May 4: Virtual Reception in Support of Lindsey Boylan for Borough President

Please join us to support Lindsey Boylan,
candidate for Manhattan Borough President.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021
7:00 – 8:00 pm
RSVP for Event

Tommy Loeb
Marion Riedel

Grand Street Dems, Pat Arnow, Lee Berman, Wendy Brawer, Bill Ferns, Fannie Ip, Jeremy Sherber, Kim Sillen, Vanessa Thill

Zoom link provided before the event.  
This event is private and closed to press.

Suggested Donation Levels:
$175 | $100 | $50 
$25 | $10 | $5
 A donation is not required to attend.  

Sign Up to Help Our Candidates Get on the Ballot

We are heading into the biggest primary season NYC has seen in a generation and we are ready to help our endorsed candidates get on the ballot!

Grand Street Dems will be setting up tables on Grand Street for each of the first three weekends in March with petitions that candidates are required to file in order to qualify for the ballot in June.

(Yes, it’s crazy that candidates are still required to do this during a pandemic, but the Governor and State representatives somehow did not plan ahead to find a safer way to qualify for this year’s primary.)

If you feel comfortable, we need your help. Join us Saturdays and Sundays starting March 6 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, or let us know when you are available to carry petitions and we’ll work out the details with you.

Update: If you want to get more involved with a particular campaign, you can volunteer specifically for petitioning shifts with them:

Christopher Marte:

Lindsey Boylan:

2/23/21 Remote Meeting Recap — Chinatown Working Group and City Council candidate Erin Hussein

We were joined by members of the Chinatown Working Group to discuss their proposal for special zoning districts in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. We also had a chance to meet Erin Hussein, who is challenging Councilmember Carlina Rivera in District 2.

Not shown in the meeting video was our members-only discussion and vote to endorse candidates for Civil Court in Manhattan and Judicial District 2.

Sierra Club calls for City Council oversight hearing on ESCR

Grand Street Dems last month called for the suspension of work on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project until the City would allow a full and independent engineering review of the project.

Since then, the City finally released the document it had previously said did not exist — the report from the value engineering study in 2018 that led to the current plan — with heavy, unexplained redactions.

Now the Sierra Club is calling on the City Council to conduct oversight hearings to get to the bottom of the “secrecy, inadequacy, and sequence of events and information releases [that] have left many perplexed and disturbed.”

As the Sierra Club’s letter makes clear, redacted sections of the report include “critical information” such as the names of outside “technical team members”; pro/con comparison of eleven “significant proposals” and five “recommendations”; process for arriving at cost estimates (which is a huge part of the City’s justification for its preferred plan); and discussion of alternatives.

“The Sierra Club feels certain that you recognize that it remains the duty of the City Council with its subpoena powers to investigate what is going on as millions of dollars are being spent and bids are being placed on a quasi-secret $1.4 Billion plan. Most importantly, it remains the Council’s responsibility to safeguard the public health and uphold our City’s environment.”

Feb. 20: Civil Court Candidate Forum

There are two open seats this year for Manhattan Civil Court (county-wide) and two more open seats for Civil Court Judicial District 2 (where we live), with a number of candidates who were rated “most highly qualified” by the New York County Independent Judicial Screening Panel for Civil Court Judges on Feb. 8.

On Saturday we will have a chance to hear from all these candidates, and then will vote at our general meeting Tuesday whether to make any endorsements for these seats.

Manhattan Civil Court Candidate Forum
Saturday, February 20, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Zoom link:

Thank you to Downtown Independent Democrats for putting this forum together for all of us.

Candidates for Civil Court Judge County-wide

Candidates for Civil Court Judicial District 2

Feb. 23 at 7:00 pm: Chinatown Working Group Presentation & Resolution

With upcoming primaries for New York City officials, from Mayor to City Council, this is a critical moment to express our policy priorities for the next city administration.

One important topic we have discussed but never acted on: the Chinatown Working Group’s detailed proposal for special zoning districts in the Lower East Side and Chinatown that would promote affordability, limit displacement, and still allow for development that fits within appropriate height limits.

Next week we will hear a presentation from CWG representatives and have the opportunity to signal our support for their plan (joining dozens of other local organizations).

GSD February Meeting
Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 pm
Register for Zoom:

We also have one last set of endorsements to make for 2021, for Civil Court Judges, and will be discussing what petitioning will look like in March to get all our endorsed candidates on the ballot.

Preparation for 2021 Endorsements

New York City’s 2021 primaries may be the most consequential we’ve ever had. Mayor, Comptroller, Manhattan Borough President, Manhattan District Attorney are all open seats, with many qualified candidates running in all these races, and the post-pandemic fate of our city on the line.

Add to that the unpredictability of ranked-choice voting being offered to voters for the first time ever, and the burden on voters to educate themselves on the candidates and issues becomes even heavier. You can’t just decide who your favorite candidate is, you should be thinking of four other candidates you find acceptable as well.

That’s even more true for members of local political clubs like Grand Street Dems, who are often asked by their neighbors for advice about complicated local races.

GSD will be voting on endorsements in all these races on Monday, February 8. Below is a compendium of information we have for each of the campaigns and candidates.

New York City Mayor

Mayor Bill de Blasio is term-limited. There are too many candidates to review in full; many of them have done so little fundraising and campaigning that it’s fair to say they have no chance of getting elected. We are focusing on a still-large number of viable candidates.

Watch our candidate forum from February:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Eric AdamsBrooklyn Borough PresidentLink
Shaun DonovanFormer Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentLink
Kathryn GarciaFormer Commissioner, NYC Department of SanitationLink
Ray McGuireFormer vice chair, Citigroupn/a
Carlos MenchacaCouncilmember (CD-38)n/a
Dianne MoralesExecutive Director/CEO, Phipps NeighborhoodsLink
Scott StringerNYC ComptrollerLink
Loree SuttonFormer Commissioner, NYC Department of Veterans’ Services; Retired Brigadier GeneralLink
Maya WileyProfessor, New School; Former Chair, CCRB; Former counsel, NYC Mayor’s officeLink
Andrew YangFounder, Venture for AmericaLink

New York City Public Advocate

Jumaane Williams won a special election for Public Advocate in 2019, and is now running for re-election against three challengers.

Our virtual forum with these candidates will be on Saturday, February 6 at 12:00 pm.

Register for Zoom:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Theo Chino2019 Public Advocate candidateLink
Gwen Goodwin2019 Public Advocate candidate; City Council candidate in 2013 and 2017n/a
Tony Herbert2019 Public Advocate candidate; 2014 NY Assembly candidate (AD-55)n/a
Jumaane WilliamsNYC Public Advocate (incumbent)n/a

New York City Comptroller

Current Comptroller Scott Stringer is term-limited (and running now for Mayor). At least five candidates are now running for this open city-wide position, though the final list of candidates is still in flux (Zach Iscol, for example, just recently announced he would not run for Mayor and is running for Comptroller instead).

Watch our candidate forum from January:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Brian BenjaminState Senator (SD-30)Link
Zach IscolCEO/Founder, Grid North Groupn/a
Brad LanderCouncilmember (CD-39)Link
Kevin ParkerState Senator (SD-21)Link
David WeprinAssemblymember (AD-24)Link

Manhattan Borough President

Current B.P. Gale Brewer is term-limited (and now running for City Council). We have six candidates running for this open seat.

Watch our candidate forum from January:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Lindsey BoylanFormer Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Housing for the State of New YorkLink
Elizabeth CaputoU.S. Government Engagement, World Economic Forum; former Chair of Community Board 7Link
Brad HoylmanState Senator (SD-27)Link
Ben KallosCouncilmember (CD-05)Link
Mark LevineCouncilmember (CD-07)n/a
Kim WatkinsPresident, Community Education Council District 3Link

Manhattan District Attorney

Current D.A. Cyrus Vance does not appear to be running for re-election (though has not yet officially made his intentions clear). There are eight candidates running to replace him.

Note that since this is technically a state position, there will not be ranked choice voting for this position in June; you will only be able to vote for one candidate, and whoever wins a plurality will be the Democratic nominee.

Watch our candidate forum from December:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Tahanie AboushiCivil rights attorney; Partner, Aboushi Law Firmn/a
Alvin BraggFormer Chief Deputy Attorney General, NYS Attorney GeneralLink
Liz CrottyPartner, Crotty Saland PC; Former prosecutor, Manhattan DALink
Tali Farhardian WeinsteinFormer general counsel, Brooklyn DA; Former counsel, US Attorney GeneralLink
Diana FlorenceFormer Attorney-in-Charge, Construction Fraud Task Force, Manhattan DALink
Lucy LangFormer Executive Director, Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College; Former special counsel, Manhattan DALink
Eliza OrlinsPublic defender; Staff Attorney, Legal Aid SocietyLink
Dan QuartAssemblymember (AD-73)Link

City Council District 2

Current Councilmember Carlina Rivera is finishing her first term and running for re-election. She is running unopposed for the Democratic primary.

Watch our candidate interview with Rivera:

CandidateCurrent OccupationVID Questionnaire
Carlina RiveraCouncilmember (CD-02)n/a

1/27/21 Remote Meeting recap — Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and debate on ESCR Resolution

Grand Street Dems members met with District 2 Councilmember Carlina Rivera and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who are both running for re-election this year.

We also discussed, and passed, a resolution on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, requesting that the City suspend the project until an independent engineering review can be completed.

GSD January Meeting: 1/27 at 7 pm with Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

These are the last of our 2021 candidate interviews for two races that are not heavily contested but nevertheless very important to our community — City Council District 2 and NYC Public Advocate.

GSD January Meeting
Wednesday, January 27
7:00 – 8:15 pm
Register for Zoom

We will also be participating in full candidate forums for Public Advocate on Feb. 6 and NYC Mayor on Feb. 7 ahead of our big endorsement meeting on Feb. 8.