James Lane gets Brooklyn Democratic club endorsement over Vincent Gentile
editor's note: this past fall 3 local NYC Democratic Party Clubs endorsed Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for NY Governor
Staten Island Live
by Rachel Shapiro
April 28, 2015
James LaneThe Southern Brooklyn Democrats have endorsed Green Party candidate James Lane over Brooklyn Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile in the race for Congress, citing Gentile's unwillingness to meet with them and Lane being a political outsider.
Posting a statement on Facebook, the club wrote: "Southern Brooklyn Democrats is proud to endorse James Lane in the CD 11 race. Mr. Lane isn't a career politician; he's a member of our community who deeply cares about the interests of the people and representing us. It's long overdue that this district was represented by someone who is 'by the people, for the people,' and not some sleazy criminal or party hack. On Tuesday, May 5th, vote James Lane!"
The club covers the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Homecrest, Coney Island, Sea Gate, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, and Gerritsen Beach — the first two neighborhoods are included in Gentile's council district.
Asked why they chose Lane over Gentile, club President Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon said, "We don't blindly endorse whatever candidate the Democratic Party puts forth; we support the best candidate for the position regardless of party."
She said the club campaigned for Gentile during his last re-election campaign to the City Council but for the congressional campaign, he did not respond to their requests to meet and didn't return a candidates' questionnaire.
"James Lane, by contrast, eagerly joined us at a meeting and talked with us for over an hour about issues in our neighborhoods," she said. "We believe that Mr. Lane is a candidate who cares deeply about his community, and is running to better that community, not to further his own political career.
The Gentile campaign declined to comment.
The club has a brief history of backing third-party candidates, as it endorsed Green Party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins, in 2014 instead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Lane said, "I proudly accept their endorsement of my campaign and platform for independent investigation of police brutality, a Green New Deal of public jobs and services, taxing the 1 percent and Wall Street, and a $15 minimum wage for all workers."
He added, "As the old saying goes: when you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got. We face existential threats to our environment, economy and communities that demand breaking across our usual boundaries."
Lane is running against Gentile and Republican District Attorney Daniel Donovan in a May 5 special election for Congress.
BREAKING: SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE ENDORSES JAMES LANE FOR CONGRESS IN SPECIAL ELECTION ON MAY 5TH
• Lane is a longstanding activist in New York and the only candidate demanding an end to police brutality, a $15/hr minimum wage, and a political alternative to the two parties of Wall Street
• Campaign pits Lane against Daniel Donovan, the District Attorney who failed to indict Eric Garner’s killer
New York, NY – As a working-class organization fighting to end police brutality and win a $15/hr minimum wage, Socialist Alternative is pleased to endorse James Lane in his campaign for Congress in New York’s Congressional District 11 in the Special Election on May 5th.
James is a longstanding activist and his platform brings to light several important issues facing the working class and poor in New York. In particular, he is committed to ending police brutality and mass incarceration. In a race where his two major opponents are Daniel Donovan, the District Attorney who failed to indict Eric Garner’s killer, and a corporate Democrat who supports 1,000 extra police in New York City, James presents the only genuine alternative for people demanding change.
In addition, James has endorsed the 15 Now campaign to raise the minimum wage immediately to $15/hr for every worker. 15 Now, initiated by Seattle City Councilmember and Socialist Alternative member Kshama Sawant, was instrumental in winning $15 in Seattle in June 2014. The first steps towards $15 began on April 1st, with McDonalds workers and thousands of others seeing a raise to $11.50/hr.
Eljeer Hawkins, member of the Socialist Alternative New York City Committee, said, “James is a candidate we strongly endorse in the upcoming special election for Congress. This election is an opportunity for the African-American community, working people and poor on Staten Island and South Brooklyn to mobilize in support for a candidate who carries their message.
“There is a wide gulf between James's positions on civilian oversight of the police and ending militarization and the positions of his status quo-endorsing opponents. This campaign should be part of a nation-wide discussion about how to build a mass campaign against police brutality, for $15, and for independent politics in general.”
James Lane said, “I am proud to accept the endorsement of Socialist Alternative, who have been at the forefront of the heroic 15 Now fight to raise the minimum wage. SA made the $15/hour dream a reality in Seattle after the election of Kshama Sawant to the City Council in 2013.
“63% of Americans support a $15 minimum wage, and the low-ball proposals on offer at the federal and state levels highlight just how out of touch the corporate parties are from working people. When we successfully organize in the fight for $15 we get a taste of what is possible through collective action for a more just and democratic society.”
Currently in New York, we see the success of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s attacks on public education on behalf of his hedge fund backers, despite their massive unpopularity among parents and teachers. The populist wing of the Democrats, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, opposes many of the attacks by “Governor 1%”. But what the populists will not do is mobilize working people in their own interests. For that we need a fighting policy by the unions and a new political force representing working people and the poor.
Socialist Alternative evaluates all campaigns, including electoral campaigns, from the point of view of what will raise the confidence of working people and their willingness to fight. James Lane's campaign has the potential to do just that. We strongly endorse James for Congress in New York’s Congressional District 11.
Contact: Daniel Kroop, 347-327-2776, firstname.lastname@example.org
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