About Democracy for NYC

Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.

EndorsedLogo PlasticWe work both locally and nationally to ensure that fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates are elected at all levels of government. We develop innovative ways to advocate for the issues that matter to our members and support legislation which has a positive effect in our communities.  We promote transparency and ethical practices in government.  We engage people in the political process and give them the tools to organize, communicate, mobilize, and enact change on the local, state, and national level.

You can download our bylaws here.

About Democracy for New York City


DFNYC June Newsletter




DFNYC June 2018 Newsletter

Written by Bobby Cohen, Tracey Keij Denton and Richard Wallner


Endorsement news from DFA, analysis of the Supreme Court's decisions, an event tomorrow to learn how to register voters, and more!


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~~~Democracy for NYC June 2018 Newsletter~~~

(1) Democracy for America Backs Cynthia Nixon
(2) Supreme Court Decisions

   ~ Key points on voter purges, LGBTQ discrimination & arbitration clauses' effect on the #MeToo movement.
(3) Learn How to Register Voters: Tomorrow, Sat June 16th, 12pm
(4) Common Cause Event: Speaking Our Truth in the Age of Trump

~ Speakers: Melissa Mark-Viverito, DeRay Mckesson (Pod Save the People) & Prachi Gupta (Jezebel)
(5) Webinar on How the Oil Industry Drives Fracking
   ~ Wed. June 20th, 8pm EST
   ~ Hosted by Food & Water Action

(6) June is Pride Month!
   ~ Bronx Pride is this Sunday, June 17th
(7) Support the Workplace Democracy Act!
   ~Co-sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and 10 other Democrats
(8) Nobody is Above the Law- ACLU Mueller Rapid Response Rallies
    ~This is a Text list you WANT to be on!

DFNYC June 2018 Newsletter

(1) Democracy for America Backs Cynthia Nixon

Democracy for America, the organization started by Howard Dean after his 2004 Presidential campaign, has weighed in on the primary in the Governor's race. They have endorsed Cynthia Nixon.    

From the DFA press release:

"With Cynthia Nixon, the proudly progressive state of New York finally has the chance to have a governor in Albany who shares their values in the battle for racial and economic justice --and DFA members across the state and nationwide will stand side by side with her in this fight." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America"

Read the full press release at:  http://www.democracyforamerica.com/site/page/dfa-backs-cynthia-nixon-for-governor-of-new-york

Note: Our group, Democracy for NYC, is a local group of Democracy for America. Like other DFA groups across the country, our endorsement process is separate from DFA. That said, we have many members in NYC that are actively supporting Cynthia Nixon's campaign and hoping it drives Gov. Cuomo to listen to the concerns of the progressive grassroots throughout the state.

(2) Supreme Court Decisions
   ~ Key points on voter purges, LGBTQ discrimination & arbitration clauses' effect on the #MeToo movement.

Court Upholds Voter Purge in 5-4 decision
There are few better arguments for the need of progressive to unite and get rid of Trump than the 5-4 decision upholding a State's right to purge voters from its rolls when they haven't voted in awhile. Justice Neil Gorsuch, appointed by Trump after Senate Republicans refused to allow Barack Obama his constitutional right to appoint a justice, joined the majority in this opinion upholding a right-wing strategy for voter suppression. The case is Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. Read more at:

Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts: How They Could Affect the #MeToo Movement:
In Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the Court made it harder for wronged employees to sue their companies if their employment contracts include an arbitration clause.  This may be the first time DFNYC has ever linked to  Glamour magazine article in our newsletter. But this is a clear concise analysis of the arbitration case, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent, and the implications for the #MeToo movement, but Glamour writer Julyssa Lopez:
'What You Should Know About the Supreme Court Arbitration Ruling That Ruth Bader Ginsburg Called 'Egregiously Wrong'

Court allows Bakery's Refusal to Make  Wedding Cake for Gay Couple
You may have heard about MasterPiece CakeShop. Many critics of the Court's 7-2 decision feel that it sets up a slippery slope for discriminating against LGBTQ people, but on the bright side, the Court's decision was not as bad as some feared.  Here's an interesting analysis and background from Vox:
'The ruling is far from ideal for LGBTQ advocates, but the worst was avoided.'
It is unclear how the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision will be interpreted or exploited going forward. Discrimination against LGBTQ people should not be sanctioned or encouraged.  Democracy for NYC is working hard to prevent this by joining with our progressive friends to take back Congress and fight the Trump Administration.

For more Supreme Court cases decided this month, visit this list and links:

(3) Learn How to Register Voters: Tomorrow, Sat June 16th, 12pm

Our friends at Broadway Democrats are hosting a VOTER REGISTRATION TRAINING tomorrow:

When: Saturday, June 16th 12pm
Where: Morningside Heights Library (2900 Broadway between 113th &114th St.) in the Community Room. Take the Elevator to C level. 

Details from Broadway Dems:

How do we win elections? We get more votes. What helps? Register every eligible voter.

Please Join us Saturday June 16th at the Morningside Heights Library (2900 Broadway between 113th &114th St.) in the Community Room at 12 pm. (You do not need a library card to enter and you do not need to preregister - just show up and take the elevator down to C level.)

Learn how to properly register first time voters, help voters with change of address, help voters change party registration and other voter registration information. Led by Diane Burrows, from the League of Women Voters in NYC, we'll be talking about all the logistics of voter registration.

Please printout or review the League of Women Voters NYC voter registration training guide in preparation for the training.
For the training guide, visit this link and scroll down. It is the 5th link under "Additional Materials for Download."

*The League of Women Voters of the City of New York provides information about elections, voting and issues important to New Yorkers. The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any candidates or political parties.

(4) Common Cause Event: Speaking Our Truth in the Age of Trump
~ Speakers: Melissa Mark-Viverito, DeRay Mckesson (Pod Save the People) & Prachi Gupta (Jezebel)
~ Tickets just $25 & $125

Please join our friends at COMMON CAUSE for a conversation with:
Melissa Mark-Viverito - Vice President for Strategic Engagement, Latino Victory Project
DeRay Mckesson - Activist & Organizer, Pod Save the People Host 
Prachi Gupta - Senior Reporter, Jezebel

When:  Monday, June 25, 8-9:30 PM (Cocktail reception starts at 7pm)
Where:  NYIT Auditorium, 1871 Broadway, between 61st & 62nd
Tickets:  $25, or $125 for cocktail reception. 
More info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/common-cause-conversation-speaking-our-truth-in-the-age-of-trump-tickets-43862737629

(5) Webinar on How the Oil Industry Drives Fracking
   ~ Wed. June 20th, 8pm EST
   ~ Hosted by Food & Water Action

From Our friends at Food & Water Watch:

Food & Water Action, Progressive Democrats of America and People Demanding Action invite you to join us for the fifth webinar in our Climate & Energy Series. Food & Water Action will be joined by Biologist and Author Sandra Steingraber along with our allies Uwchlan Safety Coaltion and Texas Environmental Justice Advocate Services to examine how the petrochemical industry drives fracking, the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure, and the transatlantic trade of toxic chemicals.

What: Webinar: Plastics, Pipelines, Fracking and Our Planet
Date: Wednesday, June 20
Time: 5 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. MT / 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET
Where: Online (preferred) or on your phone
RSVP:  https://fwaction.us/PlasticsWebinar

We encourage you to share this invitation with your allies and networks. You can also find a shareable Facebook event here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/492042551212057/

This is a global issue that can only be solved by a massive political mobilization. We hope you will join us.

- Tyler Van Kirk

(6) June is Pride Month!

June is Pride month and NYC is one of the best places to celebrate. While the most famous event is the march and festival on Sunday the 24th, there are many other events, including a film festival, Cosplay and Pride, Bronx Pride (this Sunday) etc. For a list of events, visit this link:

Bronx Pride this Saturday, June 17: 

(7) Support the Workplace Democracy Act!
   ~Co-sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and 10 other Democrats

Support the Workplace Democracy Act, co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand. This act would, among other things:

1. End "right to work for less" laws by repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft Hartley Act, which has allowed 28 states to pass legislation eliminating the ability of unions to collect fair share fees from those who benefit from union contracts and activities.

2. Require that when a majority of workers in a bargaining unit sign valid authorization cards to join a union, they must have a union.

3. Companies would not be allowed to deny or delay a first contract with workers who have voted to join a union.

4. Unions would be given the right to have their voice heard through secondary boycotts and picketing. And workers would have the right to know when their company spends millions of dollars running anti-union campaigns.

The bill would also stop employers from ruthlessly exploiting workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors or denying them overtime by falsely categorizing them as a “supervisor.”

More information:

Call your representatives:  

The text of the bill is here:

(8) Nobody is Above the Law-- ACLU Mueller Rapid Response Rallies
    ~This is a Text list you WANT to be on!

MoveOn, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and other progressive organizations are preparing for 'Rapid Response Rallies' for a scenario in which President Trump fires Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller or his direct superior at the Justice Department, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.  Firing either one of them will provoke a Constitutional crisis and we must be ready to speak out.  For a list of rallies, or to create your own, please go to:


To sign up for the proposed NYC rally, which will start in Times Square, please go to:



Protect the Dreamers!!








September 7, 2017 

The Board of Democracy for New York City (DFNYC) strongly condemns President Trump's decision this week to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. This action will result in the possible deportation of over 800,000 mostly young persons who have lived most of their lives here and who contribute positively to our communities in many ways. This decision will particularly affect New York City where many young people live among us who were brought to this country by their parents as minors and who are now responsible adult residents of our city. We find Trump's decision to be cruel and feel that this is clearly being done for political as opposed to practical reasons. We should never use human lives as political pawns to negotiate for other things. All of us must fight this. As President Obama stated eloquently in his response:

"Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we'd want our own kids to be treated. Its about who we are as a people- and who we want to be"

DFNYC pledges to stand with the Dreamers and fight for their right to stay in our country and continue to help build our communities. They share the same dreams and hopes that we do. We are the Dreamers.

Roberta Cohen
Carlos Dennis
Tracey Keij Denton
Rhonda Patillo
Max Smith
Richard Wallner
Wilson Chau





DFNYC Condemns Trump Ban on Transgender Military Service








August 5, 2017

**Official DFNYC Statement**

Democracy for New York City (DFNYC) strongly condemns the Trump Administration’s plan to ban U.S. citizens who happen to be transgender from being allowed to serve in the military.

Transgender citizens have served actively and courageously in the military, fought wars and defended our country and continue to do so. This ban is no different than past discrimination against African American and openly gay citizens who attempted to serve their country.

State sponsored discrimination is a threat to all of us and DFNYC is proud to join the ACLU, and our friends at Trans PAC, Democracy for America (DFA) and other progressive groups who have pledged to come together and fight to ensure and maintain equal rights for *all* U.S, citizens" including those who are transgender.

Roberta Cohen
Tracey Keij Denton
Rhonda Patillo
Max Smith
Richard Wallner
Wilson Chau


Other Statements/Resources:

The New York Times has an excellent editorial by Jennifer Boylan

Here is a statement from State Senator Brad Hoylman, the only openly LGBTQ member of the NY Senate:


Here is a good petition to sign:

Finally if you want to hear about more events taking place in the ongoing fight to protect the rights of transgender citizens, consider joining TransPAC:


NeoLiberalism-- How We Got Here

(The following is an editorial by DFNYC board member Mark Dieffenbacher)

Neoliberalism and How We Got Here

“The neoliberalism package is specifically designed to undercut democracy” (Noam Chomsky, 2014)

Neoliberalism is an economic geopolitical philosophy that emphasizes privatization, deregulation in the interest of corporations, and deep cuts to social spending.   It a system that has a “by the market and for the market” approach.    Proponents preach of the wonderful, fair, and just powers of the free market.

The neoliberal approach was formulated  at the University of Chicago by economist and professor Milton Friedman in the early part of the last half of the 20th century.  Friedman was adamantly opposed to the New Deal policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which were an extension of the doctrines of economist John Maynard Keynes.  Keynes had advocated, conversely to Friedman, for strong government intervention and corporate regulation to temper the rampant inequality and cyclical recessions that unfettered capitalism produces.  He advocated for programs that leveled the economic inequality and cyclical instability inherent in a capitalist system.   These policies, implemented in response to the Great Depression, produced a uniquely vibrant middle class in the US. 

Income Inequality Trends Europe Versus US 1900-2010

This graph is taken from Capital In The 21st Century by Thomas Piketty


Relative Industry Shares of corporate profits in US Economy. 1950 -2001.   This chart illustrates the steep decline of manufacturing in the designated period and the sharp rise of the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) sector, also indicated in the following chart.



   Friedman’s policies were readily welcomed by corporations and Republican politicians and bureaucrats in the early 1970’s, most notably Henry Kissinger, then Secretary of State. It was impossible to set these policies into practice as the Democratic party still held dear the policies and institutions originated by FDR, including the Social Security system and welfare.  Over the past 45 years, the US government has been able to gradually cut these programs by using globalization, forcing millions of American workers in the field of manufacturing to compete with workers from countries that pay much, much lower wages.  The weakening of campaign finance laws over time also allowed corporate money and lobbying to overwhelm the US political system, making US politicians mere courtiers to corporate interests.  The Democratic party became subservient to corporate money and loosened its adherence to FDR-style public policies.  The membership of unions was devastated.  Holding the upper hand, the corporations, in collusion with the US government, drove down pay and benefits.  Workers in the US saw manufacturing jobs leave the country by the millions.  Social programs have been severely reduced and privatized.  Austerity, or cutting government spending for the working class, is the rule. The wealthy, on the other hand, enjoy lavish perks from the government, including, quite dangerously, exorbitant military spending.   

    Neoliberalism is not just the norm in the US, but also throughout most of the western world.  Bureaucratic institutions such as the European Union and International Monetary Fund, which have little association with the working classes, impose austerity behind closed doors.  A myriad of elite international institutions stretching from the ivy league universities to the International Monetary Fund collude to create a worldwide ruling class.  The economy has become financialized, with the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE) sector assuming dominance in the economy and deeply exacerbating inequality by creating wild wealth on one end and a vast debtor class on the other.  

    Of course, the general public becomes enraged with its ever-declining living standards.  The age-old ploy of using scapegoats, such as immigrants, minorities and even the government itself, is utilized to divide the populace.  Politicians, doing the bidding of their corporate masters, egg on this sentiment in order to deflect public ire from the true corporate culprits.  The western world, riddled with austerity and the results of unending wars and the present danger of climate change for which it is largely responsible, is in deep crisis.  Donald Trump played on the angst of the US public, using a combination of scapegoating, white nationalism, and narrow but accurate economic critiques of the system to successfully claim the US presidency.   Interestingly, with the election of Trump as US President and the subsequent cabinet appointments of corporate CEO’s and board members such as Rex Tillerson (Exxon), Betsy DeVos (Amway), and Ben Carson (Costco) to name but a few, the courtier class has now been supplanted at the top of the executive branch by the corporate masters themselves. Indeed, the middleman has been eliminated.   


Paul Street, “They Rule:  The 1% v. Democracy”

Dr. Gus Bagakis, “Seeing Through the System: The Invisible Class Struggle in America”

Greta R. Krippner, “The Financialization of the American Economy”

DFNYC Statement on Trump Border Policies


February 5, 2017

President Donald Trump's announced policy to prevent citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States is bigoted, cowardly and short sighted. This ban is against everything for which the United States, the land of liberty, was founded. The lives of people who are friends of ours and valuable contributors to our communities are being needlessly threatened and disrupted. When Trump says that our borders are overrun, and that refugees are not subject to the closest scrutiny when they try to enter the country, he is lying. He wants to push Islamophobia and xenophobia as a way to instill fear and gain support for his isolationist, America first, policies.

Democracy for New York City (DFNYC) pledges to join with our allies in the progressive community here in NYC to fight these misguided policies now coming out of the White House. We will use our social media and every resource we have to protect the freedoms that our forefathers fought for and to keep our borders open. Lady Liberty does not just belong to us, she belongs to everyone around the world, and we will not let the light in her torch go out. Ever.

Roberta Cohen
Tracey Keij Denton
Mark Dieffenbacher
Rhonda Patillo
Max Smith
Richard Wallner

The Board of Directors DFNYC

Contact Information

Email: info -at- dfnyc.org


A local coalition group of Democracy for America since 2004

Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.