Rita Joseph announces broad support in bid for CD-40

Brooklyn Council Member, Rita Joseph.
Marc Baptiste Photography

Haitian-born Rita Joseph, a candidate for the 40th Council District in Brooklyn, has announced the endorsement of her compatriot Pastor Samuel Nicolas of Evangelical Crusade Christian Church, building on what is already the largest coalition of endorsements and grassroots support in her race.

Rev. Nicolas joins a strong coalition of progressive leaders and organizations who have thrown their support behind Joseph in the crowded race for 40th Council District seat in the Democratic Primary scheduled for Jun. 22, 2021.

“I’m so proud to endorse Rita Joseph as my candidate for New York City Council in the 40th District” said Rev. Nicolas. “Rita’s involvement in the community and the church runs deep, and I’m endorsing her, because I know she’ll be able to hit the ground running.

“She is going to be someone we can rely on to bring people together and unite our community,” added Rev. Nicolas, a charismatic leader and a public servant.

Joseph, a longtime public school teacher and community activist, told Caribbean Life that she was “humbled and grateful to receive the endorsement of such a broad, diverse coalition of supporters who recognize the need for bold, genuine change in Central Brooklyn.”

Joseph has received 25 endorsements in total, including from Zephyr Teachout; former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; State Sen. John Liu; Road to Justice, a coalition composed of 1199 SEIU; Community Voices Heard; Make the Road Action; the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club; Black Lives Matter of Greater NY; TenantsPA; and 21 in ’21.

Others are: Women of Color for Progress; NYC KidsPAC; Haitian Women’s Alliance; Grassroots Law Project; Save-A-Rose Foundation; Elect Black Women PAC; National Institute for Reproductive Health; Future Steps US; Brooklyn Progressive Alliance; NYC Against ICE; American Institute of Architects New York; NYCLASS; and Voters for Animal Rights.

“We are pleased to endorse Rita Joseph to represent the working people of District 40,” said Gabby Seay, 1199SEIU political director. “Rita is a dedicated activist and advocate for her community. 1199SEIU members are confident that she will be an effective ally for working families in District 40 and throughout Brooklyn.”

1199SEIU is the largest union in New York and the largest healthcare worker union in the nation. It represents over 250,000 healthcare workers in the New York City metropolitan area, more than 300,000 members in New York State and over 450,000 members along the East Coast.

“I am honored to have the support of 1199SEIU. For too long, elected officials have made decisions for, rather than with, working people. My candidacy is dedicated to changing that,” Joseph said.

“Working people in New York City need champions in City Hall, and I could not be prouder to have the backing of a strong union that is dedicated to an economy that is more just, a healthcare system that is more equitable, and a planet that is more resilient to the effects of climate change,” she added. “I can’t wait to partner with them to get it done.”

“Rita is an energetic teacher and leader who will be responsive to her constituents and keep children’s needs at the center of city policy at a time when children need a voice,” said Teachout, well-known progressive activist. “I’m super proud to endorse her and can’t wait to see the change she brings to District 40.”

Liu said: “As a public school teacher and community activist, Rita Joseph has demonstrated that she is committed to fighting for working families, students, and parents.

“As the chair of the New York City Education Committee in the State Senate, I know how important it is that we have passionate education advocates like Rita in office,” he said. “I’m excited to endorse Rita Joseph for City Council in District 40 and look forward to seeing all that she accomplishes once she gets elected.”

District 40 comprises the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Ditmas Park, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Lefferts Garden and Southern Crown Heights.

Joseph, who migrated from Haiti when she was two years old, grew up in Flatbush, and has lived and worked in Central Brooklyn for the last 21 years.

She attended the now-closed Sarah J. Hale High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in liberal arts from St. Francis College and a dual Master’s in general and special education from Touro College.

Joseph serves as a teacher at PS6 in Flatbush, where she is the ESL (English as a Second Language) coordinator and the on-site technology coordinator.

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