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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, launched a bid to remake the New York State Assembly in a Progressive image Monday, releasing a suite of endorsements of far-left candidates.
Ocasio-Cortez endorsed nine candidates put forward by New York’s Working Families Party (WFP), a political organization devoted to “social, racial, and economic justice.” Many of the candidates are running to unseat more moderate Democratic incumbents. The Democratic Party already holds an overwhelming majority over Republicans in the Assembly.
“We can’t wait for guaranteed healthcare. We can’t wait for affordable housing. We can’t wait for climate justice. That’s why I’m proud to endorse and support the ‘We Can’t Wait’ Assembly candidates,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “I can’t wait to partner with them once they’re elected to make sure New York is a place where everyone can live with dignity.”
WFP leadership in New York called for the party to “transform” the Assembly, kicking out Democrats who have worked with Republicans in the past.
“Four years ago, our party defeated members of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of turncoat Democrats who caucused with the Republicans and blocked the priorities of working families,” New York Working Families Party senior director Kumar Rao said in a statement. “Since then, we’ve won historic victories by strengthening voting rights, passing new taxes on the rich, and fully funding our public schools.”
“Now, we must transform the other legislative body, the New York State Assembly,” he added.
The nine candidates include Vanessa Agudelo, a self-described democratic socialist; Keron Alleyne, a self-described “Black Radical”; Samy Nemir Olivares, a “Latinx Queer” organizer and writer; Sarahana Shrestha, a climate organizer, Jessica Altagracia Woolford, a local activist; Delsenia Glover, a social justice and anti-racism advocate; Jonathan Soto, a former AOC campaign staffer; Justin Chaires, a school teacher and civil rights leader, and Juan Ardila, a Green New Deal and abortion rights advocate.