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Haitian-American Nurse Declares Victory in 57th Assembly District Race

By Jonathan Greig

When Phara Souffrant Forrest first started calling for the government to cancel rent, most people outside of the Democratic Socialist universe scoffed. 

But now that a pandemic has kneecapped the American economy and millions are still struggling to find work, the public, and even centrist Democrats, have begun to embrace the idea that America’s wealth should be used to protect those in the working class who are most insecure.

The public has now spoken, and Forrest has declared victory in her race for Assembly District 57, beating the incumbent, heavily-favored opponent Walter T. Mosley III. She trailed Mosley by 588 votes on election night but a deluge of absentee ballots put her ahead by over 2,500 votes.

Nurse, tenant activist and future Assembly District 57 representative Phara Forrest

“It was a long wait, but today we can finally say that we did it. Together, we made history by electing a socialist nurse in the middle of the worst pandemic in 100 years. With a powerful grassroots coalition, the help of over 1,000 volunteers, and the support of over 13,500 voters in Assembly District 57, we rose to meet this important moment. Our win is a victory for every person who is struggling in this state,” Forrest said. 

“It is a win for nurses without protective equipment, for Black and Brown people targeted by police violence and chronic disinvestment, for immigrants deprived of their democratic rights, for tenants who can’t make rent, and for the thousands of unemployed people struggling to survive. Our win is a rejection of politics as usual. This win shows that our time is now.”

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a journalist based in New York City working as a contributing writer for CBS Interactive. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.
Jonathan Greig
Jul. 23, 2020