New York Sen. Bill Perkins announced last week that he’s running for Congress. Perkins is looking to take the seat currently occupied by Rep. Charlie Rangel, who announced he won’t run again after his term ends.
Standing in front of Schomburg Plaza, the same place that birthed his political career when he served as a tenant leader, Perkins said he’s running on his record of speaking “truth to power.”
“Throughout my career, I’ve stood up for the people who too often seem left out of the process,” stated Perkins. “I stood up against the landlord lobby to pass the city’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, protecting 5,000 children each year. I stood up for reform in Albany, taking the operations and finances of public authorities like the MTA out of the shadows. I stood up for the ‘Central Park Five’ and criminal justice reform and against the unwarranted use of eminent domain that has threatened small businesses and our communities.”
Perkins also noted he was one of the first New York elected officials to “stand up for Barack Obama for president.”
Perkins has represented the 30th District in the New York Senate for the last nine years. Forty-four percent of the voters in the 13th Congressional District live in his district. He previously served as a New York City Council member.
Before his speech, the state senator was introduced by Raymond Santana, one of the members of the “Central Park Five.” Santana said that Perkins had “the passion, toughness and commitment we need fighting for this community in Congress. Back when we were first accused, when things were bad and Donald Trump was calling for our execution, Bill listened to us, supported us and had the guts to publicly stand with us.”
Santana also said that Perkins “never seems concerned with the politics or personal risks, he just does what is right and works for the people who need it most. He is someone the community trusts and is willing to take bold actions. And that’s why I’m so excited he is running for Congress.”
Perkins, unsurprisingly, agreed with that assessment.
“I’ve never been a go-along, get-along legislator—and that’s not what this district needs,” Perkins continued. “Instead, I have worked to make a difference—to fight for better schools, affordable housing and accessible health care. I’ve taken on the status quo and the special interests and been a voice for fairness, basic justice and the people of this district. And that’s what I will do in Congress.”