Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1st, 2020

TENANTS PAC ENDORSES PHARA SOUFFRANT FORREST FOR ASSEMBLY

BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Phara Souffrant Forrest, candidate for the Democratic Nomination in Assembly District 57, announced that her campaign had been endorsed by Tenants PAC. The important endorsement comes just a few weeks before the June 23rd primary and is yet another example of how the union nurse is building a diverse coalition of support ahead of the election. 

“This endorsement is personal to me,” said Souffrant Forrest. “The struggle for housing justice is part of who I am and is one of the main reasons I am running for office. Especially during times like these, tenant’s need advocates in Albany who will fight for them. That means fighting to cancel rent payments for the duration of this crisis instead of cosponsoring a multimillion-dollar bailout for landlords. That is what I have been calling for since day one of this crisis and that is why Tenants across this state support my candidacy.” 

“Tenants PAC is proud to support Phara Souffrant Forest,” said Michael McKee, treasurer of Tenants Political Action Committee. “She is a strong grassroots leader who has put herself on the front lines in the struggle for stronger tenant protection laws, and who has seen up close in her work as a nurse just how our broken health care system hurts low income New Yorkers and communities of color.”

This endorsement also comes at the heels of the latest filing deadline where the union nurse raised over $80,000 from over 2500 individual contributions while her opponent raised a little more than half of that with only 17 contributions. With this strong fundraising report, notable endorsements, and a strong field program able to adapt to the COVID-19 world – the union nurse is in a strong position heading into the last few weeks of the race. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8th, 2020

SUNRISE NYC ENDORSES PHARA SOUFFRANT FORREST

BROOKLYN, NY: Today, the New York City hub of the national Sunrise Movement announced it was endorsing Phara Souffrant Forrest for the Democratic Nomination in Assembly District 57. After a thorough endorsement process, the group decided not to endorse the incumbent and instead is backing the union nurse in her bid for the assembly. 

“What we’re facing right now with COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis—millions are unemployed and getting sick,” said Souffrant Forrest. “But this isn’t the only crisis we’re facing. Coming from a Haitian family, I’ve seen the catastrophic effects of climate change: droughts, heat, storms. And I’m worried that we’ll see more of this in New York.  New York needs a Green New Deal because we can’t wait on the federal government to act. Workers, poor people, and people of color—we will all suffer if we don’t act now. We need a future without fossil fuels, with green union jobs for all, and publicly-owned power. And we need to pay for it by taxing the rich. I’m proud to support the Green New Deal because it’s the best hope for our collective future.”

Sunrise’s endorsement of the union nurse is a major boost to her campaign that has been picking up steam over the last few weeks. With numerous positive press articles, grassroots endorsements, and a robust phone banking operation the union nurse is in a strong position heading into the last month of the campaign. 

“We believe in Phara Souffrant Forrest because we believe that she is a candidate that is committed to fighting for the underrepresented people in our communities,” said Grace Cuddihy, a member of Sunrise NYC’s political endorsement team. “As a union nurse, she is the exact kind of person who will be able to lead our city through this pandemic and help us move forward with rebuilding our community in the aftermath of this crisis. Phara’s fight and unwavering spirit is incredibly inspiring, and she has everything it takes to not just win her election but also become an amazing elected official. We here at Sunrise are very excited to continue fighting alongside Phara for a better city that promotes justice for its people, and that fight starts with a Green New Deal for New York, Medicare for All, moving towards 100% renewable energy by 2030, and fighting for a public power system for all New Yorkers.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8th, 2020

PHARA SOUFFRANT FORREST JOINS FELLOW NURSES TO PROTEST WALL STREET GREED


BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Phara Souffrant Forest, candidate for the Democratic nomination in Assembly District 57, joined other members of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) at a protest against National Holdings Corporation, a financial services company that received $6 million in federal bailout money. Phara and her fellow nurses demanded National Holdings return the taxpayer money and that the funds instead go towards hiring more nurses, purchasing more PPE, and paying rent for working families affected by this crisis in the Bronx.

“The banks were bailed out in 2008; now it’s time for a people’s bailout,” said Souffrant Forrest. “When nurses and working people are struggling we need to be increasing staffing at our frontline hospital, we need to be making sure every essential worker has the PPE they need, and we need to provide rent relief to anyone who doesn’t have the money to make rent this month. I’m proud to stand with my fellow nurses today to demand what we know is right.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14th, 2020

JULIA SALAZAR ENDORSES PHARA SOUFFRANT FORREST FOR ASSEMBLY

BROOKLYN, NY: Today, State Senator Julia Salazar (SD-18) announced her endorsement of Phara Souffrant Forrest for the Democratic Nomination in Assembly District 57. State Senator Salazar will also be joining Phara for a call about running a grassroots campaign against the political machine this Friday at 4:30 PM.

“Phara is the democratic socialist leader we need in the state legislature fighting for universal healthcare, housing justice, and much more” said State Senator Salazar. “Her unrelenting dedication to serving her neighbors in Brooklyn as a union nurse on the frontlines of the public health crisis, as a community organizer, and as a hopeful legislator is extraordinary. I’m thrilled to support Phara’s campaign and to get to work together as fellow members of DSA’s slate of electoral candidates in New York.”

“Julia Salazar led the fight to pass the 2019 rent laws, which reversed the decades of pro-landlord, anti-tenant lawmaking in Albany,” said Souffrant Forrest. “She has been an indispensable ally to working people not just in her district, but across our entire state. As a fellow democratic socialist, I am so proud to have her endorsement – and I am even prouder that she is joining our transformative slate of Democratic Socialists of America members running for office. Together, we will put the needs of workers and tenants first in Albany.” 

State Senator Salazar’s endorsement of the union nurse is the first elected official to make an endorsement in the race and the first elected official to back Souffrant Forrest. In addition to State Senator Salazar, Souffrant Forrest has also picked up the support of notable community groups like NYCC and MDCNY over the past few weeks. Despite the effective end of in-person campaigning due to COVID-19, the tenant organizer’s campaign is still picking up steam and is poised to give Walter Mosley his first real challenge since he entered the Assembly eight years ago. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3rd, 2020

PHARA SOUFFRANT FORREST CONDEMNS STATE BUDGET AND LEGISLATIVE FAILURES 

BROOKLYN, NY: In response to the passage of the budget, candidate for the Democratic nomination in Assembly District 57, Phara Souffrant Forrest made the following statement.  

“This is an austerity budget – plain and simple. The governor has decided to cut public services in the middle of a pandemic. These cuts are an attack on New York’s working-class and will especially hurt black and brown communities like mine. There is no support for renters, no guarantee of economic support for working people, and no increase in healthcare funding despite the dire situation in New York City’s hospitals.

To make matters worse, the governor used this budget to push his own political agenda. He included a provision to hurt third-parties, he rolled back bail reform, and didn’t legalize marijuana despite the overwhelming public support. 

The governor claims that this budget is the best we can do during a crisis – but he is lying. There are 84 billionaires in New York City and the governor refused to raise taxes on them by a single penny. In the midst of a public health crisis, he expects working-class New Yorkers to make do with even less while his billionaire friends can escape the city for their second homes in the Hamptons.

This is class warfare waged by the governor and his rich friends against working-class New Yorkers who are lying sick in our overcrowded hospitals. 

Not only should the governor be ashamed of this budget, but so should the legislators who failed to fight against this assault on working people. We elected them to stand up to the governor, not to do the bidding of his billionaire friends. 

I look forward to many of them being voted out when the people get a say on this process on June 23rd.” 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23rd, 2020

PHARA SOUFFRANT FORREST FILES 2000 BALLOT PETITION SIGNATURES

BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Phara Souffrant Forrest, candidate for the Democratic nomination in Assembly District 57, announced that her campaign filed 2000 ballot petition signatures. This number is more than 13 times the legal requirement to get on the ballot and demonstrates yet again just how strong the union nurse’s field program is. Even after the Souffrant Forrest’s campaign halted petitioning efforts when it became apparent that COVID-19 would pose a serious health risk to volunteers, her campaign was still able to submit more than enough petition signatures to ensure her a place on the ballot 

“I am so proud of my team, especially all the volunteers, who worked so hard to deliver these petitions,” said Souffrant Forest. “It’s their hard work and dedication that has secured our place on the ballot and has given the people of the 57th Assembly District a real choice on June 23rd. Between now and election day, I look forward to making my case to the people of this district why we need an organizer in office instead of a career politician.” 

This announcement also comes right at the heels of New York Communities for Change’s endorsement of the tenant organizer, which was announced soon after her campaign halted all in-person field efforts due to COVID-19. Even though her campaign has moved to remote and digital outreach, the union nurse’s campaign had still knocked over 21,000 doors by the time her campaign halted in-person outreach a few weeks ago. These impressive field metrics and notable endorsement demonstrate the seriousness of Souffrant Forrests’s challenge to Walter Mosley. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26th, 2020

PHARA SOUFFRANT FORREST BLASTS BLOOMBERG’S RECORD IN OP-ED

BROOKLYN, NY: In the wake of her viral tweet attacking former mayor Bloomberg, candidate for Assembly in District 57, Phara Souffrant Forrest, published an Op-Ed detailing how stop-and-frisk impacted her, her community, and her family.

“In Crown Heights, stop-and-frisk was a common practice. I witnessed men as young as 16 stopped, questioned, and subjected to undignified searches for looking ‘suspicious’. Nearly all of my younger cousins and male family friends have been stopped or frisked for no reason other than walking while being black” wrote Souffrant Forrest. “As a kid, I memorized The Black Citizen’s Guide To Police Confrontation in the hope of protecting myself and my friends. Witnessing so many of my friends and family stopped and searched by the police etched the practice of stop-and-frisk into my psyche.”

This Op-Ed comes after the former mayor had yet another lackluster debate performance where he failed to adequately respond to questions about stop-and-frisk. The policy, common place during his time as mayor, wreaked havoc on black and brown communities in New York City and has left lasting scars among those affected.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23nd, 2020

PHARA SOUFFRANT FORREST JOINS SOCIALIST AGENDA FOR DECARCERATION 

 BROOKLYN, NY: Yesterday, Phara Souffrant Forrest, Assembly candidate in District 57, announced her support for a wide range of “Decarceral Policies”, along with four other DSA-backed candidates in Brooklyn and Queens. This platform would radically transform New York’s criminal justice system with the aim to bring New York’s incarceration rate down to levels not seen since the 1950s. 

“I am so excited to sign on to this transformative platform with my fellow comrades,” said Souffrant Forrest. “Our state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to lock up people of color when we could be investing more in our schools and in guaranteeing free healthcare for all. This platform will mean less black and brown people behind bars, more protections for immigrant and trans members of our community, as well as the legal mechanisms to safely address the opioid crisis in this state. The criminal justice reform laid out in this platform is long overdue for New York, and I am proud to stand behind it.”. 

The platform includes legislation already introduced in the State Senate and/or State Assembly including the legalization of marijuana (A1617B/S1527B), decriminalizing sex work (A8230/S6419), and the full elimination of cash bail (S2101A). In addition, the platform also includes legislation members of the DSA-backed slate plan to introduce once elected such as legislation to repeal all mandatory minimum sentences, end police cooperation with ICE, and decriminalizing simple drug possession. 

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