Tiffany Cabán officially launched her campaign for New York City Council on Thursday joining a slate of young progressives looking to advance a leftist agenda in New York City and nationwide.
Cabán, a queer Latina public defender and activist, is running for the City Council District 22 seat which encompasses Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside and Rikers Island.
“I am running to represent every single person in every single corner of this district,” she said. “I love the people that live here and I know that change is possible.”
The announcement came after weeks of speculation that she would be joining the group of candidates vying for term-limited City Councilmember Costa Constantinides’s seat. The murmurs began after she completed a survey put out by the New York City Democratic Socialists of America (NYC-DSA) for city council candidates seeking their endorsement.
The Queens chapter of the NYC-DSA endorsed Cabán in her unsuccessful bid for Queens District Attorney last year. After losing by just 60 votes following a weeks-long recount, Cabán conceded the race to now District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Cabán spent the past year as a national organizer for the Working Families Party before making the announcement that taking another stab at local office in Katch Astoria, the same restaurant where she conceded to Katz.
“I’m running for city council because I know that my fight is here, our fight is here,” she said. “We need to change the lives of working people in our city.”
Cabán grew up in Richmond Hill but spent summers in Astoria and Woodside as a child, she said recalling shopping trips on Steinway Street with her grandmother. The district is her home.
“This is where I’ve always felt like myself, most like myself. It was true when I was a kid and it’s true now,” she said.
Multiple elected officials and soon-to-be office holders immediately came forward to endorse her.
“Her track record and drive to fight for vulnerable communities make her the proven leader we need to represent Queens in the city council,” said State Senator Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven).
Democratic candidate and likely state assemblymember-elect for Assembly District 34 –– which includes Jackson Heights, Woodside, and East Elmhurst –– Jessica González-Rojas echoed his sentiments.
“She’s changed the conversation about criminal justice, about sex work, about defunding the nypd,” said González-Rojas, “I am over the moon about Tiffany’s decision to step into this race for city council.”
State Senator Jessica Ramos (D- Jackson Heights, Corona, Astoria, Woodside, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst), City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria, Dutch Kills), and Democratic District Leaders Zachariah Boyer and Shawna Morlock (D-Astoria) endorsed Cabán as well.
Jesse Cerrotti, who until Thursday was running for the District 22 seat himself, also gave his support.
“In a year where New Yorkers are fighting economic and racial injustices, it is imperative on each one of us to elevate proven fighters. Tiffany represents the very best of Queens, and the movement for restorative justice,” said Cerrotti as he announced that he was dropping out of the race.