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.

Grand Street Democrats endorses Jenny Lam Low for Democratic State Committee

Grand Street Democrats members voted this week to endorse Jenny Lam Low for re-election as female representative to the Democratic State Committee from the 65th Assembly District.

A proud product of New York City’s public schools, Jenny began volunteering as a teenager in activities that encourage Asian American citizens to become registered voters and participate in the electoral process. She is the first Chinese American to be elected as a Democratic District Leader in Lower Manhattan. Jenny serves as a Vice Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee and was elected as delegate to the Democratic National Convention several times, most recently in 2016. Jenny is a Director of the Board and Vice President of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, a political action committee that trains and supports pro-choice Democratic women running for elected offices across New York State.

Jenny has served for over 30 years on the board of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), one of the largest Asian American non-profit multi-social service agencies in the country. CPC’s programs and services enable immigrant and low-income families to become economically self-sufficient. Jenny previously served as Board Chair, a Vice Chair, and chair of the finance committee. She is currently CPC’s Board Treasurer.

Grand Street Democrats endorses Cynthia Nixon for Governor

As an advocate for better schools and more equitable education funding all across the state, affordable housing, LGBTQ equality, clean energy, legalizing marijuana, and women’s reproductive rights, Cynthia Nixon is running a grassroots campaign for governor without corporate funding. She is committed to opening up a new anti-corruption commission in Albany to clean up state politics once and for all.

Grand Street Democrats endorsed Cynthia Nixon for Governor at its May 15 meeting. []

Grand Street Democrats endorses Jumaane Williams for Lt. Governor

As an advocate for affordable housing, anti-gun violence measures, fair policing, equity, and social justice, Jumaane Williams is serving his third term on the NY City Council representing the 45th district in Brooklyn. Williams wants to see the Lt. Governor have a more active role in state policy and advocacy, more like a public advocate at the state level. GSD members endorsed his campaign at their May 15 meeting. []