Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Glendale
Jenifer Rajkumar ★ Preferred Candidate
Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A.; Stanford University, J.D.
Candidate Website: https://www.jeniferforny.com/
Jenifer Rajkumar is a civil rights attorney and a former District Leader with a background working in government. She served under Governor Cuomo as the Director of Immigration Affairs and as Special Counsel from 2017 to 2019. Rajkumar is on the board of Represent Women, on the Legal Advisory Council for Sanctuary for Families, and a member of a number of other organizations for social change. She also teaches at CUNY’s Lehman College. She believes South Queens is underrepresented and promises to increase access to education and justice, improve public safety, and fight for affordable health care. Rajkumar dedicates a section of her platform to “Good, Honest Government & Campaign Finance Reform.” She supports campaign finance reform by seeking to limit political donations and by focusing on conflicts of interest and ethics reform. Rajkumer encourages transparency by increasing oversight of elected officials and those doing business with the state. She believes Committee Chairs must have more power to shape policy in their topical areas and the ability to hire their own staff. A long time community activist, she ran in the 2016 primary for Assembly District 65 and was preferred by Citizens Union. She demonstrates exceptional understanding of reform issues and Citizens Union is impressed by her clear, detailed policy plans. We believe she will be an excellent community representative and an effective advocate and as such, prefer her in this race.
Joey De Jesus
Occupation: Poet; Adjunct Professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Education: Oberlin College, B.A.; Sarah Lawrence College, M.F.A.; New York University, M.A.
Candidate Website: https://dejesus2020.com/
Joey De Jesus is a poet and community activist focused on social justice initiatives. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, and he has published 3 books. He also holds teaching positions at FIT and the Borough of Manhattan Community College. This is his first time running for public office; he runs his campaign with no institutional support. De Jesus advocates for greater police accountability, decreasing campaign contribution limits, restoring voting rights of formerly incarcerated individuals, and extending the right to vote to all residents in local and statewide elections. He promises to decarcerate the state, fight for universal suffrage, and protect constituents from ICE. Citizens Union finds De Jesus’ dedication to social justice admirable, but we do not prefer him in this race due to the strength of his opponent.
Occupation: New York State Assembly Member
Education: Queens College, B.A.; CUNA Management School at the University of Georgia, M.A.
Candidate Website: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/Michael-Miller/
Michael Miller has served as Assembly Member for District 38 since 2009, when he was elected in a special election. He is currently the Assistant Majority Whip and Chair of the Assembly Task Force for People with Disabilities. He is a sitting member of the Committees on Aging, Banks, Education, Labor, Racing and Wagering, and Veteran’s Affairs. His priorities include protecting working families, improving the education system, and increasing services for seniors. Miller opposes two of Citizens Union’s priorities – changing the new public finance system to make in- and out-of-district donations eligible and to eliminate the three tiers for matching, and repealing Civil Rights Law, Sec. 50-a which he believes would put police officers and their families at risk. Although Miller indicates he sees “room for reform,” Citizens Union feels he demonstrates a lack of understanding on reform issues and does not have a promising record of legislative victories in office. Citizens Union is concerned about his unclear policy plans and agenda and has chosen not to prefer Miller in this race.