As this year’s election season is gearing up, candidates seeking the endorsement of the New York Amsterdam News made their annual pilgrimage to the endorsement meetings. The meetings, all held in one day, saw the likes of experienced senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial hopefuls to young men and women running for public office for the first time.
At this point in time, the Amsterdam News is only releasing endorsements for the primary elections. If a candidate does not have a primary, you will not see them mentioned until our final round of endorsements come later in the year.
Here are our picks for the 2010 primary election:
Olanike T. Alabi
Latrice Monique Walker
Barbara M. Clark
Herman D. Farrell
Charles B. Rangel
Female State Committee, 57th Assembly District: Olanike T. Alabi
Olanike Alabi has served as the state committeewoman for the 57th district since 2006. She has worked for the City Council and Community Board 2 and is currently employed by 1199. Alabi, as member of the state committee, has been sponsoring forums and building coalitions to improve services to her community. She has helped address complaints and helped members of the community to navigate the system. She is working hard to serve the community, and that is why we endorse her for Female State Committee 57th Assembly District.
Female State Committee, 55th Assembly District: Latrice Monique Walker
Latrice Walker has lived in the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Oceanville-Brownsville neighborhoods she seeks to represent as a State Committee district chair. Walker has worked for Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and has been an activist in her community for many years, giving particular attention to young people. The Amsterdam News endorses Latrice Walker as Female State Committee chair for the 55th Assembly District
Assembly Member, 33rd Assembly District: Barbara M. Clark
Barbara Clark has been representing the 33rd Assembly District, which includes the Southeast Queens neighborhoods of Bellrose, Cambria Heights, Hollis and St. Albans for 22 years.
Clark has made education the centerpiece of her assembly career. An early proponent of the small schools education model, she was the principal advocate for successfully breaking up Andrew Jackson High School into smaller, more manageable schools within the same building. She also has pushed for equity public schools and was a big supporter of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) v. State of New York lawsuit, which eventually led to a $5.5 billion, court-mandated increase in funding for New York City schools. She has worked against predatory lending and telemarketing fraud issues that plague African-American communities.
Clark serves as House assistant majority whip, is a member of the Majority Steering Committee, the Health Budget Joint Conference Committee, the Standing Committees on Education, Libraries and Education Technology; Children and Families; and Labor. The Amsterdam News endorses Barbara Clark for another term in the assembly.
Assembly Member, 35th Assembly District: Jeffrion Aubry
Jeffrion Aubry has served in the State Assembly, representing East Elmhurst, Lefrak City and parts of Corona, Woodside, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst for 18 years after winning a special election.
Aubry, a life-long resident of East Elmhurst, has served his community and Queens most of his life. For 16 years, he was an employee of Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities, a community-based organization that provides drug treatment, employment services and daycare services in East Elmhurst and Corona. Aubry also was director of economic development for Queens.
During his assembly tenure, Aubry has focused on labor issues and reform of the draconian Rockefeller drug laws. Aubry was speaking out against the Rockefeller drug laws long before it became popular to challenge these laws that have had such a disparate effect on the African-American and Latino communities. He was the leading voice in the assembly in keeping the issue alive. The laws were finally changed after the Democrats took over the senate in 2009 and the senate could finally follow the lead of Aubry and the assembly.
Aubry chairs the Standing Committee on Correction and is a member of powerful Ways and Means committee, the Rules, Social Services and Governmental Employees committees. The Amsterdam News recommends that the 35th District send Aubry back to legislature so he can continue serving the district and the people of New York State with distinction.
Assembly Member, 68th Assembly District: John Ruiz
John Ruiz has come before the editorial board of the Amsterdam News on several occasions. Each and every time, he has presented us with compelling reasons why we should endorse him over other candidates in the elections that he has run in. This time is no different, except that the 68th Assembly District now has a vacant seat left by Adam Clayton Powell the IV, who is trying to unseat the one and only Charles B. Rangel.
With Powell vacating his seat, Ruiz has an opportunity to really shine in this race. The field is large, but Ruiz has the temperament and the commitment to the community, which is needed in a race such as this.
Ruiz served as a New York City fireman for 19 years. In the early 1980s, he was one of only 150 Latino firefighters in a city with more than 13,000 firemen. In his spare time, he created a fire safety program.
Born in El Barrio, Ruiz knows the community inside and out. With decades as a public servant in the fire department and as a district leader, it is now time to send him to the assembly. He has fought and protected us, and now it is time to support him. That is why we are endorsing John Ruiz for the 68th Assembly District.
Assembly Member, 71st District: Herman D. Farrell
It takes vision and experience to bring about change to communities, and Herman “Denny” Farrell has both. From introducing and passing legislation on tenants’ rights to working to make sure that new, affordable housing is made available and creating more opportunities for health care and access to green spaces, Denny has done so much in 36 years in the New York State Assembly.
He worked his way through the ranks of the assembly, chairing the committee on banks and serving on the Rules committee. He currently chairing the Ways and Means Committee. He is a part of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.
He has worked for the people of this city diligently, and, after 36 years, is still going strong and shows us the experience he brings has only helped the community. Denny is not just sitting on his laurels. He has paid his dues and continues to pay his way by serving the community in a way few legislators have. That is why we endorse Herman Denny Farrell for State Assembly in the 71st District.
30th Senatorial District: Bill Perkins
Bill Perkins has been serving the people of New York City for decades. Since his return to Harlem after graduating from college in 1972, he dedicated himself to his community. Serving as a New York City Council Member for eight years, he succeeded David Paterson as Harlem’s state senator and has served in the senate. He has been a supporter of education, health, care and civil liberties.
While some disagree with his recent stances on charter schools, he has been a vocal proponent for a good education for New York’s youth. And while he believes that the public schools are the best solution and has pushed for broad improvement and investment in the schools, he has recently conceded that charter schools run by not-for-profit institutions also have a place in the system and voted to expand the number of charter schools in a recent senate vote.
As a cancer survivor, he also knows the importance of access to heath care, and that is why he has been a huge advocate for early detection.
Perkins is a strong believer in the community in which he serves and has always fought for what he believes is right. He has served and community well and continues to do so.
His opponent in the race is not a newcomer to New York City politics. Basil Smikle has worked behind the scenes of New York politics for many years. A product of a family of Jamaican immigrants, his father was a textile worker and his mother, to this day, works as a special education teacher. He knows this city and is committed to the community. However, at this time, when the city and the state are in such dire straights, we need someone that has experience as an elected official.
That is why the New York Amsterdam News is endorsing Bill Perkins for senator of the 30th Senatorial District.
10th Congressional District: Edolphus Towns
Congressman Ed Towns came to the <em>Amsterdam News</em> editorial meeting straight from a fact-finding mission in Afghanistan. While he had just come from rugged conditions and spent many hours on a plane, the 14-term congressman from Brooklyn takes his national responsibilities seriously as well as his commitment to his community. Towns is chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressman Towns’ opponent, Kevin Powell, was scheduled to appear before the Amsterdam News Editorial Board, but cancelled on the day of the endorsement meetings.
Because of his diligent congressional service, the Amsterdam News enthusiastically endorses Congressman Towns.
15th Congressional District: Charles B. Rangel
Charles B. Rangel has served the 15th Congressional District for 38 years as its congressman. He is the dean of the New York State delegation and one of the most senior congressmen of the august House of Representatives. At the ripe young age of 80, Rangel can still outpace his younger counterparts. His Empowerment Zone legislation has stood the test of years and continues to help communities across this city and this country.
Recent events have taken some time away from the business at hand for the congressman, however this has not stopped him from continuing his legacy of commitment and work toward helping his beloved New York.
While Rangel no longer chairs the powerful Ways and Means Committee, he still has the stature to create change and to ensure the wellbeing of our communities. He has been a great fighter for all. of us and as he continues to be in the trenches, we must continue to fight alongside him.
As for his primary challengers, there are many, from Adam Clayton Powell IV to Joyce Johnson and Vince Morgan, the latter two of whom have both worked for the congressman. Johnson and Morgan are ambitions, but both hold the congressman in the highest of regard. Yet, they are challenging him to better position themselves down the line.
Morgan has worked for the Empowerment Zone, serves as chair of the 125th Street BID and is a community banker with TD Bank. He has the ambition and the drive to do well in New York City politics. We believe Morgan will do well down the line, but as for our current endorsement, we believe that Congressman Charles B. Rangel continues to be the best person to represent the 15th Congressional District.
That is why once again, the <em>Amsterdam News</em> enthusiastically endorses Charles B. Rangel for congressman on the 15th Congressional District.