In new vote, Grand Street Dems endorses Kathryn Garcia for Mayor

In a new vote on Monday evening, Grand Street Dems members endorsed Kathryn Garcia for Mayor.

GSD members’ close second choice for Mayor is Dianne Morales.

Members spoke in favor of Garcia’s highly-regarded managerial experience within city government. Especially given the scale of economic recovery New York faces in the next several years, and the opportunities for challenging reforms within city agencies, her no-nonsense, goal-oriented approach to problem-solving would be a huge asset for all New Yorkers.

At the same time, many GSD members who are looking for transformational change in the way we talk about race, housing, equity, and policing were drawn to Dianne Morales, who is running as perhaps the most purely progressive candidate in the race. As our own ranked choice voting process peeled off the outliers, Morales came in a close second to Garcia.

This new endorsement meeting was called by the GSD Executive Committee ten days ago so that members could reconsider our previous endorsement of Scott Stringer given the sexual misconduct allegations recently made against him. The new vote was a full do-over among all 13 candidates who will be on the Democratic primary ballot on June 22, including Stringer.

To help our neighbors navigate the ranked choice ballot we will all use for the primary this year for the first time, the Executive Committee also voted prior to last night’s endorsement vote to release the club’s first and second choices for Mayor, as opposed to the single endorsements GSD has made public previously.

Grand Street Dems to reconsider Mayoral endorsement with new vote by club members

In response to sexual abuse allegations made against Scott Stringer this week, the GSD Executive Committee has voted to hold a membership meeting on Monday, May 10 to reconsider the club’s Mayoral endorsement.

All GSD members are invited to attend, and all members with voting privileges will be able to vote to endorse one of the candidates on the primary ballot for NYC Mayor.

Monday, May 10, 2021
7:00 pm
Members will receive Zoom link by email

In the meantime, there are a few Mayoral forums coming up over the next week that you might want to attend to brush up on the state of the race:

  • Multifaith Justice Mayoral Forum — Sunday, May 2, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
    The leading six candidates for Mayor are hosted by a broad coalition of faith-based groups, including Collegiate Middle Church and East End Temple. Register for the event.
  • Downtown Women for Change — Monday, May 3, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
    Meet the women running for Mayor — Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales and Maya Wiley — to hear how they plan to address the many challenges facing New York. Register for the event.
  • NYIC Forum on Immigration — Thursday, May 6, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
    New York Immigration Coalition hosts a forum moderated by reporters from The City and Gotham Gazette. Register for the event.

Grand Street Dems announces 2021 endorsements

At last night’s marathon endorsement meeting, Grand Street Dems endorsed a full slate of candidates for New York City’s epic 2021 primary.

Grand Street Dems 2021 Endorsements
SCOTT STRINGER for Mayor (endorsement updated 5/10/21)
JUMAANE WILLIAMS for Public Advocate
BRAD LANDER for Comptroller
LINDSEY BOYLAN for Borough President
ALVIN BRAGG for District Attorney
CAROLINE LASKOW and LEE BERMAN for District Leaders

And a reminder that we had already voted to endorse CHRISTOPHER MARTE for City Council District 1.

Club members voted to make no endorsement for City Council District 2, where Carlina Rivera is running for re-election.

Grand Street Democrats Endorses Christopher Marte for City Council District 1

Grand Street Dems is proud to announce our endorsement for Christopher Marte for City Council District 1.

Following his near-miss campaign in 2017, Chris has been relentless in his advocacy for our community. As an activist, he has fought rampant development, supported tenants facing eviction, and organized neighbors against new jails in Chinatown. As a representative to the New York State Democratic Committee, he has pushed for small-d democratic reform of our state party along with a growing progressive caucus. And as a neighbor and advocate, he has been at every community meeting, rally, and action standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the residents and small business owners of lower Manhattan.

Grand Street Democrats endorses Maloney & Niou in hotly contested primaries

One member of Congress faces four primary opponents in possibly the biggest political challenge of her career, while our representative in the NY State Assembly is vying for only her third term against a well-funded challenger. And though Grand Street Dems was borne out of a challenge to the status quo, and has often stood with underdogs and local allies without any bias toward incumbency, this year club members are rewarding the hard work of public service by voting to endorse Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou for re-election.

On Sunday, GSD heard from all five candidates for US Congress NY-12 and voted solidly to back Maloney. (We were all set to practice ranked-choice voting, but Maloney won a majority on the first ballot.) Maloney’s accomplishments in securing funding for 9-11 first responders, her long-standing advocacy for the Equal Rights Amendment, and her recent elevation to chair of the House Oversight Committee gave her the edge over the admirable progressive spirit and energy of her challengers.

Assemblymember Niou is still running high from what was Albany’s most progressive legislative session in generations, and club members had no interest in punishing her for those accomplishments — bail reform, rent regulations, and the Child Victims Act, just to name a few.

GSD members will be carrying petitions for Maloney and Niou to get on the ballot starting on February 25, and then helping to support their campaigns leading up to the primary on June 23.

Grand Street Democrats endorses Ben Yee for Public Advocate

Grand Street Democrats voted this week to endorse Ben Yee for Public Advocate.

Ben is a “traveling civics superhero” who has brought workshops in civic engagement to groups throughout the five boroughs. His platform is aimed directly at engaging citizens, empowering community groups, and punishing bad actors who degrade our civic institutions.

Ben Yee speaking to a packed house at Manny Cantor Center 1/29/19.

We made our endorsement last night after a heavily attended candidate forum at Manny Cantor Center where we heard from 14 candidates running in the February 26 special election. (Many thanks to the other downtown political clubs and community groups that supported the event.)

We will let you know more about Ben in the coming weeks. For now, if you are so inclined, you can contribute to Ben’s campaign. With public matching funds, your small donation is multiplied nine times to make a big contribution to this short campaign:

Vote Tuesday for NY Democrats

Grand Street Democrats endorsements for 2018 general election

Governor and Lt. Governor — Andrew Cuomo & Kathy Hochul

Comptroller — Thomas DiNapoli

Attorney General — Letitia James

United States Senator — Kirsten Gillibrand

Representative in Congress — Nydia Velazquez (NY-7), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)

State Senator — Brian Kavanagh

Member of the Assembly — Yuh-Line Niou

Justices of the Supreme Court — Alexander Tisch, Lynn Kotler, Mary Rosado (vote for 3)

Judge of the Civil Court – County — Shahabuddeen Ally, Ariel Chesler (vote for 2)

Judge of the Civil Court — Wendy Li

Yes – No – No

GSD Charter Revision Recommendations

The New York City Charter serves as our local constitution, creating a structure for City government. 

Amendments to the Charter can be proposed by a Commission established by the Mayor or City Council, then must be approved by referendum.

There will be three Charter revision proposals on Tuesday’s ballot, proposed by a Mayoral Charter Revision Commission. Grand Street Democrats members voted to make the following recommendations:

YES on Proposal 1

Campaign Finance

This proposal would amend the City Charter to lower the amount a candidate for City elected office may accept from a contributor. It would also increase the public funding used to match a portion of the contributions received by a candidate who participates in the City’s public financing program.

NO on Proposal 2

Civic Engagement Commission

This proposal would amend the City Charter in several ways to create a new, vaguely defined, Civic Engagement Commission under the Mayor’s authority. The Commission would have a few appealing responsibilities that are already managed by other offices and would be an unnecessary addition to the City’s bureaucracy.

NO on Proposal 3

Community Boards

This proposal would impose term limits for community board members and would, in conjunction with Proposal 2, supplant local land use advisors on each community board with advisors from a central pool. Term limits for volunteer members would weaken community boards by eliminating years of local experience. Centralized land use advisors would be more likely to advocate for Mayoral political priorities without consideration for the the local community.