Support Omar Vaid, who aims to defeat Republican House Rep Dan Donovan in 2018–New York City’s only non-Democrat member of Congress.
Surprise! New York City’s thirteen-member Congressional delegation is not 100 percent Democrat.
No surprise! The one Republican, Dan Donovan, represents Staten Island (bits of Brooklyn belong to his district as well). He gained the post in a special election in 2015 and got re-elected last year, beating his Democratic opponent by almost a two-to-one margin.
Omar Vaid is aiming to take Donovan’s house seat, in New York’s 11th District, in 2018. Vaid is a Muslim, the son of immigrants with Gujarati Indian heritage. He works in props and set decoration for movies and TV, which has him working directly with unionized electricians, carpenters, welders, teamsters, mechanics, and other tradespeople. He goes out of his way to spend his professional and personal dollars on local, small businesses. He’s been a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 52, for eight years. He is a past resident of Staten Island.
His platform (unsurprisingly) supports unions. He wants to protect net neutrality, protect immigrants’ rights, and protect social security. He wants to strengthen public schools and lower the cost of prescription drugs. He wants to tax marijuana sales to fund treatment for opioid addiction. He supports passing a bill to institute paid family leave. He’ll combat racism. And having seen the aftereffects of Sandy, he’s on board with protecting his district from the ravages climate change.
The primary takes place on June 26, 2018. Vaid is up against six other Democrats. Donovan, the Republican incumbent, won in 2016 with more than 61 percent of the vote.
We do see a glitch with Vaid. While he’s a past resident of Staten Island, he isn’t one now, and his plan is to move there if he wins the election. Opponents of Jon Ossoff mercilessly hammered him for not living in the district at the time he was running, even though he’d lived there most of his life, was living just outside it, and had only moved to help his girlfriend be closer to her program of study. We feel it’s best to urge Vaid to move to Staten Island as soon as possible to pluck that weapon from the hands of Donovan boosters.
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