Sept. 10, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The progressive public defender Tiffany Cabán officially launched her campaign for the District 22 City Council seat representing Astoria Thursday.
Cabán — who narrowly lost to Melinda Katz in the 2019 primary for Queens District Attorney — was joined by several elected officials at Katch Astoria to kick off her campaign.
The 33-year-old joins a crowded field of candidates running to replace Council Member Costa Constantinides, who is term-limited and must vacate the seat at the end of 2021.
However, a number of early endorsements, as well as her high profile status following her run for District Attorney, is almost certain to provide her with front-runner status. One candidate, Jesse Cerrotti, dropped out of the race today and endorsed Cabán.
State Senators Jessica Ramos and Michael Gianaris–along with Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Jessica González-Rojas (who won the Democratic primary for Assembly District 34)–all endorsed Cabán and spoke on her behalf.
Cabán chose to launch her run for City Council at Katch Astoria, the same establishment where she conceded to Katz last year, after it was ruled that she lost by a 55-vote margin. The contentious race included a six-week manual recount and a court battle.
She said today that her team created a successful movement during her campaign for DA, despite the loss. She said that she will continue to push her progressive platform forward in her run for City Council.
“We built a movement around the idea that every single one of us matters, especially the most vulnerable among us,” she said. “We set new benchmarks and completely changed the landscape together.”
Cabán, who was born and raised in Richmond Hill to Puerto Rican parents, said she was running for everyday working people in Queens and would not accept campaign money from big real estate, political action committees and police groups.
“Above all else, I am a Queens girl ready to build the coalitions that we need to change the lives of working people in our city,” she said. “I’m running for City Council because I love my neighbors, from Astoria to Rikers Island, from Jackson Heights to Woodside to East Elmhurst — I am running to represent every single person in every single corner of this district.”
Today I proudly endorse Tiffany Cabán for New York City Council District 22. Tiffany is hardworking, principled, and unafraid to propose new ideas. Working families all across Queens need her bold leadership for recovery and transformational justice. #CabanForCouncil pic.twitter.com/inJsALkAOw
— Jessica Ramos (@jessicaramos) September 10, 2020
The queer Latina activist said the City Council needs a wave of “socialist” leaders who will fight for working people.
“Who we elect to serve in our City Council is a matter of life and death,” Cabán said. “We need a wave of bold, progressives — and better yet, socialist leaders ready to fight for the policies that will actually help working people in their daily lives.”
Cabán said she promised to be one such leader — “unbought and unbossed.”
She listed a number of platform issues that she would fight for if elected, including defunding the police, ending mass incarceration, making open streets permanent, fighting climate change, improving public transportation, desegregating public schools and guaranteeing access to affordable housing, food and healthcare.
“We will defund the police, we will end the system of mass incarceration that has brutalized our black and brown communities, and we will take that money and put it straight into social services and community-led efforts,” Cabán said.
The candidate promised to fight for all the issues.
“Real talk, we need leaders who are willing to fight for it and I will fight like hell.”