With the 2021 New York City Council elections still months away, sitting elected officials are announcing endorsements for candidates competing in the June primary races.
State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D–Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Edgemere, Bayswater, Arverne and Far Rockaway) and City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria, Dutch Kills) are the latest to weigh in. The lawmakers endorsed two young progressive women for the New York City Council who share their political values.
Van Bramer endorsed city council candidate Aleda Gagarin in the District 29 race. Meanwhile Sanders endorsed city council candidate Hailie Kim for District 26.
Gagarin is running to replace term-limited City Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (D-Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill). She is a nonprofit leader and activist.
“Aleda Gagarin is just the kind of bold progressive leader we need in the City Council. Someone with new ideas and creative solutions that will make our City more just. I am proud to endorse Aleda who will serve with energy, integrity and vision!” said Van Bramer, the Deputy Leader of the City Council.
This is Gagarin’s first time running for office. However, she is no stranger to the chaos of elections. When her husband, Mel Gagarin, ran against U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) in the recent June primaries, she was his campaign manager.
“I couldn’t be prouder to have the endorsement of Councilmember Van Bramer who has been a leader on progressive causes in the Council and a fierce advocate of the LGBTQIA + community. Councilmember Van Bramer recognizes the need for new ideas and bold policy in the next Council and I will work tirelessly to live up to that,” said Gagarin.
Kim, who received Sanders’ endorsement, is a Democratic Socialists and an educator. She is running to replace Van Bramer who is term-limited. Sanders’ endorsement of her campaign is the first in the race to fill the seat.
“Like myself, Hailie is a true champion for, as well as the product of, the working class of Queens, who believes in the universality of struggle, and who will never stop fighting to build power for working people in City Hall,” he said.
Sanders cited their shared commitment to a Public Bank for New York City, which would make bank accounts more accessible to all New Yorkers, and serve as a way to raise much needed revenue for the city in a time of crisis, he said.
“In her I believe I’ll have a strong partner at the city level to fight for Public Banking, as we fight for it in Albany. I believe in Hailie’s dedication to her community and to Queens as a fellow New Yorker,” he said.