Electoral engagement is a pillar of GetOrganizedBK’s work. As we approach the June 23rd Democratic Primary, we’re eager to share details about our endorsement process and the local candidates we are endorsing.
GOBK Endorsement Process
- Our endorsement process is entirely driven by our Working Groups, with the principles of both GOBK and the individual working groups at the core. This process is founded in our commitment that GOBK be led by our activist network, representative of our shared values and beliefs.
- The GOBK Electoral Committee presented its electoral research about Brooklyn races to the Steering Committee, made up of co-chairs from each Working Group. This included insight into candidates, neighborhoods, and basic information about the races.
- Each working group then followed their respective process of deciding whether or not to be involved in a race, and criteria for considering the options. Those opting to be involved, conducted their own research and information gathering on candidates.The metrics by which they were measured reflect the values that the working groups hold — ranging from stances and experience in racial justice, reproductive justice, environmental justice and commitment equity.
- Candidates endorsed by at least two Working Groups are presented to the full Steering Committee to be considered for GOBK endorsement, and then voted on.
- Working Groups participating in endorsements for this election include:
- IndivisbleNationBK: Full list of endorsements: here.
- RacialJustice BK: Their endorsement policy: here and full list of endorsements: here.
- WHARR: Official statement is here
Below are GetOrganizedBK endorsed candidates, with Working Group statements
Jabari Brisport for NY Senate District 25 – INBK, RJBK endorsed
- INBK says “Jabari is a public school teacher, former Green Party City Council candidate, organizer and advocate with deep roots in Brooklyn. He is committed to empowering his community when elected through town halls, participatory budgeting, and constituent services. When elected, he’ll fight for fair funding and governance of public schools, a people’s budget, climate justice, a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure and homes guarantee for all New Yorkers.”
- RJBK says “A son of Prospect Heights, Jabari Brisport has spent his life as an activist and union public school educator in Brooklyn. He is passionate about a criminal justice transformation, workers rights and environmental justice. His detailed and thorough platform shows a thoughtful dedication to public power and he supports many of the campaigns, such as HALT and bail reform, on which RJBK has worked.”
Diana Richardson for NY Assembly District 43 – INBK, RJBK
- INBK says “Assembly Member Richardson is a fierce advocate for the communities she represents on every issue from police and criminal justice reform to education, affordable housing and our democracy. We know she’ll keep fighting for her constituents and we’re right along side her.”
- RJBK says “Born and raised in Brooklyn, Diana Richardson has listened to and served the Crown Heights community well, advocating for housing rights, funding for education, police and criminal justice reform and many other causes impacting the district she represents. RJBK has worked successfully with her on several occasions and hopes to continue that relationship in the future. ”
- WHARR says “Diana Richardson has always put her constituents and community first, and when in her presence, you can feel the love. She is a fearless and tireless leader, who flouts the establishment machine to tell it like it is. Diana advocates for housing justice, funding for education, and criminal justice, and she shares WHARR’s outrage towards Crisis Pregnancy Centers (i.e. fake clinics) and their deceptive tactics. We hope to work closely with her in her next term.”
Marcela Mitaynes for Assembly District 51 – INBK, RJBK
- INBK says “Marcela has deep experience as a housing advocate, organizer and community leader in Sunset Park. She is running a grassroots campaign and is committed to staying rooted in the community if elected. She will fight for undocumented immigrant safety, public power, good cause eviction, climate justice, budget justice, a moratorium on charter schools and to amend the Taylor Law so public sector union workers can strike in New York. We support her effort to take on Sunset Park’s current absentee Assembly Member, Felix Ortiz, because we know that if she is elected, she will work to empower all of her constituents, especially those at the front lines of the housing and justice crises.
- RJBK says “A longtime resident of Sunset Park, Marcela Mitaynes has been a tenant’s rights advocate, working to pass the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, and is fighting big developers and the city to retain community focus and input in the development of the Sunset Park waterfront. Her commitment to reinvest in her community extends to her criminal justice, environmental justice, immigration and health care platforms, as well, where she intends to challenge real estate developers and large corporations for the rights and needs of her district.
Justin Cohen for NY Assembly District 56 – RJBK, WHARR
- RJBK says “As a member of RJBK, we have worked closely and successfully with Justin for years. His community centered campaign and strong relationships with the grassroots organizations in his district builds upon the values RJBK holds dear. He has a strong racial justice lens and brings issues of equity to every part of his platform. His background in organizing, racial justice and education help him to understand the complicated and intertwining issues facing his district and advocate for truly creative and progressive changes for this community..”
- WHARR says “As a fellow member of Get Organized BK, we have seen up close the work that Justin has done in his role as a leader of Racial Justice BK and a fierce ally of the Black Lives Matter and No New Jails movements. Justin’s voice is the anti-establishment voice we need to break the perpetuation of the status quo in Brooklyn and accomplish true, progressive change for New York. Justin’s forward-thinking stances on a host of pressing issues — including housing justice, criminal justice, and immigration justice — intersect with WHARR’s mission of promoting gender equity, securing everyone’s ability to parent in safe and sustainable communities, and ensuring access to reproductive health services, especially for those who need them most.”
What’s Your Voting Plan?
- Absentee ballots must be mailed back by June 23rd.
- In-person voting has already started at limited polling places.
- Look for your early-voting polling place here (it may not be your election day place.)
- Election Day is Tuesday, June 23rd Be sure to check your polling place here.
- And remember – check here to verify your voter registration and location.
- Other NYC voting details are here
Join a Working Group and Have a Voice
To take part in future election strategizing and endorsement planning, connect with one of GOBK’s Working Groups, create a new one or join a GOBK committee.
Grassroots organizing gives all activists an opportunity to be heard and take part in this process we call Democracy. Join Us New Activists are welcomed!
The current COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the urgent need for laws in New York State mandating comprehensive paid sick leave as well as emergency paid sick leave in the event of public health emergencies. In particular, the lack of paid sick leave disproportionately affects low-wage workers and women.
On March 16th, GetOrganizedBK and two of its working groups (Indivisible Nation BK and WHARR) joined over 75 other organizations urging the Governor and NYS Legislature to pass critical legislation without delay in order to protect the health and safety of all New Yorkers. Read the full letter, signed by organizations throughout the state, led by A Better Balance, NYCLU, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Citizen Action of NY.
We are heartened that on March 18th, a bill was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor (S8091/A10153), putting into place emergency paid sick leave protections for New Yorkers under mandatory or precautionary quarantine due to COVID-19. We applaud the measures in this legislation, and we appreciate the speed and seriousness that the Governor and Legislature have given this matter.
However, it is important to note that the bill’s emergency sick leave protections only apply during the current COVID-19 crisis, and will not cover future public health emergency situations. In addition, the bill does not include all emergency provisions identified in the original letter—including critical coverage for independent contractors and the self-employed, and the requirement that restaurants pay their workers minimum wage plus tips during the emergency time period.
The new legislation also omits measures to expand existing permanent provisions for paid sick leave, which had been included in a previous version of the bill (S8090/A10152). The Governor’s office has indicated that these permanent protections will instead be included in the budget. We will hold him to that, and will continue to fight for laws with additional paid sick leave measures. We urge the Governor and the New York State Legislature to institute more robust paid sick leave to protect all New Yorkers.
For more information on the new emergency sick leave measures, see A Better Balance’s fact sheet on the new legislation.