2020 Endorsements for Congress and NY Legislature

May 18, 2020

With Donald Trump as President and Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, and a fierce economic recession upon us, our public schools are threatened with huge budget cuts and privatization like never before.  We need strong representation in Washington DC  to protect and strengthen our public schools and after careful consideration, we believe that the candidates for Congress we have endorsed below will fight hard to achieve these goals.

Similarly, Governor Cuomo has for years refused to fund NYC public schools equitably and threatens even more damaging cuts in the near future.  We need a strong progressive State Legislature to stand up against him, who will instead fund our schools fairly by raising revenue through increasing taxes on the ultra-wealthy. We are confident that the candidates we have endorsed for the State Assembly will do just that.

We urge you to vote on Democratic primaries held on Tuesday June 23, for these exceptional individuals, some of them incumbents who have proven their dedication over the years, and others who are challenging entrenched office-holders who have not done a good job for our schools. You can submit a request for absentee ballots here: https://nycabsentee.com/   We also urge you to volunteer and contribute to their campaigns, by clicking on their names below.

If you’d like to read the candidate surveys that we obtained, including for some races we decided not to make endorsements, they are posted on our website  here.


Naila,  Isaac, Fatima, Leonie, Eduardo, Margaret, Andy, Brooke, Naomi, Sharmilee, Karen, Shino and Tesa


NYC Kids PAC Endorsements for US Congress

Jamaal Bowman – NYC Kids PAC is thrilled to endorse Jamaal Bowman, a former principal of a Bronx middle school to be elected to the 16th Congressional District in Bronx and Westchester.  Jamaal is not only a progressive educator who understands critical education issues like the back of his hand, but he will fight every day to ensure that NYC students and schools get the resources – and the policies – that they need.  He opposes high-stakes testing and charter school expansion and supports smaller classes and educating the whole child.  In contrast, incumbent Elliot Engel has received thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from charter school supporters and has shown little interest in education over the many years he has served in Congress.  We urge you to vote for Jamaal  Bowman who will be a true champion for our public schools.


Shaniyat Chowdhury –   We are endorsing Shaniyat Chowdhury’s candidacy for the Fifth Congressional district in Queens. Shaniyat is a graduate of John Jay College, is a NYCHA resident, and served as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s deputy policy director . If elected, he will advocate for  tuition- free public colleges and supports a restructuring of our tax system so that schools in low-income neighborhoods can receive their fair share of funding.  Shaniyat is challenging Gregory Meeks, who co-founded a charter school and over the years has been a reliable supporter of Wall Street interests and school privatization.  Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named Meeks as one of the most-corrupt members of Congress in 2011.


Nydia Velazquez – NYC Kids PAC is proud to endorse Nydia Velazquez to be re-elected to represent the 7th Congressional District in north Brooklyn. Nydia has actively worked to support and protect the public schools in her district throughout her tenure as a member of Congress, from securing funding for green initiatives in neighborhood public schools, pursuing federal funding for increased lead testing in school buildings, and fighting charter school co-locations. Over the course of her tenure, Nydia is a familiar face at parent events throughout her district and has steadfastly continued to advocate for public schools on Capitol Hill.


Yvette Clarke: We support Yvette Clarke for re-election to the Ninth Congressional District in Brooklyn.  Her record on public schools is strong and her candidate survey was detailed and impressive. In contrast, the campaign of her primary challenger, Adem Bunkeddeko, is supported and funded by a large number of Wall Street executives, as well as Joel Klein, NYC’s former charter-friendly Chancellor and Bradley Tusk, who managed the re-election campaign of Michael Bloomberg  and is a political consultant for charter schools.


Jerry Nadler– NYC Kids PAC endorses Jerry Nadler for re-election to the Tenth Congressional District in Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Nadler has been responsive to his constituents and a consistent supporter of public schools.  Meanwhile, his challenger, Lindsey Boylan, refused to complete our survey, and like Bunkeddeko, her contributors include many Wall Street executives and those who have pushed for charter school expansion, including Bradley Tusk and Emma Bloomberg, who sits on the board of KIPP charter school.


NYC Kids PAC Endorsements for the NY State Assembly


Joe Lentol – We strongly support the re-election of Joe Lentol to be re-elected as Assemblymember for the 50th Assembly District. Joe has served North Brooklyn for decades and remains a vigorous ally to public education activists throughout his district. He has stood beside parents and advocates in fighting against charter school co-locations, secured necessary funding across the spectrum of the neighborhood schools in his district, and regularly responds to constituent requests by proposing legislation to protect these schools from budget cuts and privatization. His experience and responsiveness to the diversity of his parent constituency earns him NYC Kids PAC endorsement.


Nuala O’Doherty Naranjo – NYC Kids PAC enthusiastically endorses Nuala’s candidacy for the 34th Assembly District in Queens, running against the long-time incumbent Michael DenDekker As a long-time member of Community Education Council 30 in northwest Queens, she has shown herself to have a profound understanding of the issues that affect our schools,  and has fought for more funding to relieve overcrowding in her district and throughout the city.  As a community activist, she has worked tirelessly during the current pandemic to serve the diverse residents of her district by ensuring they have sufficient food and resources.  If elected, Nuala is committed to requiring developers to include schools in their plans or pay  “impact” fees to go into a fund for school construction.  NYC Kids PAC firmly believes that Nuala is the best candidate to advocate for better schools in her district.


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