December 19, 2013
Brooklyn, NY – Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) released the following statement upon ending his campaign for Speaker of the New York City Council. Council Member Williams pledged to support Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito as the next Speaker.
"I entered the race for Speaker several weeks ago, after the exciting win of Public Advocate-Elect Letitia James. After Public Advocate-Elect James' win, many questioned whether there was a need to consider candidates from diverse backgrounds for other offices, including Speaker. I entered the race for Speaker to ensure that New Yorkers from all walks of life had the opportunity to serve in one of the most powerful offices in New York City government. That was accomplished. Though I am ending my candidacy for Speaker today, I am proud to endorse Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito to serve as our next Speaker.
"As a co-founding member of the Progressive Caucus, I made clear that my candidacy was not just about myself; and that I pledged I would support the candidate that the Bloc coalesced around, and that candidate is Council Member Mark-Viverito. This decision is not a result of pressure, including phone calls from anyone, to support a specific candidate. For clarity, I received no calls from our Mayor-Elect. The fact is, simply, I am man of my word. Though some thought it would be impossible, I am happy that the Progressive Bloc, along with Brooklyn County leadership, under Chairperson Frank Seddio, and each Brooklyn delegation member have come to a consensus. Though there is approximately three weeks left before the official vote, I believe that Council Member Mark-Viverito will prevail.
"I am proud of all of us, Inez Dickens, Dan Garodnick, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Annabel Palma, Jimmy Vacca, and Mark Weprin, who heeded the call to enter the race for speaker. I have great respect for them and all of my colleagues and look forward to working with them to have a strong, independent Council and to move this city in a more progressive direction. I look to soon begin the work of healing and uniting for the sake of all New York City residents and the challenges we face."
*Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) represents the 45th Council District, which covers Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, and parts of Midwood and Canarsie. He is a founding member of the Progressive Caucus and was first elected to office in 2009 and re-elected in 2013.