News & Politics

'Democratic Socialist' in Brooklyn Is Caught 'Embellishing' Her Background

An organizer for the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), second from left in red shirt, coaches sex workers and allies before they canvass for Julia Salazar, who is running for the Democratic primary of the 18th district seat of the New York State Senate. Salazar supports decriminalizing sex work and repealing laws that target people in the sex industry. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

What is with these people? If they will lie about their own background, what won’t they lie about? 

A state Senate candidate in Brooklyn vying to unseat an eight-term incumbent by riding the coattails of Democratic Socialist superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has come under fire for allegedly embellishing stories about her past.

Julia Salazar’s campaign to defeat Sen. Martin Dilan in Sept. 13 Democratic primary has been filled with falsities and contradictions, including claims of a being a Colombian-born “proud immigrant” of an economically distressed, working-class family. In reality, the 27-year-old insurgent progressive is a US-born. former anti-abortion Republican who grew up in a middle class-household in Florida, according to records and various media reports.

Her mother and brother were also both born and raised in the United States. while father was born in Colombia but was a naturalized citizen before Salazar was ever born.

Salazar has also been criticized by various Jewish media outlets for identifying herself as a Jew via blood on her father’s side. The Tablet last also reported that Salazar once even claimed Jewish ancestry on her mother’s side. However, Alex told The Tablet last week that “nobody in our immediate family” is Jewish – including their parents. Meanwhile, the mother, Christine Salazar, has said Julia was baptized a Catholic.

Here’s one constituency she’s vying for:

JULIA SALAZAR, A candidate for the New York state Senate, is doing what few Democratic politicians have done before: taking sex workers’ rights seriously. The 27-year-old democratic socialist, who is shaping her policy by consulting the sex work community, is one of the first candidates to definitively support those workers, including by proposing concrete steps toward decriminalization.

Sex work — which refers to the willing exchange of money or goods for sexual labor, including escorts, prostitutes, pornography actors, and phone sex operators — intersects with labor, gender, immigration, race, LGBTQ, and criminal justice issues. It is often conflated with sex trafficking, which involves forcing someone into sex work through violence or other means, and as a result, nearly all mainstream political movements have failed to address the concerns of the sex work community. Salazar, who is challenging eight-term incumbent Democratic state Sen. Martin Dilan, has centered her campaign around affordable housing and other policy positions championed by the insurgent left. But her plan to defend sex workers’ rights has energized a community that has been understandably skeptical of electoral politics.

One hundred sex workers and their allies have signed up to attend a canvassing event in the Brooklyn district for Salazar’s campaign on Sunday, ahead of the September 13 primary. This follows an event earlier this month, when upward of 120 sex workers and activists hosted a pizza party for Salazar to discuss labor rights and decriminalization.

Yes, it’s just a lowly state senate seat in New York, but the Democrats like to get an early start on grooming their candidates. Be warned.