America, finally, is at a turning point. Large majorities of us favor common-sense gun safety legislation, yet Washington has ignored even the most reasonable regulations because of the outsized influence of the NRA. Now there is a growing movement, inspired and led by the survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, strong enough to take on the NRA.
Join that movement on March 24 for the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC. Sign up below for a spot on the Grand Street bus. Space is limited, cost is $50 per seat. (And thank you to East River cooperator Cynthia Pappas for chartering the bus and letting us team up.)
Let’s celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the start of Grand Street Democrats’ campaign to bring progressive, active, local politics back to the neighborhood! Join us Monday night for a drink at Lucky Jack’s and try your hand at our Civics Trivia Quiz.
No cover. Cash bar. $10 quiz entry. Kitschy prizes for the trivia-est in the neighborhood. See you there!
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents NY Congressional District 12, is being challenged this year by a first-time candidate, Suraj Patel. We will have a chance this Thursday to hear from both candidates, ask them questions, and then decide whom to endorse for the Democratic primary on June 26.
Please show up at 6:45 pm so we can get started with the first candidate promptly at 7:00 pm. (The meeting is open to everyone, but only GSD members with voting privileges will be allowed to vote on our endorsement.)
7:00 pm — Suraj Patel
Patel is an alumni of Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012, president of his family’s hospitality company, and a lecturer at NYU’s business school.
Website: surajpatel.nyc7:30 pm — Carolyn Maloney
Maloney began her career as a public school teacher and administrator in New York. She served on the NYC City Council for a decade before being elected to Congress in 1992.
Seward Coop (apartment will be emailed to you after RSVP)
Sister District is a national organization created out of the ashes of the 2016 presidential election. Its goal is to harness Democratic energy from deep blue districts like ours to help get out the vote in truly swing districts around the country. Focused especially on state legislative races (which will help determine new congressional districts after the 2020 census), Sister District helped with the tremendous successes in Virginia in 2017, and now is resetting targets for 2018.
First up is a special election for Florida State House in February, where Democrat Margaret Good is hoping to flip this Sarasota District.
Grand Street Dems launches its 2018 partnership with Sister District with this phone bank for Margaret Good on February 12. Help us make calls and participate in this year’s Democratic #BlueWave across the country.
Our next regular meeting will kick off with a report from our state representatives, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou and State Senator Brian Kavanagh. They will be reporting, and taking your questions on, the 2018 legislative session and budget process.
Immediately following the Albany Report, GSD will hold its first regular meeting of the year.
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.)
In 2018, Grand Street Democrats is teaming up with Sister District to help shape elections outside our immediate neighborhood, leveraging our strong Democratic advantage to swing districts where the outcome is in doubt and the balance of power in state government is decided.
To kick-off our partnership, we’ll be preparing together for the January 20 Women’s March in NYC with a protest poster-making party on Saturday, January 13.
This is a family-friendly event — kids are more than welcome, they are great artists and natural protesters!
Our residential neighborhood is being turned into an on-ramp for the Williamsburg Bridge. The intersection of Grand and Clinton is the main center of the problem, creating a honking backup for several blocks in both directions. Despite a resolution from Community Board 3 and letters from our local elected officials, the Department of Transportation has not adequately addressed the situation. In fact, it’s gotten worse.
Councilmember Margaret Chin has helped us secure the DOT Manhattan Commissioner for a town hall on Thursday, January 11. Other elected officials will be participating, and several community groups are co-sponsoring the event because this is a matter that effects the quality of life of everyone in the neighborhood.
Seward Coop resident Matt Marello filmed the intersection last winter to illustrate exactly why the traffic pattern is causing such a problem.
We will be presenting two short-term solutions to keep cars moving more efficiently and safely, while pushing for long-term changes that would keep this traffic out of our neighborhood entirely.
Please join us to show DOT how important this issue is to all of us.
At our regular meeting in November our members outlined a half dozen committees that will help us direct activities for Grand Street Democrats. So we’re not going to waste any time — let’s start 2018 with a Committee-palooza!
What’s a Committee-palooza? Honestly, we just made it up. But here’s how we think it works: You and your neighbors (and the friend you bring with you) break out for the GSD committee you care about and brainstorm specific goals and actionable steps for the new year. Then each committee shares those ideas with the whole club, so we can align our priorities and get to work.
For example, let’s say you care about helping Democrats across the country pick up seats during the 2018 mid-term elections. You sit down at the Big D table to decide what projects will be most effective — fundraising, phone banks, out-of-state canvassing — then make a plan to identify candidates to support or outside organizations to partner with.
Or, you’re dismayed by the massive new skyscrapers going up on the waterfront combined with the new developments closer to home. So you join the Political & Social Action Committee and start coming up with a plan to support zoning changes on the Lower East Side or pressure the MTA to increase access to public transportation.
The idea is to do some talking … and then chart a path from talking toward action. We want to find real opportunities for progress, and deputize club members (you!) to make change happen.