Community organizer Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter announced her candidacy today for the New York State Senate, representing the 33rd District, in front of scores of supporters. Hunter, a 26 year resident of the district, is challenging the incumbent State Senator Pedro Espada, who threw the State into chaos last Summer.
Pilgrim-Hunter’s candidacy is expected to become the focal point of community energy to reform state government and oust Espada, who was called “a carpetbagger, coward, cynic, scofflaw, deadbeat, pal of thieves” by the editorial page of the Daily News, in the Democratic primary scheduled for September 14th.
“Our community deserves a State Senator who lives in our community, shares our values, and will never stop fighting for us,” said Pilgim-Hunter. “For over a year, we have been represented by an individual who lives in Westchester, fights for landlords instead of tenants and turns his back on our Democratic values by joining the Republican party. I am running to offer this district a fresh start.”
Pilgrim-Hunter continued, “We need to return to honest, open government by rejecting the old politics that have caused so many to become distrustful of our elected officials. Years of working on behalf of Bronx families have given me a belief that the things we want most for our community are within our reach – but we must be willing to hold our representatives to a higher standard of accountability.”
Pilgrim-Hunter is a longtime neighborhood activist and organizer with a long record of fighting for her community:
As president of the Fordham Hill Cooperative Apartments, the largest privately owned cooperative in the Bronx (4,000 residents), Pilgrim-Hunter successfully organized her neighbors to block a plan to devalue the property and sell it to the highest bidder.
As an executive board member of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Pilgrim-Hunter has been instrumental in organizing and empowering residents of the Northwest Bronx, while also winning concrete victories that improve material conditions for community members and change public and private policies.
Pilgrim-Hunter was a leader of the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance and has been appointed by the Bronx Borough President to be a member of the new Task Force for the Redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory.
Pilgrim-Hunter is a 26 year resident of the district, and lives with her husband and daughter who attended New York City public schools.
The 33rd State Senate district includes portions of the Northwest Bronx neighborhoods of Bedford Park, Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights, Mount Hope, Norwood, Riverdale, Tremont, East Tremont, University Heights and Van Cortlandt Village.