City Council Candidate Amit Singh Bagga, who led the city’s 2020 Census campaign, the nation’s largest, to achieve a self-response rate higher than nearly every major city in the U.S., launched his historic bid to represent District 26 in the City Council (Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria) on Saturday on Diwali, the most important holiday in the Hindu and Sikh traditions.
Bagga, who hails from both traditions, will be the first queer South Asian New Yorker to represent the city at any level of government.
Bagga was joined by several dozen residents of the district, many of whom spoke in support of his candidacy, including local drag artist Glow and well-known immigrant rights activist Wennie Chin. They were joined by Meeta Anand, who most recently led nearly 200 community-based organizations across New York State to achieve a complete count in the census, and Harpreet Singh Toor, one of New York City’s most pre-eminent leaders in the Punjabi Sikh community.
“I’m running to represent Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, and Astoria to fight for a New York City that can be a city of opportunity, dignity, and power — not just for some, but indeed for all, New Yorkers,” said Bagga. “A successful recovery from the multi-layered health, political, and economic crises we are currently experiencing will require leadership that is both visionary and experienced so that we can expand healthcare access, provide safe and affordable housing, create green jobs with economic mobility and protections, create safe and enriching schools, and divest from all that is broken in policing and re-invest those funds in services, education, job training, and entirely new models of community infrastructure.”
The centerpiece of Bagga’s announcement is his proposal for a “NYC Fair Economy Fund,” which would be the city’s first-ever initiative dedicated to establishing economic stability and creating economic mobility for immigrants, workers, freelancers, and small businesses through community organizing, extensive training, and direct financial support, and ensuring it is they, and not Wall Street or big business, that are at the heart of the city’s economic recovery.
Bagga also presented several policy proposals for addressing issues related to housing, education, mental health services, divesting from the current model of policing, and more, and will continue to release additional, more detailed policy plans in the weeks to come.