Original Photo credit: Florian M under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license
On Jan. 21, the Independent Neighborhood Democrats (IND) announced four new endorsements, the first of which was Scott Stringer for Mayor. They also endorsed Comptroller candidate Brad Lander and incumbent Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
On Jan. 24, State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) made the race’s first “ranked-choice” endorsement, announcing his first and second choice for Mayor. His first choice was Scott Stringer, while his second was Dianne Morales.
“I’m endorsing Scott Stringer as my first choice because he is a steadfast partner in government with a deep understanding of the challenges our City faces,” said Rivera.
On Jan. 28, Harlem Chef & Restauranteur Marcus Samuelsson endorsed his personal friend Ray McGuire for Mayor.
“I just want to say how proud I am of my friend Ray McGuire,” said Samuelsson. “He’s a true New Yorker. And in a time like this, we’re looking for true leadership in a very, very difficult time, where we have to turn a page and more forward as a city, as communities, and help small businesses, and help each neighborhood in New York City to really thrive. I couldn’t imagine a better person to take on that leadership than Ray McGuire.”
On Jan. 26, Ray McGuire announced that he will be rolling out a plan that will bring more than half a million jobs to New York City.
The former Citigroup executive intends to foster job growth through a variety of means, including broad infrastructure reform, increased city cooperation with tech companies, and allowing small businesses to apply for wage subsidies that would cover half of a worker’s salary for a year.
On Jan. 26, Zach Iscol announced that he is officially dropping out of the Mayoral race and entering the Comptroller race instead. For our full article about his decision, click here.
A day later, renowned New York entrepreneur Barbara Kavovit, also known as Barbara K, officially entered the Mayoral race. Kavovit founded one of the first General Contracting and Construction Management firms in New York, earning her a place on Crain’s “100 Most Influential Women in Business” countdown.
“I’m running for Mayor of #NYC because the city that I love, the city of opportunity where I built my business and my dreams, is in a state of crisis,” Kavovit said in a tweet. “It will take a builder to rebuild NYC, and I’m the woman to do it.”
UWS Open Hearts Mayoral Candidate Forum: Thursday, Feb. 4, 5:30 p.m. (Registration link here)
Grand Street Democrats Mayoral Forum: Sunday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m. (Registration link here)
Town Hall on the Future of Food in New York City: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 9:30-11:30 a.m., NY1 News
Four Freedoms Democratic Club Mayoral Endorsement Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:45-8:45 p.m. (Registration link here)
On Jan. 25, former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall (D) endorsed Brian Benjamin for City Comptroller.
Elected in 1993, McCall was the first African-American to serve as State Comptroller in New York.
“Brian Benjamin is the experienced and qualified leader we need as New York City Comptroller in these difficult times, and I am proud to give my support to him today,” said former New York State Comptroller Carl McCall. “As Chair of the Senate Committee on Revenue and Budget and Harvard Business School graduate who has direct experience in investment management, Brain is the only candidate we can trust to protect the pensions of New York City’s retirees and handle the very serious challenges our city is facing. And his long record of advocating for affordable housing and criminal justice reform shows he holds the values we need in our next Comptroller.”
On Jan. 27, Comptroller candidate Kevin Parker released his healthcare plan for the City. The plan consists of four major steps:
Auditing the City’s pandemic response and helping it prepare for future ones;
Ensuring that public hospitals are healthy and adequately funded;
Instating policies that promote conditions conducive to good health, such as economic stability and quality education;
And creating Health Enterprise Hubs, a series of partnerships to help coordinate healthcare product supply chains.
“The disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic took a massive toll on our city’s finances,” Parker said. “That is why the next Comptroller must have a comprehensive healthcare plan, because healthy people make for healthy finances.”
On the same day, Brad Lander put forth a comprehensive plan to reform New York’s social housing landscape. His plan seeks to create at least 150,000 new units of permanently affordable housing, and would also preserve 100 percent of existing social housing units. The full plan is available here.
“New York’s affordability crisis isn’t going away anytime soon; in fact, it’s about to get a lot worse as private equity funds swoop in to buy up the homes that New Yorkers can no longer afford,” said Lander. “We have an opportunity now to take a lesson from New Yorkers of the past and invest in housing strategies that guarantee permanent affordability, prioritize community ownership and democratic control, and permanently insulate units from real estate speculation. By treating housing as a public good rather than a vehicle for profit, we can ensure that all New Yorkers have a home they can afford.”
On Jan. 28, former CNBC journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera officially entered the race for Comptroller. In her launch video, Caruso-Cabrera asserted that her financial expertise will make her well-suited to help New York out of its financial crisis.
“I spent decades reporting on financial crises all over the world,” Caruso-Cabrera said in her launch video. “I know what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to bringing a place like New York City back from the brink.”
Five Borough Chamber Alliance Candidate Forum: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m. (Registration link here)
Public Advocate Race
On Jan. 27, Our Revolution endorsed incumbent Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) for re-election.
:We are proud to endorse @JumaaneWilliams for re-election as NYC Public Advocate – a two-time Bernie delegate and a leader of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests,” the organization said in a tweet. “Williams is not afraid to stand for CHANGE & justice for all.”
Grand Street Democrats Public Advocate Forum: Saturday, Dec. 6, 12 p.m. (Registration link here)
Manhattan District Attorney Race
On Jan. 21, the Three Parks Independent Democrats voted to endorse Alvin Bragg.
Bragg received a sizable plurality of the votes, netting 42 percent. In a distant second was Tali Farhadian Weinstein, who received 19 percent of the vote.
On Jan. 27, Manhattan DA candidate Eliza Orlins released a comprehensive plan to decriminalize sex work.
Orlins pledged to take several major steps on behalf of New York’s sex workers – including, but not limited to:
Refusing to prosecute criminal charges based solely on the consensual purchasing of sex;
Prosecuting all cases of sexual violence arising from consensual sex work;
Completely repeal Penal Law § 240.37, better known as the notorious “Walking While Trans Ban.”
“Criminalization of sex work doesn’t keep our city safe — it forces New Yorkers to avoid hospitals, social services, and law enforcement out of fear of prosecution,” said Orlins. “Sex work is work. And when workers in any profession are afraid of being prosecuted, they don’t come forward to seek help. As district attorney, I will never charge a person for making a decision about what to do with their body. My office will focus on public health, public safety and on fighting back against those who are engaging in human trafficking — not punishing those engaging in consensual sex work. Decriminilizing sex work will help us build a safer, healthier and more equitable New York together.”
Four Freedoms Democratic Club Manhattan District Attorney Endorsement Meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 6:45-8:45 p.m. (Registration link here)
Manhattan Borough President Race
On Jan. 22, Ben Kallos received an endorsement from District Leader Jill Eisner.
“I am endorsing Ben Kallos for Manhattan Borough President as I know that he will continue our work on education reform, specifically working to increase the number of polling sites in Manhattan for early voting,” said Eisner.
On Jan. 27, Victory Fund, an organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ candidates, announced 15 official endorsements, one of which was Brad Hoylman for Manhattan Borough President. If elected, Hoylman would be the first LGBTQ person to hold that office.
City Council Races
On Jan. 27, Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang endorsed Gigi Li for Council District 1.
The announcement happened after Yang and Li took a socially distanced tour of the district, patronizing businesses in Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side.
“Gigi has spent decades working for the people of Lower Manhattan and she knows its communities better than anyone. She is a creative problem solver, a dedicated social worker, and a smart, pragmatic leader who can hit the ground running on day one in City Hall,” said Yang. “We need someone who has a proven track record in the neighborhood. I am thoroughly impressed by her detailed knowledge of the community’s needs and her long history of responsiveness to them. I am proud to endorse her candidacy to be the next New York City Council Member for Council District 1.”
On Jan. 22, Erik Bottcher was endorsed by the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, IBT Local 831.
“Erik’s years of experience have provided him with singular insight into the workings of government,” said IBT Local 831 President Harry Nespoll. “He has gained perspective on budgets and their impact on the lives of every New Yorker.”
A week later, Bottcher received another endorsement, this one from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
“The RWDSU knows firsthand that Erik Bottcher has an unwavering commitment towards equal rights and justice for workers,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. “We are dedicated to making sure he’s elected to the City Council to continue the fight for a fairer NYC.”
Yesterday, Julie Menin received an endorsement from the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club.
“In the race for the 5th District of City Council, no candidate has done more for progressive and LGBTQ+ issues than Julie Menin,” said Allen Roskoff, President of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club. “From implementing the Paid Sick Leave and Living Wage laws as DCA Commissioner, to leading the city’s census office and achieving a historic result for marginalized communities and securing billions for our hospitals, HIV prevention, LGBTQ youth, and affordable housing to taking on the Trump Administration with a successful win at the Supreme Court in the citizenship case, Julie has a stellar track record of getting things done. She is a fearless and tireless champion.”
Today, Kim Moscaritolo received an endorsement from Voters for Animal Rights (VfAR).
“I’m paws-itively thrilled to announce the endorsement of @theanimalvoters!” Moscaritolo said in a tweet. “I look forward to working with them to end animal cruelty and build a more humane city.”
On Jan. 26, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club officially endorsed Sara Lind for District 6.
“Sara Lind represents bold new leadership,” said Allen Roskoff. “An unrelenting progressive in the true spirit of all the Westside represented throughout the years. She will be a voice for the voiceless and fight hard for her constituents. She will be a relentless advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community and a fighter in the movement to present the ongoing struggle for the needs of women. During this unrelenting pandemic, she will be relentless to see to it that Westsiders get the resources and health care we so desperately need.”
On Jan. 28, Maria Ordoñez received an endorsement from the New York Progressive Action Network (NYPAN) and Our Revolution.
“It’s time for leaders who are committed to tackling the issues that are holding too many New Yorkers back — racism, inequality, lack of quality healthcare, housing, public education and so much more,” said Joseph Geevarghese, executive director of Our Revolution. “This will be a transformative year in New York politics. With term limits creating open seats, the city is up for grabs. Our Revolution and NYPAN are launching an aggressive organizing campaign to build progressive power in New York City this year.”
On Jan. 26, the NYC Central Labor Council (CLC), the largest labor coalition in the City, announced a slew of City Council endorsements.
The Council endorsed 13 candidates in total, including District 1’s Jenny Low, District 3’s Erik Bottcher, District 5’s Julie Menin, and District 10’s Carmen De La Rosa.
“The NYC CLC is the largest and broadest labor coalition in the city, and we will engage more than a million voting households through our member-to-member outreach in support of endorsed candidates,” said NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez. “We’re looking forward to working with our affiliates to turn out our members to elect City Council candidates who will work with us to address both the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, revive hard-hit industries, protect jobs and critical city services, and grow our economy. We believe that the candidates we’re endorsing today have what it takes to win, and to take on the enormous challenges ahead on behalf of working families in New York City.”
A day later, Labor Strong 2021, a coalition of five prominent NYC unions, announced their endorsement of 31 City Council candidates.
The coalition is comprised of 32BJ SEIU, Communications Workers of America District 1, District Council 37, Hotel Trades Council and the New York State Nurses Association. Among their endorsees were District 1 candidate Jenny Low, District 3 candidate Erik Bottcher, District 5 candidate Julie Menin, District 6 candidate Gale Brewer, District 7 candidate Shaun Abreu, District 10 candidate Carmen De La Rosa, and incumbent Councilmembers Keith Powers (D-Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill), Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) and Diana Ayala (D-El Barrio, Mott Haven).
[Editor’s Note: This edition of the weekly election roundup had to be postponed to Monday due to technical difficulties. The next roundup is slated for Friday, Feb. 5.]