Micah Lasher said Thursday that he will run to be the state senator for the 31st district — which stretches along the West Side of Manhattan from Chelsea up to Washington Heights and Inwood and into parts of The Bronx. The seat is currently occupied by state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, and was previously occupied by Schneiderman from 1999 - 2010.
Espaillat has joined the crowded race to fill Rep. Charles Rangel’s Congressional seat.
Lasher said in a statement that he's running "to be part of a strong, truly progressive Democratic majority that will bring about the fundamental change we need."
Lasher has already received endorsements from several elected officials, including City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez, Mark Levine and Corey Johnson.
In his announcement, Lasher railed against the "special interests, legalized bribery, government disinvestment and cynical bargains" that he called commonplace in Albany.
"The change we need starts with a Democratic majority. But not just any Democratic majority will do — it must govern with progressive values and a commitment to reform," he said.
Lasher said his campaign will focus on issues like housing, strengthening rent laws and protecting tenants, building "a new generation of Mitchell-Lama-style housing" and ending state income tax for public school teachers.
Lasher has taught public policy at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and currently serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Community Service Society, an anti-poverty organization, as well as the Riverside Park Fund.