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PODCAST: We Talk to Zohran Mamdani, a Democratic Socialist Who Will be Representing the 36th Assembly District in Astoria

Zohran Mamdani, who will represent the 36th Assembly District that covers Astoria

Sept. 18, 2020 By Christian Murray

We talk to Zohran Mamdani, a self-described socialist who will be representing the 36th Assembly District in Albany next year.

Mamdani, 28, is an Astoria resident who won the Democratic primary against incumbent Aravella Simotas in June in what proved to be a very competitive race. He was the only Queens assembly candidate endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America.

Mamdani, who will represent a district that covers Astoria, discusses his platform that aims to tackle the housing crisis, inequities in the criminal justice system, the inequalities of the public-school system, and a transportation system that he believes should include free MTA fares and better infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians.

He talks about the need for a progressive income tax structure to pay for many of the services that he believes should be free. He advocates increasing the personal income tax rate on people who earn more than $150,000 a year as well as taxing Wall Street.

Mamdani, who was previously a foreclosure prevention specialist, plans to focus heavily on the housing crisis. He talks about the need for universal rent control—which would cover all market rate apartments with the exception of most 2-to-3-family homes—to protect tenants in a similar manner as rent stabilization.

He talks about the need for a state flip tax—or short-term capital gains tax– to prevent speculators buying and selling property within 12 months for a hefty profit.

Mamdani said that one in four homes are bought by unnamed investors in Astoria which he says is leading to residents being priced out.

He is calling for the complete elimination of cash bail and solitary confinement, as well as a reduction in funding for the NYPD. While the NYPD budget falls under the purview of the city council, Mamdani said he will use his bully pulpit to advocate for the reallocation of those funds to homeless services and other areas that the NYPD is not best equipped to handle.

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11 Comments

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John Jacob

I don’t know many 20 somethings who could become music composers on a major Disney project then claim to represent the working people…
If you query his campaign donations, his parents donate a hefty amount along with other big hollywood people. He seems like a chameleon who is only interested in self-promotion.

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Merman

Thank you for the useful insight. I agree, regardless of what he says, Zohran Mamdani is a total chameleon with little to no real understanding of the average New Yorker.

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Ugh

Increasing the personal income tax rate on people who earn more than $150,000 a year? Sure, convince them to all leave the state. Washington’s doing fine without ANY income tax. Increase sales tax and add a vacancy tax. That’s why NJ and CT are popular. You can enjoy the amenities of the city without the taxes. 150k in NYC can barely afford the average 2BR apartment. And remember he lived on his parents’ money in a luxury apartment. Completely out of touch. No one’s making money on flips in NYC anyway, and why discourage improving properties that are unlivable?

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Anonymous

A large part of the DSA’s platform which ZM parrots is obsolete already due to the pandemic and recession. Now we have a glut of vacancies rather than a housing shortage. Now we have increased crime and lowered quality of life. Many inmates were already cut loose during the pandemic. Nobody wants to ride the subway even if it is free. NYC has to slash the budget and fire city workers but ZM wants more things to be free. He is not adapting to the current landscape.

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JaimeB

Take a poll in Astoria and see how many constituents actually want to defund the police. Likely just the DSA barista/basement dweller class. We need to reconsidered the two-party primary system because too many of these fringe candidates are squeaking through low-turnout primaries then coasting through the general, making a mockery of New York’s elected bodies.

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Hahaha

Why attach yourself to Democrats? If you are a socialist just call yourself that. Democratic Party is still a capitalist party, as is the majority of this country. If you want to live off of other people’s money then there are other countries with that kind of system. If you want it here, then be honest about it and take your sheep clothes off.

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somedude

“The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

despite all that, this idiot wants to run on a socialist platform. did he ask daddy if he would be okay giving back salary for the benefit of non-working leeches? or giving up his luxury apt and redistributing the proceeds from that so others who didnt lift a finger can benefit from his efforts? selling off his brokerage and ira accts? all in the name of a failed ideology that should work!

see how much daddy donated:
https://cfapp.elections.ny.gov/ords/plsql_browser/getfiler2_loaddates?filerid_in=A23131

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