Democratic Socialist candidate Julia Salazar today picked up two key endorsements – U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D) and City Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D), along with the immigrant advocacy organization, Make the Road Action, in her bid to unseat incumbent State Sen. Martin Dilan (D) in the 18th Senate District primary race.
The district includes Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills, City-Line, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville.
The endorsements were announced at an outdoor press conference in Bushwick and centered on Salazar’s opposition to the Trump Administration, as well as Dilan’s track record in office.
“Never before has our community been more at risk and threatened than during the Trump ascendancy to the White House,” Velazquez said. “We cannot afford anything less than brave, committed leadership representing our community in Albany.”
“Too many of our working families do not have access to healthcare. Too many workers are not protected in their jobs, including those workers that are working in the farms in New York. The current Senate Member, Senator Dilan, who represents this district hasn’t done anything to pass legislation – a farm bill – that will protect workers in the state of New York,” the Congresswoman added.
Velazquez said she will continue to play an active role in Salazar’s campaign. “We are going to be after this press conference having a meeting to strategize which buildings I need to go to, senior centers I need to visit, and talking to everyone so that people can make a connection between what the leader from here – the Senator Martin Dilan – comes here and talks and tells them, and what is it, when he goes back to Albany, he does.”
Reynoso also praised Salazar and criticized Dilan.
“Julia Salazar was shoulder to shoulder with me when I was trying to pass the Right to Know Act in the city council,” Reynoso said, referencing legislation passed last year requiring police officers to identify themselves and explain their reason for stopping a person on the street, as well as convey a person’s right to refuse a search. “A lot of people said we would never be able to get it done. It took me four years, but Julia was there every single step of the way.”
“When we’re under attack related to the separation of families, who puts out a statement? Julia Salazar as a candidate puts out a public statement regarding it. Have we heard from our senator regarding the separation of our young children? Not yet,” Reynoso said.
“The establishment should feel uncomfortable in this district,” Reynoso said. “We keep shaking it up and we let people know, you either show up or you get out, and our get out mode here is Julia Salazar.”
Salazar also spoke at the press conference, focusing on affordable housing.
“North Brooklyn is at a crossroads. Because of bad state policy and our current State Senator’s failure to advocate for us, people are being displaced from the homes they have lived in for decades in north Brooklyn,” Salazar said.
Salazar said that if elected she hopes to revise housing legislation at the state level.
“It’s very urgent that we actually have legislators in Albany – not only reps like Reynoso in city hall – but someone in Albany who’s accountable to tenants,” Salazar said. “That means ending vacancy decontrol, eviction bonuses – things that incentivize tenant harassment so that landlords are able to displace people to raise rents and destabilize apartments in the thousands every year.”
“We need to end these policies, and I think we need to expand rent stabilization statewide,” Salazar said. “Effectively universal rent control is the primary goal of all of these policies together.”
Salazar said she believes she will find support among her colleagues if elected to the State Senate. “In the current Senate, unfortunately, there’s been a lack of political will to change the political dynamic that was created by the senators joining the IDC,” Salazar said, referencing a group of eight Democratic Senators who caucused with Republicans in 2011, called the Independent Democratic Conference.
“I’m hopeful that the political dynamic will shift significantly in 2019, and I think that in the new legislative session, we’ll see more determination to pass progressive policies,” Salazar said.