City Council elections for 2023 are already underway. Here’s what candidates in Harlem’s District 9 race have been working on so far.

Councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan, who’s running to hold onto her seat, joined the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) picket line in front of Mount Sinai hospital last week on day three of the brief walkouts over salary negotiations. She said the atmosphere was festive and empowering for the picketing nurses who are at the forefront of the healthcare system.

“The staffing right now is extremely unsafe and laborwise abusive to the nurses. Quite frankly, they deserve it. It’s not too much to ask,” said Richardson Jordan. “As a socialist, one of my biggest points is redistributing wealth from those who have the most and giving it where it’s needed.” 

As far as campaigning for office goes, she said that she’s “really more focused on the work.” According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, Richardson Jordan has reached $17,684 in private funds. 

Meanwhile, heavy hitter Assemblymember Inez Dickens officially launched her campaign for City Council last week with a packed house of clergy and church members at Ponty Bistro on Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. in Harlem. Dickens had served in the same seat back in 2006 and is planning a return at the request of community leaders. 

“I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity, the strength, the attitude, the Harlem swagger, to represent our community. A diverse community. A community that accepts people to work with us but not take over us,” said Dickens at the podium.

She was joined by former Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Rev. Dr. Malcolm J. Byrd of Mother AME Zion Church, 116th St. Block Association President Candy Vasquez, founder and CEO of Street Corner Resources, Inc. Iesha Sekou, and many others. A host of speakers pledged their undying support for Dickens at the gathering.

“As our community continues to rebuild following the devastating results of the pandemic, we need real leadership—particularly at the city level—to address the ongoing needs of our residents,” said Rangel. “Inez’s ability to work with our city, state and federal elected officials is steadfast and unwavering. Now is not the time for obstinate and repressive rhetoric that will never deliver results for Harlem. Inez Dickens is the right person for the job.”

Challenger and Assemblymember Al Taylor also celebrated a win for his campaign, scoring a coveted endorsement from former 32BJ President Kyle Bragg. He said that labor and the Carpenter Union are firmly behind him for City Council.

“Campaign’s spectacular. I anticipate surpassing qualifications for matching funds. I celebrated one of the early highlights of the campaign where former 32BJ President Kyle Bragg is hosting a fundraiser for me and he’s going to bring some labor in,” said Taylor. “I’m encouraged. I’m excited. I’m ready for the oath of office.”

Taylor said that labor has always supported him in his tenure as a legislator.

Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about politics for the Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting

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1 Comment

  1. Al Taylor, Inez Dickens both have the worst attendance records in Albany. Dickens had the worst attendance record when she was a councilmember. Assemblymember Taylor is anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice. He has no place in New York State or City government.

    Just this June, Assemblymember Taylor was one of two Democrats to vote against the Equality Amendment, which will hopefully create a constitutional ban on discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.” He was personally thanked by the ironically-named, explicitly homophobic and transphobic organization “New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms.” Assemblymember Taylor is one of the last vestiges of unmitigated bigotry in the Democratic caucus.

    Furthermore, despite being a pastor authorized to perform weddings, Assemblymember Taylor refuses to marry gay people. In fact, Assemblymember Taylor’s entire Infinity Mennonite Church refuses to perform same-sex marriages. If progressives are outraged about bakers discriminating against gay customers, we should be equally outraged about bigoted pastors.

    If Assemblymember Taylor’s homophobia and transphobia does not convince you, perhaps his anti-choice behavior will. As recently as 2019, Assemblymember Taylor voted against the Reproductive Health Act. Had the legislation failed, abortion would be largely illegal in New York State today.

    Democrats across the state and country campaigned on abortion rights. We rightfully vilified Republicans for their forced birth policies. But there are Democrats here in New York City who have the same political agenda. As of now, you are supporting one.

    There is no place in the Democratic party for homophobia, transphobia, or the cult of forced birth. There is also no place for supporters and enablers of these bigots and zealots. We strongly urge you to withdraw your support for Assemblymember Al Taylor’s campaign for City Council immediately. We anxiously await your reply.


    Allen Roskoff

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