By Dylan Campbell
Queens Daily Eagle
With just a few left before Thursday’s primary election, women candidates from Queens joined more than 100 supporters at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights Sunday to demonstrate their support for progressive women running for office.
The event was hosted by Amplify Her, an organization created to address women’s underrepresentation in the New York City’s elected offices.
Sheltered from the rain and surrounded by blue balloons, the candidates and other women leaders — including former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Democratic nominee for New York’s 14th Congressional District Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Carlina Rivera — called out the low representation of women in office and emphasized that these women are the ones to change that now.
“Women make up a majority of New York residents, yet we are shockingly underrepresented in local and state government,” said Jessica Ramos, who is running in the Democratic primary to represent state Senate District 13. “This is unacceptable. I am proud to be part of the wave of strong, fearless women running to change the status quo—and proud to help build a coalition of women who are knocking on doors, making the calls, and casting their ballots for true progressives on election day.”
Women occupy 11 of the 51 — less than 22 percent — of the seats on City Council.
On the national level, women hold less than a quarter of the seats in the U.S. Senate and just 84 of the 435 seats in the House — less than just under 20 percent.
That could change soon.
This year, more than 500 women are running for office — hundreds more than the record-breaking number of women who ran in 2016.
“This is a historic year for women running for office,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We are looking forward to the movement toward better representation in government.”
Many of the candidates at the event said that they are not only inspired by the increasing number of women running but by the collective agreement to stand up for women’s rights.
“Women are not just the future, we are the present,” said State Assembly candidate Catalina Cruz, who is running to represent Assembly District 39. “At a time when women’s rights are threatened by the lack of adequate representation in positions of leadership, I am especially honored to be a part of and encouraged by the growing number of progressive women and women of color running for office to become strong and independent voices for our communities. We are showing our determination on the streets, at the polls, and behind every desk across America to send the message that when women succeed, everyone succeeds.”