definitely a part of, uh, a big reason why we’re doing this now, who
[00:23:35] Kim: [00:23:35] has access to these gardens. So they are in different neighborhoods. So you have to live in the neighborhood. Can anyone just walk up in there and, you know, get some fruits and veggies? How does that work?
[00:23:46] Keron Alleyne: [00:23:46] Well, every, every garden has their own internal rules and stuff like that. Um, and everybody, if it’s a green thumb garden, um, there’s like, um, hours that are posted. Uh, that anyone can [00:24:00] come in and check it out. Um, I know for our community garden, one of the things that we do, we have, uh, 20 raised beds and raised beds out of boxes in which you plant the food, right?
[00:24:10] Uh, we have 20 raised beds, five of them. We, we don’t give away to community members. These five, our community beds, everything that we grow in there, we allow for anyone to take. Because East of New York, uh, the, you know, another fun fact or not. So fun fact is that it’s an inner city food desert, which essentially means that, you know, you have to go over a mile to get fresh food in the community.
[00:24:38] And because of that, when you think about a health profile East New York, a couple of years ago was number one and adult diabetes. The story are all coming together right now. Why I run, why I grow food? You know, all of these things are, uh, bits and pieces to personally combat, uh, the way the system is currently structured to attack and [00:25:00] Harpen and potentially, you know, eliminate us.
[00:25:03] So this is, uh, an act of resistance growing. The food is in active resistance, so anyone can come to the garden, get food in my space. And a lot of other gardens work the same too.
[00:25:15] Kim: [00:25:15] Is it free? Is there a fee?
[00:25:18] Keron Alleyne: [00:25:18] So our gardens of the food that we grow free 99, we actually do a fresh food giveaway at the end of the season.
[00:25:27] Um, it’s advertised on our garden Instagram yet. We are technologically savvy garden, Instagram.
[00:25:36] And, um, you know, we advertise it there and we also have a local partnership. This is something we’ve been doing, um, throughout the crisis is that one of the local pantries, I’ve got big food rescue. They get, you know, they, they do what their name implies. They rescue food. Um, so they get fresh food and they’ll drop off.
[00:25:56] You know, if they get carrots, potatoes, onions, um, [00:26:00] whatever that you have to cook, they’ll bring it to our garden and we’ll distribute it. You know, so we do it super organic, no flyers. As people walk past. So we know you are one of us, you get this fresh fruit. So it really depends on where we’re at in the season.
[00:26:16] But right now, uh, we got, we’re going to have some cherry tomatoes real soon.
[00:26:21] Kim: [00:26:21] That’s dope. Let’s into your platform for your campaign? Um, first, uh, your criminal justice reform. Now, I know you had a recent experience a couple of years ago, um, at a protest at the Barclay center. So tell me a little bit about what happened there and, um, what your, uh, your campaign is, uh, wants to do for criminal justice reform.
[00:26:48] Keron Alleyne: [00:26:48] So, um, there was a couple of weeks ago. You know, you said, uh, a couple of years ago, a couple of weeks ago, this happened, [00:27:00] this just happened. And, um, you know, it was a very, uh, almost a surreal experience. It was almost an out of body experience because, uh, you know, May 25th, uh, the world watch, uh, George Floyd, uh, get a knee on his neck.
[00:27:21] Uh, through police brutality, uh, which is a part of this entire capitalist system. Um, and it’s just a symptom, you know, when we look at police brutality, erases and, um, you know, poverty, these all thumbs of this, this morass, this system, um, and we watched George Floyd loses his life. We watched him say, I can’t breathe.
[00:27:49] In the same way we will watch her gone and say, I can’t breathe. Um, and then to be out there protesting, uh, mind you I’ve been to countless protest to help [00:28:00] organize countless protest. I’ve been on the front lines, the sidelines, the back line. Middle, you know, like I’ve been everywhere in the protest and I’ve never had the experience that I had.
[00:28:11] Um, I think that was May 29th, um, you know, at the Barclay center. So. Long story short. Uh, we had arrived late to a demonstration that was called on a Friday night. When I say it, me, myself, I, um, an offender of mine. We had gone on a whim because we saw the flyer late. Everyone just finished work. Um, we said that we wanted to be there.
[00:28:42] Um, Thankfully, we had the foresight to take a little man to my mom and he stayed with my mom. We went down to the Barclay center as we were walking down, Flatbush, you know, kinda surreal young ladies, like the safe. It was one of those, uh, [00:29:00] four warnings be safe. Um, we get down there and there’s, there’s the protest doesn’t look like a normal protest because people aren’t in the streets.
[00:29:11] They’re on the sidewalks. And the police are English distributes in the middle, um, and almost being antagonistic. Um, at least that’s what it looked like. At first, they were almost being antagonistic. They were being antagonistic. They were being, um, as we stood on one side of the street, you could see the police like pushing a crowd.
[00:29:36] Um, And that kept happening repeatedly, pushing crowds, pushing crap. You know, after seeing a few people, we knew, you know, chanting, leading chance, you know, walking with people. Um, my wife and I were crossing the street, going back over after being told that we can stand where we were standing, we were crossing back over it.
[00:29:58] And I feel [00:30:00] her like, you know, slip away from my hand, you know, and then officer holds her and Anthony. Man for you two or not, you know, you see, um, anyone you care about your significant other, you know, a woman being handled like that, you’re going to react the same way that I did. So I ended up in front of bike, uh, uh, sworn officers and the officers, uh, surround me of course.
[00:30:34] And they in part recognized through them. Me verbalizing, you touched my wife, you touch my wife. Um, you know, I said it a little more forceful than that, but you know, they, they, they touched my wife. Um, they surrounded me and put me on the ground and as I was going down, uh, they punched me in my side and on the side of my face.
[00:30:57] And of course I verbalized that whoever was [00:31:00] there, uh, white shirt, Um, made sure it was like, pick them up, get them up off the ground. And they put me in, um, plastic, those, uh, plastic cuffs and myself and her, um, to one police Plaza, uh, where we rode this little bus. Well, one of those, those corrections bus that they have, um, they put us in cells.
[00:31:25] No one was offered it as some of the officers weren’t wearing masks, because remember we’re in the middle of a global band debit. Like let’s not skip that. And, um, they put me in a cell with like 40 or 50 guys, um, some not wearing masks, some. Lead in. Um, and when I sit, you know, bleeding, uh, swollen knees, you know, all types of things from their interactions with the police, you know, and I had that same sort of interaction.
[00:31:54] Mind you. I think it’s so, so, so ironic that. We’re out [00:32:00] there protesting against police brutality and systemic oppression. And the police respond with more brutality, more systemic oppression, which further emphasizes our point that, you know, There is a problem. That’s been a problem. We’ve been voicing ourselves that there is a problem.
[00:32:20] Um, a couple of weeks ago on your podcast, you know, all the, all the awkward conversations about running wild black was a part of the greater dialogue of systemic oppression, how we’re viewed in this country. Um, and. Essentially that our lives do not matter. And there’s this constant, you know, battling with trolls online or in person about our lives.
[00:32:46] And it falls with underneath all of this, this, this police brutality like brush, um, but don’t even running for office. You know, it [00:33:00] was fueled long before I spent that, that evening in a, in a jail cell with all of those gentlemen, it was long before George Floyd, you know, I’ve been moved by all of this stuff.
[00:33:11] I told you, East New York has so many different, you know, uh, perspectives that you can look at our community through, depending on who who’s telling the story. Um, East New York is the home of the 75th precinct. When you think about stop and frisk stop and frisk was ground zero in the 75th precinct, um, at stopping firsts height.
[00:33:37] Um, I was in my late teens and early twenties, uh, which were ruined in terms of just existing in my own community ruined by those same police officers. So. I think, um, the, the, the state legislature will tout these 10 [00:34:00] bills that they just passed as the greatest thing ever. And, you know, I hate to be the dissenter on it, but they aren’t the greatest thing ever.
[00:34:09] There is no accountability. There is no punishment. There is no true, um, punishment in the same way that we’re punished for the same crimes. Um, that we may or may not commit. And you know, all they gotta do is, you know, it, it could be close that we committed a crime and we would get the book thrown at us.
[00:34:30] Now you’ve got brothers and sisters in jail for years and years and years because justice is quote unquote upheld with us, but not with the police. So those 50 bills. Um, people have been fighting for them for quite a long time. You know, Bannon, the chokehold are passing 58 so that you can have, um, the officer’s, uh, history.
[00:34:52] Um, and you know, so you can understand what they’ve done, you know, but nothing changes if they’re not punished, they [00:35:00] have to be punished, you know? And, um, as an elected official, it’s your job to make sure that our voices are heard on that. And currently we don’t have that in, in, in the state Senate representative, senatorial district, 19, one of the most impacted communities.
[00:35:17] When you think about police brutality, city wide,
[00:35:20] Kim: [00:35:20] Now, New York city, well, New York state, they’re passing all these bills, but you’ve seen the instances in other States and cities just recently with Ray shard Brooks. Um, his, the officer in that case was just brought up on murder charges and the officers in Minnesota were brought up on murder charges as well.
[00:35:41] So do you think that. Anything will change in New York. I mean, God forbid, nothing of that sort happens again anytime soon, but where will they be a change with the NYP day with these pasts, the passages of these bills.
[00:35:57] Keron Alleyne: [00:35:57] Kim, I hope [00:36:00] I pray that it will be significant change, but when I think about, um, The perfect storm in terms of gotta be wrapped with this one, uh, Akai Gurley.
[00:36:14] Um, I don’t know if you remember Akai’s story. Uh, Akai, uh, lived in the pink houses. Uh, he was visiting a friend, Melissa Butler, um, was in the staircase. Officers were doing a vertical patrol, which they’re not supposed to do. And the housing conferences where they, Oh man, there’s a light out. Which when you think about NYCHA, New York city housing authority, that happens more often than not a NYCHA needs to be funded to get these upgrades.
[00:36:47] Uh, Adhere to and fixed, but they were doing a vertical patrol. It was dark. Uh, an officer had his gun out, which they’re not supposed to do then a further patrol. Um, and. [00:37:00] Shot and killed because he feared for his life in a dark stairwell. Um, it sounds that he heard that someone else was in the staircase kill the Akai Gurley.
[00:37:11] Um, and that of course set off more demonstrations. Cause that was within the same year of Eric Garner, and Michael Brown that are et cetera. It was just a lot. Um, that was 2014, uh, in that dates, he did nothing wrong. The officer was dead wrong. Um, he was, he was indicted. Um, he was charged, you know, we did all the protesting.
[00:37:38] We had a black da, um, God rest, his soul, Ken Thompson. Um, he recommended to the judge after getting the, the, the conviction. He recommended to the judge that he has 500, I was in community service and, you know, how’s it reps instead of jail time. That was the conclusion to that. [00:38:00] Yeah. That was the conclusion to that.
[00:38:02] So when you think about a perfect case, that was a perfect case, you know, there was nothing done wrong, and this is, this was the conclusion. So this is why I’m so passionate about making sure your elected officials choose art. Not above the fray where they can’t hear your voice and they’re knee deep in it missed you because Ken Thompson was an elected official.
[00:38:27] He was elected by the city. Um, other elected officials have their bully pulpit to help make sure that we get the justice, that our communities are supposed to have. And we didn’t in that instance. So to be really, really honest with you, I hope I hope it makes a difference. I hope it changes. I hope I’m dead wrong.
[00:38:51] You know, personally about my, my feeling about this system, but if we don’t get some level of accountability, if, if folks aren’t [00:39:00] thrown in jail for years and years in the same way that they would do to us, Then passing all this legislation, painting black lives matter and the street couldn’t, um, signs up that say black lives matter.
[00:39:11] It’s just pandering at this point. It’s just pandering. It’s just making sure that, you know, when history looks back on them, I painted black lives matter in the street. Can’t say I didn’t do anything. Everything needs to have two teeth in it. And right now it’s just, it’s political PA pageantry because elections are coming up.
[00:39:28] Kim: [00:39:28] Yeah. So, uh, listeners at home, you can read more about, uh, Keron’s policies, uh, for this election on his website. It’s Keron Alleyne, keronfornewyork.com . So it’s K E R O N F O R new york.com. Um, cause I just want to get into your opponent. Now, you know, I did a little research on her and I couldn’t find much.
[00:39:58] So your opponent is [00:40:00] Roxanne Persaud, and she has held the seat. Since 2015, I
[00:40:08] Keron Alleyne: [00:40:08] Um hmm
[00:40:10] Kim: [00:40:10] and I was just checking the stats of the last election, which is very interesting, because you said there are 300,000 people in your district, but I’m looking at the stats for the last election and like only 78,000 people voted like a little under 78,000 people,
[00:40:27] which is, is mind
[00:40:29] boggling to me.
[00:40:29] Keron Alleyne: [00:40:29] And you’re
[00:40:30] looking at
[00:40:30] the general numbers right?
[00:40:31] Kim: [00:40:31] Um, I’m looking at the general election for New York state Senate district 19. So her opponent then was a Jeffery for rati.
[00:40:42] If you look at the, uh, the primaries, even more surprised by the number of people that actually still up,
[00:40:49] it’s even less than that.
[00:40:52] Keron Alleyne: [00:40:52] Yeah.
[00:40:53] Kim: [00:40:53] So what is your campaign doing? Do you have boots on the ground?
[00:40:57] Are you plastering? Uh, [00:41:00] billboards everywhere, because I know that the young, you know, us I’m on the cusp of the last year of millennials, you know, we’re online, but there are a lot of people, the older generation they’re just not online. So how are you getting the word out to those people that you’re running?
[00:41:18] For the seat and you want to unseat the incumbent.
[00:41:21] Keron Alleyne: [00:41:21] So great question. Um, and it was something we really had to think about with, uh, COVID-19. It really, really changed the way an election works. It really changed the way, uh, we were working as a team. And one of our, not one of ours, but we do have boots on the ground just to be very Frank with you.
[00:41:43] We got flyers going up all around the district, still going through all business strips. Uh, making sure that folks, uh, that are supporters have posters put up in their, uh, windows. We have, um, that are so [00:42:00] beautifully displayed. If my background, um, at, uh, being dropped off at, uh, homes and, and dropped off on stoop.
[00:42:07] So people are getting the literature, they’re getting it in their, in their hands, but you know, this election is unprecedented. COVID-19 requires us to be. Socially distant, physically distant, however you, uh, you know, conceptualize it for yourself. Um, and with that we cannot, or we don’t want to put people in harms way by being out there, um, for this election.
[00:42:33] So of course, everyone who does go out and, and is putting out posters and putting up flyers, you know, they’re making sure that, you know, they’d be safe, they’re wearing gloves, they have a sanitizer. So we definitely want to make sure that we put out there that we’re being. I’m safe, but for the people who have not been able to come up, we’re doing something called phone banking, uh, where we are calling the folks that are on the, that, that voted [00:43:00] in past elections to know there’s a prime super-prime.
[00:43:03] And what I mean by that are, you know, is if you voted in two or more elections, I believe that’s a prime. Uh, if you voted in three of the past elections, that super bright. And we were able to call the super-prime and I’m using the voter list. And just to, to reach out to folks, Hey, you know, um, there is an election, there’s a, an election in your senatorial district.
[00:43:30] Uh, we have a dynamic young radical candidate for Ron Allen run into change our district. Uh, we’re hoping to have your support. Um, and if you don’t support him, um, that’s fine too. You have a wonderful day, but just no radical changes on the way. And, uh, you know, just making sure that we reach out to people that way.
[00:43:49] Um, this has also allowed for us to use platforms like this. Um, so I was so happy when you reached out, because it gives us a little bit more energy to [00:44:00] put out to people. Cause you know, you have a following. Um, we also have had to build up our social media infrastructure and. A crazy way. Uh, I’m going to shout out canva.com because kava.com has helped with all types of flyers and everything that we need.
[00:44:16] Kim: [00:44:16] I love Canva.
[00:44:17] Keron Alleyne: [00:44:17] You love it. It’s so same as Canva
[00:44:20] Kim: [00:44:20] I use
[00:44:22] canva too
[00:44:23] it’s very, very helpful. So like with everything that we do, um, you know, from Twitter, you know, I’m thankful to the Amsterdam news for covering us so many times. Uh, valid to pedia, um, for reaching out to us to get our information, it should be coming up
[00:44:41] where you, you need to tell them to put your image on the website, cause it’s not there.
[00:44:46] Keron Alleyne: [00:44:46] Okay. We’re definitely going to go on there.
[00:44:48] Kim: [00:44:48] It’s just a, you know, a figure heart images there, but I want to get the T on your opponent. So what is up with her? Because, I mean, I can’t even tell that she’s really campaigning that she thinks that she has this [00:45:00] election on lock.
[00:45:02] Keron Alleyne: [00:45:02] Um, She probably does. You know, because that’s what incumbents do incumbents.
[00:45:09] You know, if they, if they feel like they got it in a bag, they won’t even entertain it, you know? And that’s a, that’s a huge, huge, huge problem. Um, and I say it’s a huge problem for various reasons. One, when you are participating in local politics, you should have, um, the, the, the people, you know, I will, I will mantra when we launched our campaign was where a people powered campaign.
[00:45:36] From donation to volunteerism, to what our platform is. All of it is about the people we want to make sure. That we involve people. Um, and this is where the plug for my age is going to come in. You know, I’m 29 years old, you know, when we launched this campaign, the main thing was, you know, we’re gonna really [00:46:00] be reaching a demographic that isn’t sold on politics.
[00:46:05] Doesn’t think it can do anything, um, for their future, for their past, whatever, you know, and. I will, I will personal, uh, one of our personal goals was to make sure that people with an age group. Recognize that local politics truly matters. Local politics makes a difference in the lives of you and your children, because a lot of us have small children, um, you know, local politics changes all of that and we have to be up on it.
[00:46:34] And when you see somebody like yourself, a friend of yours, Running it, it does more than inspired actually makes you have skin in the game. It makes you understand it makes you do some research. So I think it’s a disservice to, you know, as in, to just hang up on your incumbency and not necessarily be out there because regardless of how you feel about your opponent, the election, et cetera, et cetera, that [00:47:00] people need to have that, that, that understanding.
[00:47:03] And I think the establishment. Relies on people’s. Um, people’s w like this, this, um, there’s a, there’s a nice word. I’m looking for that. I can’t find it right now, but people’s basically, this tastes that they have, um, for politics, they rely on that. They rely on low turnout. They rely on people just not wanting to be a part of this system because they feel like it can’t do nothing for them.
[00:47:32] And it’s a part of the strategy.
[00:47:35] Kim: [00:47:35] Yeah. So, okay. So you’re in Eastern York, uh, you represent a bunch of different areas, your district. One two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 different areas. So you have Canarsie Eastern East Brownsville, mill basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen beach. I’ve never even heard of Bergen beach, Marine park, flatlands [00:48:00] mill Island, Georgetown ocean Hill, and stare at city.
[00:48:03] So your district is big.
[00:48:05] Keron Alleyne: [00:48:05] Yeah, it’s massive. Um, and it has been, uh, quite a challenge getting out to everyone. You know, the phone banking has been a lifesaver in terms of just reaching more people. Cause you know, we, we don’t want to get anyone sick. We recognize that it’s extremely difficult in this environment with like, I almost have to continuously remind myself by saying we’re in the middle of a global pandemic.
[00:48:31] No keep cool. There was a point where there was 700 plus people dying per day and in the city, you know, and yeah, 800 at 1.2. So when we think about that, if it’s truly the steric and my hope is that, you know, we have this, the absentee option, um, yesterday was the deadline for that. Um, for folks to fill out the absentee ballot, you still have the option to go out and [00:49:00] do early voting.
[00:49:01] You know, you go to your local early.
[00:49:03] Kim: [00:49:03] A lot of people don’t know about
[00:49:06] Keron Alleyne: [00:49:06] right. You know, um, we actually just put out a new graphic with the day. We’re going to put it out every day with the gay and the time and the locations in the senatorial district. Cause if you go and do early voting, you’re less likely to run into the whole host of people that you wouldn’t.
[00:49:22] Run into on election day, it’s safe. Um, you can also go down to the board of elections and pick up a ballot. Um, I believe you haven’t till the 22nd for that. And you have to return it like the next day election day, if you were going at 20 seconds. So you have all of these options to vote and be safe. Um, and we encourage everybody to get out there, let your voice be heard, not in that general generic sense where they’re like, you know, you got to vote.
[00:49:49] Cause that’s the only way things changed. Not that we want you to get out there and vote and understand what’s going on. Do a little bit of research. You know, I appreciate the digging that you’ve [00:50:00] done. Uh, you know, and just understanding what’s happening in our community. Cause um, I pride myself on providing.
[00:50:09] That from people, sometimes it could be dense. And my main thing with working in the community is if I could get you to go to one extra meeting, I’ve done my doubts.
[00:50:22] Kim: [00:50:22] Well, look, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m a small fish in a big sea. But I have a lot of friends and family and Brooklyn and Starratt City.
[00:50:32] So I’m going to send your information to everyone that I know in Starratt City. And I’m going to have them send, give your information to everyone that they know so they can get out and vote. And yeah. You know, what’s funny, actually, today I filled out the absentee ballot a couple of weeks ago, but I actually went online to, uh, the New York state board of elections typed in my information.
[00:50:53] They asked you for your first name, last name, your date of birth and your zip code. And they, all the information is on there [00:51:00] on early voting. And a lot of people just don’t know that. So you can vote today. People, you can go out. Today’s offer, but you can fall for the next four or five days. You can do early voting and get your boats in early.
[00:51:13] If you want. It don’t want to be bothered with the crowd. So election day is on Tuesday, but get out there early, if you can. And if you’re in Brooklyn and if you’re in that Keron’s district, make sure you get out there and vote for Koran. Cause he needs, we need him as much as he needs us.
[00:51:33] Keron Alleyne: [00:51:33] Thank you. If, um, if all the folks out there listening to this wonderful podcast, if you need a small incentive to come out and vote, uh, recognize that this isn’t about us and you know what we do right now.
[00:51:50] It’s literally about the three-year-old that you can hear in the background. It’s about the inheritance that we leave them, not monetarily, but in a [00:52:00] social infrastructure that we leave for them. The communities that would be for them are just as important as the money that we made for them, because now money can only do so much.
[00:52:11] So this is about radical change for the years and years and years. To come in our community and not necessarily lead it, leaving the status quo as just something that we deal with. And June 23rd, um, it would, it would, it would really Tuesday, June 23rd, which is election day. Um, it would really mean a lot if you come out and vote.
[00:52:32] Uh, another reason because Tuesday, June 23rd is my 30th birthday. Um, so I would just appreciate it. Um, just on a personal note, if you could come out and vote.
[00:52:43] Kim: [00:52:43] That would be a great birthday present
[00:52:47] Keron Alleyne: [00:52:47] Yes.it would
[00:52:49] Kim: [00:52:49] So last question. So when you win the election, are you going to Albany? Are you moving to Albany?
[00:52:57] How does that work?
[00:52:58] We’re moving to [00:53:00] Albany.
[00:53:03] When we win the election. Um, when I say we’re moving to Albany, I mean like our, our politics is moving to Albany. You know, I will, people are moving to Albany. I work issues are moving to Albany and issues are gonna move. Albany is gonna move Albany in a way that has not been done on this, this, this magnitude.
[00:53:24] I have to shout out, um, the organization that is essentially, um, Helped me and made me and mold me into this, uh, molded my political ideology. Uh, operation power people organizing and working for him. I’m going to respect the local organization that has been on the front lines, educating people about politics, social injustice, and just getting people involved.
[00:53:50] You know, the organization got me involved and so happy to represent them. And operation power [00:54:00] people. My family, us as black runners, we are going to Albany. We are moving to all men because it was never a me thing. It’s always a we thing
[00:54:11] messed up well with that. No, I’m going to end this show here. Now this show is going to air on June 10th.
[00:54:21] So this Friday, yes, June 19th, a very special day for black folks everywhere. So yeah, I just want to get the word out, Keron. He is for us. If you’re in his district, make sure you vote for him. He needs your vote. We need you to vote for him. So I just want to thank you for being on the show. It was awesome to have you.
[00:54:46] I wish you all a best of luck with the election and we are going to Albany. W we’re
[00:54:54] Keron Alleyne: [00:54:54] going to Musk.
[00:54:58] Can’t wait, and thank [00:55:00] you so much for having me. I appreciate you extending your platform. Um, this was extremely, um, warming for me. Of course, you know, it’s happening in my house, but you know, it you’re so personable. You made it easy for me to just, you know, get into it and you didn’t being bored by it.
[00:55:18] The political drag out that I have to, you know, build up. So I just, I thank you. I thank you so much, um, for extending this opportunity and I thought it was going to be more difficult, but it was, it
[00:55:30] Kim: [00:55:30] was, so this is just talking amongst friends. So we make this easy.
[00:55:35] Keron Alleyne: [00:55:35] This is easy.
[00:55:36] Kim: [00:55:36] So when you, when I want to have you back on the show,
[00:55:40] Keron Alleyne: [00:55:40] Okay.
[00:55:41] Kim: [00:55:41] From your, from your office in Albany,
[00:55:48] Keron Alleyne: [00:55:48] that’s definitely happening.
[00:55:50] Kim: [00:55:50] All right, Keron. Thanks again for being on.
[00:55:53] Keron Alleyne: [00:55:53] No problem. You have a good one.
[00:55:57] Kim: [00:55:57] Thank you so much for tuning into the [00:56:00] show. Be sure to subscribe to The Run Wave on your favorite podcast app and leave us a review of the show on Apple podcasts. It would have really helped me out. If you are a runner that has a story to tell, and you would like to be on the show, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:56:17] Or send us a DM on Instagram to the run wave. See you next time. .
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