August 11 at 7:00 pm: Meet two more candidates for Manhattan D.A.

Tuesday, August 11
7:00 pm

with D.A. candidates Alvin Bragg and Tahanie Aboushi

One of the most important 2021 races in New York City will be for Manhattan District Attorney. Incumbent Cyrus Vance is facing at least five challengers, and the protests around Black Lives Matter are shining a sharp spotlight on criminal prosecution in NYC.

We will meet two more candidates for Manhattan D.A. on August 11 — Alvin Bragg and Tahanie Aboushi.

July 22 at 7:00 pm: Meet two candidates for Manhattan D.A.

Wednesday, July 22
7:00 pm

with D.A. candidates Eliza Orlins and Janos Marton

One of the most important 2021 races in New York City will be for Manhattan District Attorney. Incumbent Cyrus Vance is facing at least five challengers, and the protests around Black Lives Matter are shining a sharp spotlight on criminal prosecution in NYC.

We will meet two of these candidates on July 22 — Eliza Orlins and Janos Marton.

How to actually vote on the absentee ballot for June primary

Absentee ballots for the June 23 primary are now being mailed out. (If you haven’t yet sent in your application please do that online right now — voting absentee is the healthiest way to vote this year.)

You will get one very long ballot that is not easy to decipher — tons of empty space, candidates on both sides of the ballot, a list of presidential candidates, and then another long list of delegates pledged to support those presidential candidates.

Here’s what you need to know.

On ballot side 1, vote for Congress (A), Assembly (B), and President (C).

This should be straightforward, just make sure you see all the candidates.

A. If you are in Grand Street Dems, you are either in Congressional District 7 or 12. If you are in 7, GSD endorses Nydia Velázquez. If you are in 12, GSD endorses Carolyn Maloney.

B. GSD endorses Yuh-Line Niou for re-election.

C. GSD did not make an endorsement for President.

On ballot side 2, vote for Delegates to the Democratic National Convention (D).

This is where it starts to get confusing. The names here are people who want to go to the Democratic National Convention this summer to cast official votes for the party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. This is independent from your vote in (C) for President, but tied up with the overall vote for President in your Congressional District.


Delegates pledged to a candidate will get selected in proportion to the percentage of votes their presidential candidate receives in each district (candidates need to clear 15% of the vote to get any delegates).

At its most basic level, if Joe Biden receives 50% of the vote in your district, then 50% of the delegates pledged to Biden will get selected to go to the convention. Which ones? The Biden delegates with the most votes out of all the Biden delegates.

You do not have to vote for delegates pledged to the candidate you voted for for President. You can vote for up to seven delegates if you are in Congressional District 7, and up to eight delegates if you are in Congressional District 12.

Place ballot in envelope #1, SIGN it, then put envelope #1 into envelope #2.

Even this part may be confusing. The envelope with your name on it and lots of other writing (“Official Absentee Ballot”) is where you seal up your ballot. You must sign and date the very bottom of the back of this envelope.

(Note: the part of the envelope that says “Official Absentee Ballot for” with lots of blanks does not need to be filled out, since this information is already printed to the left.)

Then you put that package into the slightly larger envelope (“Business Reply Mail”), and the whole thing goes in the mail.

You do not need to add postage. Ballots must be postmarked by June 22.

Challenging Days & Nights

We miss you and wish we could ask you in person — How are you, really?

We have experienced so much loss, suffering, and isolation in the past three months of the Covid crisis, but this last week has been especially devastating, seeing Black people killed and threatened with little or no consequence, members of the NYPD escalating violence against protesters, and our mayor not doing enough to condemn and prevent those actions.

Grand Street Dems believes that Black Lives Matter and we strive to be anti-racist in our personal and political lives. This isn’t the work of one book or action, it is an ongoing effort. There is so much information being circulated right now, and we want to highlight a few of the many resources that are important for supporting the demonstrations happening all across the country, and for our own education and ally-ship.

New York City Bail Funds

Donate money to help get protesters out of jail, even more critical as we are still living with Covid-19. No amount is too small.

Anti-Racism Toolkit from Black Lives Matter

A vast reading list and loads of links to national organizations, including bail funds in cities all over the country.

GSD does not exist without its members. Thank you all for joining and hosting our virtual meetings with elected officials. We will do more of those. The NY Primary is on June 23rd, and absentee ballots will be mailed out soon. If you misplaced your absentee ballot application, you can apply online. If you need help voting, please let us know. If you are in need of other assistance, please get in touch so we can direct you to the proper aid.

We wish you good physical and emotional health, and look forward to seeing you in person again.

In solidarity,
Caroline Laskow, Democratic District Leader

Wednesday 5/27: Cocktails, Crazy Hats, & Conversation* with Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou

*Cocktails and crazy hats optional; conversation guaranteed.

Our Assemblymember, Yuh-Line Niou, faces a primary challenge on June 23. Grand Street Democrats has endorsed Niou and we encourage you to join your neighbors this Wednesday at 7:30 pm for a virtual fundraiser and get-together to support her re-election campaign.

In the midst of all this chaos, Yuh-Line has been a rock for our district, working tirelessly with constituents, providing the most vulnerable with resources, food, medicine, and masks, fighting for relief for small businesses, and advocating for fair policy and budget justice every step of the way. 

We want Yuh-Line to stay in office to keep fighting for our families and communities, but she’s not taking any money from corporate PACs or real estate lobbyists, and during this time, she needs all the support she can get, no matter how much.

Suggested donation for Wednesday is only $10. With New York’s public matching program, your small donation goes a long way.

Absolutely no donation is too small, but if you cannot contribute at this time and would still like to attend, please email!

Wednesday 5/13: Remote meeting with Councilmember Ben Kallos and Chris Marte

If it’s possible, we’d like to start talking about the future.

On January 1, 2022, New York City will have a new Mayor, new Comptroller, new Manhattan Borough President, and new City Council members in two-thirds of the city’s districts.

Looking that far ahead is not to escape the health and economic crisis we’re in, rather to focus our response to it by exploring what NYC will look like when we finally come out the other side.

And even though we still have extremely important primaries and elections coming up in 2020, these NYC campaigns are already well under way for primaries that will be held in just over a year.

On Wednesday at 7:15 pm, please join us for a conversation with two of those candidates — Councilmember Ben Kallos, who is running for Manhattan Borough President, and Christopher Marte, who is running to represent downtown Manhattan in the City Council.

Join with Zoomjoin from your web browser, or call in: 929-205-6099 (Meeting ID: 867 0677 4770, Password: 868734).

NY Primary is NOT Canceled

Despite the many headlines you may have read today, New York’s primary on June 23 is not canceled. In fact we have two important contests in our neighborhood, and I don’t want anyone to be fooled into thinking these races have been decided.

The State Board of Elections did decide that the Democratic presidential primary, originally scheduled for today and postponed until June, will not be on the ballot, because only Joe Biden is still campaigning for that seat. But in 75% of New York State’s counties, where there are contested local primaries, polls will be open in June for federal, state, and local elections.

In order to increase turnout, last week the Governor announced that absentee ballot applications will be mailed automatically to all eligible voters. If you want to skip the step of mailing that application back in, you can apply for an absentee ballot online right now. Mark the “Temporary Illness” box if you are voting absentee to keep polling place foot traffic to a minimum during the health crisis.