People evolve over the years, whether it’s changing musical direction, sharing emotional outbursts, or moving on, we adapt over time. However, our past tends to influence our present and future endeavours. For Indecision guitarist Justin Brannan, his straight-edge lifestyle and interest in politics has led him to become a city council member candidate. That’s right, he’s running for an open City Council seat in the 43rd District in Brooklyn, representing Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, and parts of Bensonhurst.
Clrvynt interviewed Brannan on venture into politics, asking if there was a musical moment that made him move to the change:
“I can’t really put a finger on it. I was already exploring “straight-edge” before I learned there was a term for it. I saw everyone else getting drunk and high, and it just wasn’t for me. I recognized that being different actually meant not doing these things, because it seemed like everyone else was. Then I heard Minor Threat and Youth of Today and realized there was a movement of people who took pride in not going with the flow. That had a big impact on me — I felt like I was part of something bigger and that there were other people who had similar counter-ideas. I definitely learned a lot about world history from Dead Kennedys, the Minutemen and Napalm Death. And I say that without any irony at all. These were bands that you could actually learn from. I mean, being 13 or 14 years old and hearing Napalm Death screaming about “multinational corporations / genocide of the starving nations” was very different from kids who were listening to Milli Vanilli or even Metallica.”
He later expressed how he “started his own stream”:
“I started my own groups and my own political club. If the mainstream wouldn’t accept me, I just started my own stream. I think eventually there comes a time in your life when you realize that we are the people we’ve been waiting for. And if you wanna make change, you’ve gotta get out there and make it happen yourself. I think my impatience only helps me get things done faster and more efficiently now in my career in government. I have very little patience for unnecessary red tape and paralyzing bureaucracy. I want people to see the power of government and how it can help and not hinder them; how the primary role of local government should be to advance equity so that all people have the same access and opportunity. That we do best when everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share and plays by the same set of rules.”
Towards the end of the interview, he was asked what major hurdles he has to face in Brooklyn as a City Council member:
“Keeping New York City affordable so that the people who helped build NYC and the people that give NYC its heart and soul can afford to live here. NYC has been experiencing remarkable growth as more and more people move here, and as we all know, that progress brings concerns. But the values that make our neighborhoods special and unique don’t have to be lost. As long as we continue to strive to preserve the unique character of our neighborhoods, by respecting the context of the existing area, then the natives will have nothing to fear as developers create more room for new residents and our neighborhoods will reap the benefits. We need to make sure New York City remains a place where our most vulnerable working families and the middle class can all thrive again. New York City belongs to whoever wants to call it home. It can’t be something that only belongs to those who can afford it. It belongs to the people who made it great.”
Read the full piece here.