Maternal Health Nurse Phara Souffrant Forrest, 31, will be the new assembly member for Brooklyn’s 57th Assembly District.
Forrest will replace incumbent Assembly Member Walter Mosley in representing the district, that includes Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvessant and Prospect Heights, after absentee ballots pushed her more than 2,500 votes ahead of Mosley. The democratic socialist union nurse trailed Mosley by 588 votes on election night.
Forrest declared victory on Wednesday night, saying on Twitter: “It was a long wait, but today we can finally say that we did it! Together, we made history by electing a socialist nurse in the middle of the worst pandemic in 100 years.”
Forrest told the BK Reader her decision to run came last year when she was arrested in Albany, along with 60 other activists, for protesting in support of tenants’ rights bills, and only one elected official, Sen. Dianna Richardson, stood up for the protestors.
“That was when I got very vocal about it and decided, ‘Hey, we can’t just have one person stepping up.’ There has to be more representation,” she said.
Forrest focused her campaign on tenants rights, a cause that has gained traction with the pandemic, and she refused special interest donations throughout her campaign. She supports the NY Health Act and Good Cause Eviction Bill. The two bills fight for universal rent control and Medicare for all.
Forrest said she would continue to agitate the way she had always done and use her voice to push issues through Brooklyn and beyond, saying “we need to let grassroots groups all over New York State know it’s our turn.”
Assembly Member Mosley said in a concession statement he was immensely proud of the work he had done with the community to improve the city and state, including passing rent laws, universal pre-k, the SAFE Act, monumental criminal justice reforms like raise the age and recently the law to outlaw the use of police chokeholds statewide.
“There remains so much work to be done, especially as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and continue the fight for racial equity,” he said.
“It has been a privilege to represent the community I grew up in as a member of the assembly, and I am confident that Ms. Souffrant Forrest will continue to be a strong voice for this district in Albany. I congratulate her on her victory, and look forward to working together to continue to improve our community.”
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