Former “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon recently revealed that she is a democratic socialist in a Tuesday interview with Politico while campaigning throughout New York against current incumbent, Andrew Cuomo, for the state’s upcoming Democratic gubernatorial primary on September 13, 2018.
Nixon’s campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt, who was the former communications director and staffer for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, said that her campaign has been in contact with official members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). This comes after the surprising grassroots primary victory of Bronx native Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated longtime New York Congressman Joe Crowley of New York’s 14th Congressional District in late June.
In an email Nixon sent to Politico reporter Jimmy Viekland, she said that “if being a democratic socialist means that you believe health care, housing, education and the things we need to thrive should be a basic right, not a privilege, then count me in.”
Nixon is running on a progressive populist grassroots campaign advocating for the legalization of recreational cannabis, raising taxes on the rich and big businesses to fix public transportation as well as infrastructure, single-payer universal healthcare, and education reform.
DSA, the grassroots multi-tendency left-wing group, has seen an increase of more than 40,000 official members between 2016 and 2018, especially in the wake of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, Donald Trump’s election, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s primary victory.
Notable members have included comedic actor Rob Delaney, feminist activist Gloria Steinem, labor rights activist Dolores Huerta, and public intellectuals such as Cornel West and Noam Chomsky. DSA offers a wide variety of caucuses, working groups, and committees within its overall organization such as the Religion & Socialism Working Group, the Libertarian Socialist Caucus, and the Political Education Committee.
Before Nixon’s campaign and Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory, dozens of progressive candidates endorsed by electoral organizations such DSA, Brand New Congress, Justice Democrats, and Our Revolution have made recent strides between 2017 and 2018. At the local level in the South, progressive Democrats such as Birmingham’s Randall Woodfin and Jackson’s Chokwe Antar Lumumba became their cities youngest African American mayors. Other local candidates such as South Fulton, Georgia councilman Khalid Kamu and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner were elected to public office thanks to primary support from DSA members and Black Lives Matter activists.
At the state level, Our Revolution backed candidates Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Ben Jealous of Maryland won their respective primaries against establishment liberal centrist Democrats and if elected, they will become their own state’s first Black governors. DSA members such as Pennsylvanian state legislative candidates Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato of Pittsburgh defeated establishment candidates in their own respective primaries in May. Lee Carter, a Virginia state legislator representing suburban Northern Virginia and former IT specialist, won his race against Republican Jackson Miller by 10% of the vote in 2017.
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