Adem Bunkeddeko, who is running to unseat Congresswoman Yvette Clarke in District 9, announced today endorsements from 20 community leaders as the June 23rd Primary Election approaches. Whoever wins the primary, will win the election in November in this heavily Democratic district. Bunkeddeko, who narrowly lost the race two years ago, also faces democratic socialist Isaiah James, current Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, whose homophobic views are no secret, and former Republican Lutchi Gayot.
Today’s endorsements include that of Michael Hiller who withdrew from the campaign earlier this year.
“In moments of uncertainty like these, when we’re all turning to our leaders for answers, our community needs to know that we won’t be left behind. Experience alone won’t cut it; it takes compassion, vision, and an unwavering commitment to putting the needs of our working families first to weather a storm like this one. It’s what we deserve in the best of times, and what will get us through the worst,” Hiller said in his endorsement.
“I entered the race for New York’s Ninth Congressional District because I lost faith in Rep. Yvette Clarke. And, although my time in this race was unfortunately cut short, I have gotten to know the candidate whom I believe is the right person to carry on our fight in Washington, DC. His name is Adem Bunkeddeko, and today, I’m proud to share with you all that Adem has my full endorsement,” Hiller wrote. “In my conversations with Adem, I have learned that he and I share the same vision for America, particularly on such issues as health care, housing, restoring the middle class and reducing gun violence. But more than our positions on the issues, I’ve seen in Adem a sense of earnestness and dedication that has, for so long, been lacking in our current representative.”
Additional endorsements come from educators like Dr. Sandra Soto (founding principal of P.S. 705) and Reuben Ogbonna (executive Director of The Marcy Lab Schoo), tenant organizers Sarah Lazur and Donna Mossman (Crown Heights Tenant Union), Maria Hodges (Flatbush Tenant Coalition), and current and former members of local community boards 8 and 9 – Kwasi Mensah, Greg Todd, and Denise Mann.
“I am struck by the openness and inquiry with which Adem approaches topics,” said Dr. Soto. “I believe that is the kind of leadership required to address the complex issues our community faces today, especially when it comes to an issue as nuanced as school desegregation.”
Community leaders from Park Slope to PLG have signed on, including Frank Esquilin, President of Crow Hill Community Association, Rabbi Andy Bachman, Former Rabbi of Congregation Beth Elohim, Dorothy E Siegel, Geraldine Richards, Seth Kaplan, Stephanie Govan, Unella Perry, Dion Ashman, Rubain Dorancy, Jean Folkes and Joanne Brown.
“I am proud to support Adem Bunkeddeko. His energy and passion for working in the community are desperately needed to finally address the challenges so many of us are facing, especially when it comes to housing,” said Jean Folkes, Tenant Rights Activist & National Alliance on Mental Illness NYC (NAMI) Advocate. “For too long, we’ve had leaders make promises to create affordable housing and address our segregated schools that they can’t keep, and our community has suffered because of it. We need a representative who has the ideas and the energy to finally make a difference for us in Congress.”
Bunkeddeko also boasts endorsements from Zephyr Teachout, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the Arena PAC, Empire State Indivisible, LAMBDA Independent Democrats, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Leadership Now, and NYPAN.
“This is a grassroots, people-powered campaign, and I am honored to have the support of so many strong community leaders from across NY-9,” said Bunkeddeko. “We deserve a leader in Washington who will work as hard as they do. I am ready to fight for our community and to deliver the support and resources we need.”