Marti Allen-Cummings: Drag Activism and Candidacy for New York City Council

Marti Allen-Cummings: Drag Activism and Candidacy for New York City Council

Photo from their campaign website


“Politics should be for everyone,” said New York City Council candidate Marti Allen-Cummings. “Everybody should be afforded an opportunity to run for office.” 

Allen-Cummings came to New York at age 17 with the hopes of pursuing a performing arts career, but they described their voice as being “a little too pitchy” for Broadway. Once in New York, they found drag, and quickly “ one of the Hell’s Kitchen drag scene’s most beloved fixtures” as stated by a PAPER article

They would be the first drag performer and non-binary member in New York City Council, but these are far from the only things that set Allen-Cummings apart from their opponents. For over a decade, their activism has brought people together. In 2016, they founded Hell’s Kitchen Democrats, and they currently serve as an advisor in the City Council. 

“As a drag activist, I was appointed by the speaker of New York City Council to be an advisor on the mayor’s nightlife advisory council, and now I get to work for each of you on community board 9,” said Allen-Cummings in their campaign video. 

“Drag has always been political, and has always been rooted in political action and activism,” Marti Allen-Cummings said in an article of The Gothamist. “From Occupy Wall Street—which feels like a billion years ago—to now, drag has taught me about community organizing, and community building and working to help our vulnerable communities.” 

Allen-Cummings announced their campaign almost two years ago, and as of right now they are clearly out-raising other opponents by thousands of dollars in donations. 

They have been endorsed by three state senators, Gustavo Rivera, Alessandra Biaggi, and Julia Salazar, as well as several City Council and State Assembly members. 

According to their campaign website, Allen-Cummings plans to defund the NYPD, advocate for environmental justice, desegregate the schools, and ensure affordable housing. 

The deadline to register to vote is May 28th, and the primary elections will be held on June 22sd with early voting starting on June 12th. Register to vote here

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