Jeff Kurzon hopes that younger voters’ enthusiasm for progressive policies ignited by a grassroots effort by Bernie Sanders and his supporters will land him a spot in the race for United States Congress representing New York’s 7th District in the June 28th Democratic Primary.
Yes, it’s another primary, and yes, Mr. Kurzon is running against a favored incumbent. Sound familiar? In 2014, Jeff ran in the Democratic primary and received 19.1% of the vote, with fewer than 5% of registered democrats voting in a district that stretches from Chinatown to Sunset Park to Bushwick to Woodhaven.
Mr. Kurzon spoke with Bushwick Daily about his campaign and his hopes for what amounts to an new era in American politics. Three issues served as the cornerstones to our conversation: unique problems facing people in our congressional district, reasons why members of congress are not doing anything about it, and the environment.
“In congressional district 7, the median household income is $48,000,” Mr. Kurzon noted. “Ten percent below the national average in one of the most expensive districts in the United States.”
He believes housing stock has not caught up to the new version of the American Dream. Younger people are no longer dreaming of a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence. Instead they are flocking to cities both for the employment opportunities and for the undeniable cultural benefit of living in an urban center. But over the past few years, developers have focused not on those with middle-class incomes but on the rich flooding New York to buy up a luxury property.
Of course, Mr. Kurzon believes not much will change if members of congress are still bought by special interest groups. Even in 2014, he decried the “corrupting influence of money in politics” when it wasn’t yet a populist sentiment. Now, these talking points are familiar thanks in part to a more public conversation in the democratic primary debates.
Furthermore, Mr. Kurzon argued against popular subsidy programs which effectively provide tax breaks to industries actively polluting our environment. He has also pledged to join the Climate Mobilization, an ambitious project with a goal of carbon neutrality in the United States by 2025.
During the petitioning process, Mr Kurzon walked through the diverse neighborhoods which make up this district, asking New Yorkers for their support and learning about problems facing his potential constituents. He emphasized that he is the only candidate in this democratic primary who pounded the pavement this extensively.
In an election year this packed with surprising results, it is unclear what combination of name-recognition, policies, money, and engagement will propel any candidate closer to victory. Only the next few months will be able to tell how many items from the progressive agenda will become points of debate leading up to November’s general election.
This election takes place on June 28th, and because of historically low turnout, voters can expect to make a real impact on which Democrat is sent to the primaries. The deadline to register is June 3rd.