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NYC-DSA Endorses Four Candidates in Brooklyn and a Public Power Campaign for 2020

NYC Democratic Socialists of America (NYC-DSA) voted on September 29th to endorse four candidates for upcoming State elections: Jabari Brisport for State Senate District 25, Phara Souffrant for State Assembly District 57, Boris Santos for State Assembly District 54, and Marcela Mitaynes for State Assembly District 51.

These endorsements were finalized at a meeting of the organization’s Citywide Leadership Committee (CLC), where NYC-DSA also voted to make a campaign for Public Power in NY a citywide priority.

Through the Public Power campaign, we will fight for a publicly owned, fully decarbonized, democratically controlled energy system in New York. We are proud to also endorse four candidates for office that share this vision to transform the energy sector, along with our vision for universal rent control and healthcare for all.

“Jabari Brisport, Marcela Mitaynes, Boris Santos, and Phara Souffrant have all dedicated their lives to work that builds movements and puts people before profit,” said Chi Anunwa and Bianca Cunningham, Co-Chairs of NYC-DSA. “Together, they form an unprecedented slate of democratic socialist candidates running on a shared platform to build a Brooklyn that works for our communities rather than billionaires and real estate developers.”

Jabari, a teacher, ran for City Council in 2017 challenging Lauri Cumbo in District 35. Jabari’s run on the Green Party and Socialist line was the best third-party performance in New York City since Letitia James’s WFP victory in 2003. Jabari is a leader in DSA’s AfroSocialist Caucus and in our racial justice campaigns to end mass incarceration and bring greater accountability to the NYPD.

Boris served as Chief of Staff for Senator Julia Salazar — the groundbreaking, NYC-DSA-endorsed socialist State Senator — since she took office in 2018 until recently, when he resigned to run for State Assembly. Boris has been involved in North Brooklyn as an organizer, a teacher, and an activist for his entire life.

Phara is a longtime Crown Heights resident, tenant organizer, and union nurse. Phara credits her work with the universal rent control campaign, which passed historic rent regulation in Albany this last year, with influencing her decision to run for office.

Marcela is a veteran tenant organizer for Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a board member of Tenants PAC, and a longtime resident of Sunset Park. She joined the housing movement when she was threatened with eviction in her own home. She is a leader in the Protect Sunset Park campaign to oppose the rezoning of Industry City.

The candidates were selected from a group of 10 who sought NYC-DSA’s endorsement at candidate forums. This is the largest number of endorsements the citywide organization has made in a single election cycle. Queens, Bronx/Upper Manhattan, and Lower Manhattan branches are still considering endorsements. These candidates represent not only the growing size of the socialist movement in NYC, but also the growing capacity of NYC-DSA to empower working-class candidates to run for office.

“This is both my first endorsement in this race and the most important to me,” said Jabari Brisport, candidate for SD-25. “As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: ‘Capitalism has outlived its usefulness.’ With the help of NYC-DSA and the newly insurgent left movement, I know we can build something better in New York.”

“I’m thrilled to have NYC-DSA’s endorsement because it’s more than just words,” said Phara Souffrant, candidate for AD-57. “When DSA backs someone, they bring a movement. I’m excited to work alongside activists and the working class to bring positive change to Albany for all New Yorkers.”

“I’m humbled and honored to be running to represent our community in NY State Assembly District 51, and to receive the endorsement of NYC-DSA. Together, we will continue to build a grassroots, people-powered movement in South Brooklyn and beyond,” said Marcela Mitanyes, candidate for AD-51. “For the last decade, I have worked across the state, from Sunset Park to Albany, helping to build coalitions and bringing the power of collective action to tenants throughout New York. I will continue fighting for Housing, Healthcare, and College for All; for a Green New Deal, to make NY a Sanctuary State, and so much more: in Albany in our community.”

“I am ecstatic to have the first formal endorsement of this campaign be from the NYC Democratic Socialists of America,” said Boris Santos, candidate for AD- “I’m running for office in order to bring radical change to working class communities in New York, and there is no better partner organization in this effort than NYC-DSA.”

We are eager to get to work on these races, as well as on our new citywide priority for public power.