Muslims for Progress (MFP), a coalition of left-leaning Muslim Americans across New York City and Long Island, endorsed Melanie D’Arrigo in her 2020 Democratic primary campaign against two-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi for New York’s Third Congressional District.
In their endorsement for the district — which includes about 60,000 Queens residents in Whitestone, Bayside, Glen Oaks and Little Neck — MFP cited D’Arrigo’s commitment to immigration reform, and advocacy on behalf for the Muslim community.
MFP was one of the first groups to endorse Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her primary challenge to former Rep. Joseph Crowley.
“We have seen first-hand Melanie’s deep empathy, ability to listen and learn, build connections and go to the frontlines to understand complex problems. Whether it’s going to the border to address family separation policies or Washington, D.C., to advocate for women’s rights and DACA, she always goes above and beyond,” said MFP co-founder Toufique Harun.
D’Arrigo’s vocal criticism of President Trump’s immigration policies puts some distance between her and Suozzi, who was one of the 18 Democrats to vote for the Republican resolution supporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in July 2018 and one of the Democrats to vote for the emergency border funding bill this past year.
Her other core issues include campaign finance reform, Medicare for all, gun safety law reform, the green new deal and free public college.
D’arrigo will face another insurgent Democrat in the primary. Michael Weinstock is former Brooklyn prosecutor and volunteer running for Suozzi’s seat.
Republican finance professional George Anthony Devolder Santos will also be challenging him in the general.
The district has voted Democrat since 2012, the first year that new district lines pushed former Republican Rep. Peter King into the Second Congressional District on Long Island.
“Muslim communities in the United States have endured unimaginable xenophobia for decades. But the Trump Era — from the Muslim travel ban to a 16-year high rate of violent hate crimes — has brought a new low,” D’Arrigo said.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Joshua Sauberman was also running for the congressional seat.