Kristin Gonzalez: AmEx Product Manager by Day, Socialist Candidate by Night

According to Kristin Gonzalez’s campaign website, the candidate for New York State Senate District 17, is a “proud daughter of an immigrant family, Queens native, community organizer, and tech worker.”

Gonzalez is also a socialist and proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

However, when she is not spouting socialist drivel, Gonzalez works for American Express as a product manager. Let that sink in for a second. A self-avowed socialist working for credit card giant AmEx.

Interestingly, since she threw her hat in the ring for New York’s newly redistricted State Senate seat, Gonzalez has scrubbed any and all mentions of her day job at American Express. Notice how she calls herself a “tech worker” on her campaign website instead of admitting she works for a credit card company.

So, what policy positions does the AmEx socialist hold?

First, Gonzalez wants to “reimagine housing,” or, as she describes, “People shouldn’t have to struggle to keep a roof over their head while landlords get rich by raising rents. We must guarantee housing as a human right.”

Second, she writes we must “renew Queens” because, “People shouldn’t have to breathe poisoned air or die in flooded basements while fossil fuel companies make billions killing our planet. We must build publicly-owned renewable energy.

Third, she says we have to “restore health care” because, “People shouldn’t have to decide between a trip to the emergency room and putting food on the table. We must provide single-payer health care in New York State.”

Of course, Gonzalez fails to mention how her socialist schemes would be funded. Like most socialists, she loves talking about expanding the size and scope of government, but conveniently fails to mention that her socialist Shangri-La would require a litany of new taxes, fees, and the like.

For a more in-depth dive into the mindset of Gonzalez, a recent interview she conducted with Greenpointers is rather illuminating.

Take, for example, her defense of her socialist credentials in a district that is not too keen on living under socialism.

Greenpointers: “You identify as a democratic socialist. Can you talk about what that means to you and, how can the group organize so that the word ‘socialism’ is accessible to everyone? In Greenpoint, we have a lot of Eastern European immigrants for whom ‘socialism’ has an inherently negative connotation.”

Gonzalez: “That’s totally fair, and I think that we are still doing that legwork as democratic socialists, to really help build a class consciousness. Ultimately, what we’re fighting for with DSA priorities is the ability for working-class families to live a dignified life. We believe that everyone should have access to baseline rights and resources. That includes things like housing as a human right. We live in a city where rents are skyrocketing and consistently pushing people out of their homes. Now more than ever after years of pandemic, how can we possibly still be arguing as to whether or not people have the right to live in their homes! A Green New Deal, we acknowledge that we’re out of time in needing to act on climate – we want to secure a green future and that the people who are most hurt by climate crises are those who are most vulnerable, marginalized, working-class Black and brown communities. Same with healthcare and having food security. People do oftentimes focus on a label, but when you really focus on the values and what we’re fighting for – I’ve had a lot of conversations with folks who definitely would not identify as a DSA member, but once they hear about our platform, and things are public safety and wanting to increase mental health resources, they actually do very much agree with the baseline of the platform.

And what being a democratic socialist means to me, it’s about developing public power and accountability – democratically run things. I mentioned the land trust – how can we have a stake in owning and operating our own things, and investments in public schools, in our public green infrastructure, public housing, and it really is about care – how do we expand the social safety net? How do we do so in a way that pushes back on these systems?

The key to changing these systems for me wasn’t Washington DC. It wasn’t in City Hall or Morningside Heights. The key to changing these systems is right here with working-class communities of Queens, building a multi-racial working-class movement in which we push back on capitalist, racist, sexist systems that exploit us. Capitalism is dependent on all of those things intersecting.”

Funny how Gonzalez, a Hispanic woman with a cushy job at uber-capitalist AmEx, has such animus toward capitalism. One would assume that Gonzalez, who literally lives the high life (she currently resides in a 58-story luxurious high rise in Long Island City) would be grateful for the opportunities that capitalism has afforded her. After all, if Gonzalez really is a true believer in socialism, why doesn’t she just move to Venezuela or Cuba?

Oh, maybe because then she wouldn’t be able to lecture us about the splendor of socialism while she receives large paychecks from a financial company that doesn’t exactly align with her socialist dogma.

PHOTO: Democratic Socialists of America jacket from San Francisco. Photo by Cory Doctorow. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0). 

Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is the editorial director and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute, as well as a researcher and contributing editor at