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Citizen February, 2019

The Citizen
Newsletter of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats

General  Meeting Thursday, February 28th
Camp Friendship, 339 8th Street 

  • Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus 
  • Judicial candidates
  • Public Advocate:  recap of special election + endorsement for June Primary
  • Discussion of CBID's 50th Annual Dinner
  • Committee breakout groups:
    •  Voting Reform
    • Reproductive Justice
    • 2020 Planning
    • Climate Change
  • Public Advocate:
    • Michael Blake
    • David Eisenbach
    • Rafael Espinal, Jr.
    • Anthony Tony Herbert
    • Ron Kim
    • Nomiki Konst
    • Melissa Mark-Viverito
    • Danny O'Donnell
    • Ydanis Rodriguez
    • Dawn Smalls
    • Latrice Walker
    • Jumaane Williams
    • Benjamin Yee
  • Surrogate Court Judge
    • Margarita Lopez-Torres
    • Meredith Jones 
  • Civil Court Judge Countywide
    • Edward King
    • Derefim Neckles
    • Elaine Shack-Rodriguez
  • Civil Court: 6th judicial district
    • Caroline Cohen
    • Chinyelu Udoh
President's Message

Hello CBIDers,

Over the past few week we have seen many of the ups and the downs that come with coalition building.  We saw the great organizing power of New Yorkers in the Amazon protests. And now Andrew Cuomo is trying to weaken grassroots groups by imposing onerous and expensive filing requirements, which just tells me how effective the grassroots have been.  We have seen fighting within the "left" about comments made by Congressmember Omar, and the never-ending discussion around Israel and antisemitism.  There are surging debates around climate change, reproductive justice, criminal justice, racial inequalities, local transportation issues, and so much more.  Suffice it to say, we're not ever going to agree on everything.  

The Amazon deal, protests, and subsequent dropping of the deal showed me one thing very clearly -- you can't pull one over on New Yorkers anymore.  We can debate whether or not the deal would have been good long term.  We can debate the overall efficacy of capitalism if you want.  But in truth, we know that this deal was made by politicians with their own agendas and without any input from residents who would have been most effected by the deal, and we were not standing for any of that.  I do believe there are ways Amazon coming to NYC could have been a good thing, but they clearly (along with the Governor and Mayor) did not want those options discussed openly even a little bit. When activists forced these discussion on them they took their ball and went home.  At the end of the day, we never had the opportunity to discuss anything, and that's at the core of the problem to me.  

We're not ever going to "solve" some of these massive issues.  But we need to be open and create space to talk about them.  I'm so proud of the working groups that we've been forming within CBID, and encourage everyone to participate as much as you can and want to.  The more we can make space to talk about the issues that are important to us, the more we can learn from each other. 

The Amazon protest showed us what we can do when we organize and work together.  Over the last two years we've spent a lot of our energy on fighting and resisting, and now it's time to start thinking about what we do want for our city, our state and our country.  How do we want to reform our climate laws?  How do we want to reform our criminal justice system?  What voting reforms are we fighting for beyond early voting? How do we create real reproductive justice beyond just codifying Roe?  These are the questions we need to be asking.  We're going to start these conversations at this month's general meeting and see where they go.  

One important thing that our club has the ability to do is to  provide space to have these discussions, whatever they may be.  We're here to take action, to protest, to resist - but before that, we have to know what we're fighting for.  Come on by, chat with one of our formed committees, and if there's something you care about that doesn't already have a committee form one yourself, and let's get the conversations going.  

See you out there,
Asher Novek
CBID President

We've spent so much of the last two years fighting and resisting, that we haven't had much time to think about what it is that we do want out of our elected representatives. This month we will start discussing some of the issues that we want on our agenda for 2019 and beyond. If you'd like to decide in advance which committee(s) you'd like to participate in, here is a brief synopsis of the committees that will be meeting on February 28th.
  • Voting Rights:  The Voting Rights committee with focus primarily on advocacy and action on voting reform in New York State.  Although progress has been made this legislative session, we still have so much more to do.  We will focus on public financing for elections, funding for early voting, electronic poll books, automatic voting, permanent restoration of voting rights to people on parole, voter friendly ballots, and change of party deadline.  The committee will also discuss what actions we can take to tackle voter suppression and barriers to voting in other parts of the country.  In addition, we'll look at the challenges that the 2020 census presents, including the citizenship question now pending before the Supreme Court.
  • Reproductive Rights: The Reproductive Rights committee will focus on issues around women's health care and gender equality through an intersectional lens. We are currently focused on the implementation of the Reproductive Health Act that was recently passed by the New York State legislature and how it is affecting our community.
  • 2020 Planning: CBID is expanding in new and exciting ways, including our federal PAC and our work with other clubs like on the Public Advocate forum we helped organize.  We want to build on these existing tools to get involved in issues and races in the run up to the 2020 elections.  For example, one of our goals is to sponsor presentations by some (or all) of Democratic presidential candidates in Brooklyn.  We would work with other clubs to reach larger audiences and to ensure that candidates focus on urban issues. We also want to look at Congressional races and even target some vulnerable seats in Senate.  Other goals are to form a rapid Response Team and an Umbrella Organization of Progressive Groups to collaborate on Federal Races.  
  • Climate Change: This is a newly formed committee that will be looking at both local and national climate change policy. 
  • Events: The Events Committee plans and executes a variety of gatherings sponsored by the Club, including fundraisers, forums and purely social events. The most important of these is our annual Dinner, which is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Planning, choosing and booking venues and entertainment, contacting and inviting elected officials and community leaders, checking out caterers (includes tasting!) and deciding on menus, designing graphics and writing text, sending out invitations and selling ads are all part of the picture. We also provide the snacks and beverages you enjoy at CBID's monthly general membership meetings. NOTE:  This committee will not be meeting on February 28th.  Please contact Cheryl at to get involved.  
Upcoming Meeting Schedule:

General Meetings, held at Camp Friendship at 7pm

Thursday, February 28th
Thursday, March 28th
Thursday, April 25th

Executive committee, 7pm, locations TBD

Monday, January 28th
Monday, March 4th
Monday, April 1st

CBID Executive Committee

President - Asher Novek
First VP - Joy Romanski
2nd VP - Allison ingus
Treasurer - Marty Bernstein
Corresponding Secretary - Erica Cohen
Recording Secretary - Melissa Turoff

Executive Committee: Richard Bennett, Dan Campanelli, Marvin Ciporen,  Jo Criscone, Mary Beth Carroll, Eric Fields, Sherese Jackson, Cheryl Krauss, Julie Kerr, Ali Manning, David Michaelson, James Morgano, Alice Ott, Amanda Ritchie, Hilary van Santen, Louis Schwartz, Benjamin Theodore, Dan Wise.

Hon. Doug Schneider, Hon. Lori Citron Knipel, Hon. Josh Skaller, Hon. Joan Millman

Copyright © 2019 Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, All rights reserved.

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