Project Description

The Jewish Vote endorses candidates who share our values (read: what we believe), are fighting for the same priorities in New York State (read: our 2024 legislative agenda). They work closely with us as candidates and once in office. We are members of the New York Working Families Party.

The Jewish Vote will prioritize the following issues when evaluating candidates for endorsement in 2024. TJV will make endorsement decisions along with local members, based on our comprehensive assessment of the candidate and race (see: endorsement process). If a candidate is not aligned with a priority below, it may not be disqualifying. But that candidate must be ready to explain their current position, and indicate whether they are open to change. 

Priority 1: A Feminist, Caring Economy

We are working towards a New York where all of us have the care and support we need to live full, healthy lives, and an economy that treats care work as an essential sector.

Candidates must fight for:

  • Accessible, affordable, excellent quality home care for all who need it, now and in the future.
  • Fair pay for home care workers, and uplifting the care economy.
  • Removing profit from healthcare: rejecting private insurance and moving New York State towards universal, single payer healthcare.
  • Universal (not means-tested) care for all, including: health care, home care, and child care.
  • Disability justice – including interventions to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and to support New Yorkers living with COVID and Long COVID.

Priority 2: A Non-Carceral Vision of Community Safety

We believe that there are no “deserving” and “undeserving” New Yorkers. Safety comes from living in healthy, well-resourced, diverse communities. Police and prisons make us less safe, while hoarding New York’s resources that could otherwise be invested in care. Permanent, stable housing is a key component of safe communities where everyone can live with dignity.

Candidates must work towards:

  • Decarceration
  • Decriminalization (ex. of sex work and drugs) – supporting our communities with harm reduction and resources instead of the failed “war on drugs”
  • Restorative justice
  • Investments in violence prevention, rather than punishment
  • Reducing the size and scope of policing (and in the meantime, police transparency and accountability)

Our candidates must reject:

  • Increases to police power, police surveillance technology, and increases in police budgets
  • Efforts to creating new crimes, extend sentences, or incarcerate more New Yorkers
  • The rollbacks of New Yorkers’ rights and protections, like bail reform or right to shelter

Priority 3: Housing, tenant & migrant justice

We believe that housing is a human right. We are working to support tenants, homeless New Yorkers, and our new migrant neighbors to create a welcoming New York with stability for all.

Our candidates fight for:

  • Good Cause Eviction & protections for tenants
  • Protecting Right To Shelter
  • Green Social Housing, and a New York where housing is de-commodified

Our candidates must reject:

  • Policies and rhetoric that pit marginalized New Yorkers against each other (ex. a mindset that housing resources are scarce, pitting longtime New Yorkers struggling with homelessness against the newer NY migrants, or blaming migrants for NY’s budget woes)

Priority 4: Antisemitism & Hate Violence

JFREJ is a leading expert in understanding antisemitism, as well as hate violence prevention. We speak out and organize against antisemitism, hate violence, and all kinds of bias. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim, Arab, Asian and LGBTQ siblings who are often facing harassment from the same sources. We reject carceral and police-based responses to hate violence in favor of investments in communities and prevention.

Our candidates:

  • Speak out, name, and condemn antisemitism when it shows up in New York.
  • Take seriously their responsibility as leaders to build a New York that is safe for Jews and for all people.
  • Seek to deepen their understanding of antisemitism.
  • Attend a JFREJ training on antisemitism.

Our candidates must reject:

Priority 5: Democracy & Policing Speech and Protest

JFREJ takes threats to our democracy seriously, whether those threats come from the growing white nationalist/fascist/authoritarian block, or from efforts to stifle free speech, criminalize protest and dissent, disenfranchise marginalized groups, or to punish and defund public institutions like universities for political reasons.  We also recognize and refute bad-faith accusations of antisemitism used to attack individuals and organizations.

Our candidates:

  • Speak out about and condemn white supremacy, fascism, and authoritarianism, especially when it rears its head in New York.
  • Support voting rights legislation that expands the electorate (vote by mail, enfranchising people with felony convictions, non-citizen voting in NYC)

Our candidates must reject:

  • Efforts to limit free speech (for example, bills that punish individuals or institutions engaging in BDS).
  • The criminalization and suppression of protest, including the SRG (for example, this bill that turns common protest tactics like blocking bridges and tunnels into felonies).
  • The targeting of public services and institutions under the guise of combating antisemitism (for example, this bill)
  • McCarthyism & blacklisting. Targeting, doxxing, expelling, or firing New Yorkers for speaking out for Palestinian rights and freedom.
  • Corporate, real estate, carceral, and fossil fuel money

Priority 6: Israel/Palestine as a local issue

JFREJ’s priorities are primarily domestic, and our members hold a variety of views on Israel/Palestine. However, we engage with Israel/Palestine as a local issue, and speak up in moments of crisis. Right now, that means we are organizing for a ceasefire. We organize because it’s personal, because it is impacting our local communities and politics, and most of all, we organize because we’re human beings witnessing an unfolding genocide. For us, calling for a ceasefire is the bare minimum. Millions of Palestinian lives hang in the balance. We implore anyone who’s been holding back – or choosing to look away because it’s too much to bear – to join us.

We demand the release of all hostages and prisoners, and that humanitarian aid be let into Gaza. We reject the U.S.’s complicity in this war through unlimited, unconditional military funding. We are committed to an end of the occupation & apartheid. Locally, we reject AIPAC, and support Not On Our Dime.

Any federal-level candidate we endorse must be a vocal champion for a ceasefire.

While local electeds do not vote on U.S. foreign policy, below are the things we expect from all candidates seeking our endorsement: 

Our candidates:

  • Support a ceasefire (and do not work to undermine ceasefire organizing).
  • Believe in dignity, safety, human rights, and equality for all Palestinians, and for all Israelis.
  • Want to see an end to the occupation & apartheid.
  • Do not diminish or erase the pain, suffering, or death toll of Israelis, or of Palestinians since 10/7 when speaking out.
  • Meet with Palestinians, Muslims, and Arabs, as well as with Jews and Israelis, when learning about Israel-Palestine, and seek to do that learning locally.

Our candidates must reject:

  • Donations and connections with AIPAC.
  • Relationships with authoritarian leaders.

Co-Governance Expectations:

We look for Candidates who are enthusiastic about co-governance both during the campaign and once in office, with JFREJ and with other movement organizations. This includes:

  • Collaborating proactively to set and update legislative and budget priorities.
  • Showing up, and championing movement priorities through actions, media, statements, sponsoring legislation and organizing colleagues to do so too.
  • Our candidates collaborate with other movement candidates, electeds, and organizations & reject dog-whistles that divide and undermine members of our coalition.
  • Meeting with members and spending time with our organized base.