My name is Cynthia Nixon, and I’m running for governor of New York–for ALL of New York.
That, of course, includes the 1.6 million plus Black women and girls who reside here and who have had their needs and concerns neglected, ignored and dismissed by the current leadership of our state (and others like it across the country) for entirely too long.
You don’t need me to tell you how living at the intersection of racism and sexism provides Black women an important perspective on the meaning of equality and justice in our state and others like it. However, I hope you’ll believe me when I say that I recognize how that perspective uniquely qualifies Black women to understand the ways that works for the wealthy, the white and the male—and the toll that is paid by the majority of its residents as a result.
For that and many other reasons, I’ve looked to Black women for guidance–friends, mentors, campaign staff and volunteers, fellow activists, folks who’ve come out to our events, people that we’ve met while canvassing across the state—since the start of this race. They have helped to develop my platform and my plans for New York, and they’ve worked side-by-side with me to create vision for a New York “for the many, not the few.” I’ve listened to what their needs are and I plan to govern in a way that finally addresses them appropriately.
Far too often, Democrats have looked to Black women to deliver results at the polls, only not to look in their direction again until the next election.
I recognize that some of you may be skeptical about my own campaign for these reasons, and I certainly understand why. Alas, I have a promise to make to you, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.
Black women, I won’t let you down. I plan to govern for and with you each step of the way.
That means dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. New York has the second highest gap between funding for schools in wealthy areas and in poorer ones in the entire country—a gap that has grown 24% under my opponent. Schools in areas with large Black and Latinx populations have become increasingly criminalized, with high rates of suspension and police involvement for behavioral infractions, which funnel our youth into the criminal justice system. That also means ensuring that schools use culturally responsive teaching tools so that children can see their identities positively reflected in the classroom. A ‘birth-to-college’ approach to education is the right way forward for New York’s students, and I will lead that charge.
Speaking of birth, I will address the criminally high maternal morality and infant mortality rates for Black women in the state of New York. Reproductive justice doesn’t simply mean protecting and expanding abortion access—which I will absolutely do, unlike my opponent—it means fighting to ensure that women have everything they need in order to have safe, healthy pregnancies when they choose to do so. It also means recognizing that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege, and ensuring that all have access to health insurance—which we can do with a single payer ‘Medicare for all’ system.
Serving Black women means fixing the public transportation system that has been decimated over the past 8 years, so that hard-working people who rely on it each day can get to their jobs, schools and other obligations without the maddening delays we face now.
It means stabilizing rents and preventing evictions, which have increased homelessness in the state by 36% in the last eight years. It means creating new employment opportunities, and making existing workplaces safer and more equitable so that Black women can thrive and grow professionally across various fields of industry—including the cannabis industry, which provides us a unique opportunity to bring opportunity to communities and individuals that have been targeted by a racist ‘War on Drugs’ for four decades. And when I legalize marijuana, I will ensure that Black women are not left out in the cold as wealthy white men profit yet again.
Black women deserve a leader who will fight to end the system mass incarceration that criminalizes them from birth, prosecutes them more harshly than women of other races and finds them unreasonably burdened when their loved ones are behind bars. My criminal justice reform plan will end arrests for low level crimes, do away with cash bail that punishes New Yorkers for being poor, hold law enforcement agents accountable when they abuse their power and will focus on
Finally, it should go without saying that Black women deserve a better seat at the proverbial table. My campaign staff and leadership includes bold, brilliant Black women, and the same will be true of my administration.
Black women deserve a governor who recognizes their power and their plight, and I believe I am the right candidate for the job. Please join me at the polls on Thursday, September 13th and cast a vote for “a New York for all of us.”