An Interview with Jabari Brisport
Jabari Brisport is a 32-year-old public school teacher and racial justice activist. A third generation Carribean-American resident of Brooklyn, he was born in Bed-Stuy and raised in Prospect Heights.
He became an activist more than a decade ago, as an organizer in the fight for marriage equality in New York State, when he helped to organize phone blasts of elected officials, urging them to vote in favor of the measure. He continued his activism as a protestor and organizer with a number of other efforts, including early Black Lives Matter protests and the community effort to prevent the Bedford Union Armory development.
He has won the Democratic Primary for New York’s State Senate in District 25, and is expected to become the first openly gay person of color ever to serve in the NYS legislature.
His campaign was built with the support of over one thousand volunteers. It also revived an average donation size of $27 and broke the record for most donors to a NYS legislature campaign. He received endorsements from many grassroots organizations including the Democratic Socialists of America, New York Communities for Change, the Working Families Party, Sunrise Movement, and Voters for Animal Rights as well as endorsements from progressive leaders including Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon, and Julia Salazar.
Jabari spoke with Current’s editor Michael John Addario. In this wide-ranging interview, Jabari relayed the challenges of running his campaign during BLM and COVID-19, dealing with police budgets and tenant rights, and the importance of his labor platform. He also spoke at length about his positions on animal liberation and how his candidacy can influence wider electoral campaigns for animals.
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