Who's Who for Nov 6?

By Emily Blake

The Trail-Blazing Candidates Catching our Eyes

Julia Salazar

She is the 27 year-old Democratic Socialist who defeated 8-term incumbent Martin Delan with 59% of the vote as a first time candidate. She is the NY State Senate candidate looking to represent the 18th District.

Catalina Cruz

Cruz is an experienced attorney and community leader who has fought for tenant protections, immigration reform, and workers’ rights. She is also the first DREAMer to ever be elected to the New York State Assembly. This means when she immigrated to the US from Colombia as a young child, she was granted Delayed Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA citizenship) until she was able to become a naturalized American citizen in 2009.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

You have probably heard of this revolutionary, pro-education candidate who defeated 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley to represent New York’s 14th Congressional district (including parts of the Bronx and Queens). She is a progressive member of the Democratic Socialists of America who ran with a donation-based fund of $194,000 whereas incumbent Crowley ran with a campaign budget of over $3.4 million. Ocasio-Cortez is a first time candidate who believes in “people above party.” She was endorsed by former progressive gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon.

You may have noticed that this article highlights mostly progressive candidates with some socialist policies. The reason these candidates are highlighted is because they all have developed youth-centered, pro-student platforms.

A Re-Cap of the Primary & the Importance of Voting in the Midterms

Especially within University communities, students who identify as far-left liberal are discouraged by entrenched Democrats such as current Governor Cuomo gaining the Democratic Party nomination over more grassroots candidates like Cynthia Nixon who did not have as many economic and political resources. However justified this frustration may be, it does not justify the decision to abstain from voting all together. It is still catastrophically important to vote. Remember 2016?

How to Make Sure You Can Vote November 6th (because in New York, it’s not always that easy)

Register to vote as early as possible! There are a few ways you can do this, so be sure to research (based on your district) where you can go to register! Sometimes you might even be able to do it online!

Pro-tip: If you plan on voting with a major party most of the time (Democratic or Republican), register as this party! New York has a closed primary system, which means you can only vote in the primary for the party in which you are registered. For example, Cynthia Nixon’s wife could not vote for Cynthia in the NY Democratic Primary because she was registered in the Working Families Party, not the Democratic Party.

How to Get Involved if You Can’t Vote in New York


Look up the website for the candidate of your choice online, and nine times out of ten, they will have a “donate” button. Coming from someone who has worked on grassroots campaigns, even $5 makes a difference!

Sign up for candidate mailing list updates

If you’re not sure how you’d like to show up for a candidate yet, usually they have an email bank you can sign up for on their website!

Do your part on social media (really, it’s easy!)

Some people don’t vote because they simply don’t know about a candidate or an election! If they see a friend posting a candidate’s bio, posting links to find a poll, or anything election-related, it might just light a fire under them!


Campus organizations such as Columbia Democrats or Women in Law and Politics (bipartisan) will be hosting events where you can make phone calls on behalf of candidates! Some candidates even allow you to make phone calls from the comfort of your own bed/couch/library using an online database!

Finally, find campus clubs or community organizations that are organizing door-to-door canvassing or locations to pass out candidate literature and flyers!

Happy voting!

Emily Blake