Dell Smitherman met with the editorial board of The Jewish Press last week. He is running for the New York State Senate to unseat the incumbent John Sampson. The 19th Senate District encompasses Sheepshead Bay, Canarsie, Mill Basin and East New York.
Smitherman, a lifelong Brooklyn resident, grew up in Pink Houses in East New York and started out as a certified nursing assistant and became active in working on behalf of his fellow workers as a rank and file union member in the 1990s.
Smitherman has witnessed firsthand both how damaging income inequality has been to the poor and how it negatively impacts families and communities. He also saw the strength gained from empowering people through political and community involvement. From his past experience in working on behalf of the poor, Smitherman said he believes he can work very closely with the many Jewish organizations in Brooklyn to help the extensive underprivileged Jewish population in the city.
Through his work over the past 20 years he has established relationships with local, state and federal elected officials and is ready to work with them to represent the constituents in the district. Smitherman is also supported by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries who was sent to congress by an overwhelming Jewish vote.
Smitherman lives in East New York together with his three children and his wife Lisa.