October 9, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—With less than four weeks to go before voters go to the polls to elect their representatives for the State Senate, the Working Families Party held a get-out-the-vote rally where they impressed upon their members that if their endorsed candidates don’t win, the progressive agenda in Albany will peter out.
Numerous speakers took to the stage including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Chuck Schumer, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James, as well as fast food and airport workers.
In the accompanying video, we asked Karen Scharff, co-chair of the party in New York, why is it crucial for Working Families Party-endorsed Democratic candidates win the State Senate.
“We’re rallying with Mayor de Blasio to kick off the last four weeks of the Working Families Party’s campaign to win a lot of votes on the party’s line to raise the minimum wage and repairing our campaign finance system. We need to elect a majority in the senate for raising the wage, for passing fair elections and a whole host of progressive issues that we can only win with a change in the senate,” said Scharff.
The left-leaning party didn’t endorse Governor Andrew Cuomo’s primary challenger Zephyr Teachout for governor because in exchange for the party’s endorsement, the governor promised that he would help to change the political dynamic in the State Senate.
We asked Scharff if she’s confident that the governor will follow through on that promise.
“We’re mainly concerned on making sure that we elect a Senate that can implement our agenda and the governor’s agenda. We and the governor agree that we have to raise the wage, we need public financing of elections, we gotta have the Dream Act and the Women’s Equality Act. But we can’t have those things without a Democrat Working Families Party majority in our State Senate,” Scharff said.