Absentee ballots for the June 23 primary are now being mailed out. (If you haven’t yet sent in your application please do that online right now — voting absentee is the healthiest way to vote this year.)
You will get one very long ballot that is not easy to decipher — tons of empty space, candidates on both sides of the ballot, a list of presidential candidates, and then another long list of delegates pledged to support those presidential candidates.
Here’s what you need to know.
On ballot side 1, vote for Congress (A), Assembly (B), and President (C).
This should be straightforward, just make sure you see all the candidates.
A. If you are in Grand Street Dems, you are either in Congressional District 7 or 12. If you are in 7, GSD endorses Nydia Velázquez. If you are in 12, GSD endorses Carolyn Maloney.
B. GSD endorses Yuh-Line Niou for re-election.
C. GSD did not make an endorsement for President.
On ballot side 2, vote for Delegates to the Democratic National Convention (D).
This is where it starts to get confusing. The names here are people who want to go to the Democratic National Convention this summer to cast official votes for the party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. This is independent from your vote in (C) for President, but tied up with the overall vote for President in your Congressional District.
Delegates pledged to a candidate will get selected in proportion to the percentage of votes their presidential candidate receives in each district (candidates need to clear 15% of the vote to get any delegates).
At its most basic level, if Joe Biden receives 50% of the vote in your district, then 50% of the delegates pledged to Biden will get selected to go to the convention. Which ones? The Biden delegates with the most votes out of all the Biden delegates.
You do not have to vote for delegates pledged to the candidate you voted for for President. You can vote for up to seven delegates if you are in Congressional District 7, and up to eight delegates if you are in Congressional District 12.
Place ballot in envelope #1, SIGN it, then put envelope #1 into envelope #2.
Even this part may be confusing. The envelope with your name on it and lots of other writing (“Official Absentee Ballot”) is where you seal up your ballot. You must sign and date the very bottom of the back of this envelope.
(Note: the part of the envelope that says “Official Absentee Ballot for” with lots of blanks does not need to be filled out, since this information is already printed to the left.)
Then you put that package into the slightly larger envelope (“Business Reply Mail”), and the whole thing goes in the mail.
You do not need to add postage. Ballots must be postmarked by June 22.
*Cocktails and crazy hats optional; conversation guaranteed.
Our Assemblymember, Yuh-Line Niou, faces a primary challenge on June 23. Grand Street Democrats has endorsed Niou and we encourage you to join your neighbors this Wednesday at 7:30 pm for a virtual fundraiser and get-together to support her re-election campaign.
In the midst of all this chaos, Yuh-Line has been a rock for our district, working tirelessly with constituents, providing the most vulnerable with resources, food, medicine, and masks, fighting for relief for small businesses, and advocating for fair policy and budget justice every step of the way.
We want Yuh-Line to stay in office to keep fighting for our families and communities, but she’s not taking any money from corporate PACs or real estate lobbyists, and during this time, she needs all the support she can get, no matter how much.
If it’s possible, we’d like to start talking about the future.
On January 1, 2022, New York City will have a new Mayor, new Comptroller, new Manhattan Borough President, and new City Council members in two-thirds of the city’s districts.
Looking that far ahead is not to escape the health and economic crisis we’re in, rather to focus our response to it by exploring what NYC will look like when we finally come out the other side.
And even though we still have extremely important primaries and elections coming up in 2020, these NYC campaigns are already well under way for primaries that will be held in just over a year.
On Wednesday at 7:15 pm, please join us for a conversation with two of those candidates — Councilmember Ben Kallos, who is running for Manhattan Borough President, and Christopher Marte, who is running to represent downtown Manhattan in the City Council.
Despite the many headlines you may have read today, New York’s primary on June 23 is not canceled. In fact we have two important contests in our neighborhood, and I don’t want anyone to be fooled into thinking these races have been decided.
The State Board of Elections did decide that the Democratic presidential primary, originally scheduled for today and postponed until June, will not be on the ballot, because only Joe Biden is still campaigning for that seat. But in 75% of New York State’s counties, where there are contested local primaries, polls will be open in June for federal, state, and local elections.
In order to increase turnout, last week the Governor announced that absentee ballot applications will be mailed automatically to all eligible voters. If you want to skip the step of mailing that application back in, you can apply for an absentee ballot online right now. Mark the “Temporary Illness” box if you are voting absentee to keep polling place foot traffic to a minimum during the health crisis.
Thank you to Councilmembers Carlina Rivera and Mark Levine and GSD members who joined our virtual meeting last night. We had a frank conversation about this health crisis and the challenges to come. If you missed it, and are bored with Netflix, you can watch below:
At the end of the meeting we were able to talk about local volunteer opportunities and resources:
Local food delivery
To help deliver food to local seniors who are part of the United Jewish Council Lunch Club, call UJC at 212.673.9328.
In particular, UJC needs help delivering Passover meals today and Monday in the co-ops.
If you can help deliver to Seward, sign up here and meet at the Apple Bank on Grand Street at 11:55 am Friday. If you don’t have your own gloves, mask, or hand sanitizer you may pick up a set at the Seward Coop Management Office on Clinton Street.
If you can help deliver in East River, Hillman, or Amalgamated, walk into UJC Friday or Monday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm to volunteer — 15 Willett Street, right next to Bialystoker Synagogue. Or you can email Lee Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll be delivering a few heavy-ish bags, so it it may help to have a rolling cart.
Phone calls to homebound neighbors
If you don’t want to leave your apartment, Councilmember Carlina Rivera’s office has been organizing phone calls to neighbors who are home alone to make sure they are ok. Contact her office at email@example.com.
You can also help collect data about the spread of Covid-19 by participating in a daily survey from Mount Sinai even if you feel completely healthy:
Text COVID to 64722.
Complete a survey of your symptoms.
You’ll receive a daily text to check on your symptoms.
The goal of this survey is to identify infection and transmission patterns specific to our New York City population. Data will be used to alert health care providers about growing clusters of outbreaks in specific communities across the five boroughs, which will enable healthcare professionals to better allocate resources.
As chair of the City Council Health Committee, Councilmember Mark Levine’s Twitter feed has become essential reading for anyone keeping up with the demands that Covid-19 is placing on NYC’s health system.
Then he got sick himself, and followed his own very public advice to not get tested, and to not overwhelm hospitals if your symptoms are manageable.
Luckily, Councilmember Levine is on the mend at home. He’ll be joining us this Thursday for our first virtual meeting to talk about the challenges facing the City at this critical moment.
Grand Street Dems Virtual Meeting Thursday, April 2 7:15 pm
Why are we starting at 7:15? So that at 7:00 pm we can all clap & play — throw open your window, applaud NYC’s healthcare and other essential workers, then play New York, New York as loud as you can. (You don’t need to wait until Thursday — clap & play is every night at 7:00 pm!)