Endorsing political candidates is something that we do irregularly because we take that responsibility seriously and do not dole them out like campaign workers at a subway entrance. This unique mix of politics and media can be misunderstood as a quid pro quo by the unsophisticated in our community.
But this time we find it important to raise our voice and endorse Cynthia Nixon for governor and Jumaane D. Williams for lieutenant governor.
Nixon, is a political neophyte and an actress whose best known for her role in the iconic series Sex and the City. Despite not having held elected office, Nixon is no stranger when it comes to activism and has championed many of the issues and causes that deeply affect our community. Affordable housing, quality health care, good jobs to name a few.
So do not confuse her with a bombastic New Yorker who conned his way into the presidency. Nixon has substance and style. She came from a modest background and is very relatable to our causes. She is a strong supporter of DACA and she is bent on making NY a sanctuary state. She has vowed to remain politically active even if she loses this election. She has fought alongside Planned Parenthood to ensure that women’s health issues remain the law of the land. She has been pushing for MTA reforms, insisting that subways and buses are adequately funded.
Williams, her running mate needs no introduction here. He is a brawler and in the street vernacular, a real brother. He is a principled leader who compromises little on his fundamental beliefs of right and wrong. Few leaders in Brooklyn have embraced the Haitian community like he has. He is a reliable ally who has delivered for us over and over.
The incumbent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a good man and his politics tolerable. The difference is that Cuomo, who has been in office for eight years, has no significant footprint in our community. We reached out to Haitian politicos in Brooklyn to find out who is Cuomo’s top deputy from the Haitian community. Two days later, the political operative told us in a text message: “Yes, there is a woman but I forgot her name. I can’t find her.”
Even Rudolph W. Giuliani, who had a testy relation with us had a couple of emissaries of Haitian ancestry. Cuomo has fashioned himself as the anti-Trump and I’m sure that he believes that. But when Trump revoked Temporary Status for more than 60,000 Haitians – about 20 percent of whom live in New York State- who were afforded the status to remain here legally, Cuomo never once visited the community to reassure us that as governor he would fight tooth and nail for us. We’ve also learned from a Muslim colleague that he hasn’t even visited a mosque to deliver a message of hope to our embattled brothers and sisters who Trump has tormented even before he won the presidency in November 2016.
Other groups have told us the same story. Basically, our governor has turned his back on us at our most vulnerable existence in his state.
These gestures would have taken nothing to make and would have earned him our ever lasting gratitude. Even during this campaign that forced him to cast himself as a progressive, there is still cricket.
What has irked the community even more is that the governor thinks he’s running against Trump and his advertising – which has flooded the state’s television market- we are invisible in them.
Whoever wins this race, needs to redress this problem. We are enthusiastically endorsing Nixon and Williams because we know that we can count on them to be our staunch allies. We need fighters like them on our side and we urge the community to vote for them on the primary elections on THURSDAY September 13.