May 18, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Council Member Daniel Dromm has endorsed an insurgent candidate for state assembly district 34.
Dromm formally endorsed Jessica González-Rojas this morning in Jackson Heights. She hopes to unseat six-term incumbent Michael DenDekker in a district that covers Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and parts of Woodside and Corona.
González-Rojas, according to Dromm, is “the most progressive, grassroots candidate in the race.”
González-Rojas served as executive director of National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health for eight years. She stepped down at the end of 2019 to run for office.
Her experience in healthcare advocacy is needed now more than ever, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dromm said.
“Her expertise in public health and advocacy makes Jessica the ideal candidate to represent our community during this terrifying pandemic,” Dromm said in a statement.
“The stakes are too high for our neighborhoods which are suffering as the epicenter of this crisis. I know that Jessica is a leader who is unafraid to fight for our neighbors and will forcefully push back against austerity,”
Dromm, a third-term council member whose district largely overlaps AD 34, is the first sitting elected official to endorse González-Rojas — striking a blow to DenDekker, a lifelong resident of the district.
DenDekker was born in Jackson Heights and attended local Catholic schools, such as Our Lady of Fatima Grammar School and Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School.
González-Rojas, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said she was thrilled to have the council member’s support.
“Danny has been a mentor, partner, and friend for over twenty years of fighting for progress in our community,” she said. “Together, we can build power to make the changes our community needs.”
González-Rojas was a founding board member of the New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) organization. She has also taught as an adjunct professor at CUNY City College and NYU Wagner School of Public Service.
The Democratic primary for the position is a little more than a month away, on June 23.
“I am confident that Jessica has everything it takes to be an outstanding elected official,” Dromm said. “I’m proud to be a part of her winning coalition.”