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September 2018, Week 2

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 		 [ The latest win for the insurgent progressive movement within the
Democratic Party is in a New York State Senate district. Julia Salazar
is headed to the State Senate after toppling a long-serving incumbent
in her Brooklyn district.] [https://portside.org/] 

 JULIA SALAZAR OVERCOMES CONTROVERSY TO NOTCH ANOTHER VICTORY FOR
DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS; NEW YORK POLITICS CHANGED FOREVER TONIGHT  
[https://portside.org/node/18144] 

 

 Libby Nelson and Zack Beauchamp; Working Families Party 
 September 13, 2018
Vox
[https://www.vox.com/2018/9/13/17857912/julia-salazar-new-york-primary-state-senate-democratic-socialists]


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 _ The latest win for the insurgent progressive movement within the
Democratic Party is in a New York State Senate district. Julia Salazar
is headed to the State Senate after toppling a long-serving incumbent
in her Brooklyn district. _ 

 Democratic New York state Senate candidate Julia Salazar (on right)
in August., AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, The Associated Press // Vox 

 

The latest win for the insurgent progressive movement within the
Democratic Party is in a New York State Senate district: Julia
Salazar
[https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/9/5/17806484/julia-salazar-socialist-working-class-jewish-background],
the 27-year-old Jewish democratic socialist whose campaign drew
national attention, won her primary Thursday to be the Democratic
candidate on the ballot in November. Salazar defeated Democratic state
Sen. Martin Dilan, who was running for his ninth term in the 18th
District.

It’s rare for a state Senate race, even one in a section of Brooklyn
home to many reporters, to get much notice. But Salazar’s campaign
was unusual, featuring national media attention, comparisons to
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and a high degree of scrutiny of her
background — her brother publicly said that she was lying about her
past, claiming to be from a working-class family when her mother made
a middle-class salary and claiming to be an immigrant when she and her
mother were both born in the US. A piece in Tablet, an online Jewish
publication, also raised questions about her Judaism, calling her
Jewish identity “largely self-invented.”

The reporting about her past continued as the race went on. Several
publications called attention to a lawsuit involving Salazar and Kai
Hernandez
[https://deadspin.com/ny-state-senate-candidate-julia-salazar-was-once-involv-1828859119],
the ex-wife of famous Mets player Keith Hernandez. The conservative
Daily Caller ran a story identifying her
[https://www.vox.com/2018/9/13/17857912/julia-salazar-new-york-primary-state-senate-democratic-socialists] as
an anonymous woman who had accused David Keyes, the spokesperson for
the Israeli prime minister, of sexual harassment in 2016. (Eleven more
women
[https://www.timesofisrael.com/not-just-salazar-12-women-cite-pattern-of-improper-behavior-by-pms-aide-keyes/] have
since come forward to accuse Keyes, and he has temporarily stepped
down to defend himself full-time).

For the national media, this was a rollercoaster — but through it
all, Salazar tried to refocus the campaign on her leftist platform for
addressing local issues, particularly the ballooning cost of housing
in Brooklyn. It’s a message seems to have resonated, and is more
evidence that the socialist left is a force to be reckoned with in the
Democratic Party.

The Salazar controversy, explained

Salazar is a longtime activist with the Democratic Socialists of
America, having served on the organizing committee
[http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/meet-julia-salazar-a-dsa-candidate-for-ny-state-senate.html] of
the DSA’s socialist-feminist working group. She has campaigned with
Cynthia Nixon
[https://twitter.com/Brooklyn_Paper/status/1035604384535769093], the
actress and progressive candidate for governor. She has been endorsed
by Ocasio-Cortez, who has done campaign events with her. She’s been
the subject of very friendly interviews in popular left outlets
like Jacobin
[https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/07/julia-salazar-interview-socialist-new-york-senate],
whose reading groups
[http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/meet-julia-salazar-a-dsa-candidate-for-ny-state-senate.html] she
used to attend, and the podcast _Chapo Trap House_
[https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=66960X1516588&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fchapo-trap-house%2Fbonus-virgil-interviews-julia-salazar-live].

But in the weeks before the election, much of the story she told about
her identity came under scrutiny, from her immigrant status to her
family income to her Judaism.

“I immigrated to this country with my family when I was very
little,” she said
[https://twitter.com/pplswar/status/1033190117991739392] at one
campaign stop. “My family immigrated to the US from Colombia when I
was a baby,” she said in an interview with Jacobin magazine
[https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/07/julia-salazar-interview-socialist-new-york-senate].
Those statements imply that she was born in Colombia, which is not
true.

Salazar claims that she and her family shuttled back and forth from
Colombia — her father worked as a cargo pilot, sometimes flying
planes full of flowers between Medellin and Bogota. The family would
join him in Colombia, despite living in the United States, and stay at
Luis Salazar’s family home. Her brother Alex Salazar, though, denied
spending very much time in Colombia as a child, and said Julia’s
characterization of their childhood visits to Colombia is “not at
all” accurate.

Salazar has also frequently referred to her background as “working
class,” whereas Alex said he would call them middle class. Her
father earned a decent salary as a pilot, according to all the
Salazars, but since her mother raised the kids, they only saw a
portion of that money through alimony and child support. They grew up
in a fairly large home in a nice city — Jupiter, Florida — but her
mother at times had to push hard to make ends meet, working primarily
as a pharmaceutical sales rep with occasionally a second job with a
catering company.

What’s more, Alex Salazar told reporters (including at Vox) that her
family had grown up Catholic. Julia responded by saying she had
converted to Judaism while at Columbia University, a plausible claim
but one that reporters have not been able to independently verify.

This scrutiny on Salazar’s self-identification, together with the
Hernandez and Keyes reporting, threatened to overshadow her locally
focused campaign. The national media had invested heavily in covering
her race, both because of the attention-grabbing nature of the family
drama and the fact that the rising socialist left is a major national
story. A socialist falsely claiming to be a working-class Jewish
immigrant — one who has built her candidacy on her claim to be the
best person to represent a racially and economically diverse district
— is quite attention grabbing.

But in the end, it was hard for anyone in the national press to prove
that she had deliberately lied. And voters in the 18th District did
not see her exaggerations or confusing phrasings as sufficient
evidence that she couldn’t be trusted. Either they disliked Dilan
— who Salazar painted as a crony of real estate developers — or
affirmatively were attracted to Salazar’s ideas. Or possibly both.

Whatever the reasons for Salazar’s victory, one thing is clear:
Despite being subject to a level of press scrutiny typically reserved
for a US Senate candidate rather than one running for New York State
Senate, Salazar will be heading to Albany — and will have a chance
to try to put her left-wing ideals into practice.

 

Tonight’s victory is not about me. Tonight’s victory is about
thousands of New Yorkers coming together and choosing to fight against
rising rents and homelessness in our communities. Tonight’s victory
is about the strength of our shared vision of democratic socialism.
Tonight’s victory is about the hope we have of creating a New York
for the many.

Thank you to everyone who phone banked, canvassed, donated, and
volunteered for this campaign. It means more than words can express.

This victory does not belong to me. It belongs to us, and to the world
we’re trying to create.

Julia Salazar
Julia Salazar for State Senate
[https://www.facebook.com/SalazarSenate18/photos/a.271090713430637/365261644013543/?type=3&theater]

 

NEW YORK POLITICS CHANGED FOREVER TONIGHT

Working Families Party

WORKING FAMILIES PARTY CANDIDATES ALESSANDRA BIAGGI, JESSICA RAMOS,
RACHEL MAY, ZELLNOR MYRIE, JOHN LIU, AND ROBERT JACKSON WON THEIR
RACES FOR STATE SENATE IN NEW YORK, VIRTUALLY SWEEPING THE TURNCOAT
IDC CAUCUS.

Together, we've shown that grassroots progressive candidates can win
— even against all the polls, the odds, and the big money — when
we run on a courageous vision of a country that works for the many,
not the few.

_This_ is how we fight back against big money politics funded by Wall
Street billionaires. _This_ is how we build campaigns that inspire
voters to turn out record numbers like they did today. And _this_ is
how we build a massive, energized progressive base that will keep on
fighting for change.

TONIGHT, WE MADE HISTORY. But this is no time to rest. The general
election is just 54 days away, and you can bet billionaire-funded
opponents will be throwing everything but the kitchen sink our way to
try to stop us.

New York politics will never be the same after tonight — the latest
in a string of once-unthinkable progressive victories across the
country. The work of WFP activists like you has been at the center of
that change. And this is just the beginning.

We’ll have much more to say on tonight’s victories soon. But for
now we just wanted to say: thank you.

In solidarity,

The entire team at Working Families Party

We couldn't be prouder to have supported this amazing slate of
candidates fighting for a #NY4TheMany in today's #NYPrimary
- New York Working Families Party

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