Arab American Association of New York

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There’s a Democratic Socialist from Los Sures Running for State Senate

Debbie Medina is running for State Senate in the 18th District (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Debbie Medina is running for State Senate in the 18th District (Photo: Nicole Disser)

To meet with Debbie Medina, New York’s first Democratic Socialist candidate for State Senate, I was invited not to a campaign office, nor a public appearance, not even to join her on a campaigning stroll through the 18th district, but to Medina’s Williamsburg apartment– specifically, her dining room table. Here, she advised me not to take off my shoes. “You’ll ruin your socks if you do that,” she laughed.

It became clear to me immediately that Debbie Medina, who’s running her second grassroots campaign to snatch the 18th-district seat in the fall, isn’t at all like other politicians. For one, hers isn’t the sort of practiced, regal charisma that most politicos have– a perfect grin and an unerring face, both provided with extra protection from the elements by a layer of effervescent self-assurance so infectious that if you’re not careful it can briefly paralyze your capacity for doubt, and turn you into a nodding, agreeable dimwit.

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‘We’re in the Eye of the Storm’: Brooklyn’s Undocumented Immigrants Get Ready For Reform

(Photos: Mary Reinholz)

(Photos: Mary Reinholz)

Fernando Canovas has lived in the shadow of the law for 23 years, working as a cook in Queens and never visiting a doctor’s office in part because of problems with his ID. “I don’t get sick,” said the 43-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico City on a recent late afternoon.
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