By Daniel Marans, 4/21/2021

The progressive group Jews for Racial and Economic Justice announced its endorsement of nonprofit leader Dianne Morales for mayor of New York City on Wednesday.

The nod from JFREJ is a coup for Morales, the most left-wing candidate in the race, and a milestone for JFREJ, which has never endorsed in the mayoral race before.

Since New York City Democrats are set to use a ranked-choice voting system in the June 22 primary, JFREJ also issued a dual endorsement of attorney Maya Wiley and city comptroller Scott Stringer for its second choice on the ballot.

Rachel McCullough, a Brooklynite who runs JFREJ’s political program, said the group’s members appreciate Morales’ “chutzpah” as a first-time political candidate unafraid to embrace ideas viewed by many as radical.

“It’s a big deal for someone who has never run for office before and is not a career politician, but who nevertheless has the right kind of executive experience and lived experience,” McCullough said.

Among other things, Morales proposes halving the New York City Police Department’s budget and investing the savings in social services, housing the homeless in vacant hotel rooms and apartments, and forcibly ending racial segregation in public schools.

Morales has “the right kind of perspective on the sectors of our economy in New York City that have experienced such cruel divestment over the years, which is to say, social services,” McCullough said.

The endorsement is designed to build on the momentum Morales has picked up recently. Last Thursday, Morales, the former CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, a nonprofit serving low-income residents of the South Bronx, qualified for $2.2 million in matching public funds from the New York City government.

“After being discounted for so long, she now has demonstrated what a truly grassroots, people-powered campaign can represent for our city,” McCullough said. “The enthusiasm is not an accident.”

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