Universal Basic Income Supporter Joins Congressional Race to Represent Harlem
Congressman Adriano Espaillat will face challengers in the Democratic primary for the first time since winning his seat in 2016.
Brendan Krisel | Nov 1, 2019
Topic category: Social Justice
Basic Income Today
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Upper Manhattan's seat in congress is facing a primary challenge for the first time in four years.

UPPER MANHATTAN, NY — A Harlem entrepreneur and community organizer who supports creating a universal basic income has announced a bid to challenge Congressmember Adriano Espaillat in the upcoming 2020 election.

James Felton Keith announced his campaign Saturday on the corner of West 145th Street and Convent Avenue as part of the largest march for universal basic income ever organized in New York City. The policy — which is being championed by Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang — proposes awarding a universal monthly stipend for all Americans. Supporters of the policy say it will award every citizen a safety net as advances in technology reduce the number of jobs.

"We must work together to upend the current standard of living crisis that leaves hardworking families behind," Felton Keith said in a statement. "I have chosen to launch my campaign during the worldwide movement demanding basic income because our economy is the sum of our working families who do not get their fair share when it comes to affordable housing, health care and a decent education."

New York's 13th Congressional District — which spans most of Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood and parts of the South Bronx — has not seen a contested Democratic primary since 2016. Adriano Espaillat, the current incumbent, defeated a number of challengers including the current chair of the New York County Democratic Committee Keith Wright to succeed the retiring Charles Rangel.

Felton Keith briefly ran in 2018, but dropped out of the primary before the election. Also challenging Espaillat is Harlem resident Richard Habersham, who has worked as a substitute teacher, journalist and community organizer in Harlem. Habersham announced his candidacy in September.

Brendan Krisel |Oct 29, 2019
FROM: Patch
Tags: James Felton Keith, New York's 13th Congressional District, Adriano Espaillat,
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