Lambda Endorses Warren Over Buttigieg, Bunkeddeko Over Clarke

LID political club meeting at Commons Cafe

The largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) political club in Brooklyn, Lambda Independent Democrats (LID), last week voted to endorse U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) over openly gay former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Peter Buttigieg for the coming New York Democratic presidential primary in April.

Seperately, LAMDA also endorsed Adem Bunkeddeko  over incumbent U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D- Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) for the 9th Congressional District, and Samy Nemir Olivares over incumbent Tommy Torres (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg) for the 53rd Assembly District Democratic Leader seat.

A spokesperson for Pete Buttigieg voices her support for his run for president. Photo by Charlie Innis

Both club and non-members filled every chair in Commons Cafe, by Downtown Brooklyn, while some spectators stood in the hallway, as the meeting began with a vote on who will fill the club’s internal positions, before moving into the evening’s congressional, assembly district leader, and presidential endorsement segments. 

The choice to endorse Warren reflects the club members’ recognition that she has been the most vocal candidate in regards to representing the LGBTQ community, said LID president Jared Aradar

Arader said more than any other candidate, Warren has put in a greater effort to talk about some of the most dire issues the LGBTQ community faces at political debates. “Senator Warren, for instance, was the only candidate who said that she would actually have a press conference in the Rose Garden every year and read the names of the various transgender women of color who had been killed that year,” said Aradar.

Warren’s specific policy proposals resonates with LID because many club members have worked in various layers of city government, and her pragmatic, progressive approach to politics appeals to them, said Aradar.

The club endorses Warren despite recognizing how Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay candidate to launch a major campaign for the presidency, represents a milestone for LGBTQ representation. “What you’re seeing at LID is a manifestation of the club being more progressive than Mayor Pete, and we’re not simply going to support someone just because they’re gay,” said Aradar.

“Mayor Pete, simply on policy, falls short,” he added.

Early on in the evening, before presidential campaign representatives spoke in the room, Bundkedekko’s congressional platform on housing and criminal justice reform drew out some nods of approval from the audience.

Among Bundkedekko’s policy proposals is the “Race to Racial Fairness” School Desegregation Program, which would “push cities to redraw school districts away from racially segregated maps,” according to his campaign website.

Out of the two candidates on the ballot for the 53rd Assembly District Leader position, only Olivares showed up to the LID meeting to talk about his views.

Torres, the incumbent district leader for the 53rd Assembly, did not appear at Common’s Cafe despite several attempts to invite him to speak, Aradar said at the meeting.

Olivares is a community activist and former journalist. His platform prioritizes judge selection reform and inclusion for non-binary and gender non-conforming people, as well as women, people of color, and immigrants, into Brooklyn’s political processes.

He wrote an op-ed for Kings County Politics in November about the New York Police Department’s crackdown on churro vendors in subway stations.

While the club’s biggest focus is LGBTQ representation in politics, that doesn’t mean the club isn’t concerned about other interests, like environmental issues, healthcare, and housing, so club endorsements tend to reflect a wide array of concerns, said Aradar.

“We’re trying to make the LGBTQ community more aware of what’s going on politically,” he said.