Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams walk during the petitioning parade for New York State Governor at Union Square Park on June 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Endorsing Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams, DSA's Largest Chapter Calls Candidates 'Best Chance We Have to Win' Progressive Reforms

In their races for governor and lieutenant governor, Nixon and Williams have endorsed progressive reforms including Medicare for All and affordable housing

Julia Conley

Highlighting its commitment to passing bold progressive reforms including Medicare for All, the country's largest Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) chapter voted on Sunday to endorse Cynthia Nixon in New York's gubernatorial race as well as New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams for lieutenant governor.

"Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams are the best chance we have to win universal rent control, Medicare for all, and many other priorities for working people in New York," Abdullah Younus, co-chair of NYC DSA, said in a statement.

Nixon, an actress and longtime LGBTQ rights and education activist, said in recent weeks that she identifies as a democratic socialist. Since beginning her campaign this past spring, she has spoken out in favor of Medicare for All, affordable housing, and transitioning to a 100% renewable energy economy.

On Twitter, the progressive challenger to two-term governor Andrew Cuomo highlighted DSA's commitment to grassroots campaigning, which has been credited with helping Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez win her primary against another centrist Democrat, Rep. Joe Crowley, in New York's 14th congressional district.

Williams, an affordable housing advocate who has served on New York's City Council since 2009, has also demonstrated that he will fight for DSA's key objectives, including guaranteeing universal healthcare and defending immigrants' rights. The first-generation New Yorker was arrested in January for protesting the detention of immigrant rights leader Ravi Ragbir.

The NYC-DSA's vote for Nixon and Williams was not without disagreement among the chapter's 4,000 members.

Several members from the city's five boroughs signed a letter arguing that Nixon is not qualified to represent the organization because of her late adoption of the democratic socialist label, and called into question some of Williams' campaign contributions. In 2011, Williams accepted $250 from a law firm that has represented landlords in legal disputes.

Members who supported the endorsement argued that the candidates' vocal endorsements of Medicare for All, immigrant rights, and criminal justice reform would bring wider attention to those issues—all of which are part of DSA's agenda.

"We're the third-biggest economy in the United States," Susan Kang, a member of NYC DSA's leadership team, told the Huffington Post. "We can be the policy innovator on something like single payer and really set the momentum for 2020."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Warren Opens Probe Into 'Shocking and Horrific' Impacts of GOP Abortion Bans

"Let's be clear: Republican politicians are risking women's lives and health in pursuit of a dangerous, out-of-touch agenda."

Jake Johnson ·


Store Walkout Over Firing of Starbucks Union Organizer Racks Up 20 Million Views on TikTok

"Starbucks continues its rampant firing of union leaders."

Jake Johnson ·


70% of Americans Support Deciding State Abortion Rights by Ballot Measure: Poll

After an "enormous victory" in Kansas, some progressives argue that ballot measures "are the next frontier" for protecting access to reproductive healthcare.

Jessica Corbett ·


Judge Rules Walgreens 'Substantially Contributed' to San Francisco Opioid Crisis

"Walgreens knew its system to detect and stop suspicious orders was nonexistent but continued to ship opioids at an alarming pace to increase profits," said an attorney for the California city.

Brett Wilkins ·


Historic Climate Bill, Say Clear-Eyed Critics, Still 'Pours Gasoline on the Flames'

"This was a backdoor take-it-or-leave-it deal between a coal baron and Democratic leaders in which any opposition from lawmakers or frontline communities was quashed," said one activist.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo