Report from Manhattan Democratic County Committee Meeting 10/29/18

Elected members of the Manhattan Democratic County Committee gathered last night at City College to consider several changes to the Committee’s governing rules. All rules changes proposed by the Rules Committee — presented and voted on as one package — were approved.

For a good overview of the changes, you can read Ben Yee’s explainer.

The one potential amendment not recommended by the Rules Committee and therefore not considered last night was the most contentious one, to prohibit the County Leader from being a registered lobbyist or working for a company whose business is lobbying. But with the rules changes that did pass, proposing new rules changes for subsequent meetings becomes much easier, and it’s likely that the County Committee will be asked to vote on this prohibition next year, before County Leader Keith Wright is up for re-election.

These rules changes have no impact on the national political drama most of us are consumed with. But they do directly address the flawed process by which we selected a new State Senator after Dan Squadron resigned in 2017 — elected County Committee members in Manhattan now have even more say in the selection of Democratic nominees for vacated State Assembly and State Senate seats.

The rules changes also help make the Manhattan Democratic Party more open, accessible, and available to change. For many of us, it’s important that our own party institutions reflect our small-d democratic values. In New York City, the Manhattan Democratic Party is leading the way on internal progressive reform.