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Working Families Party targets Adams as it seeks candidates to embrace leftist agenda


The leftist Working Families Party is pushing City Council candidates to fight Mayor Eric Adams’ agenda by offering up endorsements if they back its pet causes such as defunding the police and bail reform.

The WFP also wants the incumbents and other candidates to embrace the tidal wave of migrants flooding the city, support more licensed injection sites for addicts and block charter schools.

“We’re committed to pushing back against Mayor Adams’ agenda of austerity politics, broken windows policing, and mass incarceration policies,” the WFP said in its lengthy endorsement questionnaire.

All 51 council seats are up for grabs in 2023 after redistricting to accommodate population changes in new decennial census count.

Campaigning for the June 27 primary elections will occur while negotiations over the city budget heat up, after Adams, a moderate Democrat, submitted his $102.7 billion executive spending plan on Jan. 12, which calls for trims for nearly all agencies and services.

The WFP endorsed liberal Maya Wiley over Adams in the Democratic Party’s 2021 ranked-choice voting primary for mayor.

City Hall brushed off the WFP’s anti-Adams questionnaire.

Working Family Party
“We’re committed to pushing back against Mayor Adams’ agenda of austerity politics, broken windows policing, and mass incarceration policies,” the WFP said.
Working Family Party

 “A historic coalition of working people elected Mayor Adams to fight on their behalf, and that’s exactly what he has done over the last year in office — creating new jobs and providing more opportunities for young people, taking us out of COVID, and making our city safer,” mayoral spokesman Fabien Levy told The Post on Sunday.

But the endorsement of the left-leaning third party WFP could help council incumbents or insurgents in contested Democratic primaries. The WFP, like the anti-Adams Democratic Socialists of America, whose members include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is known to provide foot soldiers and other financial resources to help candidates it supports.

The WFP endorsement query asks questions such as, “Going forward, will you work with advocates – including Working Families Party members and affiliates – as well as your colleagues to form a bloc and build a strategy towards a 2023 budget that decreases funding for the NYPD and instead increases funding for social services and programs? Please explain how.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is known to help candidates with resources they need.

The questionnaire also asks candidates if they will back legislation to bar the NYPD from aggressively responding to nonviolent protest protests, to abolish the “Gang Database,” to remove the police from schools and to eliminate the vice squad that conducts prostitution raids on massage parlors.

The progressive lefty activists also blame Adams for the public backlash against the state’s controversial cashless bail-reform law. The overhaul eliminated cash bail and lets defendants who are accused of misdemeanor and most non-violent felony crimes free pending trial.

“Mayor Adams has continued to mislead the public about the impact of New York’s bail reform laws,” the WFP questionnaire says. “The data on bail reform is crystal clear: bail reform has decreased jail populations, kept communities intact, reduced racial injustice, and has had no impact on crime. Will you publicly reject and speak out against the Mayor’s continued efforts to smear and further roll back bail reform?”

As it did last year, the WFP also asks candidates if they will “refuse all donations” from law-enforcement unions, as well as the fossil fuel-and real-estate industries.

The WFP also wants to block charter schools.
Getty Images/Drew Angerer

The questionnaire asks if candidates support access to housing vouchers for all New Yorkers “regardless of immigration and work status” — which would make homeless migrants and illegal residents eligible for the benefit. 

The WFP notes that a city law allowing non-citizens to vote in municipal elections has been challenged as unconstitutional in court, and inquires, “Do you support this appeal and will you continue to fight for the rights of non-citizen New Yorkers to vote in local elections?”

The questionnaire criticizes Adams’ handling of the migrant crisis, too.

“New York City is experiencing an influx of thousands of people seeking asylum and displaced by political violence, economic instability, and the climate crisis. The Adams administration has responded by attempting to reassess the City’s right to shelter and building insufficient tent cities for asylum seekers rather than housing solutions,” the WFP says.

It then asks, “Do you support increased funding for housing, school support, and other services for recent immigrants?”

The questionnaire also mentions if migrants should receive benefits.
Gregory P. Mango

The WFP also is critical of opening more charter schools popular with parents, as well as gifted and talented programs. A state-imposed cap has blocked more of the alternative charter schools from opening in the city.

“A majority of New York City’s foundation aid increases go to charter schools, despite the fact that our public school system supports 80% of our students,” the WFP questionnaire says. “Also, NYC is the only school district in the nation that co-locates charter schools in the same buildings as traditional public schools, creating competition for access to limited space and resources. What is your position on co-location? What role, if any, do you believe that charter schools should play in our public  education system?”

The WFP also said gifted and talented classes can “often perpetuate segregation in NYC schools,” before asking, “How can the City Council play a role in addressing segregation and ensuring equity and inclusion in NYC schools?”

In addition, the questionnaire notes that the first sanctioned overdose prevention centers opened in the city last year, and it claimed the two sites saved more than 140 lives.

“Do you support increasing funding for and opening more OPCs in NYC?,” the WFP asks.

Elsewhere, the WFP asks whether candidates support legislation that would make it more difficult for private-sector employers to fire workers without “just cause” — a proposal opposed by the business community.


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