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.

Grand Street Democrats Endorsements for 2018 Primary

Primary Day is Thursday, September 13. Don’t forget to vote!

Cynthia Nixon for Governor

New York should be leading the way on progressive issues like single-payer health care and prison reform. But despite clear and repeated victories for these issues in the Assembly, the Governor and the Republicans he has propped up in the State Senate have blocked these reforms from becoming law. 

Cynthia Nixon is a long-time advocate for public education and social justice reform. Nixon has made passing these laws a priority: 

  • Protecting reproductive rights before the Supreme Court guts Roe v Wade.
  • Ending the prosecution of children as adults.
  • Legalizing marijuana and reforming cash bail so that the most vulnerable are not victimized by our criminal justice system.
  • Enacting early voting and automatic voter registration to increase voter participation.

Gov. Cuomo has avoided any real investigation into corruption, while top members of his own administration have been convicted in devastating pay-to-play schemes. With her promise to close the LLC campaign finance loophole, Cynthia Nixon is poised to finally bring some common-sense fairness to Albany politics. 

And one more thing: Cynthia Nixon knows that the subway is the governor’s responsibility, and she will fully fund the system to get New Yorkers moving again!

Jumaane Williams for Lt. Governor

Jumaane Williams is an exciting choice this year for Lt. Governor.

A true progressive and activist, Williams cut his teeth as a tenant organizer in Brooklyn, helping working families avoid eviction.

As a member of the City Council, Williams has championed criminal justice reform that would end mass incarceration. 

As Lt. Governor, he would blaze his own trail as an advocate for more progressive policies.

Letitia James for Attorney General

There’s a big upside for New Yorkers following Eric Schneiderman’s swift fall — we have some great Democrats running to replace him (including three who would be the state’s first female Attorney General).

Letitia James stands out from the crowd with her fierce advocacy for working families, her experience in the A.G.’s office, and her independence. She’s promised to go after corruption in Albany … and Trump Tower!

Robert Rosenthal for Civil Court Judge

For 27 years, Robert Rosenthal has been representing people who have been ignored or pushed aside because of what they look like, where they are from, what they believe, who they love, or what they have – or don’t have. 

He is the only candidate in the race awarded “Most Qualified” rating from three independent review panels.

Rosenthal is endorsed by nearly every local elected official — Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou; Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Carlina Rivera; NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; and Congressmembers Nydia Velazquez and Carolyn Maloney.

He has the experience, passion, and perspective necessary to preside over a courtroom in which everyone is treated fairly.

Christopher Marte for State Committee

Christopher Marte is running for a seat on the NY Democratic State Committee, an internal party organization that has little public exposure but can be an important instrument for moving the Democratic party as a whole in
a more progressive direction. 

Marte will join a growing progressive caucus in that body standing up for internal party reforms and making sure that candidates who deserve a chance to break through are given a voice at the party convention.

With endorsements from other local groups like Lower East Side Democrats, The Asian-American Democratic Club, and Downtown Independent Democrats, Marte has been able to build a coalition of support from across our diverse district. Plus, he’s been a member and supporter of Grand Street Dems since its inception.

Grand Street Democrats endorses Letitia James for Attorney General

After the unexpected resignation of NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in May, this open seat has attracted three dynamite candidates for the Democratic nomination. After having a chance to meet all three, GSD members voted to endorse Letitia James.

James is currently the NYC Public Advocate. Before that she represented parts of Brooklyn in City Council, and has served as Assistant Attorney General under AG Eliot Spitzer. She began her career as a public defender for the Legal Aid Society.

Grand Street Democrats endorses Christopher Marte for Democratic State Committee

Christopher Marte, born and raised on the Lower East Side, has made his presence felt in downtown Manhattan as a community activist, political candidate, and volunteer. He intends to bring that spirit of public service and activism to the role of Democratic State Committeemember, an unpaid position within the Democratic Party. Marte is currently an Associate at The Arena, a political organization dedicated to encouraging new progressive voices in American politics.