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2021 Elections: Who’s running to become Manhattan’s next district attorney

The role of district attorneys as advocates of criminal justice reform has set the tone for races across the country and the Manhattan DA race is no different with Cy Vance on his way out.

Below are eight candidates who want to advance the objectives that come together under the banner of racial equality and providing justice in modern way. As the June 22 Democratic primary approaches, New Yorkers will get to cast their vote for a new Manhattan DA, find out what they are about by reading on.

Dan Quart

Assemblyman Dan Quart (photo provided by Dan Quart’s office)
 
Why are you running for Manhattan DA?

I’m running to ensure one standard of justice for all Manhattanites and as District Attorney I’ll prioritize reforming our criminal justice system, holding the police accountable, and keeping all Manhattanites safe. Our current system too often criminalizes poverty, mental health, and homelessness, an approach that does nothing but trap New Yorkers in a cycle of incarceration and doesn’t make communities any safer. I’ll continue my lifelong fight to reform this system by providing more alternatives to jail, declining to prosecute low-level charges that pose no public safety threat, and holding police officers who abuse their power accountable. Finally, I’ll prioritize keeping Manhattanites safe. To me, public safety means police accountability and criminal justice reform, but it also means getting justice for sexual assault survivors, reforming the Sex Crimes Unit, prosecuting violent and economic crime, and protecting workers and tenants.

Tell us about yourself and your experience with the office of the Manhattan DA and the criminal justice system in general.

I’m a Washington Heights native who grew up with working-class parents in a union household. My dad was a public school teacher and my mom was a social worker who taught me the value of public service. I’ve been in the courtroom for the past 25 years as a litigator and was named as one of NYC’s top pro-bono attorneys for tenants rights. In 2011 I ran for Assemblymember and have spent the past decade working in Albany and in the community on criminal justice reform.

What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve them?

The current criminal legal system criminalizes poverty and mental illness instead of prioritizing public safety. As DA I will prioritize criminal justice reform by declining to prosecute low-level charges that don’t pose any public safety threat, I will hold police who abuse their power accountable, and I will work every day to keep Manhattan safe. Every policy platform that I have put forward, from protecting victims of sexual assault to addressing gun violence, works to build a system that is rooted in fairness, justice, and public safety for all Manhattanites.

How do you differentiate yourself from DA Vance?

I’ll end harmful practices that disproportionately incarcerate Black and brown New Yorkers, like surveillance prosecutions, and reform the sex crimes unit to deliver survivor-centered justice. In addition to building a system rooted in fairness, justice, and public safety for all Manhattanites, I’ll lead an office that is radically transparent, looks like Manhattan, and treats everyone who walks through the doors with dignity and respect.

What’s your political experience?

I’m the only candidate in this race who has been held elected office — I’ve been an Assembly Member for the past decade.

Any official endorsements?

I have been endorsed for Manhattan District Attorney by: U.S. Congressmember Carolyn Maloney; activist and actor Michael K. Williams; New York State Senator José M. Serrano; New York State Assembly Members Harvey Epstein, Ron Kim, Robert Rodriguez, Aravella Simotas, and Rebecca Seawright; New York City Council Member Diana Ayala; New York City’s first Public Advocate Mark Green; CWA Local 1101, IATSE Local 1; Chelsea Reform Democratic Club;  El Nuevo Caribe Democratic Club; East River Democratic Club; Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club; Four Freedoms Democratic Club; Lexington Democratic Club; gender justice activists Leah Hebert, Elizabeth Crothers, and Rita Pasarell; and activists Jeffrey Deskovic, Colin Absalom, T.S. Candii, Derrick Hamilton, and Taylonn Murphy Sr. 

Lucy Lang

Manhattan District Attorney candidate Lucy Lang, photo courtesy of her campaign.

Why are you running for Manhattan DA?
I’m running for Manhattan DA to realize the full potential of what a DA can do: promote the dignity of every New Yorker, uphold racial and gender equity, and prioritize the safety of our communities. As both a national criminal justice reform leader and former ADA, I’ve spent my life working alongside crime victims, incarcerated people, and their families, shaping my deep understanding of how the system impacts everyone it touches and how the role of the DA encompasses much more than prosecution alone. As Manhattan DA, I’ll work to end mass incarceration, prioritize the safety of our communities, and ensure that everyone in the justice system is treated equally and with dignity.

Tell us about yourself, and your experience with the Manhattan DA’s office and the criminal justice system in general.

I’m a mom, a former ADA who has worked with survivors of heinous violence, and a national criminal justice reform leader who has worked on reforms alongside incarcerated people in prisons. I was a lead ADA responsible for managing cases of homicide, gun crimes, and domestic violence. I’ve managed teams of prosecutors, built complex investigations from the ground up, and know Manhattan criminal law, courts, and procedures inside and out. As a former ADA, I created a first-of-its-kind, semester-long college in prison program that brought prosecutors into prisons to study criminal justice alongside incarcerated people and work together to transform the system. Most recently, I was director of the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College, where I worked with crime survivors, advocates, scholars, formerly incarcerated people, and progressive prosecutors from across the nation on
reforms at the forefront of the criminal justice movement — from restorative justice, to racial equity, and police accountability.

What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve
them? 

From ending mass incarceration and racial injustice, to addressing hate crimes, and prioritizing the safety of every New Yorker, the next DA will have her work cut out for her. As DA, I will divert cases which are better handled by social services out of the system — including crimes of poverty, mental health challenges, or substance misuse. I’m committed to holding police accountable when they commit harm, leading with a public health approach to public health issues, creating a specialized gun court to address the rise in gun violence, building survivor-centered sex crimes and hate crimes units, ensuring successful reentry for formerly incarcerated New Yorkers, and investing in investigation and prosecution of economic and cybercrimes.

I invite everyone to learn more about my more than 25 comprehensive policy plans at votelucylang.com. 

How do you differentiate yourself from DA Vance?

My campaign is driven by those most impacted by the system — from the family members of those who have lost loved ones to police violence, to survivors of sexual abuse, and the formerly incarcerated students I’ve worked with for years. As DA, I’ll ensure they not only have a voice — but a seat at the table.

The next Manhattan DA must restore the public’s confidence that everyone in the justice system is treated equally and no one — no matter how powerful — is above the law. That’s why one of my first policy proposals was centered around the issue of equal access — meaning there will be no backroom meetings, no special access, and full transparency at every step.

Any official endorsements?

Stephanie Morales (Commonwealth’s Attorney for Portsmouth, VA), Marilyn Mosby (State’s Attorney for Baltimore, MD), Sherry Boston (District Attorney for DeKalb County, GA), John Chisholm (District Attorney for Milwaukee County, WI), John Choi (Country Attorney for Ramsey County, MN), Scott Colom (District Attorney for 16th Circuit Court District, MS), Glenn Funk (District Attorney for Nashville, TN), Kim Gardner (Circuit Attorney for St. Louis, MO), Sarah Fair George (State’s Attorney for Chittenden County, VT), Beth McCann (District Attorney for Denver, CO), Jean Peters Baker (Prosecutor for Jackson County, MO), Raul Torrez (District Attorney for Bernalillo County, NM), and Lynneice Washington (District Attorney for Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff, AL), Valerie Bell (police reform activist and mother of Sean Bell), Valerie Castile (police reform activist and mother of Philando Castile), Victoria Davis (police reform activist and mother of Delrawn Small), and Silence Breakers and survivors of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse: Rosanna Arquette, Jessica Barth, Louise Godbold, Katherine Kendall, Caitlin Dulany, Jasmin Lobe, Sarah Ann Masse.

Liz Crotty

Liz Crotty. photo by Giles Clarke. Courtesy of the Crotty campaign.

Why are you running for Manhattan DA?

I’m running for Manhattan District Attorney because I believe our criminal justice system must change so that victims can get justice, so that defendants can get fair shots, and so that everyone gets to feel safe and secure in their hometown. I understand that the role of the District Attorney is to investigate and prosecute crimes, to enforce the laws of New York State, and to work in the best interest of the people while ensuring all New Yorkers receive fair and equal justice.

Tell us about yourself and your experience with the office of the Manhattan DA and the criminal justice system in general. 

In 2000, I began my six-year career at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Trial Division and the Investigation Division. In the Trial Bureau, I worked on cases involving street crimes, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, burglary, robbery, and drug sales, as well as complex crimes like forgery, grand larceny, identity theft and money laundering. After serving over four years in Trial Bureau 70, I moved into the Investigation Division, training and expanding my legal skills, while working on complex white-collar cases on the local, national, and international levels.

I then worked in civil law on complex international investigations and litigations, handling both state and federal matters involving aviation litigation, wrongful death, negligence, and product liability. Then, 12 years ago, I started my own criminal law firm 12 years ago. My partner and I built the law firm from the ground up, representing people throughout New York City and around the world, to help them receive the justice they rightly deserve.

What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve them?

Our system is currently flawed and I plan to implement criminal justice reform that makes sense and benefits all New Yorkers, whether you are a defendant or whether you are a victim, family member, witness, or police officer. This includes establishing a sex crimes and domestic violence bureau, expanding the office’s investigatory powers to further investigate and prosecute white-collar crimes, and working harder to protect victims. I believe the office of the Manhattan DA has the potential for great things but the change we need must come from smart, practical solutions to ensure we keep our City safe.

How do you differentiate yourself from DA Vance?

I would look at each and every case on an individual basis to ensure we are meeting our goals. I would also have a vision for the office that balances public safety and civil rights — a goal that can only be obtained through smart solutions and equal justice.

What’s your political experience?

I have been active in a number of clubs for years. But my experience for the job of Manhattan District Attorney is 20 years of firsthand criminal law experience that cannot be taught in a course on policy development or by tenure in an executive office, but experience that can only come from working in the trenches and the courts consistently, day after day.

Alvin Bragg

Alvin Bragg, courtesy of his campaign for Manhattan District Attorney.

Why are you running for Manhattan DA?

I am running for Manhattan District Attorney to bring long overdue, fundamental reform to the way this critical office approaches criminal justice and deliver one standard of justice for all.  One that makes us safer by ending racial disparities, refusing to criminalize poverty, demanding justice for the brave survivors of sexual assault, making incarceration a measure of last resort, bringing new funding and focus to reentry programs, creating a dedicated unit to handle investigations of police misconduct, and refusing to take campaign donations from any lawyer who appears before the office. My election will not only be a symbolic change to the face of the office, but it will bring the perspective of someone who has lived their whole life in an impacted community with a deep awareness of the injustices and inequalities that are baked into the criminal justice system and a commitment of equal justice for all.

Tell us about yourself and your experience with the office of the Manhattan DA and the criminal justice system in general.

Growing up in Harlem, I was repeatedly stopped and frisked by the NYPD as a teenager, including three times at gunpoint. I had guns pointed at me three times by people who were not police officers. And I have spent the better part of two decades standing up to the powerful and fighting to defend the rights of those without status or power, the New Yorkers who need justice most — and deserve it.  I served as a civil rights lawyer, fought corruption with Preet Bharara in the US Attorney’s office, and became the Chief Deputy Attorney General of New York State, overseeing 1,200 people and some of the office’s biggest cases – prevailing against the Trump administration over the census, successfully suing Trump and the Trump Foundation, suing Harvey Weinstein and his company for the existence of a hostile work environment, holding accountable landlords who unlawfully harassed tenants out of their homes, and shining a light on the City’s unjust stop and frisk policies.  I created and headed the unit in the NYS Attorney General’s office responsible for investigating police killings, and now represent Eric Garner’s mother and other police accountability organizers in a case against the mayor seeking key details about Mr. Garner’s death.

What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve them?

The next DA will inherit an ongoing investigation of Donald Trump. They must address the history of racial discrimination and inequalities in our justice system. And they must confront the rising gun violence in our city and the mistrust of DA’s sex crimes unit. It’s not enough to talk about good ideas or intentions.  I have the management experience, real life experience, and passion to bring real change to this office. This is not only my work, it is my life.

How do you differentiate yourself from DA Vance?

For too long, there’s been one standard of justice for the rich, powerful, and connected. Another for everyone else. I will bring fundamental change to the priorities of the DA’s office, shifting the focus from low-level crimes to the type of system-wide reform that is long overdue and ending racial disparities in our criminal justice system.

Any official endorsements?

Preet Bharara, Gwen Carr, State Senator Robert Jackson, Assembly members Inez E. Dickens and Al Taylor, Charles Rangel, C. Virginia Fields, Hazel Dukes, Dan Goldman, CWA 1180, The Arena, and 14 Democratic reform clubs across the borough.

Diana Florence

Diana Florence, photo courtesy of her campaign for Manhattan District Attorney.

Why are you running for Manhattan DA?

I’m running for Manhattan DA to fight for people who never thought they’d win. Under Vance the office has operated with a concierge system of justice that gives a pass to rich, powerful, and often white perpetrators, while over-criminalizing people of color, workers, and immigrants. I’ve prioritized people over power my entire career, and will do the same as DA.

Tell us about yourself and your experience with the office of the Manhattan DA and the criminal justice system in general.

Throughout my twenty-five year career, I’ve always taken on power to put people first. I won landmark convictions against big real estate and corporations for defrauding 9/11 charities, stealing wages, and creating deadly work conditions. In the historic case against Harco Construction, I secured justice for the family of Carlos Moncayo, a 22 year-old construction worker who was buried alive at work; I also won the country’s largest wage theft conviction, restoring $6.1 million. Because of my work, I’ve proposed a first-of-its-kind housing fraud bureau, labor crimes bureau, and will pursue crimes of power over crimes of poverty.

What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve them?

The fact is the criminal justice system has overcriminalized communities of color. We need to prioritize going after crimes of power like white collar crime and corruption. Rather than throwing the book at a kid for stealing an iPhone, I’ll devote our resources to recovering millions in stolen tax dollars to reinvest into schools, housing, and healthcare. To rebuild trust in our system, we must acknowledge the harm law enforcement has caused to communities of color, and be a part of the solution. This is why I support legalizing marijuana because legalization will undo the harm caused by the War on Drugs, and reinvest resources into Black and brown communities that’ve been disproportionately policed.

How do you differentiate yourself from DA Vance?

The current DA  has perpetuated an unequal system of justice, which gives a pass to the powerful. I’ll prioritize going after crimes of power — sexual assault, corruption, tenant harassment, and worker safety— rather than crimes of poverty that should be addressed through social services to treat homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues. Vance has also held sexual abuse survivors to a ridiculous standard, only pursuing cases with a “perfect victim.” One of my top priorities will be to revamp the Sex Crimes Unit to take a survivor centered approach. I started my career prosecuting domestic violence and I’ll be aggressive about going after abusers. I won’t protect rich and powerful men.

What’s your political experience?

I’ve spent the last twenty-five years in public service, starting my career under Robert Morgenthau who taught me to follow the facts without fear or favor. I’ve worked with lawmakers to write legislation to correct loopholes in the law, was elected to serve on my local Community Education Council, and worked with community based organizations to make the office more accessible and responsive. 

I believe that the DA’s office needs to be seen as a place of opportunity, not an obstacle to justice.

Any official endorsements? 

We have been endorsed by fifteen unions including the Teamsters Joint Council 16, the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, New York City Vicinity District Council of Carpenters, the New York State Ironworkers, Laborers Local 79, Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York, Northeast District Council of the Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons— Local Union 262 & Local Union 780, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 and Local 7 (Tile, Marble, and Terrazzo), Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 28, Building Materials Teamsters Local 282, Ironworkers Local 361, District Council 9 IUPAT Painters & Allied Trades, IUEC Local One Elevator Constructors, and LiUNA! NY.

Eliza Orlins

Eliza Orlins, courtesy of her campaign for Manhattan District Attorney (photo: Juan Patino).

Why are you running for Manhattan DA?

I am running for Manhattan DA because as a public defender — the only one in this race — I’ve spent over a decade working day-in and day-out with thousands of New Yorkers who deserve better than our current rigged criminal legal system. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with a DA’s office that has given special privileges to the rich and well-connected; a DA’s office that subjects lower income and middle class Manhattanites — particularly people of color — to a cruel and overly punitive system of incarceration that doesn’t make anyone safer. We need comprehensive reform, and that’s what I’ll bring as DA.

Tell us about yourself and your experience with the office of the Manhattan DA and the criminal justice system in general.

As I’ve mentioned, as a public defender I have spent years going up against the prosecutors in the Manhattan DA’s office on behalf of thousands of clients who have faced a system rigged against them. I understand deeply and personally the extent to which Americans have been offered a false choice between mass incarceration and public safety — when it’s clear that our current, ultra-prosecutorial status quo doesn’t actually keep people safer, and instead tears families and communities apart.

What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve them?

This is an answer that deserves longer than 100 words to answer, but the bottom line is that the challenges built into the criminal legal system — the systemic racism, the human and financial costs of mass incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline and so many more — exist because they’re supposed to. The system is operating exactly as designed. As DA, I will fight for comprehensive reform of the criminal legal system using my years of experience doing just that.

How do you differentiate yourself from DA Vance?

The biggest overarching difference between how I will run the DA’s office and how Cy Vance currently runs it is one of values and of priorities. I’m running to reform a criminal legal system that is rigged against Black, brown and low-income people, and I am not afraid to to hold bad cops, bad landlords, and rich and powerful people like Donald Trump accountable. Vance, for all his lofty promises — mirrored by other candidates in my race – of being a “progressive prosecutor,” has been like any other DA in our city’s history and propped up that rigged system. 

What’s your political experience?

While this is my first time running for office, my experience as a public defender specifically qualifies me — out of everyone in the race — to serve as Manhattan DA. At a time when the systemic racism and egregious harm done by our current prosecutorial system is just beginning to be widely acknowledged, we have a responsibility as progressives to stop elevating career prosecutors to positions of power. Additionally, we need someone in this role like myself with the experience to know what the actual, real-world impact of progressive reforms will be for people like the people I’ve spent my career representing. 

Any official endorsements?

I am proud to have been endorsed by Downtown Independent Democrats, Roadmap for Progress, Our Damn Time, Operation Frederick Douglass, Future Steps US, Alyssa Milano, Charlotte Clymer, Frederick Joseph, and Fred Guttenberg. Additionally, the 5 Boro Defenders ranked me as the candidate who would do the least amount of harm as District Attorney — they do not formally endorse candidates.

Tali Farhadian Weinstein

Tali Farhadian Weinstein, photo courtesy of her campaign for Manhattan District Attorney.

Why are you running for Manhattan DA?

Forty years after my arrival in the U.S, my journey as an immigrant – from coming here at four-years-old to flee violence in Iran to a decade spent making our asylum case – informs everything I do. 

The first American my family met was an Immigration and Naturalization Service officer at JFK Airport. Our tourist visas were likely fake, and he could have turned us away. Instead, he chose to use discretion and compassion and allowed us to enter the country.

This experience shaped my understanding of the power and responsibility of law enforcement. As a lawyer, I understand that anyone who has the power to enforce the law also has the power – and the duty – to enforce it with discretion. Law enforcement requires us to exercise our humanity and sense of justice. 

If elected, I would be the first woman and first immigrant DA – demonstrating a meaningful change in leadership. As Manhattan recovers from the intense trauma and dislocation wrought by the pandemic, the DA must ensure that we emerge as a city where everyone feels safe and secure and ensure fairness for all.

Tell us about yourself and your experience with the office of the Manhattan DA and the criminal justice system in general.

During Obama’s presidency, I served as Counsel to Attorney General Eric Holder. In this role, I supported the AG in managing specific projects, such as developing guidance for federal prosecutors nationwide on using their discretion in charging decisions.

As an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York, I investigated and prosecuted cases ranging from gun violence and murders to public corruption, tax and other frauds, and national security matters. I have investigated and prosecuted complex cases and worked with numerous law enforcement agencies.

I am the only candidate in this race who has managed and led a progressive DA’s office. As General Counsel to the Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, I managed multiple bureaus of the office, directed complex litigations, and developed and oversaw office-wide policies. I also helped lead the team charged with implementing the office’s criminal justice reform agenda.

What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve them?

The DA must forgo prosecutions that send people into the system unnecessarily and unfairly, and that perpetuate racial injustice and poverty. We must use our resources to pursue the cases that legitimately promote public safety and do more to fight gun violence and gender-based violence. This work – of managing our discretion in service of justice and safety – is the core of ethical and effective prosecution.

How do you differentiate yourself from DA Vance?

I will create a Bureau of Gender-Violence, consisting of dedicated prosecutors and investigators who have the competencies and training to handle cases relating to domestic violence, sex crimes, gender-based hate crimes, and sex trafficking. Additionally, I will create a Conviction Review Unit within a new Post-Conviction Justice Bureau, drawing on best practices in Brooklyn — where I created the first PCJB in the country and supervised the  nation’s premier CRU.

Any official endorsements?

Congressman Ritchie Torres 

Ben Jealous, Former President: NAACP

Eric Holder, 82nd Attorney General of the US

Jackie Rowe-Adams, Founder of Harlem Mothers SAVE

Victor Kovner, Esteemed First Amendment Lawyer

Ruth Messinger, Former Manhattan BP

Tahanie Aboushi

Tahanie Aboushi, photo courtesy of her campaign for Manhattan District Attorney.

Why are you running for Manhattan DA?

I’m running for DA to transform our justice system from one that destroys communities to one that restores them. We need a DA who understands that when one person is prosecuted and incarcerated, their entire family and community are punished along with them. There was something missing when I looked at the field of candidates in this race. Some had spent their careers enabling and empowering the same criminal justice system that they’re suddenly vowing to reform. Others have no lived experience with this system and their relationship with the impacted community was part of a job. I’m running for Manhattan DA because communities like mine have been underserved and over prosecuted for too long. I’m proud to be the only impacted community-led campaign in this race.

Tell us about yourself and your experience with the office of the Manhattan DA and the criminal justice system in general.

I am a civil rights attorney running to transform the DA’s office from a place that destabilizes communities of color to one that restores and invests in them. My fight for criminal justice reform is personal. When I was 14 years old, my father was sentenced to 22 years in prison. That’s the moment this system became my problem.

As a civil rights attorney, I’ve spent the last decade in living rooms across this city fighting to protect families and making structural changes to our systems of authority. I’ve won multiple cases that led to NYPD officers being disciplined, fired, and charged, I’ve helped three young women who were forced to remove their hijab during booking, and was even one of the leading lawyers fighting against President Trump’s Muslim ban. As DA, I am ready to make the DA’s office transparent, accountable, and collaborative with the public.

What are the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system and how will you solve them?

The biggest challenge our justice system faces is that we keep trying to solve decades-old problems with the same antiquated solutions that simply don’t work. We know that more policing doesn’t equal safer neighborhoods; more prosecution doesn’t equal less crime; and more incarceration doesn’t equal accountability. We have to stop equating prosecution and incarceration with accountability and we have to stop believing an increased budget for police will make us safer. What our communities really need are resources, restorative justice, and services and programs that truly get at the root of the problem. I will fundamentally transform this office, so we no longer rely on prosecution and police to solve societal failures.  

How do you differentiate yourself from DA Vance?

I am running for DA to make real transformative change, so this fight isn’t about Cy Vance, it’s about breaking down the system that has targeted and caged our communities for decades. It’s about shrinking the footprint of the DA’s office so it no longer feeds a system that criminalizes people of color, making them the face of crime while the powerful and privileged do whatever they want with impunity. As DA, Cy Vance has made the DA’s office a personal law firm for the rich and privileged, giving them a slap on the wrist while throwing the book at the poor and people of color — but this is nothing new. For more than 200 years, it’s been white male prosecutors on one side of the courtroom, and people of color on the other. We need a change. As DA, I will hold no bank account or badge above the law and will invest resources into impacted communities to address the root causes of crime. 

What’s your political experience?

I am a Palestinian-American, Muslim civil rights attorney. I couldn’t avoid politics if I wanted to. I distinctly remember having to navigate the backlash of 9/11 while in high school, constantly being questioned about my identity. It was as if all of a sudden my identity was a political talking point within itself. This experience forced me into the world of politics, as an advocate for my community. From fighting on civil rights cases in the courtroom to protecting the rights of peaceful protestors and city workers, my experience is political in every way. I’m a proud member of Manhattan Community Board 10, have helped found a local Democratic Club and protected families at JFK Airport from Donald Trump’s unconscionable Muslim Ban. For me, this race is about serving our community so we can all finally have a voice and a seat at the table. 

Any official endorsements?

Tahanie was recently endorsed by four of New York’s top progressives — the Working Families Party, Citizen Action of New York, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and New York State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. Other endorsers include Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), NYC Councilmember Justin Brannan, Cynthia Nixon, Linda Sarsour, 2018 candidate for Governor of Michigan Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, the Muslim Democratic Club of New York, a Coalition for a District Alternative, and over seven NYCHA Resident Council leaders. Tahanie has also earned the support of many individuals from the directly impacted community including the Real Justice PAC, Incarcerated Nation Network, and Akeem Browder — brother of Kalief Browder.

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