Leslie Boghosian Murphy (D), a former journalist and Community Board 4 member, has entered the race to succeed City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen,) as the representative of District 3.
The granddaughter of refugees fleeing the Armenian Genocide, Boghosian Murphy grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. She eventually became an investigative reporter for CNN in Atlanta before moving to New York City in 2001. About two years later, she purchased her current apartment in Hell’s Kitchen.
Eventually, though, Boghosian Murphy driftedaway from journalism and shifted her focus to community activism. In 2018, she joined Community Board 4, “where you see the sausage being made.”
“I started volunteering more and more, and I went from the block association to the local homeless shelter, and it went up from there,” she recalled. “I was inspired by how much our voices as residents could matter.”
Shortly before the pandemic began, Boghosian Murphy attended a Democratic Party meeting in Hell’s Kitchen. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (D) made an appearance, urging women to run for elected office.
“She was speaking on how women always volunteer, and they have great ideas, but really get involved to run and represent your community,” said Boghosian Murphy. “I think that was such an inspirational moment listening to her that I went back, I talked to my husband, and it kind of set me off on this possible path.”
While she respects Johnson’s constituent services and progressive ideals, she feels that he and many other local electeds tend to prioritize quick fixes to challenges instead of underlying causes and long-term efficiency.
“We as politicians have to go under the surface. We really have to dig deeper because there are problems that need long term solutions. There are problems that require nuanced, detailed solutions and require that farsightedness,” Boghosian Murphy explained.
Along with key issues such as housing, education, and the environment, Boghosian Murphy intends to prioritize relief for many of the district’s small businesses, artists and actors. She anticipates that the incoming Biden administration will help her in that regard.
On the issue of pollution, Boghosian Murphy cites the cruise ship docks and Port Authority as a challenge for the district, and called for a formalized bike lane system and improving bus services as subway ridership has decreased amid the pandemic.
When asked about any challenges she is concerned about if elected, she cited her experience as “a fighter.”
“When I was a reporter, I dealt with [former President of Malawi] Bingu wa Mutharika, I’ve interviewed and dealt with [former President of Venezuela] Hugo Chavez, so I know how to come to the table, I know how to negotiate, and I know how to hopefully get things done,” she said.