Announcing our first wave of NY Progressive Champions!

NYWFP 2019 Progressive ChampionsThe New York Working Families Party is proud to announce our first wave of 2019 Progressive Champions!

These 32 candidates are some of the brightest stars of New York’s progressive movement and are changing local politics as we know it. Some of these Progressive Champions are first time candidates, while others are elected leaders with a track record of progressive achievement while in office. All of them have important primary elections coming up on Tuesday, June 25th.

View by region below to learn more about how you can help support these amazing progressive champions, or click here to view WFP’s full list of 2019 endorsements in New York state.

New York City:

Tiffany Cabán
District Attorney, Queens
Tiffany L. Cabán is a career public defender who is running for Queens District Attorney to bring change to the borough she calls home. In four years at New York County Defender Services (NYCDS) and three years at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice, Tiffany has represented over a thousand indigent clients in cases ranging from turnstile jumping to homicide.
Margarita Lopez-Torres
Surrogate Court Judge, Brooklyn
Judge López Torres is a reformer who took on the corrupt political bosses, and would become the first Latina to be elected to the Civil Court in New York City, the first woman to be elected as Surrogate in Kings County, as well as the first Latinx person to be elected as Surrogate in the State of New York.
Monique Chandler-Waterman
City Council, District 45, Brooklyn
Monique Chandler-Waterman has been a community organizer, a public school teacher and a civil rights advocate. As a community outreach director for former Councilmember Jumaane Williams, Monique actively listened to the concerns of the community and stood shoulder to shoulder with those who were fighting for better opportunities and equality.

Hudson Region:

Tiffany Garriga
Alderman, 2nd Ward, Hudson
Kamal Johnson
Mayor, Hudson
Growing up, Kamal's family was directly impacted by poverty, addiction, and incarceration. At fourteen, Kamal took on two jobs, one as a peer educator for Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, and a second as a paperboy, because he wanted to lighten the load at home as I watched my two older brothers go to prison. Today Kamal Johnson serves as Co-Director of the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, a non-profit organization that supports children growing up in the Hudson City School District, and 1st Ward Alderman on Hudson Common Council.
Omari Shakur
City Council, Newburgh
A community activist, raised in Newburgh, Omari Shakur has fought for equity, living wage jobs, affordable housing and improving police community relations. Shakur has proven that he is dedicated to improving the lives of low-income residents and hardworking families of Newburgh
Anthony Grice
City Council, Newburgh
Anthony Grice was born and raised in Newburgh New York. Married to his wife of 16 years, he has three boys, and is the deacon and usher at his church. Its time for a fresh voice to represent Newburgh and Anthony looks forward to serving in that capacity.
Kenneth Zebrowski
District Attorney, Rockland County
As the next District Attorney of Rockland County, Ken Zebrowski will transform the office into one that values justice, fairness and equality. Ken Zebrowski will restore transparency and accountability, eliminate corruption and defend Rockland County’s most vulnerable populations. As a member of the NYS Assembly he’s spent the last decade shaping New York’s criminal justice system. As District Attorney he knows what it takes to restore justice and will fight to make Rockland fair and safe..
Abe Uchitelle
Ulster County Legislature, District 5
Abe runs a digital agency that is part of his district's economic revival, and he wants to make sure that new growth doesn't leave behind people in need. Abe also sits on the board of the largest provider of social services in the county, and previously served on the board of the Kingston Land Trust, and spearheaded implementation of the New Paltz Loop bus service.
Torrance Harvey
Mayor, Newburgh
Mayor Harvey is the founder and president of 100 Men For Newburgh, a mentoring group for inner city youth. Most recently, Mayor Harvey has been working with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District on an Obama Foundation initiative created for young men of color called the My Brother's Keeper Program.
Kat Brezler
Common Council, White Plains
Katherine Brezler, a second-grade public school teacher, has been a staunch advocate for policies that work for New York public education. Collaborating with the Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action of New York in efforts to fairly fund public schools, she sits on NYSUT’s LGBTQ Task Force, which resolves to support legislation banning conversion therapy and to protect intended parental rights. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of GNYCFC and a co-founder of The People for Bernie Sanders.
Terence Miller
City Council, District 1, Yonkers
Terence Miller is a lifelong Yonkers resident with almost 10 years of experience in advocacy, government relations, and community development running for Yonkers City Council in the 1st District. He is also a graduate of Yonkers Public Schools.

Capital District:

Doug Bullock
Albany County Legislature, District 7
A life-long labor leader and activist, Doug is retired from the New York State Department of Labor, Building 12, where he worked for the Unemployment Insurance Division.
Merton Simpson
Albany County Legislature, District 2
Merton Simpson, Jr. is serving his first term in the Albany County Legislature as the representative of the residents of the 2nd Legislative District.
David Bissember
City Council President, Troy
David believes representation matters in local government and he takes pride in his immigrant roots and West Indian background. His father Malcolm emigrated to the US from Guyana, and his mother's side of the family hails from the Lesser Antilles region of the West Indies including: St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands), St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Barts.
Thearse McCalmon
Mayor, Schenectady
Thearse is a teacher, historian, activist, mother, and grandmother who is running to stand up for the needs of Schenectady communities that are being overlooked. She is fighting for “a Schenectady for All” which includes economic unity, affordable housing, and community benefits agreements where developers will have to support all city neighborhoods not just those that are well off. Thearse supports culturally responsive police training to reduce brutality and she is fighting to lower property taxes for working families. Unlike the incumbent, Thearse does not accept corporate or LLC money.

Central NY:

Tamica Barnett
Syracuse City School Board
Twiggy Billue
Syracuse City School Board
Cherylene 'Twiggy' Billue has spent the past 20 years as an educational advocate and community organizer in the Syracuse area. In that time Twiggy has gained firsthand knowledge on the specific issues that affect our schools.
Emad Rahim
Common Council, District 3, Syracuse
Emad Rahim was born in a concentration camp in the Killing Fields of Cambodia. At this camp, Emad lost his father and older brother to the brutality of the Khmer Rouge. After coming to the U.S. thanks to Catholic charities, Emad struggled mightily with dyslexia. Emad learned to overcome his disability and the tragedy and adversity he faced growing up, to become an award-winning author, business owner, Fulbright Scholar, TEDx Speaker, and University Dean.
Mary Kuhn
Onondaga County Legislature, District 7
Mary was a clinical Social Worker who spent 30+ years in public service and retired as the Director of the Onondaga County’s Children and Youth Outpatient Mental Health Clinic. Since retirement, Mary has been involved in the CNY Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, which seeks to educate various faith communities about the injustice of our immigration system and to advocate for and support those individuals caught in it.
Misse Ross
Onondaga County Legislature, District 15
Misse has been tireless in fighting for equitable funding for Syracuse City schools, removal of lead in our homes, and other social justice issues.
Rita Paniagua
Common Council, Syracuse
Rita has been fighting for our children on the school board, and now she's running to fight for our community on the common council. She's a member of 1199 SEIU, and a board member of La Liga.

Southern Tier:

Angela Riley
City Council, District 3, Binghamton
Angela Riley is an Assistant Dean and the Executive Director of Experiential Education at the School of Pharmacy of Binghamton University. She is the parent at West Middle School.

Western NY:

Joseph Cantafio
Town Council, West Seneca
As the son of an Army Veteran and Auto Worker, I grew up learning the importance of hard work and service with the promise of your children being better off than you were. As a teacher, coach, and public servant, I am confident that, with the support of this community, we can guarantee a better future for our children.
Nicole Herkey
Town Council, West Seneca
Nicole is a West Seneca resident for the past 22 years. She is a mother. She is an educator employed by the Buffalo Public Schools as a Literacy Specialist. She holds many elected positions in her unions (BTF, NYSUT, and AFT) because of her strong leadership skills as well as her never ending fight for the middle class.
Veronica Golden
Common Council, Masten District, Buffalo
Growing up on the East Side and now working as a professional social worker, Vernonica has seen and experienced how legislation impacts funding and resources. Her many years of hands-on work in the community has enhanced the research she's done in graduate school and work she's done as a professional. Her voice will reflect the voice of the residents of Masten District.
Beatriz Lebron
Commissioner, Rochester City School District
Beatriz is a parent of three girls, all who have been (and currently are) in the Rochester City School District. She is the new leader of 25th legislative district and currently works as a Community Health Worker with Rochester Regional Health. She has spent the last 16 years of her life passionately dedicated to advocating and working with families throughout the City of Rochester.
Mary Lupien
City Council, East District, Rochester
Mary Lupien is a mother, a community builder, a teacher, and an activist. She is passionate about Rochester and committed to working together toward a brighter future.
Yversha Roman
Monroe County Legislature, District 26
With 20 years of not-for-profit experience working at organizations like Action for a Better Community’s Action Front Center, the Center for Disability Rights, the Center for Youth Services and now United Way of Greater Rochester, Yversha has been a fighter for our community and our families. Having lived though poverty, then attaining her degree in Social Work, she has tirelessly worked to ensure representation for us all
LaShay Harris
City Council, South District, Rochester
As your councilwoman, I will support and expand our city’s successful job training programs because the best path out of poverty is a good job. Together, Mayor Warren and I will also support development and growth in our neighborhoods, and public safety initiatives to keep our community safe. My leadership of various non-profits throughout my career has prepared me to serve you, the residents of the South District, where I’m known for my grassroots record of standing up for our community. I believe together we can fight poverty, suppress crime and violence, and stimulate the job growth in Rochester.
Amy Maloy
Commissioner of Schools, Rochester
Amy Maloy is a Social Studies teacher in Rochester, who has devoted herself to diversification efforts within schools to help better connect our teachers with the many cultural backgrounds of students and families. She has been a strong supporter of anti-racist efforts, advocating on behalf of her students, and encouraging them to speak truth to power on key social issues has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience.
Seth Piccirillo
Mayor, Niagara Falls

Click here to view WFP’s full list of 2019 endorsements in New York state.