A New Year of Change: My first picks for NY Senate

Art Chang
3 min readJan 11, 2018

Tomorrow, January 12, is a critical first fundraising deadline. I’m publishing this unfinished blog post early to make my positions known and to encourage you do as I have done: show your support by contributing to the campaigns of Zellnor Myrie and Ross Barkan. Any amount will help send a message that 2018 is indeed a New Year of Change. Please contribute by the end of day January 12.

Zellnor Myrie (left), Art Chang, and Ross Barkan (Right). Photo by Ashley Ecklund

Politics has many similarities to the startups I’ve spent my career pursuing. As with startups, it’s best to get in early but take the long view, to place small bets on young efforts that have a real prospect for outsized impact. Just as startups seek markets where leaders have failed to innovate for customer value, the political candidates who excite me have innovative solutions to real problems, starting with a relentless focus on eliminating structural barriers to civic innovation.

So I’m taking an early position in the 2018 New York elections by supporting two candidates who best reflect the startup ethos, running to take the same communities that raised them to a better future. I am excited to endorse Zellnor Myrie and Ross Barkan:

Gerrymandering, anyone? Source: NYSenate.gov
  • Zellnor (or “Zell” or “Z”) Myrie faces incumbent Jesse Hamilton, a rogue Democrat who masquerades as a progressive, but caucuses with the Republicans to block progressive legislation from reaching the NY Senate floor. Z is an activist and lawyer and is in my view clearly the best candidate to represent my home district, NYS-20, which encompasses Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Sunset Park. From a childhood raised by his single, immigrant mother in Prospect Heights, Z “is passionate about securing affordable housing for families like his own, strengthening our public education system, immigrants rights, and criminal justice reform.”
  • Ross Barkan faces incumbent Marty Golden, a Trump Republican. Need I say more about Marty? Ross, a muckraking journalist, is in my opinion the best candidate to represent NYS-22 to the south, which encompasses Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Marine Park. Ross is “an award-winning journalist and writer recognized for his bold reporting and incisive commentary on New York’s spineless political class. As a columnist for the Village Voice and the Guardian, and as a contributor to many other leading publications, Ross has been unafraid to take on the powerful interests trying to screw over working class New Yorkers. He is running as a Democrat for State Senate to fix our transportation, healthcare, and stand up for homeowners and tenants against greedy real estate developers.”

New York’s 2018 statewide elections aren’t about Trump; it’s about an effective response to Trump. We have an opportunity to reshape the future of the state’s Democratic party from the grassroots up by focusing on issues that really matter, by electing new, passionate leaders like Zellnor Myrie and Ross Barkan. Please join me.



Art Chang

Fighting for Equity. Columbia Professor. Board Chair of CACF.org. Former 2021 Candidate for NYC Mayor. NYC Votes, Casebook, Queens West