The role of governor of the state of New York is not an easy one. The state is diverse in too many ways to count so being everything to everyone is nearly impossible. The last few years have been very hard. The pandemic brought inexplicable pain and loss to our communities, physical, emotional and financial. Many families were shattered, communities broken, businesses lost and still we are trying to turn a corner and come back from a nightmare that will certainly be the foundation of too many young people’s lives. So now we have a gubernatorial race in the middle of unprecedented gas prices, a move to decarbonize the state, and gun violence so pervasive that days without a mass shooting are rare. So how do we choose? When it comes down to it, we must consider many things, such as experience, effectiveness, and commitment. And when we say commitment, we don’t mean to the job per se, but the communities that are the most vulnerable, the ones that have been too often left behind, or taken for granted until their vote is needed. We need a governor that cares about them, us, all the time—election time or not. Whose ear we have and in turn leans on ours. Kathy Hochul has grown into the position of Governor and has learned a lot in her tenure. We commend her for her growth, and believe that if she had more diverse voices around her in her senior staff that look like the communities that need representation the most, she would better serve all New York. This void concerns us. We believe that she is trying to do the right thing on many fronts, but we need to see more. On the other hand, Tom Souzzi has moved so far from the ideals that we have known him to uphold to try to placate some voters, we no longer recognize him, and that saddens us. And then we have Jumaane Williams. From community activist roots he has worked his way through the ranks of elected office and has proven himself time and time again as an exceptional public servant. He walks the walk; he talks the talk. He is exactly who he tells us he is, unabashedly focused on uplifting and strengthening the people and communities that need him most. He is not afraid to take on anyone, at any time, anywhere. At this point in time our state needs a leader like Jumaane Williams; one who will stand not only with us, but by us, and for us. And that is why we endorse Jumaane Williams for Governor of the state of New York.
Antonio Delgado didn’t expect to be Lt. Governor, he was busy in Washington, D.C delivering for his upstate district when he was appointed by Governor Hochul after she ascended to her role. Representing parts of Ulster, Delaware, Greene and some other counties he had won his congressional seat in an area that Trump won by over seven points. But he did not just jump into politics, he took a more indirect path, one that took him through academia, music, law, entrepreneurship and struggle.
Prior to holding his congressional seat, this Rhodes scholar and Harvard law school graduate moved to the West Coast to become a hip hop artist and tried to use hip hop to effect change with his label Static Entertainment. To pay his bills he had odd end jobs. He learned what it is like to be hungry. It wasn’t until several years later that he came back East, got a job as a lawyer and then dipped his toe into politics running for a congressional seat firmly held by republicans. As a congressman he got 18 bills signed into law. The American Rescue fund was his formula.
He sees the role of Lt. Governor as a gateway into that space that can help people see what the future can hold. Empowering Black and Brown communities. Elevating the level of intentionality of how money is being spent and helping tailor the utilization of those funds. He knows that neglecting our communities gives rise to crime. While in congress he held 67 town halls. Raised in the Black Baptist church, he understands the power of overcoming and carrying on our legacy. For this reason and many more we endorse Antonio Delgado for Lt. Governor.
Footnote: We were very impressed with Ana Maria Archila, both her clear-eyed vision for New Yorkers throughout the state and her willingness to be a voice independent of the governor when required. Her time as a community organizer and nonprofit leader at both Make the Road and the Center for Popular Democracy have prepared her well for elective office. We hope to see her again soon as a candidate on the ballot in New York.
Assembly 43rd–Brian Cunningham
After winning the 43rd in a special election in March, Brian Cunningham is working hard to keep his seat. Born in Flatbush and raised by a single mother, he knows what the community needs firsthand. He went to NYC public schools and his under-resourced community languished in times of prosperity for other communities. That is why he went into the field of economics and social justice, fighting for the community and people that nurtured him. He has worked in the non-profit sector, the public sector. He knows the ins and outs of Albany and has made his mark in the short time he has already been there. This is just the beginning for this young man. And that is why we endorse him as Assemblyman in the 43rd and expect great things from him.
Assembly 55th–Latrice Walker
Latrice Walker was originally elected in 2014. She has proven herself as a legislator. She has stood up for her community when it counted and has been a leader in the assembly. During the most recent budget battle Walker went on a hunger strike for over two weeks over rollbacks that were proposed. She won some of those fights and vows to keep fighting. Born and raised in public housing, she went to NYC public schools. She has never forgotten her roots and uses her experiences to guide her in her actions everyday. She makes the assembly better by her presence and her leadership and we endorse her for another term.
Assembly 60th–Keron Alleyne
You can find him in the garden growing veggies for the community. You can see him working alongside his neighbors in East New York, fighting for affordable housing. He went to Boys and Girls High school where he grew up under the watchful eye of Stanley Kinard who was one of his mentors. He worked in the offices of Charles Barron, another one of his mentors, where he learned the ins and outs of Albany. He currently holds the role of deputy district manager of Community Board 5 in Brooklyn. Alleyne is the future of the New York State Assembly and we endorse him.
Assembly 70th–Inez Dickens
Public service is in Inez E. Dickens’ blood. She has served her community tirelessly for years. In her time in Albany she has served her constituents well. She has fought for affordable housing and secured funding for small businesses. She has fought for equal rights and equal justice for all. Dickens is a tireless leader and once again we endorse her as she runs for re-election in the 70th Assembly district.
District leaders in the 60th–Charles Barron, Inez Barron
We endorse Charles Barron and Inez Barron; both are true champions of their community and will continue to fight for the needs of their constituents day in and day out.