08/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Why Working Families Back Thompson

As our city and nation tackle the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, standing on the sidelines is unacceptable. Just like last November's election, New York City needs a change. That's why the Working Families Party is supporting Bill Thompson for Mayor.

On July 2, Mayor Bloomberg, Comptroller Thompson, and Councilman Tony Avella came to the Working Families Mayoral Forum - the first open forum of 2009 with all three candidates for Mayor. WFP members asked each candidate tough questions on development, education, affordable housing, homelessness and more.

Thompson answered each one with a clear, progressive message. He believes that city government must always put the middle class and working families first - above the real estate developers and corporate interests that have dominated our city for too long. Wall Street is important, but so is Main Street, not to mention Flatbush Ave., Queens Blvd, The Grand Concourse, Victory Boulevard, and 125th St.

Hundreds of WFP supporters who packed in to hear the forum (and the hundreds more who watched the live online broadcast) scored every candidates' answers. The results were overwhelming: Bill Thompson presented a true progressive agenda -- from the solving the housing crisis, to the need to create living-wage jobs, to guaranteeing paid sick days to every New Yorker. Mayor Bloomberg, mostly, did not.

You can watch the Working Families 2009 Mayoral Forum highlights here.

(Watch the entire Forum and see photos here)

One week after the Forum, the New York City Coordinating Council, the grassroots leadership of the Working Families Party, came to the same conclusion -- voting over 2 to 1 to endorse Bill Thompson. The New York Times called it "the first chink in the mayor's gold-plated campaign armor," and the Daily News said it was "a significant victory for the Democratic mayoral hopeful."

At the Working Families Forum I asked the Mayor if his profuse campaign spending distorts democracy. His answer? "Rich people don't always win."

Our job now is to prove him right -- for the sake of this city and the millions of working people who call it home.

From top to bottom, the Working Families Party has a ticket one can be proud of, starting with Bill Thompson. He is joined by John Liu for Comptroller and Bill de Blasio for Public Advocate and dozens of truly inspiring candidates for City Council.

Electing them won't be easy, but together we can do it. To help, join us at