Brad Lander for NYC

Words and Updates from Brad Lander


Building a grassroots campaign to change NYC

Yesterday was the first important financial disclosure of our campaign so far. Thanks to you, we knocked it out of the park. 

Together, we raised more than $360,000 from 1,327 individual donors. That’s more money (four times as much!) from more donors than any other candidate in the NYC comptroller race. And because so many of those contributions are eligible to be matched by the City’s campaign finance program (more than 87% are under $250), they will generate over $1 million in public matching funds. 

This means that, nearly two years before the election, we are nearly nearly one-third of the way toward our goal.

And we are doing it by building a grassroots campaign of New Yorkers who share our vision for a city where everyone has a right to an affordable home, good, diverse schools, retirement security, and a sustainable future. And a city government that works effectively and inclusively to deliver on that vision.

When campaigns are funded by thousands of smaller contributors, we can ensure that candidates are actually held accountable to the people they are running to serve. That’s why I supported changes to NYC’s Campaign Finance Program on the ballot last year -- to do our part to keep big money from controlling our democratic process.

That’s also why I’m proud to follow through on my voluntary commitment not to accept donations from real estate developers, corporate PACs, or lobbyists, abiding by the New York Communities for Change’s Real Estate Pledge. And our campaign does not accept contributions from finance, private equity or hedge fund investors (who have or might seek NYC pension fund investments) either. 

We saw this summer, with the passage of historic regulations to protect tenants statewide, what a difference it made to elect legislators who would stand up to the real estate industry. 

Closer to home, as we work together to plan for responsible, inclusive, sustainable growth in Gowanus, I want you and everyone to know that I will make every decision based on what’s best for the future of our neighborhoods and our city. There are plenty of good reasons people are skeptical about development. But campaign contributions to me won’t be one of them.

You’ve already done a lot to help us get started, so I’m a little sheepish to ask for more … but I’m going to. Running campaigns built on smaller contributions is critical to the future of our democracy. But it’s also a lot of work. 

To help keep this grassroots momentum going, would you join the Host Committee for a house party, together with some of your neighbors? We’ve got a great base of support, but we need to find several thousand more supporters to meet our goal. House parties are the best way to do that. Email to sign up.

We are a long way out from the election, and there are many fights ahead, but I am incredibly grateful for your support. At this dire moment in our country’s history, I feel incredibly lucky to be working with such an amazing group of people, who share a grassroots vision, grounded in shared values, for our city and our democracy. I’m energized every single day to keep building it with you.


Annie Levers