In an email to supporters declaring that we must “fight to uplift our community and not settle for crumbs from the IDC,” former City Council leader Robert Jackson announced that he officially filed his candidacy for State Senator, 31st District to defeat Marisol Alcantara and the Independent Democratic Conference (“IDC”). In 2016, Alcantara won by narrowly edging out both Jackson and Micah Lasher, an ex-aide to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Jackson announced that Lasher will be supporting him in this campaign.
“I officially filed my campaign for State Senate to defeat the IDC and make our voices heard,” said Robert Jackson. “I am running to build a real Democratic State Senate majority that finally fully funds our public schools, protects tenants from being thrown out of their homes and strengthens our loophole ridden rent laws, passes badly needed ethics reforms, election reforms and real criminal justice reforms and makes Andrea Stewart-Cousins the first woman Senate Majority Leader, breaking up the so-called “three men in a room.” We need to open doors of opportunity, not slam them shut.
“It makes me sick to watch the Republicans in Washington and Albany repeatedly attacking our people, our progress and our protections. Yet instead of uniting with us to resist this assault, our State Senator Marisol Alcantara -- elected as a Democrat to represent much of Upper Manhattan and the Upper West Side -- has turned on us by joining the IDC, a coalition that empowers Trump-supporting Albany Republicans and stymies efforts to pass truly progressive legislation.”
In supporting Jackson, Micah Lasher said, “Everything Democrats stand for is under threat and the single biggest obstacle to making progressive policy in New York is the Republican-IDC coalition that controls the New York State Senate. It's incredibly important that we have Democrats in the Senate that we can count on to stand up for progressive values. Robert Jackson exemplifies that and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure he wins the primary next September."
Jackson added, “From my first elected position as School Board President where I launched the Campaign for Fiscal Equality school funding lawsuit, walked 150 miles to Albany to highlight the cause and won a court judgment that awarded $16 billion for NYC public schools, to my 12 years on the City Council where I sponsored the Small Business Survival Act, to recent fights for tenants and against the IDC, I have taken on the tough fights for New Yorkers … and never backed down. This race will help determine whether we as Democrats are going to give in to the IDC and Republicans or are we going to fight back. I'm ready to fight back.”
Robert Jackson grew up in Northern Manhattan with eight brothers and sisters on welfare. Facing adversity, he didn't give up, earned a college degree and the opportunity to succeed. As a Community School Board President, Jackson sued the State to fix a broken school funding formula that cheated our children, walked 150 miles to Albany to build support for the cause and won a court judgment that brought home $16 billion for NYC public school children. Jackson was elected three times to the City Council where he took on the tough battles for our children, our seniors and hard working families across our city. He led the fight to provide all students a sound public school education and to create 4,000 new Pre-K openings; fought for smarter budget choices that kept our senior centers up and running and libraries and firehouses open; and championed small businesses, affordable housing and community based job training.