Celebrities who’ve gotten involved in New York politics

Celebrities who’ve gotten involved in New York politicsCelebrities who’ve gotten involved in New York politics.

Celebrities who’ve gotten involved in New York politics.

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Celebrities are the perfect political tools. Most have a wide reach on social media, cultural clout and most importantly: loads of loyal fans willing to follow their lead. It’s not surprising that many celebrities use their status and reach to advocate for causes they care deeply about, or that lobbyists and politicians seek them out to raise the profile of their bills and special projects.

Whatever the reason, celebrities appear to have a penchant for getting themselves involved in politics – and particularly in New York politics. From rallying with their favorite organizations to running for office, here are the celebrities who have recently gotten themselves involved in the New York political sphere.

Julianne Moore.

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The Oscar-winning actress helped unveil Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s women’s justice agenda in February, according to The Associated Press, featuring a series of proposals aimed at improving the quality of life for women in New York. The agenda includes proposals to eradicate the statute of limitations on rape claims and increase protections against workplace sexual harrassment. Moore is also a leader of the national Time’s Up movement, which fights against workplace sexual harassment and discrimination.

Ben Stiller.

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On Jan. 24, actor and director Ben Stiller joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a press conference where the governor signed voting reform bills into law, NY1 reported, to allow for early voting, consolidating the federal and state primary elections and closing the so-called LLC loophole.

“This issue of voting rights is very important for all New Yorkers. It’s fundamental to our democracy,” Stiller said during the bill signing, according to NY1.

While his presence at the bill signing may have come as a surprise to some, Stiller is known for being involved in New York politics, having campaigned for state Sen. Andrew Gounardes last fall. Stiller also directed the award-winning miniseries “Escape at Dannemora” about two inmates who escaped from a maximum security prison in Dannemora, New York, which aired in December.

Cynthia Nixon.

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Who could forget the “Sex and the City” star’s valiant attempt to unseat Cuomo in 2018? Though Nixon was pummeled during her primary against Cuomo, many believe her run pushed the governor in a more progressive direction, according to the Times. In November, Nixon admitted during an interview at the Vulture Festival in Los Angeles that she didn’t believe she’d actually win, but she felt positively about her campaign: “Just being able to get out there and say, ‘We could do so much better in New York state, and here’s how,’ and actually having that message really fly because of how much coverage we got, I think that was a victory.”

Michael Douglas and Jennifer Lawrence.

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The Academy Award-winning actors endorsed a plan to overhaul New York City’s primary elections, the Daily News reported. In mid-June, Douglas and Lawrence, in addition to several others, submitted a letter to the Charter Revision Commission backing “ranked choice voting,” which would allow voters to rank their top five candidates to put a stop to runoff elections.

“Ranked Choice Voting is a simple, proven and worthy model that encourages candidates to build broad support from across the community, and empowers voters to cast their ballot based on their hopes, not their fears,” wrote the stars, according to the Daily News.

New York City voters may have the chance to vote on changes to the City Charter in November.

RZA and Tim Gunn.

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Both Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA and “Project Runway” alum Tim Gunn have showed their support for New York City’s proposed fur ban.

RZA, a vocal animal rights activist, collaborated with animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on a letter to the New York City Council in support of the fur ban, the New York Post reported. “Though it may be argued by some that fur used to show elite status in our community because of the inequality we face in society, those days are done,” wrote RZA in his letter to the City Council, according to the Post. “That’s reflected in a poll that shows 77% of black NYC voters support the bill.”

Gunn wrote an op-ed for City & State in early May, showing his support for the fur ban, arguing that the creation of fur products is cruel and inhumane.

John Legend.

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The singer teamed up with state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris to write an op-ed published by Time magazine in March calling for a complete overhaul to New York’s bail system. In the op-ed, they call for eliminating cash bail and “discriminatory” risk assessments, along with several other issues addressed in an open letter written to Cuomo in December, signed by 138 different organizations, that the pair cited. An active proponent of bail reform, Gianaris has sponsored a bill to completely eliminate cash bail – though it has yet to pass.

Andy Cohen.

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Talk show personality Andy Cohen co-wrote an op-ed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo for BuzzFeed News in mid-June in support of legalizing gestational surrogacy and banning the “gay and trans panic” defense.

“The legislature has seven days left in this year’s session,” write Cuomo and Cohen. “They must not leave Albany without righting these two wrongs. Legalizing gestational surrogacy and banning the ‘gay and trans panic’ defense would send a clear message to the LGBTQ community and to all New Yorkers that we won’t settle for anything less than full equality under the law.”

Bette Midler.

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In April,actress and singer Bette Midler took to Twitter to voice her dismay with the New York City Planning Commission’s plan to “destroy” the Elizabeth Street Garden, a beloved green space in Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood that is the site of a planned affordable housing development.

“#NYCCityPlanningCommission voted to destroy the only bit of green in Little Italy, THE ELIZABETH STREET GARDEN, the only place for miles around where people can rest themselves outdoors. unbelievably unfair and shortsighted!!” tweeted Midler.

Midler also shared a link to the garden’s website, which invites visitors to sign a petition to prevent it from being demolished and donate to its cause.

The Elizabeth Street Garden has been at the center of a contentious dispute, as the city plans to turn the plot into Haven Green, an affordable and LGBTQ-friendly rental building intended for seniors. Park advocates and those championing low-income senior housing have been butting heads since news of Haven Green’s construction plans broke, Curbed New York reports. But considering the land is city-owned, it looks like park advocates and Midler will just have to accept the park’s fate.

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