2021 Citywide Election Round-Up – Week of Feb. 5

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Editor’s Note: Every Friday, KCP will be posting election news briefs concerning the June 22 Citywide Primaries. This includes the mayor, comptroller, borough president and city council races.  

Yang for NY Tests Positive for COVID

Andrew Yang

On February 2, Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang said he took a COVID rapid test and received a positive result. Yang vowed to attend as many virtual events as possible and continue campaigning while in recovery.

“I am experiencing mild symptoms, but am otherwise feeling well and in good spirits. I will quarantine in accordance with public health guidelines and follow the advice of my doctor,” said Yang.

This week he’s also called on the city to expand vaccine eligibility to include all people 40 years of age and older, beginning with those who live in the top 10 percent zip codes hit hardest by COVID-19 and aggressively expanding over time as supply allows. 

Yang’s proposal comes following the latest release of data from the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), which showed that communities of color are not only dying at twice the rate of their white counterparts but have also received less vaccines. 

“When nearly a quarter of New York City’s vaccine supply is going to non-City residents, the system is broken. When 48 percent New Yorkers who are getting the vaccine are white, while just 26 percent are Black or Hispanic, the system is broken,” said Yang.

Mayoral Candidates Chime in for Black History Month

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

February 1st kicked off the first week of Black History Month. Candidates like Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Dianne Morales, and Ray McGuire, paused in campaigning to honor the work of the Black organizers, educators and others who have fought for the liberation of the Black community throughout history.

“We recognize that no single person brings about lasting change; rather, every person’s power adds to that of the community to build toward change. We see that in the movement for Black lives, which continues to push for Black lives to matter not only in tragedy, but every moment of every day,” said Morales. “And we should be clear that Black Lives Matter isn’t a fad — it’s a call to action.” 

McGuire said that the point of his ambitious job creation plan was to be economically inclusive. His Comeback plan prioritizes racial and economic equity, especially in Black and Brown communities across the boroughs.

“Black history is New York City’s History, and the story of our City has always been the story of our people. So this Black History Month, I hope you’ll join me in honoring our shared commitment to not only learning from our history, but acting upon it as we work towards a more just and prosperous future for all New Yorkers,” said Adams.

Adams referenced numerous African and Black institutions and leaders that have found roots in the city since the late 1780s, such as the abolitionists who founded the African Free School in Lower Manhattan; Harlem’s era of Black art, literature, and music; Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier at Ebbets Field, and many more. 

Nurse Supports Ranked Choice Voting 

Sandy Nurse

District 37’s City Council Candidate Sandy Nurse is fighting back against lawsuits aimed at delaying ranked choice voting (RCV).

Nurse has emerged as a huge supporter of RCV, arguing that it will make democracy better by helping to level the playing field for historically excluded candidates while encouraging all candidates to talk to voters outside of their base.

Nurse said the “Brooklyn machine” is displaying “a pattern of anti-democratic behavior” that’s been evident throughout the district’s election process since last year.

In response, she organized her fellow candidates to create a Ranked Choice Voting Week of Action, in which over 30 candidate-hosted events focused on educating voters about RCV and exactly how it works. 

Louis Endorses Adams for Mayor

Councilmember Farah Louis

On Feb. 4, Councilmember Farah Louis (D-East Flatbush) endorsed Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for Mayor.

“Eric Adams has been a champion for working people and communities of color for 40 years because he faced the same challenges they face growing up in South Jamaica, Queens,” said Louis. “Eric has fought and won for us again and again–for police reform, public safety, pay equity and housing; and against inequality and injustice. Today I am proud and excited to endorse our next mayor, Eric Adams.”

Adams and Louis also pushed Adams’ plan to provide childcare to every New York parent who needs it, standing with childcare workers.

“It is an honor to have Council Member Louis’ endorsement and partnership as we work to reverse the inequalities that existed long before COVID, but which are absolutely devastating to so many New Yorkers during this crisis,” said Adams.

Brooklyn Young Democrats Endorse Simon for BP

Jo Anne Simon
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

This week, the Brooklyn Young Democrats (BYD), the largest progressive organization of young activists in the borough, announced that they will be backing Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon for Brooklyn Borough President.

“Partnering with this high energy voting and the activist base will be essential to winning in June — and the BYD endorsement shows we are right on track! The young progressive activists who make up BYD are redefining and reforming politics in our city. As a longtime reformer, I couldn’t be more honored to have their support,” said Simon.

“As a former teacher of deaf students, advocate for education equity, and through our local youth policy council — I have always valued the voices of younger people and I am thrilled to have BYD in this growing coalition,” she added.

Beckford For Eliminating Petitioning

Anthony Beckford

District 45’s City Council Candidate Anthony Beckford announced that he is against petitioning for the 2021 election cycle.

“We are dealing with a pandemic that many have never seen before. We have lost many of our loved ones, friends and neighbors to this virus. Last year during petitioning for the 2020 election season, many candidates, volunteers, voters and employees of the Board of Elections contracted the coronavirus. Sadly many of them did not recover and lost their lives,” said Beckford about why he is being cautious.

Beckford said many candidates and volunteers love petitioning, but now is the time to be fighting for the lives of the people. He said because of the second wave of Covid-19, where we are seeing an increase in hospitalizations, deaths and positive rates, there shouldn’t be any petitioning happening. 

Beckford has also been endorsed various CUNY advocates, organizers, host of social justice advocates, and by a coalition of groups, including Concerned Citizens For Change (chapter of NYPAN), New York Communities for Change, Voters For Animal Rights, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Future Steps US, League of Humane Voters – NY, Caribbean Unity Alliance, Brooklyn Progressive Alliance, Brooklyn Residents Against Gentrification, NYC Against ICE.