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Maya Wiley

New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley is seeing her poll numbers surge after netting high-profile endorsements in recent days from progressive lawmakers and organizations, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and the Working Families Party.

After previously struggling to crack the top three in the crowded Democratic primary field, Wiley jumped to second place in the first major poll conducted in the wake of Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement this past weekend, which came just over two weeks before the June 22 election.

The survey by PIX11, NewsNation, and Emerson College shows that Wiley—a civil rights lawyer—is just five points behind Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer. Businessman and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang polled third, just two percentage points behind Wiley.

"If we don't come together as a movement, we will get a New York City built by and for billionaires," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among the latest to endorse the civil rights attorney's campaign.

"If we don't come together as a movement, we will get a New York City built by and for billionaires, and we need a city for and by working people," Ocasio-Cortez said at an endorsement event outside City Hall in Manhattan on Saturday.

"So we will vote for Maya number 1," added the New York Democrat, alluding to the city's new ranked-choice voting system. Early voting in the contest begins on June 12.

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Bowman, a freshman member of Congress, endorsed Wiley on the same day as Ocasio-Cortez, tweeting that "New York City's next mayor needs to be a progressive fighter, ready to reimagine a New York that works for every single community."

Prominent progressive organizations in New York City have also recently thrown their support behind Wiley, who is running on a platform that includes a Works Progress Administration-style jobs and infrastructure program, policing reform, and significant investments in affordable housing.

"As Eric Adams and Andrew Yang continue to push dangerous pro-corporate, pro-carceral agendas, it’s more important than ever that we consolidate progressive strength to ensure a working people's champion wins this year," Sochie Nnaemeka, the head of the state's Working Families Party (WFP), said in a statement. "Maya Wiley has the momentum, platform, and growing diverse coalition to win this race."

WFP originally endorsed Scott Stringer but rescinded the co-sign after a former campaign volunteer accused the New York City comptroller of sexual assault, an allegation he has denied.

Last month, WFP issued a dual endorsement of Wiley and education advocate Dianne Morales, whose campaign is "near the brink of implosion" after staff members accused her of attempting to quash their unionization effort and failing to address other internal workplace issues. Morales has since pledged to support the staff union push.

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As the New York Timesreported earlier this week: "Four progressive groups, including the Working Families Party, have rescinded their endorsements for Ms. Morales. All are now endorsing Ms. Wiley."

Jake Johnson
Common Dreams