Jonathan Herzog's Path to Win

We need 15,000 votes to win the seat.

The crowdest field in recent history has narrowed from 8 to 3. Over $2 million has been spent. We’ve spent $8,395. We need 5.26% of all Registered Democrats in NY-10 to win the seat (#YangGang got 5.1% of the vote in Iowa), in the biggest upset in modern political history. Recent polling data on the #YangGang in New York puts us in the top tier. The #YangGang URL movement is perfectly poised to compete in an entirely URL campaign during this pandemic.

We are the singular threat to the incumbent. We won a federal lawsuit restoring the June 23rd primary after New York Democratic Party leaders cancelled the presidential primary. After launching our first digital ads, a targeted disinformation campaign was launched against us by Sinclair affiliates on Google News.

Indeed, unseating the 30-year #2 House Dem incumbent will be a bigger shock to the system and bully pulpit than even the AOC 2018 shock - electing the youngest Representative (25) to the House, the first LGBTQ Representative for the district with the largest LGBTQ population and home to the Stonewall Riots, as well as the first Israeli-American Representative, for the district with the most Israeli-Americans in the country.

By the data, this is the most feasible and impactful campaign. We need the fewest votes to make the biggest impact, with the highest ROI on a capital and marketing injection.

The proper comparator for this race is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s insurgent campaign against Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th District. The districts are similarly sized with similar voter turnouts. Similar to Joe Crowley, Jerrold Nadler had not faced a Democratic primary challenger in decades. Crowley was the No. 4 Democrat in the House, vastly outspent his opponent and was widely seen as a future speaker of the House. In one of the “biggest upsets in recent American political history” – AOC got just 15,897 votes to Crowley’s 11,761. By a margin of 4,136 votes, AOC secured a seat in Congress and shattered the New York political machine (in a D+29 district, she was essentially guaranteed a win in the general).

Crowley’s loss has been attributed to the cumulative weight of “demographics and generational change, insider versus outsider, traditional tactics versus modern-age digital organizing.”

AOC won with 1/10th of Crowley’s funds - $3 million to $300,000 – the vast majority of which she fundraised only after the viral video released at the end of May before the June 2018 primary. Nadler’s annual fundraising ceiling is $1M by comparison.

I am of, by, and from my Congressional district. Nadler (and every Representative for the west side for nearly a century) has had a very similar bio:


Crown Heights Yeshiva



Fordham Law



Hunter College High School


Harvard Law

New York's 10th District

· Population: 720,000

· Unemployment: 7.5 %; Poverty: 16 %

· One of the most highly educated

· Ground zero for financialization, winner-take-all-markets, with crumbling NYCHA public housing opposite luxury housing developments in the world’s financial capital.

· Less than 4.2 % of the District voted in the 2016 primary - only 30,046 people voted.

· NY-10 loves the #YangGang (and is Yang's and the campaign’s home district)

· Over 600,000 LGBTQ+ residents in the New York City area, mostly concentrated in the 10th District (Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, West Village, and Greenwich Village)

· Over 1.5 million Jews in New York City area, with tens of thousands of Jewish Americans, Israeli-Americans, and Hassidic Jews in NY-10. The Hassidic community in particular has been on the front lines of rampant antisemitism for years.

· The district is “safely Democratic,” with 70-80 % of the general election vote going to the Democratic nominee. The 2018 Cook Partisan Voter Index for the district was D+26; the Democratic nominee is assured a win in the general election.

“For the past two decades, American Jews watched anti-Semitism re-emerge around the world with concern, but perhaps also a bit of condescension. We were the luckiest diaspora in history…Then came Oct. 27, 2018. We are suffering from a widespread social health epidemic and it is rooted in the cheapening of Jewish blood. The global surge in Jew-hatred barely registers in the West. The hatred of Jews has presaged the death of so many seemingly civilized societies. A hatred that still, after centuries, exerts its powerful allure during periods of political and economic unrest, when the angry, the confused, the shortchanged and the scared look for simple explanations and a scapegoat.”

“When your hometown in Western Pennsylvania becomes the scene of mass murder, you know that the distance separating their reality from ours can be made tissue thin.”17 These physical horrors — beaten with a brick; whipped with a belt — are the tips of anti-Semitic icebergs found on both the left and the right that have moved definitively and rapidly into mainstream waters…We have to insist that the societies of which we are a part take a stand against anti-Semitism, because any society in which it flourishes is one that is dead or dying. What if we’d been wrong? What if the story of the Jews in America

wasn’t a straight line, but a pendulum, which had swung one way and was now swinging back into the darkness of the Old World we were sure we’d left behind?

Before COVID-19, in New York's 10th District, the world's financial capital, 1 in 6 lived in poverty. Before COVID-19, in New York's 10th District, 20 percent of storefronts were closing. Before COVID-19, in New York City, there were more than 4,600 homeless youth, almost entirely people of color and nearly half LGBTQ.

The civil rights fight of this era is the eradication of poverty. I know all too well that the promise of “It Gets Better” is hollow without the promise of financial security in the case your family or community rejects you for who you are. The LGBTQ community is tragically overrepresented among foster children, the homeless, the poor, and the food-insecure. 1 in 5 LGBTQ Americans lives in poverty. Poverty is an absence of cash, not character. LGBTQ youth are kicked out by our parents at a higher rate than the general population. Fifteen percent of transgender people, and more than 30 percent of trans people of color, are living in severe poverty. A Universal Basic Income of $1,000/month for every adult and $500/month for every child would disproportionately benefit LGBTQ youth, especially LGBTQ kids of color, and give us all the freedom to live full, authentic lives.

The single most transformative way for the government to improve the lives of the LGBTQ community and all communities is to send us a check for $1,000 every month and let us spend it in whatever manner will benefit us the most. We need to build a new kind of economy – one that puts people first. If there’s one policy that would transform the lives of LGBTQ Americans for the better, it is Universal Basic Income. Universal basic income does not solve every problem, but it makes every problem easier to solve.

History is watching us. If not now, when? If not us, who?

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© 2020 Jonathan Herzog for Congress. All rights reserved.

New York, NY 10004.