Right off the bat, Sanders goes out of his way to dismiss the notion that his candidacy is about his own personal ambition, noting that his run is about “another, deeper truth: that politics is ultimately about a commitment to others.”
Supporters of Huntley are already publicly and privately pegging Sanders as opportunistic for running in a redrawn Senate district that now includes much of Sanders’ Council district.
For more on Sanders’ candidacy, here’s our story initially breaking the news of his bid in April.
And here’s Sanders’ full statement:
They say politics takes place at the intersection of ambition and opportunity. I have spent most of my professional life in public service, and while I cannot deny the truth of that sentiment, I like to believe that there is another, deeper truth: that politics is ultimately about a commitment to others; that a strong will, a clear vision, and a true connection to the needs of your neighbors coupled with a legitimate desire to improve their lives has something to do with politics too.
For more than ten years, it has been my distinct honor to represent my neighbors in the New York City Council. Come next year, I don’t have to go home, but I do have to vacate the seat that I’ve held for so long. For all that we have accomplished together during this past decade, there is still so much more to achieve, so much more work that needs to be done. Through our sweat and blood, we have cleared the brush aside, pulled up the old moorings, and laid a new foundation upon which future generations can build.
As most know by now, new district lines have emerged in the New York State Senate; lines that leave our community, the 31st City Council District, essentially leaderless, without a representative who knows the area, or the neighborhoods that give it life. For some time, speculation has swirled about who would fill the void. My motivations and ambitions have been questioned and rumors have flown from every corner.
I think it’s time you heard it directly from me. So today, I am announcing directly to you, my constituents, that I am a candidate for the newly drawn 10th New York State Senate District.
This is not a decision I take lightly, nor one made in haste. To be sure, an opportunity has arisen for our community. I truly believe that if we are to continue to grow and build on the work we’ve done, we need leadership in the Senate who understands the sacrifices that we’ve made to get to this point; someone with knowledge of the realities on the ground, who has worked with the leadership here, and has the passion to push the ball forward.
There are so many issues still facing our neighbors. The economic recovery continues to be stubbornly slow. For too many of us, jobs remain scarce and homes remain in foreclosure. Our schools are constantly threatened with closure. Crime remains rampant. Our community has been the “designated loser” in New York City for far too long. We deserve representation in the Senate that has fought these and other battles first hand.
I’ve authored some of the toughest anti-predatory lending bills anywhere in America. I’ve worked with community groups and the NYPD to host gun-buy back programs that have removed hundreds of guns from our streets, and authored bills that have made it more difficult for minors to get access to bullets. I’ve conducted workshops for those in foreclosure, and worked with community groups to provide financial consultants to those in need. I’ve called for studies that have served as the basis upon which New York City has re-instituted policies of affirmative action and enhanced opportunities for women and minority owned businesses. Together with the civic groups and committed leaders of our community, we’ve worked to rebuild public parks, open up access to clean spaces, build playgrounds and introduce new technologies into our schools and keep our streets safe.
My ambition has always been to serve. The State Senate is a doorway to new opportunities for our community. We can walk through it together, as one people, with once voice. That’s why we run, together, as a district.
I thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving as your voice in the New York City Council, and I ask for your continued trust as we take our message of growth, reform, and new beginnings to Albany.
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