March General Meeting Minutes 3/22/18

March Meeting Agenda: 3/22/18
Discussion of County Committee.

  1. Lieutenant Governor
    1. Kathy Hochul – was invited, incumbent, did not respond – until 8.40pm (Asher noted – chief of staff did reach out)
    2. Jumaane Williams
  2. Assembly District 44
    1. Robert “Bobby” Carroll
  3. Assembly District 52
    1. Jo Anne Simon
  4. Senate District 20
    1. Jesse Hamilton
    2. Zellnor Myrie
  5. Senate District 22
    1. Ross Barkan
    2. Andrew Gounardes
  6. District Leaders 52nd Assembly District (Male and Female)

a.      Anne Swern

b.     Josh Skaller


Asher’s Announcements:
4 races that are uncontested
3 races that are contested – 2 local, 1 statewide

Endorsement rules – elected must leave for vote – and those working for campaigns should id themselves when then ask a question


Senate District 22 (Marty Golden’s District) – 2 candidates running in Bay Ridge:

  • Andrew Gournardes:
    • Marty Golden is the only Republican state senator in Brooklyn! We need to get him out!
    • From the neighborhood – long history ; of working in local politics
    • Supports Dreamers and immigrants in South Brooklyn
    • Voting rights reform – early voting
    • Supports public schooll
      • Charter schools as original purpose – laboratories – but NOT as they are implemented now
      • Does NOT support school vouchers
    • We supported him 6 years ago – looking for CBID support again
      • He is a better candidate than 6 years ago – stronger network – has a nonprofit to help people post hurricane Sandy
    • Demographics have changed – 57% Democratic now
    • He favors public transportation and street safety – wants to be a stronger moral leadership on street safety – eg street cameras in school zones
    • MTA needs funding – but more imp than money – accountability problem of how it is governed by the board … does not represent riders and be accountable (yes!)
  • Ross Barkan:
    • Background as a journalist and columnist – worked/ child of educators
    • At The New York Observer – owned by Jared Kushner – has covered all the races – when they started writing speeches for Donald Trump, he quit … still works on holding politicians accountable – sees himself as progressive, Democrat, independent
    • 2-3 big issues: 1. Transportation – MTA 2. Affordable housing 3. healthcare
      • The Governor’s MTA has let this city down
      • Need affordable housing
      • Need affordable healthcare – we have tax base to fund NY Healthcare act
      • Thinks single payer healthcare will eventually pay for itself!
    • To win this election – need to reach out to new voters, to new diverse district
    • Called out corruption in Cuomo’s office
    • Different than Andrew? Sees himself as newer, more independent, coalition-builder – less INSIDER and connected
    • Proud supporter of reproductive rights, pre and postnatal care – has a platform etc
    • Has good ideas on congestion pricing –
    • Should O’Hara be a judge? He said he got a raw deal, but hedged the question

Lieutenant Governor: state wide election!!

  • Jumaane Williams – current councilmember for 45th district
  • he wants to implement reforms he has done in the city on the state level
    • Gun violence – dropped supply and demand
    • Policing reform – no more stop and frisk! – better policing and safer streets
    • Prison Reform
    • Public safety – he is a tenant organizer before Obama!
      • Public safety is NOT the same as law enforcement
      • Public housing, education etc is all part of safety
    • EMPLOYMENT cuts crime in half
    • Most productive councilmember – too much of an acitivist – a legislator and activist at the same time
    • He wants to be the people’s Lieutenant Governor be a public advocate
  • Hopes he is not working FOR this Governor – but is not working UNDER any Gov
  • He is a native Brooklyner, child of immigrants, has Tourettes syndrome
  • supports women’s and reproductive rights – he is a true progressive – not putting on the progressive cloak like our Governor (policy based on beliefs NOT polls)
  • If Cuomo wins and he wins, how will he manage the mayor vs. Governor relations?
    • Use his Brooklyn base! Call Cuomo out – and will support the public voice NOT the Governor OR Mayor
  • How has upstate NY state been? – He is doing better than he thought! Some endorsements already – upstate districts, NYPAN and People for Bernie
    • People outside of NYC dislike Cuomo and care about similar issues – housing, transit etc

Senate District 20: (most gerrymandered district in the city / state?)

  • Zellnor Myrie
    • Frist lawyer in his family, child of immigrant factory workers, and got involved in local advisory board
    • Running for education, for people in prison for being poor and black, for tenant and
    • All are under direct attack by a State Senate that is supposed to be a Democrat – but now empowers the Trump agenda in Albany – like Hamilton!
      • He came before CBID and pledged not to join the IDC – he lied
    • He will be a real Democrat supporting healthcare, women, working families
    • He opposes vouchers and raising any cap on charter schools
    • Question : Hamilton will use the race card and that Myrie is only supported by gentrifies
      • Perceived as only having white support – but he has local support!
    • Housing is the civil rights issue of our generation!! Myrie is following in MLK’s footsteps – they see Hamilton taking money from Big Real Estate
    • The ‘hit piece’ linking him to conservative statements of the person he worked for – but Myrie left 2 years before and he worked on progressive policies in that office
  • Raoul Rothblatt– speaking on behalf of Jesse Hamilton
    • 2011 he talked about the Hungarian Constitution – he was proud then, and proud now
    • He claims he has always pushed for the left and that Hamilton votes for all the Progressive causes – he says to look at his voting record
    • Talked about how funding to help teachers diagnose mental healthcare – a bill that failed – and that was not good (why is he talking about a bill that failed?)
    • Pushed Senate to Raise the Age Bill – admits it’s very flawed
    • He has worked in the Democratic Caucus and the IDC – claims that we are wasting time by fighting the IDC and that they are doing good
    • Joy asked: WHY has Jesse not come in 4 years? Why does he not pass legislation
    • Erica: Did Hamilton vote for Andrea Stewart Cousins as leader of the Senate to have a woman in the room? NO
    • David: Hamilton has taken Republican money

County Committee:

  • Josh reports about the importance of being on County Committee
  • Also running for District Leader from 52nd!

 2 more endorsements: running uncontested

  • Jo Anne Simon – state assemblywoman in the 52nd
    • 2 main bills she has passed
      • Extreme Risk Protection Order – about gun regulation – NO tension with the second amendment – sign her petition to push Cuomo to fund a gun violence research institute
      • Bill on roads and highways – did not catch the name
    • Sexual harassment – the current bill is narrow and could be regressive – need to make progress here
    • Bobby and Jo Anne are going to talk about the MTA and congestion pricing
    • Voting reform and early voting
    • Expanding school zone street cameras
    • Dream Act – with Jumaane
  • Bobby Carroll
    • Supports congestion pricing to fund the MTA – yes needs other reforms but funding is important – just a bandaid but we need it
    • Rest of NY state is not doing great – NYC is growing – rest of the state is declining – but we need to sustain that growth by funding the MTA
    • CALL the assembly and governor about MTA
    • Budget:
      • Early Voting ! Most innocuous voting reform you could do – just by 7-14 days
      • State Senate and assemblymen hate it – will probably get pull it out
      • Tax proposal




Some Club Business:

  • Saturday — March for Our Lives
    • Christ Stauffer, Youth Progressive Policy Group
      • March and Voter Registration – meeting 9.3am 72nd and Amsterdam – bright blue banner
      • Charter Bus for Albany April 24th Action Day – to lobby for Youth Voter Act
    • Asher is asking General Membership for a motion to underwrite the chartering of a bus to support YPG Action Day for up to $1,000
    • Josh made the motion – was seconded – passed – we will use club funds up to 1k to charter a bus or buses
  • Ben Solitaire – report on helping support Southwest Brooklyn Democratic Club
    • Asking for people to help out at a workshop on future of Dems club
  • 2 important dates:
    • April 29th Annual Dinner
    • Saturday April 7th – Congress and Karaoke
      • Meet and greet Congresswoman Yvette Clarke at Hilary’s house
      • April 7th 5pm – let’s hold her accountable
      • Then we are going to go out and sing karaoke at Insa (maybe!)
        • Check if under 21 can come – will probably be some beer and snacks
        • Cheryl promised to sing J
      • Petitioning – for Max Rose (ask Rich), Clarke, Velazquez
      • Judge Harriet Thompson stopped by – running for surrogates court



2 Reps for New Kings Dems: Their power-building move is “Rep your Block” – to get votes in County Committee and shift the power – don’t look at it is running for office as getting to know your neighbors

  • They are running trainings in 52nd and 44th district – weekend of April 7th


Our Federal PAC and endorsements:

  • Motion to fund an already endorsed Federal candidate – Dave Pechefsky – for max of $5,000 once we have ability to do so – seconded by Erica – passes
    • Discussion – should we also fund Max Rose?
      • 2 oppose – Dave Wise of Monell
    • Similar for funding for Rose up to $2,500 – seconded – passed
    • ** 2 motions passed to fund endorsed campaigns once we have Federal PAC


Blake Morris – running against Felder – is here!!!

Great Discussion:

  • In favor of Gournardes – but we like Barkan too
  • Of Jumaane
  • Why Roul came – the race card WILL be played … so we need to be aware of that dynamic


Lieutenant Governor – Jumaane Williams
Assembly District 44 – Robert Carroll
Assembly District 52  – Jo Anne Simon
Senate District 20 – Zellnor Myrie
Senate District 22 – Andrew Gounardes
District Leaders 52nd District – Josh Skaller (male) and Anne Swern (female)