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For Immediate Release: December 7, 2023
Contact: press@socialists.nyc

NYC-DSA Endorses Eleven Candidates for State Office, Including Three Challengers

Socialist candidates pledge to fight for climate justice, healthcare for all, fully-funded and equitable public education, housing and tenants’ rights, and a powerful labor movement

New York, NY–The New York City Democratic Socialists of America (NYC-DSA) voted this Monday to endorse eleven candidates for the upcoming State elections in 2024. These endorsements, which were finalized at a meeting of the organization’s Citywide Leadership Committee (CLC), include three new challengers and eight previously-endorsed incumbents that reflect the growing size and scope of the socialist movement in New York State.

“We are excited to announce our slate of eleven socialists running for New York State Senate and Assembly,” said Kaarthika Thakker, co-chair of NYC-DSA. “As Socialists, we fight for democracy and true representation for working-class New Yorkers in Albany. All eleven of these candidates went through a democratic endorsement process and will be running people-funded campaigns with bold socialist platforms. This is how our government can work for the many, not just the rich and their corporate lobbyists.” 

The three insurgent candidates endorsed by NYC-DSA are Jonathan Soto for Assembly District 82, Eon Tyrell Huntley for Assembly District 56, and Claire Valdez for Assembly District 37

Jonathan is a community organizer, public school parent, and interfaith leader who has led community resilience efforts in both New York and Puerto Rico. He has organized alongside impacted communities for increased wages and an end to stop-and-frisk and helped create the Homework Helpers program as a staffer for Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

Eon is a Brooklyn born and raised tenant, retail worker, and proud father. Most recently, as president of his daughters’ Parent Teacher Association, Eon orchestrated a food bank and mobile pantry in his district that serves hundreds of families each month. 

Claire is an artist, and union organizer with UAW Local 2110. Through UAW, she has fought for internal democracy and strengthened workers’ rights and is a founding member of NYC-DSA’s Membership Committee. 

The eight incumbents receiving re-endorsements are Jabari Brisport for Senate District 25, Julia Salazar for Senate District 18, Kristen Gonzalez for Senate District 59, Emily Gallagher for Assembly District 50, Zohran Mamdani for Assembly District 36, Phara Souffrant Forrest for Assembly District 57, Marcella Mitaynes for Assembly District 51, and Sarahana Shrestha for Assembly District 103 (who was re-endorsed by Mid-Hudson Valley DSA). 

As part of NYC-DSA’s Socialists in Office project, these eight incumbents have collectively played a lead role in passing landmark legislation that has made a tangible impact in the lives of millions of New Yorkers, including the Less is More Act bringing transformative reforms to New York’s parole system, the LLC Transparency Act requiring corporate landlords and other LLCs to disclose their owners, and the first-of-its-kind Build Public Renewables Act. Together with Jonathan, Eon, and Claire, they comprise the largest socialist slate in NYC-DSA’s history since the organization began its electoral work in 2017. 

“I’ve never been more proud to be a member of NYC-DSA,” said Claire Valdez, candidate for Assembly District 37. “This slate—made up of parents, tenants, and proud unionists—is united in a vision for a New York that puts people first. We’re proving every day that when working class people come together, we are a force for justice, dignity, and democracy. I’m so excited to be joined by Jonathan and Eon, two fathers and community organizers who have been fighting for their neighbors for years. Together, we’re going to bring that fight to Albany.”

“I’m honored and humbled to be joining this powerful group of socialists running to fight for real change in New York,” said Eon Huntley, candidate for Assembly District 56. “These campaigns are not only an opportunity to send a clear message on housing, healthcare, and education, but a chance to send a clear message that socialists have moral clarity and are ready to fight for our principles. I’ve been a fighter my whole life, and I am excited to fight alongside Claire, Jonathan, Jabari and the rest of the Socialists in Office to fight for working class New Yorkers.”

“I’m humbled by NYC-DSA’s endorsement and thrilled to organize alongside my comrades, Claire and Eon,” said Jonathan Soto, candidate for Assembly District 82. “While the Democratic establishment offers voters nothing but school budget cuts, never-ending wars, and fossil fuel pollution, NYC-DSA is organizing for a united working class that will care for our common home in NYC. Together, we’ll organize for workplaces that dignify our labor, schools that nurture our families, and housing that is affordable and sustainable for all.”

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ABOUT NYC-DSA: New York City Democratic Socialists is the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America—the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 85,000 members. NYC-DSA is run by its 6,000+ members and activists who are working together to build a democratic socialist organization in the five boroughs.