By Sheldon Ranz
Born in a small rural town in Puerto Rico, Samy Nemir-Olivares grew up in a family that had to struggle to make ends meet. Eventually, he moved to New York with just a suitcase, lots of student debt and a vision to make the world a much better place.
In his time as a community organizer, he has worked both as a journalist covering the stories of marginalized communities and later at the Center for Popular Democracy. He currently works for a civil rights nonprofit group that focuses on the LGBTQ community and people with HIV. While he was working to support the Excluded Workers Fund during the Covid-19 crisis, the incumbent assemblymember Erik Dilan was nowhere to be found. Fed up with Dilan’s lack of leadership, Nemir-Olivares threw his hat into the ring. If elected, Nemir-Olivares, a protégé of SDUSA ally State Senator Julia Salazar, would be the first gay Latinx New Yorker in the NYS Assembly. He is running in the 54th Assembly District, which overlaps with the 18th State Senate district represented by Salazar, including North Brooklyn nabes Cypress Hills and East Bushwick.
What makes Samy Run? He’s fighting for safe housing, tuition-free higher education, and free healthcare as basic human rights so his constituents will be free from the fear of unwarranted eviction, able to pursue pathways to good paying jobs, and able to seek good, quality healthcare whenever they need it. With this foundation in place, they can live in a safer and better New York City.
While incumbent Dilan has the support of the party’s big funders and real estate developers, Nemir-Olivares has pledged to not take any money from corporate PACs or special interest groups. More importantly, while increasing numbers of tenants in North Brooklyn are being hit with hurtful post-pandemic rent hikes, the need to pass the Good Cause Eviction legislation sponsored by Senator Salazar is more apparent than ever. Dilan opposes Good Cause; Nemir-Olivares supports it.
Together, serving in office, Julia Salazar and Samy Nemir-Olivares would give North Brooklyn a more coherent socialist voice than either of them would separately!
For more information: https://www.samyfornewyork.com/
Sheldon Ranz is Director of Special Projects for Social Democrats USA and the editor of Socialist Currents.