On the heels of its recent endorsement of Adam Bojak for the New York State Assembly’s 149th District (Buffalo), the National Executive Committee of Social Democrats USA endorses these dynamic, progressive New Yorkers for public office:
- AOC – Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez – seeking re-election in the 14th Congressional District (Bronx, Queens). From her modest beginnings as a bartender, AOC has soared to become the premiere democratic socialist in the House of Representatives. She co-authored the Green New Deal and is a champion of Medicare For All. She maneuvered Amazon, headed by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, into setting up shop in NYC’s Hudson Yards after foiling his plan to get NYS taxpayers to supply Amazon with billions of dollars in tax incentives. She is an advocate for sex work decriminalization and is currently doing in-person food and surgical mask drop-offs during this pandemic.
- Jamaal Bowman: seeking election in the 16th Congressional District (Bronx, Westchester) against long-time incumbent Eliot Engel. Bowman, a middle-school teacher and principal, is a strong advocate for Medicare For All and abolishing corporate welfare. He offers his agenda as a distinct pro-peace alternative to the hawkish foreign policy of Engel, who opposed Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran and supported the US war in Iraq and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.
- Adem Bunkeddeko: seeking election in the 9th Congressional District (Brooklyn) against incumbent Yvette Clarke. Adem’s parents are refugees who fled Uganda’s civil war to come to the US. In addition to supporting Medicare For All and the Green New Deal, his signature issues are committing federal money to ensure affordable housing as a human right and reversing all of Trump’s setbacks to immigration: abolishing ICE and awarding all DACA recipients citizenship during this pandemic. Bunkeddeko came close to winning in 2018, losing by just a thousand votes to the increasingly neo-liberal incumbent Clarke.
- Emily Gallagher: seeking election in the 50th Assembly District (North Brooklyn) against incumbent Joseph Lentol, who has of late been the recipient of real estate money and clashed with unions over his support for home-sharing giant Airbnb. By contrast, Gallagher is a vocal supporter of buttressing the historic Tenant Protection Act of 2019 and State Senator Julia Salazar’s legislation to mandate ‘good cause’ evictions in order to stop no-fault tenant evictions.
- Mondaire Jones: seeking election in the 17th Congressional district (Westchester and Rockland Counties) for the open seat made possible by the retiring Rep. Nita Lowey. If elected, he would be the first-ever openly gay African-American member of Congress. He has made artful use of the Covid-19 pandemic to push for Medicare For All and other popular progressive legislation. One stand-out feature of his platform is his support for the German model of worker co-determination – letting workers elect a substantial percentage of representatives to their company’s board of directors.
- Ron Kim: seeking re-election for his fifth term in the 40th Assembly District (Queens), This is one of the good incumbents: a stalwart for progressive principles who has been willing to take risks for marginalized communities, be it Asian-American immigrants or sex workers. . He was instrumental in getting the brilliant sex worker advocate Kate Zen (one of our 2019 Left Forum panelists) appointed as Executive Director of the Asian Pacific-American Task Force of the NYS Assembly. Along with AOC, he played a leading role in defeating Amazon’s attempt to net billions of dollars in NYS tax breaks.
- Yuh-Line Niou: seeking re-election for her third term in the 65th Assembly District (lower Manhattan). She is the first Asian-American to represent Chinatown. Having restored her District’s reputation for honesty after it was ruined by her predecessor, the disgraced Shelly Silver, she secured a record $550 million in funding for the NYC Housing Authority for capital repairs to its crippling infrastructure. She voted for the successful repeal of Bill 50-A, which shielded police misconduct and police brutality from public scrutiny. As an initial Warren endorser, she has helped maintain the working alliance between Warren supporters and Berniecrats within the sex work decriminalization movement.
- Jessica Ramos: seeking re-election in the 13th Senatorial District (Queens). She is the chair of the State Senate Labor Committee after having spent all of her adult years in the labor movement. After having defeated a Republican-leaning Democrat, Jose Peralta, in 2018, she is part of the progressive “blue wave” of New York State politics that compelled Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign long overdue progressive legislation, sometimes reluctantly. She is co-sponsor of Senate Bill S.6419, which, if passed, will decriminalize consenting adult sex work in New York. During the pandemic, she is handing out food to the needy from her district office.
- Julia Salazar: seeking re-election in the 18th – the “Greateenth” – Senatorial District (North Brooklyn). Currently the chair of the State Senate Women’s Issues Committee, she defeated landlord favorite Martin Dilan in a landslide in 2018, spearheading the takeover of the State Senate from the rule of Republicans and conservative Democrats. The very first bill she authored, the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She was a key member of the coalition that led to passage of sweeping tenants’ rights legislation in 2019 and the repeal of the aforementioned Bill 50-A. But above all, she is an outstanding risk-taker. She is the first-ever Marxist in the NYS Senate. She was the first NYS elected official to endorse Bernie Sanders in 2020. She co-sponsored the first-ever US legislation to decriminalize sex work involving consenting adults. She is the first-ever Jewish elected official in the US to support BDS. She has ignored the worrywarts who told her to play it safe, and instead, has only gotten stronger.