City Councilman Mark Levine is powering his campaign for Manhattan borough president with an army students and recent grads doing the yeoman’s work for free.
“TeamLevine hoped to have 80 interns by June. Tonight, we onboarded our 81st!.” crowed a January tweet from campaign aide Jack Lobel.
“Amazing!!! Now we need 82. ;-).” Levine chimed in.
Levine only reported four paid staffers working on his borough president’s race, public filings show.
The Democrat has long espoused paying workers a fair wage and championed the $15 minimum wage for fast food workers. In 2016 he was arrested at a protest with other lefty pols demanding the pay increase.
Unpaid internships are a no-no in progressive circles.
“Experience doesn’t pay the bills,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a 2019 video when asked about the subject. “When we don’t pay our interns, the only folks that get access to becoming interns are people who already have access to privilege and opportunity.”
Levine is far from alone in taking advantage of free labor. His opponent, City Councilman Ben Kallos, has an opening for an unpaid internship on his borough president campaign website right now. State Sen. Brad Hoylman, another borough president contender, has also made use of unpaid interns in his Senate office. Federal filings suggest that a fourth candidate, Gov. Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan, also used them during her unsuccessful primary against Rep. Jerry Nadler last year.
“Since day one on this campaign, I’ve been blown away by the volunteer enthusiasm for Mark, including high school and college students who I’m honored to campaign with each and every day,” said Ilana Maier, Levine’s campaign manager. “Spending my days with young adults fighting to improve their communities is inspiring.”
Reps for the other three campaigns did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Post.