NEW YORK – OCT 19, 2019: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders appears on stage during the “Bernie’s Back Rally” at Queensbridge Park in Long Island City on October 19, 2019, in New York. (Shutterstock)
WASHINGTON – Bernie 2020 today announced a slate of endorsements from across New York State, including Albany Common Councilman Owusu Anane, New York City Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Justin Brannan, Utica Council Member Delvin Moody, Orange County Legislator Kevindaryán Luján, Rochester City Councilwoman Mary Lupien, Cheektowaga Council Member Brian Nowak, and Former Binghamton Council Member Dan Livingston.
In addition, Bernie 2020 announced the endorsements of David Galarza Santa, Board Member of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; Dennis Flores, Founder of El Grito de Sunset Park, a grassroots watchdog organization focused on housing rights, youth empowerment, and police accountability; and the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, a citywide political activist and LGBTQ organization based in New York City.
In their endorsements, the legislators and community leaders highlighted Sen. Sanders’s commitment to fighting for the needs of working people, and his strong policy agenda on issues like healthcare, LGBTQ rights, the environment, education, housing, and gender, racial and economic justice.
“It’s a special honor to have the support of so many New Yorkers, who represent the state and the city where I grew up,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “Day after day, in cities and towns across the state, these elected officials and advocates are stepping up for the needs of the people. I look forward to working with every one of them to transform this country and bring about the health care, economy, environment, and communities that New Yorkers deserve.
These legislators and leaders join a host of other New Yorkers in endorsing Bernie Sanders for President, including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez; NY Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris; NY State Senators Julia Salazar, Jessica Ramos, James Sanders, and Luis Sepulveda; NY State Assembly Members Ron Kim and Phil Steck; New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams; former New York City Council Member Rafael Espinal; and anti-corruption scholar Zephyr Teachout.
Utica City Council Member Delvin Moody became the youngest person ever elected in the history of Utica this past November, and is now the youngest African American elected official in the state of New York. Council Member Moody and Senator Sanders are both unapologetic progressives who center the role of community organizing in achieving political change.
“In 2020, we need a president who will not only take on Donald Trump but who understands the issues important to everyday Americans,” said Utica City Council Member Delvin Moody. “Bernie’s plan for America is the bold change this country needs. He is building a strong coalition and people-powered movement that will finally put progressive policies on the agenda. From housing to climate change, Bernie has a plan. I am honored to support Senator Sanders to be the next President of the United States.”
New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, represents District 6 in Manhattan and serves as the Chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity. On the City Council, Rosenthal was prime sponsor of resolutions to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and to abolish ICE, and co-prime sponsor of legislation addressing gender pay equity. She also sponsored and oversaw passage of a legislative package addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. Council Member Rosenthal was the only local elected official to support, and persuaded City Hall to adopt, a school integration plan in Community School District 3. She was recently named the most effective City Council Member by City & State. In her endorsement, Council Member Rosenthal highlighted her and Senator Sanders’s shared commitment to addressing critical issues like income inequality and fighting for gender and racial justice.
Council Member Helen Rosenthal said, “More than any other candidate, Bernie Sanders has spent his career forcefully addressing the most critical issues of our time: income inequality, the trend towards oligarchy and excessive concentrations of power, racial and gender injustice, the corrosive influence of big money in politics, and endless wars. As such, he’s the most credible candidate to take on Donald Trump, to win in November, and — as President — to implement the changes our country so urgently needs.”
New York City Council Member Justin Brannan represents Brooklyn’s 43rd Council District. At the NYC Department of Education, Brannan helped to oversee the expansion of New York City’s successful universal pre-Kindergarten program. As a Council Member, Brannan works to ensure that government creates opportunities for working and middle class families. The Council Member and Sen. Sanders have both called for a shift in political priorities, away from the wealthy and the well-connected to a focus on the needs of working people.
“I’m endorsing my fellow Brooklynite, Bernie Sanders, because he has fought for the little guy his entire career,” said New York City Council Member Justin Brannan. “I represent a working middle-class district in Brooklyn, made up of families that have been here for generations and families that just got here yesterday. Across the board, my constituents need a president who is committed to building a country that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and the well-connected. Bernie has built a movement that has united working people across racial, class, and political divides and that is precisely the kind of leadership our country needs in a president right now.”
Albany Common Councilman Owusu Anane represents the Pine Hills Neighborhood in Albany’s 10th Ward. Like Senator Sanders, the Councilman is committed to including working people in the political process and elevating their voices in government to ensure that decisions reflect the priorities of the community.
“Over the last few years, advocacy by Senator Sanders and his supporters has changed the trajectory of our politics,” said Albany Common Councilman Owusu Anane. “His years of consistency focused on fair and equal opportunity on issues like healthcare, education, the environment, and the fight for a living wage, is unparalleled when compared to the rest of the Democratic presidential candidates. Senator Bernie Sanders is the best candidate to ensure that we defeat President Donald Trump in 2020!”
Orange County Legislator Kevindaryán Luján represents District 4 in Newburgh, and serves on the Health and Mental Health Committee and the Green Committee, among others. In January 2018, Luján was sworn in as the youngest Orange County Legislator in the history of the district. Luján’s agenda includes a focus on protecting and purifying local drinking water and driving equitable and sustainable economic growth, two issues central to Senator Sanders’s platform.
“I am endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders in honor of my late friend Rebekah Grohl. She represents the voices of countless young social justice activists who have been inspired by his message,” said Orange County Legislator Kevindaryán Luján. “We need leaders who are going to inspire our next generation of advocates to dream big and to answer the call to serve. Whether it is combating social, racial or economic justice, we need to stand together. Through his decades of public service, Senator Sanders has proven that he understands that this movement is not about one person, but about millions of Americans standing up for something greater than themselves. These movements will begin in cities like mine, the city of Newburgh, and echo in the halls of Washington, but it is a movement that requires all of us.”
Rochester City Councilwoman Mary Lupien represents the eastern district. Councilwoman Lupien has a history as an educator and community activist, and was inspired to run for office after Sen. Sanders’s 2016 presidential run. She is focused on efforts to disrupt poverty and systemic racism.
“Bernie is the only one I trust to stand up to the oligarchy and fight for the working class. He has consistently centered social, racial and economic justice. He is the right president to lead us in reclaiming our democracy and creating a more just society,” said Councilwoman Mary Lupien.
Cheektowaga Council Member Brian Nowak is a lifelong resident of Western New York. After working as a volunteer organizer for Sen. Sanders in 2016, Nowak ran for local office and was elected to the Cheektowaga Town Council in 2017.
“Senator Sanders has brought a clear and consistent vision to his work for over forty years,” said Council Member Brian Nowak. “His fight for Medicare for All has not stopped him from supporting the positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act and expanding community health clinics. Senator Sanders has opposed endless wars, fought to raise wages, and stood with the labor movement year after year. His record as a young activist, Mayor, Congressman, and Senator is consistent and speaks for itself. Bernie long ago diagnosed the major problems of our economic system and he has concrete plans to address them. This campaign isn’t about him — it’s about standing up to oligarchy and revitalizing our democracy.”
Former Binghamton City Council Member Dan Livingston represented District 2, and focused his time in office fighting on behalf of workers, ratepayers and the environment. Council Member Livingston has been a decade-long advocate for farmers and agricultural businesses across the Northeast. After his family’s struggle to access adequate and affordable care for cancer treatment, Livingston understands firsthand the need for Medicare for All.
He said, “Early on, when my dad was first diagnosed with terminal cancer and he started to process the fundamental shift in his life, he expressed a persistent concern that was eating away at him. ‘I can’t lose my health insurance. If anything changes — even a little bit — and I can’t afford my drugs, I’ll die.’ It became the dread of his life, and gradually worked its way into mine as well. I told him that we would get by; that we’d move closer together and prepare for the worst. I told him that whatever happened we’d get through it together. I told him this lie because I didn’t know how else to comfort him. From then on, he and I both watched the news — something we did together throughout my childhood — with a foreboding that hasn’t faded with his death. Now I think of all of the people who are just like him; fearful of the illness that threatens their life, and afraid of the very real possibility that the cruelty of our policymakers will kill them through neglect just as sure as a tumor. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who recognizes the profound shift in our political culture needed to address the problems facing ordinary people throughout this country, and he’s the only candidate who has demonstrated the unflagging resolve to fight on behalf of the people.”
The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club endorsed Sen. Sanders for president by an 82% vote of its membership. The citywide organization is named after legendary gay rights activist Jim Owles, and focuses its advocacy on issues that are central to Sen. Sanders’ agenda, including LGBTQ equality, anti-racism, universal healthcare, economic justice, and immigrant rights and immigration reform. Club President Allen Roskoff was the co-author and chief lobbyist for the nation’s first gay rights bill.
“We believe Sanders is keeping with our progressive ideals and represents the greatest hope for true change that we have seen in decades,” said Jim Owles President Allen Roskoff. “A complete overhaul of the criminal justice system is needed, and an end to mass incarceration. Reinvesting in climate action to save the planet is also a top priority. We strongly believe that Bernie Sanders is the candidate that can best address these issues as President.”
Co-Founder of El Grito de Sunset Park Dennis Flores is a Nuyorican artist, activist, and educator based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He is the Co-Founder of El Grito de Sunset Park, an organization focused on housing rights, youth empowerment and ending police brutality. For more than two decades, Flores has led efforts on police accountability, organizing neighborhood patrols and working with tenants and victims’ families. Flores also founded and organizes the annual Sunset Park Puerto Rican Day Parade.
“This campaign is bigger than any single candidate. It’s about putting power in the hands of communities who have been fighting on the front lines for years. The only way we can get justice is if we build a broader movement that connects our struggles; that’s why I’m proud to be part of #NotMeUs.”
David Galarza Santa, Board Member of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, is a longtime labor and social justice activist, and fellow Brookynite. His advocacy is centered on police accountability, environmental justice, Puerto Rico and human rights.
“Having spent much of my life working on social, economic and racial justice issues, having an opportunity to support a candidate like Bernie Sanders, who truly embodies many of those issues and concerns, was and is an opportunity I have been yearning for!” said David Galarza Santa, Board Member of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “Name the issue and Bernie has lived it and/or supported it and if he hasn’t, he’s been open to listen and learn. On the issues that I especially hold near and dear to my heart — Puerto Rico, the environment, labor and education — Bernie is absolutely on point.”
Organizations and affiliations are listed for identification, not to imply institutional endorsement.