|Member of the New York State Senate|
from the 18th district
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2019
|Preceded by||Martin Malave Dilan|
|Born||December 30, 1990|
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Political party||Democratic (2017–present)|
|Alma mater||Columbia University (attended)|
Julia Salazar (born December 30, 1990) is an American politician and activist. She is the New York State Senator for the 18th district, which covers much of north Brooklyn. She won the seat as a first-time candidate after unseating incumbent Senator Martin Malave Dilan in the Democratic Party primary in 2018. She attracted national media attention for her support for sex workers rights and other views. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and became the first member of the organization to serve in New York's state legislature.
Early life and education
Salazar was born in Miami on December 30, 1990. Her mother is an American citizen by birth, and her father was a naturalized American citizen from Colombia. Her parents divorced during her childhood. Salazar described being raised in "a conservative home" and at 18 registered as a Republican. In March 2010, she registered with the Independence Party of New York, believing it meant she was an unaffiliated voter.
Salazar attended Columbia University, but told The New York Times she did not earn a degree. While at Columbia, Salazar was pro-life and a member of pro-Israel Christian student groups, but later became involved in campus Jewish life and tenant organizing. After college, she became a grassroots organizer and campaigned extensively for legislation around police accountability.
2018 New York State Senate campaign
Her campaign gained significant attention after the primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York's 14th congressional district. She was endorsed by Our Revolution, the Democratic Socialists of America, Cynthia Nixon, and Ocasio-Cortez herself. Citizens Union initially endorsed Salazar but later revoked their endorsement, citing discrepancies in information she provided about her academic credentials.
During her campaign, Salazar was criticized by Armin Rosen of Tablet, who raised questions about statements regarding her Jewish identity. Salazar describes herself as Jewish, has said that she has some Sephardic ancestry through her father, including a Sephardic surname, and that she started to explore Judaism while attending college. According to Rosen, her brother claimed their father "never mentioned" any Sephardic heritage before his death. Following the publication of Rosen's piece, Salazar's mother stated that her husband's family had a Sephardic background, while Salazar's former classmates attested to her Jewish faith in college. Salazar accused Rosen of engaging in "race science" and claimed he had threatened to publish her mother’s personal information if she didn't cooperate. Rosen also raised questions about Salazar's immigration background, which were discussed in an article a week later in City & State.
On September 11, 2018, Salazar accused David Keyes, then a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of sexual assault, stating she was preempting being outed a story about to be published by The Daily Caller. Keyes denied assaulting her in a statement to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Eleven additional women subsequently alleged similar instances of harassment or assault by Keyes. Although Israel's Civil Service Commission did not find sexual harassment by Keyes occurred, he resigned from his position in December 2018.
Salazar is a self-described democratic socialist, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and a staff organizer for Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. She supports universal rent control in New York City, decriminalization of sex work, Medicare for All, the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and access to abortion services. She also states that she supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which advocates boycotting Israel. Salazar supported the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019.
Identifying as a democratic socialist, she characterizes democratic socialists as those recognizing capitalism to be an inherently oppressive and exploitative system which democratic socialists actively works to dismantle while moving toward a socialist economic system. Contrasting progressives from democratic socialists, she identifies progressives as those offering palliative solutions within capitalism without advocating for changing the system, but highlights their overlap in short term policy goals.
- Hajela, Deepti (September 13, 2018). "Another Socialist Victory: Julia Salazar Wins NY Senate Primary". WNBC. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- Wang, Vivian (November 7, 2018). "Democrats Take Control of New York Senate for First Time in Decade". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
- Gessen, Massa (September 14, 2018). "A Triumphant Primary Night for Julia Salazar and the D.S.A. in Brooklyn". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
- Lewis, Rebecca; Williams, Zach (January 21, 2019). "Meet the new New York State Senate members". CSNY. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
- Dunst, Charles (August 23, 2018). "In Brooklyn, a Jewish Latina democratic socialist rallies for a State Senate seat". JTA. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
- Yadin, Daniel (July 4, 2018). "Running for State Senate, Julia Salazar Attempts Progressive Primary Upset". Gotham Gazette. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
- "Julia Salazar, the socialist politician accused of lying about her past, explained". September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
- Rosen, Armin (August 23, 2018). "Who Is Julia Salazar? Brooklyn State Senate Candidate's Complex Personal History and Views". Tablet Magazine.
- Lovett, Kenneth (July 23, 2018). "LOVETT: Self-proclaimed democratic socialist Salazar was first a registered Republican". Albany: New York Daily News. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- McKinley, Jesse (August 5, 2018). "Want to Be the Next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Be Careful What You Wish". The New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
- John-Paul Pagano (August 23, 2018), Julia Salazar, "Socialist" "Jewish" Candidate for NYS Senate, Defends Israel on Glenn Beck's TV Show, retrieved August 27, 2018
- "SD 18 Brooklyn (Williamsburg-Bushwick-Cypress Hills) | Metropolitan Council on Housing". metcouncilonhousing.org. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- Katinas, Paula (April 17, 2018). "Salazar to challenge Dilan in Democratic Primary". Brooklyn Eagle. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
- Adler-Bell, Sam (July 3, 2018). "Julia Salazar Is Looking to Land the Next Blow Against the New York Democratic Machine". The Intercept. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
- "Julia Salazar". Our Revolution. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
- "Our Endorsements". dsausa.org. Democratic Socialists of America. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
- Kossov, Igor (July 2, 2018). "Nixon swaps endorsements with state Senate candidate". New York Post. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
- Jilani, Zaid; Chávez, Aída (August 30, 2018). "NYC DSA, Ocasio-Cortez Stand by State Senate Candidate Julia Salazar, Despite Story Disputing Her Biography". Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- Jorgensen, Jillian. "Citizens Union drops endorsement of Julia Salazar, citing 'not correct' information about her academic credentials - NY Daily News". nydailynews.com. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- Dunst, Charles (August 24, 2018). "Amid controversy, NY State Senate candidate aims to clarify her Jewish identity". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Mikeliones, Lukas (August 27, 2018). "Socialist NY Senate candidate challenged over claims of being an immigrant, Jewish". Fox News. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Fractenberg, Ben (July 16, 2018). "Julia Salazar Says Jewish Roots Helped Inspire Her Political Activism". The Forward. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
- "Opinion - We Are Julia Salazar's Former Classmates. We Had To Speak Out". Retrieved September 6, 2018.
- Sommer, Allison Kaplan (August 26, 2018). "Fake Jews or Fake News? State Senate Candidate Julia Salazar Claims Racism After Jewish Identity Questioned". Haaretz. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Williams, Zach; Adler, Ben (August 27, 2018). "There are many Julia Salazars. Which one is running for state Senate? A rundown of all the candidate's misleading claims about her personal history". City & State New York. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- "Julia Salazar, a Democratic Socialist, beats incumbent in New York senate primary". AP News. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- "Julia Salazar overcomes controversy to notch another victory for democratic socialists". September 14, 2018.
- "Inside Julia Salazar's Triumphant Brooklyn Primary Party: 'It's Time For Change Around Here'". Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- "Julia Salazar Campaign Says Daily Caller Plans To Out Her As Sexual Assault Survivor". Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- "Julia Salazar for State Senate on Twitter". Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- "Julia Salazar accuses Netanyahu spokesman of sexual assault". September 11, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Schapiro, Rich. "Brooklyn state Senate hopeful Julia Salazar says she was sexually assaulted by spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - NY Daily News". Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Sommer, Allison Kaplan (September 11, 2018). "Netanyahu Spokesman Denies Sexual Assault Claim by N.Y. State Senate Candidate Julia Salazar". Haaretz. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- Sommer, Allison Kaplan (September 12, 2018). "Ten More Women Accuse Netanyahu Spokesman Keyes of Improper Behavior". Haaretz. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- "Sexual misconduct case against Netanyahu spokesman Keyes closed". haaretz.com. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
- "Civil Service Commission drops probe of Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes". Retrieved December 2, 2018.
- Day, Meagan (July 6, 2018). ""It Really Comes Down to Empowering the Working Class"". Jacobin. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Wallace-Wells, Benjamin (August 2, 2018). "How the Democratic Socialists of America Learned to Love Cynthia Nixon". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- Chávez, Aída (August 17, 2018). "Sex Workers Are Rallying Behind a Democratic Socialist Running for New York Senate". The Intercept. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- Callie Beusman, Julia Salazar’s Win Is a Huge Victory for Sex Workers, in The Cut/New York, September 19, 2018
- Halper, Katie. "Meet the Democratic Socialist Feminist Running for New York Senate". Teen Vogue. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- Lennard, Natasha (May 14, 2019). "Across the Country, Progressives Are Pushing for Universal Rent Control — and New York Is Next". The Intercept. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
The proposals are being sponsored by progressive freshman Democrats like state Sens. Julia Salazar and Zellnor Myrie, and born of tenants’ rights organizing around the state by the Upstate/Downstate Housing Alliance.
- Graham, Aidan (June 14, 2019). "Political leaders celebrate rent law agreement as a 'historic' victory for tenants". The Brooklyn Paper. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
State Sen. Julia Salazar led a protest on April 18 urging Albany legislators to adopt protections for tenants across the state, which they agreed to do earlier this week.