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Albany, NY – Responding to results in Thursday’s Democratic primary election, Karen Scharff, executive director of Citizen Action of New York, said:

“The power dynamic at the Capitol has shifted and there’s no turning back. The upset victories by community candidates challenging IDC incumbents are a mandate to end the political system controlled by the wealthy and well-connected. A powerful movement supported by grassroots, community power has shifted the nature of New York politics, changed what’s possible, and cemented racial and economic justice as the true measure of successful public policy.

“Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams ran campaigns that generated unprecedented grassroots enthusiasm because they put the needs of ordinary people first. These campaigns represent the start of a new kind of politics in New York that will only grow.

“In this election, New Yorkers demanded fully and equitably funded public schools, legalization of marijuana, fixes to our racist justice system and an end to cash bail and solitary confinement.

They demanded an end to real estate developers and landlords raising rents and forcing people out of their homes and communities. They demanded Medicare for All, so that no one ever has to go bankrupt because they can’t afford health care in New York. And they demanded that every New Yorker have an equal voice in this democracy by ending the influence of big money in politics.

“There’s a wave of real populism sweeping the country and today we saw it in New York. To those who use their money to control our politics, know this: your days in power are numbered. New Yorkers have shown they are ready to demand change.”

People’s Action member organizations include Citizen Action of New York, VOCAL-NY Action Fund and Community Voices Heard Power.

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About People’s Action Institute

Over five decades, People’s Action Institute and our affiliates have fought for reforms that recognize poor and working people’s dignity and make material and political improvements to millions of lives. Our victories include the Community Reinvestment Act, Superfund, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the MAT Act.

We engage in issue campaigns, public education and training to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice. Our focus now is on deepening community organizing so we can build lasting power across the country. 

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