It is indescribably welcome to feel JOY. Joe Biden is the President-elect, Kamala Harris is the history-making Vice President-elect, by virtue of the countless individuals on the ground who made it happen. When Wisconsin was called for Biden, Ben Wikler, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, tweeted out that “Everything mattered.” How true.
The margins of victory were decisive but hardly a landslide, and all the Get Out the Vote efforts for Biden-Harris were crucial. Not just everything, but everyONE mattered.
If you joined any of our phone banks over the last three months, this means you.
If you worked at the polls — for the first time or the fourteenth time — this means you.
If you helped one person register to vote, find their poll site or ballot drop box, this means you.
If you had one difficult conversation with a Republican in your life, and flipped their vote, this means you.
If you contributed $5 or $500 to the Biden-Harris campaign, this means you.
Today let’s celebrate!
Hold onto the feeling of effort being rewarded, because (you knew this was coming, right?) we still have work to do.
Our well-trained club is going to dive into the Georgia Senate run-offs this week. We will follow the lead of the incomparable, awesome Stacey Abrams and all the Georgia organizers who have scaled a vertiginous mountain of voter disenfranchisement to get their state this far.
When Trump won in 2016, my friend Amy said “We lost the keys to the house.” The house is in terrible shape, repairing the damage will be arduous, and many of its rightful inhabitants are still being denied occupancy, but we got the keys back, so let the renovations begin.
Stay safe, wear your mask, celebrate, then organize.
We miss you and wish we could ask you in person — How are you, really?
We have experienced so much loss, suffering, and isolation in the past three months of the Covid crisis, but this last week has been especially devastating, seeing Black people killed and threatened with little or no consequence, members of the NYPD escalating violence against protesters, and our mayor not doing enough to condemn and prevent those actions.
Grand Street Dems believes that Black Lives Matter and we strive to be anti-racist in our personal and political lives. This isn’t the work of one book or action, it is an ongoing effort. There is so much information being circulated right now, and we want to highlight a few of the many resources that are important for supporting the demonstrations happening all across the country, and for our own education and ally-ship.
New York City Bail Funds
Donate money to help get protesters out of jail, even more critical as we are still living with Covid-19. No amount is too small.
GSD does not exist without its members. Thank you all for joining and hosting our virtual meetings with elected officials. We will do more of those. The NY Primary is on June 23rd, and absentee ballots will be mailed out soon. If you misplaced your absentee ballot application, you can apply online. If you need help voting, please let us know. If you are in need of other assistance, please get in touch so we can direct you to the proper aid.
We wish you good physical and emotional health, and look forward to seeing you in person again.
In solidarity, Caroline Laskow, Democratic District Leader
In the past few weeks the Trump administration has become even more Orwellian. The actions and language around so-called “tender care” shelters epitomizes the worst treatment of refugees and undocumented people in our country. Wednesday’s executive order should not be mistaken for real progress.
So what now?
1) Donate. The legal and therapeutic services on the ground have massive work to do, both to reunite children and parents currently separated, and to help aid these families manage their ongoing trauma. Donations at this link will be distributed among 10 excellent organizations, including the ACLU, La Union del Pueblo Entero, and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.
2) Rally. Protests will be held nation-wide on Saturday, June 30 including here in NYC. Grand Street Democrats will partner with our friends at the Manny Cantor Center to organize a crew from the LES. Sign-making will be on Friday, June 29 from 4:00 – 6:00 at MCC, 4th floor. And then we’ll meet in front of MCC again the next morning at 9:15 am to go together to the rally in Foley Square. (Email me if you want to be more involved in organizing the neighborhood for this rally.)
3) VOTE. In every election — including the Democratic primary coming up this Tuesday, June 26. Our endorsed congressional candidate for NY-12, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, has a strong record of standing up to Trump and we know she deserves another term to defend our values. (If you’d like to help Get Out the Vote for Maloney over the next 5 days, sign up here.)
Caroline Laskow, Democratic District Leader
PS. An even bigger ask, but also important: can you work in your local poll site on Election Day? It’s a really long day but without our poll workers our elections wouldn’t happen. And you do get paid. Just email me if you are interested.
It was wonderful seeing so many of you this past weekend at the Women’s March. I hope you’re feeling energized and ready for more action.
And on that note …
I’m joining Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, March 13 for a Day of Action in Albany. We’ll be meeting state representatives to demand that New York State be a leader on reproductive rights by advancing access to sexual and reproductive health care in 2018.
Bus transportation is provided by Planned Parenthood from 26 Bleecker Street. Breakfast and lunch will also be provided, plus training for all attendees.
I’m going and would love to have you join me (I’ve never been to Albany!) for what sounds like a great day with an organization I enthusiastically support.
If you’re interested in coming to the Day of Action in Albany:
F Train station, East Broadway & Essex
Next to Seward Park
In 2017 I was moved and inspired by participating in the Women’s March on Washington. Riding down to DC on “The Love Bus” (organized by Grand Streeter, Tami Pollak) with a crew of 50+ like-minded neighbors gave me hope for our future. It was just one day, but felt like a meaningful step on the road to a greater social movement that would protest Trump’s racist, sexist hate-mongering, and promote true democratic values of inclusion and equality.
This past year has indeed been protest-filled — there’s been so much to protest! — but there’s also been progress. One of the highlights of 2017 for me was the launch of Grand Street Democrats, formed by and for our community as a tool for greater civic engagement. Electing me and Lee as district leaders was another meaningful step on the journey we’re taking together, but it is YOUR continued efforts that will have the greatest impact locally and nationally.
So let’s come together this Saturday, January 20th, for the 2018 Women’s March in New York City, to see ourselves as part of the larger political landscape, to remember we are not alone on this road and we are stronger together.
Pending any last minute notifications from the MTA or the Women’s March, our plan is to meet outside the F train station at East Broadway and Essex (in front of Seward Park) at 10:30 am. We’ll either ride to 57th Street, then walk up Central Park West to enter the line up via the main entry point at 72nd street, or transfer to the B train and ride to 72nd street.
As I’m sure you all know, it will be a long day, with lots of standing around, but the weather forecast looks good! Wear comfortable shoes, bring a water bottle and some snacks, your signage and a metro card. (Full FAQ can be found here.)