Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) candidate Rev. Khader El-Yateem is running for City Council in New York from the 43rd Council District made up of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach in Brooklyn. NYC-DSA Co-Chairwoman Rahel Biru has been quoted as saying, "We will replace the corrupt mainstream ‘progressive’ politicians of this city with those who are actually accountable to the interests of the people. El-Yateem is Trump’s worst nightmare. He supports immigrants, is Arab-American and explicitly refuses to take money from developers.”
El-Yateem is th Palestinian-American pastor of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge. He is credited with being the first Palestinian-American to run for public office in New York City. His church has a record of including Greek and Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Iraqi Chaldeans, Lebanese Maronites, Egyptian Copts and Greek Orthodox from historic Palestine, a difficult institutional balance and one which demonstrates El-Yateem's ability to bring people together.
El-Yateem is one of four Democrats running in a district which was once identified as tough, conservative and racist. This candidacy and movement challenges the Democrats from within, breaks down stereotypes of socialists, gives an added left voice to Palestinian-American politics, challenges New York's machine politics and marks a shift in the communities making up the 43rd Council District. Two of the candidates opposing El-Yateem come from the Italian community which held power in the District for a long time.