By: Ilana Siyance
The Democratic Socialists of America, a progressive squad which includes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has endorsed six candidates for Council seats in a bid to “take over” New York City.
On Saturday, the NYC-DSA group provided public backing for six members who adhere to the group’s platform, as proven by their answers to a detailed questionnaire. As reported by the NY Post, the endorsed names most famously includes former public defender and Queens District Attorney candidate Tiffany Caban, who came close to beating then-Borough President Melinda Katz in the Democratic primary. The other NYC-DSA endorsed candidates for NYC council are: Adolfo Abreu in District 14 in the Bronx; Jaslin Kaur in Queens’ District 22 and 23; Michael Hollingsworth in Brooklyn’s District 35; Alexa Aviles in District 38 Brooklyn; and Brandon West in Brooklyn’s District 39.
“Last week, we elected a slate of socialist legislators to represent working people up in Albany,” said Sumathy Kumar, NYC-DSA Co-Chair. “Now we’re doing the same right here in New York City.”
In order to be endorsed, candidates responded to questionnaires, to see if they agreed with the Democratic Socialists ideologies. As per the Post, the platform includes efforts to defund the police, curtail community or “broken window” policing, decriminalizing sex work and “decarceration”, which is their effort to reduce the number of jails and inmates. Additionally, the group aims to: increase city income taxes for the upper class; limit charter schools; give illegal immigrants the right to vote; take away tax breaks for developers; and pursue divestment and sanction movement against Israel. The endorsed candidates would, if elected, be discouraged from taking paid trips to the Jewish state.
“The six members of the NYC-DSA City Council slate are the leaders this city needs as we continue to face the devastating fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chi Anunwa, NYC-DSA Co-Chair. “They all have deep ties to their communities and an absolute commitment to fighting alongside working New Yorkers for a democratic socialist agenda, including defunding the NYPD and funding the social infrastructure we actually need — education, healthcare and housing.”
The DSA has already widened its influence in the state Legislature, with five of its endorsed candidates winning seats, including: Jabari Brisport in the Senate, and in the Assembly Phara Souffrant Forrest, Marcela Mitaynes, Zohran Mamdani and Emily Gallagher. Now, the city council is set for a heavy turnover, as term limits will cause 35 of the 51 Council seats to be vacated and open for the taking.