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Pamela Harris. New Assemblywoman from Southern Brooklyn

Pamela Harris, a former corrections officer and a founder of the popular youth organization Coney Island Generation GAP, won the special election for NYS Assembly in 46 District on November 3, 2015, by a large margin: 63%-37%. She made a history since she became a first black Assembly member in New York State representing a majority white district.

Her election proved that people in Southern Brooklyn today look beyond race, gender, religion or national origin of political candidates. Voters choose the most qualified candidates based on their community involvement, life experience, character and judgement, political views and election platform.

I have known Pamela Harris for more than 14 years as a very hard working and caring person who learned to overcome life challenges and fight for community interests. She helped to take teens and kids away from drugs, gangs and streets. She organized job fairs, Derby races and art exhibitions. She was one of the first responders after 9/11 terrorist attacks and after Sandy.

Capitol building in Albany -
cake made
by Pam's supporter

Pamela Harris did not listen to skeptical pundits and closet racists who predicted that she will lose on Election Day due to her race and her Coney Island roots. She united the large district bringing together African Americans and Russian speaking immigrants, Asian Americans and Orthodox Jews, Italian and Irish constituents. She did not hesitate to campaign at Brighton Beach subway station and senior center at Bay Ridge, to meet voters at Seagate and Warbasse, Luna Park and Trump Village.

She won the old way - by working hard and talking directly to people. I am positive she would be a great Assemblywoman representing all communities in her diverse district. And I am very proud that the Russian speaking community, despite constantly being accused of racism, overwhelmingly voted for the African American Democratic candidate.

Congratulations, Pamela, with your well-deserved victory! Your work in Assembly is starting on a high note. Never forget who and why sent you to represent 46 District in Albany.

Ari Kagan


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