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Media Contact: Karen Young,, 773-517-6433 (mobile)

24 Challengers Sign Political Reform Pledge. Why Are Albany Incumbents Missing In Action?

Bipartisan group of statehouse challengers across New York signs RepresentUs #FixNYDemocracy Pledge for action in 2021

View press release on the web with photos and graphics here

NEW YORK, NY, JUNE 17, 2020 –  With early voting in progress, in a highly unpredictable election cycle affected by widespread unrest and COVID-19, people can now see who is committed to reform – and who isn’t.

A bipartisan group of challengers for State Senate and Assembly from every corner of the state, from Buffalo to the South Bronx, have signed the #FixNYDemocracy pledge to act on corruption in the next legislative session. See a full list of current signers on our website.

But for some reason, most incumbents haven’t signed.

Are they afraid of falling out of favor with the political establishment?  We’ve seen in recent days that the world has shifted under their feet.  People of all backgrounds are now demanding dramatic changes, and making it clear that they won’t settle for minor tweaks.  No elected official could fail to see this picture.  Yet the only candidates pledging to fight corruption in Albany – with one exception – are the challengers.

The pledge covers three essential issue areas:

●      Fixing NY elections through unbiased redistricting maps, fair ballot access rules, and expanding ranked choice voting

●      Getting big money out of NY politics with lower contribution limits

●      Holding officials accountable through a truly independent ethics watchdog

See full pledge here.

RJ DeMello from RepresentUS NY said, “The COVID-19 pandemic and the movement against police brutality sparked by George Floyd’s death have shone a bright light on systemic racism and widespread inequality.  We need more elected officials who make decisions based on what is right for the people, rather than what big donors or a corrupt system pressure them to do.”

Zohran Mamdani, Candidate for NY State Assembly District 36 in Astoria, Queens, said, “We’re in the midst of many crises but it’s important to know that they began long before this pandemic. For years, landlords, lobbyists and police unions have bought our elections and controlled our politics – and our politicians. I stand with RepresentUs NY to #FixNYDemocracy and get big money out of NY politics.”

Brittany Vogel, Candidate for NY State Assembly District 107, covering Rensselaer, Columbia, and Washington Counties, said, “My campaign is based on not fighting the old, but on building the new. To do that we first need to remove the influence of big money and the power that it wields in our political system. If the people’s interests are to be truly and equally represented, this has to be the first step, and I am committed to us getting there.”

RepresentUS will collect signatures on the pledge until just before election day. Candidates who wish to sign the pledge should contact Karen Young at We also encourage people to contact their elected officials and candidates and demand that they sign the Pledge.


RepresentUs NY is the Empire State Chapter of RepresentUs, the nation’s largest grassroots, nonpartisan anti-corruption organization. For too long, political power has been concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy individuals and special interests. We fight back by passing tough anti-corruption laws and other measures to strengthen democracy.

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