I've known Corey Johnson for nearly 10 years; we met as young staffers on Howard Dean's 2004 Presidential Campaign. Corey and I were those young progressive idealists that you can really only be in your extremely early twenties. The kind willing to work sixteen hours a day for ten months straight because we believed in what was possible. Even now that a decade has passed, Corey has never stopped working or believing in what is possible for New York City.
Although we met so young, Corey had already made a mark for himself as a leader in high school. As captain of his school football team, he came out of the closet in 2000, making national news while retaining his team's leadership position. Corey has never avoided what's difficult in the expense of what's right.
I'm a Brooklynite, who lived in Manhattan's District 3 for five years, and remain an active member of each of its neighborhoods' cultural and political worlds, from the West Village to Hell's Kitchen. So, the idea of having a young, pragmatic progressive like Corey on the council is an opportunity that we as New Yorkers must take.
We know that Corey puts the work in, because we've seen it in the eight years he's served on Manhattan Community Board 4, including several years as the youngest chair in New York City. Corey demonstrates that government can make peoples' lives better, from the solid middle class to the marginalized and disenfranchised.
In Corey, we see what a Millennial brings to the table as a councilmember. During Hurricane Sandy, Corey proved his digital credentials by instantly reporting over Facebook and Twitter the latest storm and recovery news. He reached tens of thousands of local residents with his updates, spurring volunteer action and empowering New Yorkers with safety information. I know digital and am proud to say that Corey didn't even have to be elected, before adding serious value to our community.
I've fought for equality for years, by co-founding The Four 2012 and working closely with human rights organizations including The Ali Forney Center and All Out. I know that Corey is more than an LGBT ally -- he's a leader. He serves on the board of The Ali Forney Center, has worked full time at GLAAD, and has knocked on doors in states around the country to support Barack Obama and pass marriage equality. As a councilperson, we'll gain a strong activist.
Corey is the right person at the right time to represent NYC Council District 3. I know he'll be a reliable liberal voice for the middle class, justice and common sense. How lucky we'd all be if he had a seat in the New York City Council and I'm proud to support him.
Visit Corey2013.com to get involved and connect with him over Facebook and Twitter.
Follow Ryan J. Davis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RyanNewYork