Briahna Joy Gray is Bernie Sanders’ national press secretary for his 2020 campaign. She was one of 15 new hires announced in mid-March that included 10 women joining Sanders’ presidential campaign team. Sanders’ press secretary in 2016 was Symone Sanders (no relation to Bernie Sanders.) Gray is known for being outspoken about her beliefs, including her decision to vote for Jill Stein in 2016 after Sanders didn’t get the Democratic nomination. She’s also a big Star Trek fan, which she often likes to talk about on Twitter. Sanders’ supporters are excited about Gray’s position on Sanders’ campaign. Read on for more details.
1. Briahna Joy Gray Was an Intercept Editor & Attorney Before Joining Sanders’ Team
Briahna Joy Gray was a columnist and senior politics editor for The Intercept before joining Sanders’ campaign. Her work focused on progressive topics, along with identity and culture, according to her Intercept bio. She has also been published by The New York Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Week, and other publications.
Gray is also a former attorney. Before joining The Intercept, she worked for a litigation firm in New York. She has also co-hosted the podcast SWOTI (Something’s Wrong on the Internet.) She received her J.D. from Harvard in 2011 and has a bachelor’s from Harvard also.
In early March, Gray interviewed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about the “new left” during Austin’s SXSW.
Here she is after the event:
2. Gray Said She Voted for Jill Stein in 2016, a Decision Many Sanders’ Voters Support
Gray announced on Twitter in November 2016 that she was voting for Jill Stein. Gray also noted in September that she agreed with Donald Trump that the Democrats were pushing the Russia hacking story because it was advantageous for them. And although some have presented these as negatives, her opinions are fully supported by many Sanders’ supporters.
She’s also a supporter of ranked choice voting.
Sanders’ supporters tend to support her decision to vote for Stein.
Her addition to Sanders’ team has been met with enthusiastic excitement from his supporters.
3. She Recently Defended Sanders’ Reparations Response at the CNN Town Hall
She defended Bernie Sanders’ reparation response in an article on The Intercept in late February, after writing an article about how reparations need to be more than just a symbol. As Heavy also pointed out at the time, Gray noted that Sanders’ answer regarding reparations was similar to answers given by Elizabeth Warren and other candidates. When asked specifically if he supported reparations during the CNN Town Hall, Sanders said they needed to be clearer about what reparations mean. Gray wrote, “And he’s right. Up until now, no one’s bothered to define reparations in the context of 2020 vetting. And the discourse has suffered for it.”
4. Her Great-Great Grandparents Were Enslaved & Her Parents Worked Hard To Give Her a Private Education
Briahna Joy Gray is very open about her family’s background. She shared on Twitter that her great-great grandparents were enslaved.
She said that her own parents became teachers so she could get a better education growing up.
Because of her parents, she said she was able to attend private school for a decade, get tutoring to raise her SAT scores, and take 13 years of violin lessons.
5. She’s a Big fan of Science Fiction, Including Star Trek
Briahna Joy Gray is also a big scifi fan and watches Star Trek: Discovery.
When talking about Stacey Abrams, she said the biggest “con” about Abrams was that she believed Deep Space Nine was a lesser Star Trek.
And she also used Patrick Stewart’s new role on Star Trek as an example of why Bernie Sanders isn’t too old to run.
She’s talked about how Star Wars isn’t as great as Star Trek (which is true.)
She’s listed Star Trek as a religious belief:
And she’s right — Star Trek is indeed not just about space aliens, but about humanity.
Briahna Joy Gray is serving in the position held by Symone Sanders during Bernie’s 2016 campaign. Symone Sanders became controversial among Sanders’ supporters when she told his supporters that the system didn’t cheat them in July 2016, Time reported. During the DNC protests, she said on Twitter that “7 folks on an email didn’t steal the election,” even though the emails did reveal bias.
Symone Sanders actually left the campaign in June 2016, and said that she left of her own volition and was not asked to leave. Today she’s a political commentator on CNN and a contributor to Crooked Media.