Sunday, June 28, 2009

My updated endorsement list


Mayor: Bill Thompson.

Public Advocate: Norman Siegel wholeheartedly. Norman Siegel has also been endorsed by the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Democracy for NYC, Park River Independent Democrats (Upper West Side), the Village Reform Democratic Club, the Grand Council of Guardians (an organization of African-American law enforcement officials), Room 8 blogger and Brooklyn City Council candidate Rock Hackshaw, the New York Metro Area Postal Union (APWU, AFL-CIO), Audubon Reform Democratic Club (Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights), and Brooklyn Democrats for Change (Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, Bath Beach and Gravesend).

Comptroller: In this race there are two complete hacks with no finanacial experience whatsoever (Katz and Yassky) and two candidates who have solid financial experience (Weprin and Liu). Which means it comes down to only two viable candidates: David Weprin and John Liu since in an economic crisis we do NOT want inexperienced hacks running the city's money. Of the two, I prefer John Liu partly because his background was as a mathematical physicist, and I love it when science nerds enter politics, but also because Liu is more progressive than Weprin. I believe either would make a good Comptroller but I have been supporting John Liu. And for the record, currently John Liu is my 4 year old son's favorite politician, and I have found Jacob has a good sense of whose good and who isn't.

Brooklyn Borough President: Eugene Myrick is running for Brooklyn Borough President against Angry Clown and homophobe supporter Marty Markowitz (see also here for the Angry Clown story). Here is Eugene Myrick's video:




33rd City Council District: Jo Anne Simon. This is a chance to stop a power play by corrupt Brooklyn Party boss Vito Lopez whose aide is running against Jo Anne. Jo Anne is our current district leader and has a national reputation as an advocate for disabled rights who has argued and won some major cases (including before Judge Sotomayor). Jo Anne Simon has also been endorsed by the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, ChangeNYC, 504 Democrats, and Lambda Independent Democrats, among others.

34th City Council District: Diana Reyna. The first woman of Dominican-American descent to be elected to NYC public office. Reyna is being heavily targeted by Brooklyn Boss Vito Lopez because she hasn't gone along with his corruption. In essence, she is being punished for her independence, and I personally want to see more independence from the Brooklyn machine. This is another race where we can stop a power play by a corrupt party boss. Diana Reyna has been endorsed by Councilwoman Tish James and Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez (both of whom I greatly respect), Lambda Independend Democrats, DC 9 Painters Union, IUPAT, American Federation of Musicians, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and Teamsters, Local 237.

35th City Council District: Letitia James wholeheartedly. An amazing woman!

36th City Council District: I told one candidate I wasn't endorsing in this race. But there are two candidates I consider worth bringing to people's attention: Saquan Jones and Mark Winston Griffith. I have friends I respect supporting each of them.

39th City Council District: Josh Skaller. My favorite candidate this year. I know Josh well. Very smart, very honest, very progressive and reform minded. And he has been running one of the best grassroots campaigns I have seen. He is ahead in fundraising while refusing to take any corporate or developer money. THAT is an amazing accomplishment already. Josh has been endorsed by Howard Dean, Assemblyman Jom Brennan, State Senator Eric Adams, New York Metro Area Postal Union (APWU, AFL-CIO), International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 237, 111 and 854, Service Employees International Union (Special Officers and Guards, Local 177), Democracy for America, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Democracy for NYC, and Public Advocate candidate Norman Siegel.

40th City Council District: Rock Hackshaw. Rock is a fellow blogger and his knowledge of Brooklyn politics is amazing. I differ with him on some issues, but I know him and his honesty and integrity are unquestioned. And honesty and integrity are something we desperately need in Brooklyn, partucularly when they are paired up with intelligence and an encyclopedic knowledge. Since Rock is running against a guy who actually lies about being a doctor and is as strange and squirrely as you can get, Rock would be a very welcome change.

45th City Council District: Two candidates I like. First Terry Hinds. I have three people giving very good recommendations for this guy. But I also think Rod Daley is good and represents a chance to get another educator on the city council.


19th City Council District: Steve Behar. I have met Steve at several Democracy for NYC events. Great guy who has worked tirelessly for progressives in NYC and throughout the state. He has been endorsed by Councilman Tony Avella (whose seat he is running for), Queens County Progressive Democratic Club, Democrats for New Politics, Democracy for New York City, Democracy for America, and Public Advocate candidate Norman Siegel.

24th City Council District: Jim Gennaro. Excellent environmental advocate pushing for more biodiesel in NYC to reduce pollution, and a strong advocate for preserving the safety of our drinking water.

25th City Council District: Daniel Dromm. One of my favorite candidates this year. A teacher and gay rights advocate with excellent credentials. Daniel Dromm has been endorsed by Stonewall Democrats, the United Federation of Teachers, 504 Democrats, and ChangeNYC, among others.

26th City Council District: I like Brent O'Leary. An active Dean Democrat! While spending time in Japan he helped organize Democrats Abroad Japan and in 2004 was elected to the Democratic National Committee. Strong advocate of Dean's 50 state strategy. This is the kind of guy I want to see more of in politics! Brent O'Leary has also been endorsed by Change NYC.

29th City Council District: I like Mel Gagarin. I like his experience with the National Foundation for Women Legislators and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Seems like a very interesting candidate worth supporting. Mel Gagarin has also been endorsd by Change NYC.

31st City Council District: Marquez Claxton. Another one of my favorites. Very much in the Eric Adams mold, he combines police force experience with as strong civil rights focus. I have been following his run and like much of what he says. He has been endorsed by State Senator Eric Adams and Change NYC.


12th City Council District: Jerome Rice. Former National Guardsman and corrections officer who is also a strong voice for Civil Rights. I like these people who bridge law enforcement and civil rights. It is a refreshing trend! Jerome has also been endorsed by State Senator Eric Adams and Change NYC.


1st City Council District: Margaret Chin is my choice for this seat.

3rd City Council District: I am supporting civil rights activist Yetta Kurland. Yetta has been endorsed by Downtown Independent Democrats, ChangeNYC, 504 Democrats, and the New York Blade, among others.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Change NYC

As WFP and IND abandon reform in NYC, I am looking into other groups that focus on progressive and reform politics in hopes of seeing real change happen in this city. I have consistently discussed the excellent organizations DFNYC and CBID, both of which are pretty much consistently focused on true reform and progress. Though I don't always agree with their endorsements, I agree with them almost all the time and when I do differ it is generally for strategic reasons.

Today I want to highlight another organization out there: Change NYC. I came across them some time ago when looking for allies in the fight against Bloomberg and his tame City Council. Silly me, at the time I had thought WFP would be a great ally. Sadly, they talked the talk, but in the end show little sign of walking the walk and standing up to the entrenched interests in City Hall.

ChangeNYC has this as their Mission Statement:

ChangeNYC.Org is an organization unifying our City’s Democratic Party by welcoming all New Yorkers back into the political process. We are a coalition of real, everyday New Yorkers – young voters, progressives, neighborhood leaders, community bloggers, good government groups, and even conservatives – who believe that in cooperation we can bring the change to our City that together we have begun to bring to our nation.

In the spirit of the Obama campaign, we are revitalizing democracy from the grassroots on up in all five boroughs. Led by your voice and your priorities, and funded exclusively by your financial support, we are connecting, organizing, educating, and empowering ordinary citizens to create the Democratic Party our members think will best stand for their principles.

Sounds good to me!

The list of candidates endorsed by Change NYC largely (though not completely) follows my own. Here is their list:

Candidate: Yetta Kurland Council District: 3rd (Manhattan)
Candidate: Gwen Goodwin Council District: 8th (Manhattan)
Candidate: Richard Realmuto Council District: 10th (Manhattan)
Candidate: Jerome Rice Council District: 12th (The Bronx)
Candidate: Fernando Cabrera Council District: 14th (The Bronx)
Candidate: Daryl Johnson Council District: 16th (The Bronx)
Candidate: Constantine Kavadas Council District: 20th (Queens)
Candidate: Bob Friedrich Council District: 23rd (Queens)
Candidate: Daniel Dromm Council District: 25th (Queens)
Candidate: Brent O'Leary Council District: 26th (Queens)
Candidate: Mel Gagarin Council District: 29th (Queens)
Candidate: Marquez Claxton Council District: 31st (Queens)
Candidate: Michael Duncan Council District: 31st (Queens)
Candidate: Fred Lewis Council District: 31st (Queens)
Candidate: Jo Anne Simon Council District: 33rd (Brooklyn)
Candidate: Saquan Jones Council District: 36th (Brooklyn)
Candidate: David Galarza Council District: 38th (Brooklyn) (NOTE: Galaraza dropped out)
Candidate: Bob Zuckerman Council District: 39th (Brooklyn)
Candidate: Terry Hinds Council District: 45th (Brooklyn)

Some of these candidates I don't know. In couple of these races I am backing other candidates. But by and large I agree with ChangeNYC's choices. If you go to their candidate page, you can read statements by each of these candidates...and I strongly urge that you do so. I put in bold the candidates I most strongly agree with.

For comparison, let me add the endorsements of CBID, DFNYC and 504 Democrats:

CBID endorsements for 2009:

Josh Skaller for City Council (39th District)
Jo Anne Simon for City Council (33rd District)
John Liu for Comptroller
Norman Siegel for Public Advocate of the City of New York

DFNYC endorsements (so far) for 2009:

Norman Siegel for Public Advocate
Steve Behar for City Council, Dist. 19 in eastern Queens
Josh Skaller for City Council, District 39 in Central Brooklyn

And 504 Democrats (disabled rights organization) endorsements (the ones I can find):

Council District 25 (Queens): Daniel Dromm
Council District 3 (Manhattan): Yetta Kurland
Council District 33: (Brooklyn): Jo Anne Simon

Hope people take a look at these excellent candidates and give them some support!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Brooklyn Party Boss Protects Child Abusers

Assemblyman Vito Lopez, political ally of WFP and city council candidates like Steve Levin and Maritza Davilla, is under attack for his watering down a bill to protect children abused by sex offenders sheltering in religious institutions. Here's video from a local TV station (sorry, includes an ad at the beginning...thanks to a reader for passing it on to me).

Wonder how Working Families Party, Steve Levin and Martiza Davilla justify their ties to this kind of back room deal to protect child abusers from legal prosecution by their victims. Will WFP, Steve Levin and Martiza Davilla repudiate Party Boss Lopez's protection of child abusers or will they toe the line like good little hacks and support protecting child abusers? My guess is they will toe the line.