New York’s 17th congressional district-- northern and western Westchester County plus, across the Hudson, Rockland County-- represents one of the best chance in the country to send a true progressive to Congress. After 16 terms, Nita Lowey is retiring in this D+7 district where Trump got only 38.4% of the vote. A recent poll released by Data for Progress shows a statistical dead heat among four candidates.
One of those is attorney and activist Mondaire Jones. Mondaire is a progressive champion running on a platform of Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and student loan forgiveness. In fact, he is the only candidate in his race running on these issues. If elected, he would be the first openly gay, black member of Congress in U.S. history.
Mondaire’s chief rivals in the campaign are David Carlucci, Adam Schleifer, and Evelyn Farkas. Carlucci is infamous for being a founding member of the reactionary Independent Democratic Conference, a group of state senators in New York who were elected as Democrats but caucused with Republicans, denying Democrats a majority in the State Senate. Carlucci was just endorsed by the very right-wing NYC police union, which also endorsed the make-believe Democrat running against AOC. Schleifer is the son of a pharmaceutical billionaire and has spent millions of dollars of his family wealth on the campaign. Evelyn Farkas is a former Defense Department official who has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the defense lobby and prominent Republicans, including Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff and George W. Bush’s Director of National Intelligence.
Mondaire’s campaign has enormous momentum. Without accepting corporate PAC money, he has raised well over a million dollars and has been endorsed by Elizabeth Warren, Julián Castro, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, Working Families Party, United Auto Workers, and many more, including, today, Blue America. Additionally, the poll taken by Data for Progress was conducted just as Mondaire was beginning his advertising campaign, showing that Mondaire has significantly more room to grow than his opponents.
This is a safely blue district where the Republicans have not run a candidate in the past two cycles. If Democrats want to form a true progressive majority, it is essential we elect progressive candidates in safely blue seats like this one. This election could come down to only a few hundred votes and every bit of support helps immensely. Please help Mondaire win on June 23rd by making a contribution at the Blue America thermometer on the right.
A Chance To Make History
-by Mondaire Jones
Growing up poor, black, and gay, I never imagined that someone like me could make it to the halls of Congress. I grew up in Section 8 housing and on food stamps, raised by a young, single mom who still had to work multiple jobs for us to get by.
Thanks to the support of a community and a quality public school education that is unavailable to students in that same school district today, I was able to make it to Stanford University, work in the Obama administration, and graduate from Harvard Law School. But stories like mine are the exception, not the rule. I’m running for Congress to change that.
I’m fighting for bold, structural solutions that will ensure we can build a future that works for everyone, not just a subset of the American population. I know what it’s like to feel left behind and to not see yourself represented. In fact, if elected, I would be the first openly gay, black member of Congress in United States history.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen just how precarious our economy is for millions of people. I don’t think any American should lose their health insurance just because they’ve lost their job. I don’t think anyone should have to go into work sick because they can’t afford to stay home. I don’t think we should let an entire generation be crippled by massive student loan debt, preventing young people from meaningfully participating in our economy.
This is a message that resonates not just with people here in New York’s 17th Congressional District, covering parts of Westchester and Rockland Counties, but all across the country. Our campaign has been endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Julián Castro, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, Working Families Party, United Auto Workers, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, Equality PAC, the LGBT Victory Fund, and so many more.
Our campaign is a grassroots, people-powered movement. Unlike many of our opponents, we’re not taking money from corporations and we’re not self-funding with millions of dollars. We rely on contributions from everyday people, like delivery drivers, nurses, and teachers who chip in $10 or $25 when they can. We’ve been outraising most of our competition, but we’ve got to pick up the pace.
Right now, our election is less than 3 weeks away. We’re fighting for real change for working people, but we’re up against the pharmaceutical industry and the defense lobby and we need your help. Join us.