WASHINGTON, D.C.–People’s Action today endorsed a slate of five New York state-level candidates in the upcoming June 23 New York Democratic primary election. The candidates are running movement politics, people powered campaigns and will fight for the People’s Action agenda once elected. Each of these candidates is also endorsed by one of People’s Actions’ New York member organizations, VOCAL-NY or Citizen Action of New York.
Today’s endorsed candidates include:
- Adam Bojak - State Assembly District 149
- Sam Fein - State Assembly District 108
- Matt Toporowski - Albany County District Attorney
- Diana Richardson - State Assembly District 43
- Kim Smith - State Senate District 61
“Candidates who put people and the planet first are essential to repairing the damage that corporations and the rich have done to New York State,” People’s Action Director of Movement Governing Brooke Adams said. ”The candidates we endorsed today run people-powered campaigns and are already champions for the multiracial working class. We are proud to have their backs.”
Adam Bojak, State Assembly District 149
Adam Bojak is a tenants' rights attorney and housing activist in Western New York, running a grassroots, people-powered campaign.
"Our campaign is excited and honored to have the endorsement of People's Action,” Bojak said. “Attending the People's Wave convention in Washington, D.C. last year was a formative experience in my politics, and the People's Platform underscores our own platform from top to bottom, and we will fight to achieve those goals for the residents of New York."
Sam Fein, State Assembly District 108
Sam Fein fights for a society that values everyday people over the interests of corporations. As a two-term Albany County legislator, he won improvements for working families across the county. He co-sponsored legislation to guarantee all employees paid sick leave, led the fight to turn vacant buildings into community-owned housing and passed legislation to “ban the box,” ending employment discrimination for formerly incarcerated people.
"I'm excited to have the endorsement of People's Action, because we both believe that the road to progress must go through our communities," Fein said.
Matt Toporowski, Albany County District Attorney
Matt Toporowski, an Upstate New York native, has worked for appellate judges, tried cases as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, and been appointed as a special prosecutor. An active member of his community, leading his neighborhood association and serving on the board of a local high school, Matt cares deeply about people and helping to solve problems.
"I'm ready to tackle the long history of mass incarceration and structural racism that has harmed so many people for so long,” Toporowski said. “The old approach to the justice system can't continue. I'm proud to work with People's Action to demand and implement a different vision for the justice system - one that's rooted in truth, transfers power to the community, and invests in people."
Diana Richardson, State Assembly District 43
Diana Richardson is the incumbent Assemblywoman for the 43rd Assembly District in Brooklyn, New York representing the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Wingate, and East Flatbush in the state capitol. She was first elected in 2015 in a special election and was the first elected official in New York State's history to be elected using only the Working Family Party line, and the first elected official in New York State to win her election refusing corporate and real estate donations. As assemblywoman, her accomplishments include passing the strongest tenant protections in our State's history, fighting for workers rights, and using her voice to fight police violence in our communities.
"As the assemblywoman for one of the districts in New York hardest hit by the COVID crisis, the housing crisis, and by police brutality, I am honored to stand with Peoples' Action and their affiliates in New York to fight for true justice,” Richardson said. “This endorsement means the world to me and I will continue to make you proud in Albany!"
Kim Smith, State Senate District 61
Kim Smith spent 30 years in service pertaining to community outreach, policy work, coalition building, activism and organizing. She has learned that in order to fight for change, we need to be in the decision making room.
"Through gerrymandering, the Democratic voices of District 61 residents have been intentionally overlooked and undervalued,” Smith said. “Having the endorsement of People’s Action, a national organization that has stood with so many for so long, is not only an honor, but carries with it the expectation that I will deliver and restore our voice. And I will! We will not be silent!"
About People’s Action
People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. Our organization recently released a vision for a national Homes Guarantee that has already prompted major legislation from champions including U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. Prior to endorsing a candidate for president, we completed a national forum series that included Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and Andrew Yang. The Nation called our Iowa forum the “most in-depth, people-powered forum” of the 2020 cycle.
Media contact: Derrick Crowe, 512.516.5067, [email protected]