FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14th, 2016
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Council Members Mendez, Kallos, Levine Endorse Paul Newell in AD65 Primary
Newell achieves decisive momentum; also reports 5,500+ signatures filed, funds raised from hundreds of donors
New York City Council Members Rosie Mendez, Ben Kallos, and Mark Levine today endorsed Paul Newell in the race to replace ousted speaker Sheldon Silver as Assembly member from Lower Manhattan. The group expressed enthusiasm for their political role as activist representatives, and reiterated the need to have such representation city-wide. The Newell Campaign recently filed over 5,500 petition signatures with the Board of Elections, collected by over 100 volunteers, demonstrating a broad grassroots effort. They also reported having raised funds for the campaign’s first reporting period from hundreds of donors, achieving key momentum in a seven-way race.
Council Member Rosie Mendez is a Democrat representing District 2 in Manhattan, representing part of the 65th Assembly District, including much of the Lower East Side, and is chair of the Council’s LGBT Caucus. She is known for her strong advocacy to improve the daily lives of New Yorkers, and to maintain the character and diversity of the communities in her district. Mendez said, “Paul has worked tirelessly to assist tenants in private and public housing by preventing evictions and fighting against unwarranted rent increases. He was at the forefront of a six-year effort to extend rent regulation to thousands of “421-g” apartments in Lower Manhattan. During Superstorm Sandy, I worked alongside Paul to bring basic necessities such as food, water, blankets and medical care to our neighbors who were stranded in high-rise buildings. And there's only one person in this race who had the temerity to run for this seat against then-Assembly member Sheldon Silver. That person is Paul Newell. For all these reasons and more, I am proud to support Paul."
CM Ben Kallos is a Democrat representing District 5 in Manhattan. He is known for his active role in the fight against corruption in state government. Kallos said, “Reform is overdue in Albany, and Paul Newell will be the partner the city needs to make it happen. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Paul on countless reform issues, and he has always been there for his community.”
CM Mark Levine is a Democrat representing District 7 in Manhattan. He is a progressive leader on housing, education, economic justice, transportation, and environmentalism. Levine said, "Paul is one of those rare community advocates who walks the walk ten times out of ten. He's in electoral politics because he's of his community, not because it's his turn or because he's ambitious. In talking with my friends in Lower Manhattan, their recognition of his work is near-universal. I'm weighing in on this race because we share an agenda, but also because the people of every neighborhood in this City deserve an advocate-representative who knows them and who fights for all of them. I'm proud to serve my neighborhood in that capacity in my Council District, and for Lower Manhattan, that person is Paul Newell.”
The three CMs join the Downtown Independent Democrats, Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), the Stonewall Democrats, CWA Locals 1101 & 1180, the New York Professional Nurses’ Union, Zephyr Teachout, Ruth Messinger, Mark Green, Ed Ott, and dozens of local and statewide progressive leaders in endorsing Paul Newell.
A lifelong resident of Lower Manhattan, Newell is a progressive community organizer and Democratic District Leader since 2009, committed to working for affordable housing, quality schools, livable streets, and an honest government in Albany. In 2008, Newell launched a campaign for New York State Assembly against incumbent Sheldon Silver, on the basis of fighting corruption in our state government. In the course of that campaign, he was endorsed by The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Americans for Democratic Action, BlogPAC, Gawker Media and more.