Last week, Long Island City resident Mary Jobaida announced that she will take on Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan in the 2020 Democratic Primary.
If elected, Jobaida would be the first female Bangladeshi-American to serve in the Assembly.
“As a mother of three who has been raising a family in this district for over 15 years, not once have I seen a true, democratic process when I’ve gone to vote for a State Assembly member from my party,” she said in a statement.
Nolan has represented the 37th Assembly District, covering parts of Long Island City, Sunnyside and Ridgewood, since 1984. She chairs the Assembly Committee on Education and was appointed deputy speaker last year.
Jobaida hopes to change that. She said having only one name to choose from on a ballot is “not what true democracy looks like.”
Among her campaign’s top priorities will be universal health care, public financing for state elections, eliminating partisan gerrymandering, term limits and combating the influence of real estate and fossil fuel interests.
The candidate also pledged to refuse or return all campaign contributions from real estate developers, corporate PACs and lobbyists.
“If I win, I will push to place term limits on my very own tenure,” she said, “because no one should hold a single seat in office for more than a decade.”
Hunters Point civic leader Brent O’Leary, who is also running for City Council in 2021 when current Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is term-limited, attested to Jobaida’s activism in the community.
“I know Mary to be a genuine, heartfelt individual who, in all the years that she’s lived in the district, has always reached out to ask what she could do for our community,” he said in a statement.
Jobaida plans to formally announce her candidacy later this month.