UPDATE: Due to legal action, Jessica Ramos has dropped her bid for District leader. Her name will not appear on the September ballot.
District leaders are the rock of the Democratic Party, you’d be lucky to have one like Jessica Ramos in your community.
A good District leader is the first point of contact on the ground level with voters. The position is one of four that represent assembly districts in Queens, consisting of two men and two women.
No, they aren’t paid positions, they are strictly volunteers, but the best of which harness their energy and activism and do something productive that helps improve the quality of life of people in their district. District Leaders don’t even introduce legislation on the floor, but they can lobby for it, and the title often lends a bit of credibility to their particular cause.
District leaders typically do not have a one size fits all characteristic, rather individuals make of it what they can. Some District leaders make a positive difference in their communities, or become labor leaders, even a steam valve for the entire neighborhood, while others don’t even seem to live in their district, or are appointed in absentia.
Take for example, Jessica Ramos, a Cornell graduate, who, at 29, for the past four years has served as a model Democratic District leader in the 39th Assembly District Part A which covers parts of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst.
Ramos is a labor leader, an advocate for women, a community organizer, she’s fought for immigration reform and LGBT rights, and she’s even worked on historic elections, but for whatever reason, Ramos is running without party support.
Despite carrying her own petition, Ramos received numerous endorsements from unions and Democratic clubs — like one of the largest in central Queens, The New Visions Democratic Club — including the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. So to some people, you’ll always be District leader, even if you had to carry your own petition.
For her remarkable independence, her resolve in the face of adversity, and her genuine commitment to Queens County, Queens-Politics proudly endorses Jessica Ramos for District leader.
Political parties tend to shy away from costly District leader primaries, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. But once you do win, with or without Party support, you’re back in, and within two years you’re running on the slate again (hopefully doing the right thing in your neighborhood).
The point is, if you know a Jessica Ramos in your neighborhood, please vote for her on September 9th, it will be the best decision you’ve made in a long time.