Jessica Ramos is a Queens native, grassroots activist, and proud public school parent. A strong labor advocate with deep experience championing union rights, Jessica worked with Build Up NYC to fight for better pay, benefits and working conditions for New York's construction, building, hotel, and maintenance workers. Jessica has also worked with a local chapter of the Social Service Employees Union and a regional branch of the Service Employees International Union, where she served as Communications Specialist. She has served her neighbors in Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and North Corona as a member of Queens Community Board 3, and also as a Democratic District Leader from 2010 to 2014. Most recently, Jessica worked as Director of Latino Media for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Jessica lives in Jackson Heights with her husband and two young sons. She was born in Queens of Colombian immigrant parents, speaks fluent Spanish, and will fight for immigrants' rights in the face of growing hostility from Washington. Jessica does not have a driver’s license—she rides the subway every day.
Rachel May is many things: a scholar, an educator, an environmentalist, a mother and a True Blue Democrat. She is the Director of Sustainability Education at Syracuse University and runs the school's Campus as a Lab for Sustainability (CALS) program. At CALS, Rachel brings Syracuse professors and students together with the people who run campus operations, working hand in hand to evaluate complex systems, reduce energy use, and create models of sustainable practices. Rachel has long been active in the broader community of the City of Syracuse and of Onondaga County. She serves currently on both the 16th Ward Democratic Committee and the Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals, and formerly on the Board of the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency. Rachel is also a grassroots progressive leader, active in groups including Uplift Syracuse, the CNY Solidarity Coalition, and the Campaign for New York Health, which advocates for a single-payer healthcare system across New York State.
Before moving to Syracuse in 2001, Rachel was a professor of Russian at SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island and, prior to that, at Macalester College in Minnesota. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University (in Slavic Languages) and Master's degrees from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (in Environmental Science and Communications) and from Oxford University (in Modern Languages). She has received numerous awards for academic excellence, including a Marshall Scholarship as well as fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Rachel's husband is a professor at Le Moyne College; their daughter recently graduated from Nottingham High School in Syracuse and now attends Cornell University.
Zellnor Myrie is a Brooklyn native, lawyer, and longtime affordable housing advocate. Zellnor derives inspiration for his public service from his mother who moved to Brooklyn 40 years ago from Costa Rica on the promise of a mattress in a friend’s apartment and a job at a factory. She raised Zellnor in a rent-stabilized apartment in Prospect Lefferts Gardens allowing him to attend one of the best public schools in the borough. Zellnor's mother never let the challenges of being a new immigrant hinder Zellnor's education.
Zellnor is a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School, earned his B.A. in Communications and M.A. in Urban Studies from Fordham University. After Fordham, Zellnor worked as Legislative Director for City Councilman Fernando Cabrera where, among other bills, he helped draft and pass the Tenant Bill of Rights.
After leaving the City Council, Zellnor became chair of his Neighborhood Advisory Board where, through community organizing, he helped secure nearly $400,000 in federal funding for job training, after school programming, and tenant protection. Zellnor then went to Cornell Law School where he served as student body president, an editor on the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, a constitutional law instructor in prison, and as a Pro Bono Scholar -- a position that allowed him to take the New York Bar early and spend his last semester working full-time at Justice 360, a criminal justice reform organization.
As an associate at a private Manhattan law firm, Zellnor remained committed to public service. Zellnor provided over 600 hours of pro bono service to immigrants seeking asylum, victims of police brutality and illegal stop-and-frisks, special education students not receiving services from the Department of Education, and victims of domestic violence. Zellnor also remained committed to his community as a member of the Neighborhood Advisory Board, junior board for the Legal Aid Society, and president of his building’s tenant’s association.
Zellnor is committed to giving back to the Brooklyn community that raised him and is passionate about securing affordable housing for families like his own, strengthening our public education system, immigrant rights, and criminal justice reform.
Robert Jackson has never stopped fighting for our children. Raised by a single mother in Northern Manhattan with eight brothers and sisters, he didn’t have much, faced many obstacles and times were often tough. Through hard work, perseverance, and the help of public school teachers and good people in the community, he earned a scholarship to SUNY New Paltz and the opportunity to get ahead. That’s why he has fought so hard to knock down barriers and to give every child the same opportunity to succeed that he had.
He worked as a union organizer fighting for good jobs and respect for workers and was elected President of the Community School Board for District 6, covering Washington Heights, Inwood and West Harlem. Faced with a rigged system that underfunded these schools, Robert Jackson filed a landmark lawsuit against the state to fix the inequitable New York State school funding distribution formula that was cheating NYC schools and undermining our children’s future. He walked 150 miles to Albany to highlight the cause and won a court judgment that awarded $16 billion for NYC schools, some of which is still owed to the children of New York today. In 2001, Robert was elected to the City Council – and three times overwhelmingly re-elected by the voters of his upper Manhattan district. He was chosen by his colleagues to Chair the Education Committee and Co-Chair the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. He sponsored the Small Business Survival Act, fought for increased legal protections and city services for immigrants, and continued his lifetime work to fund our schools, defend our tenants, and promote equality, fairness and justice.
Now Robert Jackson is running for State Senate to defeat the GOP-aligned IDC incumbent and build a real Democratic State Senate majority that finally fully funds our public schools, reforms our loophole ridden rent laws, passes the Reproductive Health Act, achieves single payer health care, and passes badly needed Albany ethics reforms, election reforms and real criminal justice reforms. Robert Jackson will fight to make New York the progressive beacon it should and must be.
Robert met his wife Faika at SUNY New Paltz and they have been married and living in the same building in Washington Heights for more than 40 years. They raised three daughters, and now have two grandchildren and will continue working to leave the world a better place for all of them.
Alessandra believes that New York should be a leader in progressive governance and that enacting progressive legislation at the State level has never been more important. She is running to ensure that New York State lives up to its full potential and returns to its rightful place as a national leader of progressive values and strong democracy.
Before launching her campaign in January, she served in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration in his Counsel’s Office. Her portfolio focused on the NYS Council for Women & Girls and New York State’s women’s policy agenda, including on bills such as the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), and the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA).
As State Senator, her priorities will be expanding voting rights, campaign finance reform, promoting reproductive justice, and making sure that every person in the district has a good, well-paying job. She'll also fight for functioning transit, affordable housing, criminal justice reform, immigrants rights, gun control, environmental sustainability, and protections against sexual abuse, assault, and harassment so that every human being has a safe working environment, regardless of what they do for a living.
During the 2016 presidential election, she was the Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Following Trump's election, she focused on igniting women and millennials to get off the sidelines and into political office, a process which inspired her to design the rituals of mindful democracy, and to create the Take Action Guide for Activism.
She was also a member of the Governor’s Executive clemency team, led bill negotiations across the executive and legislative branches, and worked on health and human service initiatives across multi-state agencies.
Her run for office is preceded by a decade of advocacy, national leadership, and service to the people of New York, interning for Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY), the Kings County D.A.’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and working as Assistant General Counsel for Governor Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery.
She is a 2015 New Leaders Council (NLC) fellow and sits on NLC’s Advisory Board, a member of The New Agenda's Young Women Leadership Council, and has served on the host committee for The Arena. She's presented on topics including women in politics, leadership, political strategy, and community organizing for New York University's Women's Initiative, Columbia University, Ladies Get Paid, Rally + Rise, Impact Hub, Solidarity Sundays, Changemaker Chats, the All In Together Campaign, with Diane Von Furstenberg, and NYU with the Lieutenant Governor of New York, Kathleen C. Hochul.
Her race is an important one - not only for NY Senate District 34 but the future of all of New York State.
Jasmine “Jasi” Robinson was born and raised in the Bronx. In 1996, Jasi relocated to Staten Island after her parents’ divorce. It was very hard growing up in a single parent household. They did not have much money because her mother was the sole provider. Jasi decided to attend college to have a better and brighter future. She entered the workforce to help with her college expenses. She attended classes during the day and worked at night. Despite the obstacles, Jasi graduated from the College of Staten Island with a degree in Political Science. After graduation, she became a legal secretary for a law firm.
Her interest in local politics and activism grew when she joined the Staten Island Democratic Association (SIDA) in 2004. Staten Island Democratic Association is the oldest and progressive organization in Staten Island. Through Staten Island Democratic Association, Jasi participated in rallies and protests for national and local social causes. Jasi became the first Afro-Cuban woman to be elected to the executive membership committee. In addition to her membership with Staten Island Democratic Association, Jasi is one of the founding members of Staten Island Women of Color Forum. Staten Island Women of Color Forum is an organization that provides a voice and platform to women of color. Jasi is also a member of Staten Island Women Who March (SIWWM) which is an organization that stands up for the rights of all women. The Women’s March energized these women from different walks of life to join together to form Staten Island Women Who March. She makes sure that is a voice for the Black and Latino community.
Jasi Robinson decided to take her activism to another level by entering the political arena. She recently entered the state senate race for the 23rd district which is some of Staten Island and South Brooklyn. For a newcomer, Jasi gained the endorsement of Working Families Party, NYPAN, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, and the True Blue Coalition. Jasi Robinson joined the other progressive candidates to challenge the Independent Democratic Conference. Jasi Robinson’s platforms are healthcare, immigration, education, criminal justice reform and the environment. She promises to be a strong advocate and voice for all people and communities who need help.
John C. Liu is the former Comptroller of the City of New York (2010-2013) and a former member of the New York City Council (2002-2009). In 2013, John was a candidate for Mayor of New York City, in lieu of running for re-election as Comptroller. Currently, John teaches municipal finance and public policy in Masters programs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Columbia University.
The 43rd Comptroller of New York City, John Liu established an impressive record as the chief financial officer for 8.4 million residents and overseeing municipal government with an annual budget of $70 billion. John saved taxpayers $5 billion through rigorous audits of City agencies, detailed scrutiny of contracts with private companies, and refinancing of $20 billion of outstanding City bond debt. During his four-year term of office, he achieved an enviable total investment return, increasing the City’s pension asset portfolio to $150 billion. John created the nationally acclaimed online application “CheckbookNYC.com” providing unprecedented transparency in government spending. He facilitated economic development and new job creation with acceleration of City capital projects, capturing low interest rates in the bond markets.
Always emphasizing that “it’s not just about numbers, it’s about people,” John Liu championed fairness and equality. An early and staunch opponent of stop-and-frisk tactics, John highlighted the risks to communities and taxpayers alike due to damaged police-community relations. John presented daily-updated M/WBE Report Cards for City agencies to monitor and encourage greater government contracting opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. John also proposed sound economic policies to create real economic growth and narrow the ever-widening wealth gap, protected wage standards and recouped back wages and fines on behalf of cheated workers from contractors who just don’t want to play by the rules, and exposed the billions of dollars in publicly-subsidized corporate welfare doled out by the City that failed to deliver on promised new jobs and fair housing. He published numerous reports analyzing and issuing recommendations on a wide range of public priorities, including education and the need to take students beyond high school, affordable housing and family support, retirement security and protection of pension benefits, and the fiscal and social benefits of legalizing marijuana.
As a member of the New York City Council, John Liu represented his hometown of Flushing and northeast Queens. He secured millions of dollars in additional funding for schools, libraries, parks, senior citizen centers, and youth programs. John served as chairperson of the Council’s Transportation Committee overseeing operations of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Department of Transportation, and Taxi and Limousine Commission, and enacted legislation boosting efficiency and efficacy of key City agencies. John also served on the committees on Education, Consumer Affairs, Contracts, Oversight & Investigation, Land Use, Lower Manhattan Redevelopment and Health.
John’s significant accomplishments as a legislator included exposing financial irregularities at the MTA, enacting legislation like the Equal Access Bill mandating on-demand language services in health and human services agencies, the School Zone Engine Idling Bill limiting engine idling near schools, and the Dignity for All Schools Act requiring the Department of Education to track bullying and harassment in schools. John used his office to fight hate and bigotry, and in too many instances denounced violence against immigrant workers such as restaurant delivery workers. John’s battles with radio shock-jocks and their corporate sponsors successfully brought an end to extreme racist and misogynist broadcasts in the New York market.
Hailed as a “Trailblazer” and “Pioneer," John Liu’s historic elections – as the first Asian American to win legislative office in New York and then the first to win citywide office – were milestones for Asian Americans in New York and across the nation. Although he wishes Asian Americans had been elected long before, John is honored to be the first and embraces the opportunity to broaden representation and public service.
Prior to being elected to office, John worked in the private sector for 14 years as a professional actuary, most recently as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. John has drawn upon his real world fiscal expertise to root out waste and mismanagement in government.
John Liu immigrated from Taiwan at the age of five. He was educated in New York public schools, including Hunter College High School, Bronx High School of Science, and Binghamton University, attaining his degree in Mathematical Physics. John lives in Flushing with his wife Jenny and their son Joey.
Julie Goldberg is an educator, librarian, writer, and editor. Born in NJ, she attended Rutgers University, where she studied literature, music, and education. She taught high school English, then later became a public reference librarian and an educational media specialist. She holds Master’s degrees in Education, Literature, and in Library & Information Science. She and her husband Martin Springer have been married for 23 years. They moved with their two children to Chestnut Ridge in 2002, where Julie was a founding member of the Hungry Hollow Coalition. She is a board member and editor for River River, a community arts organization in Nyack, and a writer of fiction and essays. She believes that now more than ever, people must give their talents to serving their communities, and stand up and fight for justice.
Blake Morris has lived in Ditmas Park for nearly 20 years. He is married with a teen daughter who attends Brooklyn Tech. He has been a practicing attorney for almost 30 years.
Blake’s family has 19th century beginnings in Brooklyn, ranging from one grandfather’s coal delivery business to his maternal grandmother who would drag race teenagers on Eastern Parkway for extra income during the Depression era.
Blake is proud to say that well over a century later, his family still calls Brooklyn home.
Since the borough has nurtured his family for so long, Blake says he feels a connection with the past and a responsibility to ensure the vitality and prosperity of Brooklyn for future generations who will call this borough their home.
For Blake, this campaign is about respecting the communities that comprise the 17th state Senate district. For far too long, most of District 17’s constituents have been completely disrespected by State Sen. Simcha Felder.
Sen. Felder seems to be under the impression that because he has not had an opponent since he was first elected in 2012, that he must be doing a good job for the people in this district. That misperception has come to an end with my candidacy.
On Thursday, September 13, we are going to show everyone what this district’s voters really want. The Republican majority in the state Senate is made possible by one man to the detriment of the entire state. That man is Blake's opponent. It is time for Simcha Felder to get out of our way. This district needs a new representative in the state Senate and that will be Blake Morris.
Blake made the decision to run for state Senate because he knows District 17 needs an elected representative who will actually represent all the people in the district, not just himself.