In the summer of 2019, two younger progressive legislators of color, state Sen. Jessica Ramos and Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, endorsed New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer for mayor in 2021. “He’s clearly walking the walk” on promoting racial and gender diversity, Niou told City & State at the time.
Conversations around race, inclusion and political representation have only been elevated in the year since, thanks in part to the protests following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and also a Democratic presidential primary that elevated a white, male political lifer in former Vice President Joe Biden out of a historically diverse field.
So the big news at Stringer’s official campaign launch press conference on Tuesday wasn’t so much that Ramos, Niou, and other progressive political allies endorsed his run, but that so many of them are sticking with him, a 60 year-old white man, and endorsing early in the race, despite the political moment.
Stringer is hoping that many New York City Democratic voters, who also surely care about racial and gender diversity, make the same calculus as the elected officials who backed him. Stringer’s campaign launch, held at Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan, showed support of a multi-ethnic coalition that included state Sens. Robert Jackson, Alessandra Biaggi, Julia Salazar and Brian Kavanagh, as well as Assembly Members Al Taylor, Catalina Cruz, Linda Rosenthal and Robert Carroll.