BLM Organizer Zellie Thomas Endorses Imani Oakley For Congress
Montclair, NJ — Zellie Thomas, a long-time New Jersey Black Lives Matter activist, publicly
endorsed Imani Oakley’s Congressional campaign on Wednesday.
“I am proud and excited to endorse Imani Oakley for Congress,” he said. “She — a working-class, progressive organizing, woman of color — is the champion our communities need.”
Thomas, a key member and organizer with BLM Paterson, has been on the frontlines fighting against police brutality and state violence in New Jersey. Since organizing the first BLM Paterson event in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown, Thomas has been a fixture in NJ’s progressive and racial justice movements.
A former political candidate himself, Thomas knows how corrupt the party machinery is across New Jersey. However, he says, if there’s anyone who can take it on, it’s Imani Oakley.
“Imani has been organizing — for Black lives, for Medicare for All, for protecting immigrants — for years,” Thomas said. “Her movement chops, organizing experience, and extensive political background set her apart as a candidate. I am excited for her to take our shared fight to Congress.”
The Oakley campaign said they felt honored by Thomas’s confidence.
“I am truly humbled by Zellie’s words and trust,” Imani Oakley said. “I have long admired his work and his persistent advocacy against police violence.”
Thomas’s support is indicative of the type of coalition Oakley wants to build, she said.
“We’re creating an unabashedly progressive movement in NJ’s 10th Congressional District,” Oakley said. “And that means fighting for Black lives and against police violence. Our communities deserve a representative who will actually support them against white supremacy, not one who offers lip service in his underwear.”