An Open Letter from Jews For Robert
Dear Neighbor in NY State Senate District 31:
We are writing to you as neighbors and as members of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) to urge you to vote to reelect State Senator Robert Jackson in the August 23 Democratic primary for State Senate in District 31. The next State Senate will be responsible for leading our state through both the ongoing COVID pandemic and the fundamental inequity the pandemic exacerbated, as well as preparing our state for the hundreds of thousands of people who will soon be coming to New York in search of healthcare and safety. There is no candidate better qualified to lead in our district than Robert.
Robert has been a true partner to JFREJ! Together in 2018, we defeated the Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC) — the group of Democrats who caucused with Republicans and blocked key legislation, like measures to protect abortion access. Since then, Robert has fought on our core issues over and over again. He’s rallied with us to demand fair pay for home care workers. He helped pass the strongest rent laws New York State had seen in a generation. He was instrumental in creating the $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund to provide financial support undocumented workers excluded from federal pandemic aid. He helped strengthen New York State laws protecting the right to an abortion.
Robert has been a long-time supporter of tenants’ rights and housing justice. Before being elected to the New York State Senate, he was a City Council Member. As a member of the City Council, he passed a resolution to strengthen tenants’ rights in the face of building violations. But in order to enforce the resolution’s mandate that landlords make repairs, the state legislature needed to codify the bill. Two decades later, as a State Senator, Robert led the State Senate to codify the legislation.
Robert’s office connects directly with constituents in the district, offering support so that we can address issues that matter to us. Robert has hosted tenant info sessions with Manhattan Legal Services (Tenants Rights Coalition) and a rent relief clinic with PALANTE offering tenants access to much needed information regarding housing justice issues. During the early stages of the pandemic, Robert’s office supported mutual aid volunteers in building local networks of support and creating a free, virtual tutoring program for students. He also actively supports the Washington Heights Corner Project, a local harm reduction group which offers free services including HIV/HCV testing and treatment navigation, PrEP/PEP navigation, naloxone training, and safer use supplies. Robert has demonstrated his commitment to partner with us to meet our needs.
Long before his time in the State Senate, Robert was a tireless champion for public education. He grew up in New York City as a public school student. As an adult, he joined his local Community School Board, and was later elected its President. And in 1993, he led a monumental lawsuit against New York State over the state’s failure to adequately fund the neediest school districts. He’s kept up that fight for nearly thirty years, and he secured billions of dollars in funding and back-pay for our school districts!
Robert has a proven track record as a State Senator of delivering critical investments in public education to our district. With public education under attack nationwide and right here in our city, it’s so important to have a champion like Robert serving as our Senator in Albany.
Time and again, from his advocacy on housing to education, Robert has kept up critical fights for the long haul. He doesn’t give up on something people desperately need if it becomes politically inconvenient; Robert works to pass policies that meaningfully improve people’s lives, no matter how long it takes. That’s because like JFREJ, Robert understands the importance of embracing our homes and neighbors and working alongside them for tikun olam, the healing of the world.
Big money interests representing real estate developers and privatizing public education are trying to take down Robert (and replace him with a former IDC staffer), because he won’t be bought out, and will fight for equitable education, tenant protections, and healthcare for ALL members of our community.
Supporting Robert puts us in great company! He has been endorsed by State Senators Gustavo Rivera, Alessandra Biaggi, Jessica Ramos, Jamaal Bailey, and Jose Serrano; former Congressman Charles Rangel, Council Member Gale Brewer, the Working Families Party, UFT (teachers), SEIU1199 (healthcare workers), NYSNA (nurses), CSA (school principals and administrators), Tenants PAC, and many, many more.
This year, the Republicans have redrawn our district and Robert faces a serious challenge. So it is critical we all vote to reelect Robert Jackson by Tuesday, August 23rd!
You can learn more about Robert and his campaign at VoteRobertJackson.com.
Philip Aroneanu, Washington Heights
Jonah Boyarin, Washington Heights
Margot Fein, Washington Heights
Miriam Frank, Washington Heights
Eitana Friedman-Nathan, Washington Heights
Jesse Ginsburg, Washington Heights
Carla Hanauer, Washington Heights
Solomon Hoffman, Washington Heights
Desma Holcomb, Washington Heights
Em Hirsch, Inwood
Itis Jimenez, Washington Heights
Eliana Kissner, Washington Heights
Sara Kotzin, Washington Heights
Matthew D. Levy, Washington Heights
Oksana Mironova, Washington Heights
Mik Moore, Washington Heights
Madeline Richer, Washington Heights
Sue-Rae Rosenfeld, Washington Heights
Ana Rubenstein, Washington Heights
Yael Sacks, Washington Heights
Elissa Sampson, Manhattan
Cecilia Sena, Washington Heights
Eileen Stewart, Washington Heights
Alice Sturm Sutter, Inwood
Amy Traub, Washington Heights
Jonathan Wasserman, Washington Heights
Melissa Williams, Inwood