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


NYC Council District 41 - Brooklyn

In NYC Council District 41, incumbent Democrat Darlene Mealy is running for re-election and being challenged by several candidates in the Democratic primary to take place on September 10th.

Neighborhoods: Bedford Stuyvesant, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Wingate, Ocean Hill. 

Candidates: (Big thanks to Decide NYC!)

Listed in alphabetical order by last name:

Kathleen Daniel, Borough President Appointee to the Community Education Council in Bedford Stuyvesant
Al Jackson, Pastor at Highways and Hedges Church
Darlene Mealy, incumbent city Councilmember
Byron Wright, Member, DC1707/AFSCME Community & Social Agencies Employees Union

For a great write-up of this race, including new and old district maps, check out DecidedNYC's 41st Council district page.

To return to our main Hot Races 2013 page, click here.

Comptroller Questionnaire - New Questions Based on Your Feedback


Democracy for NYC will be holding an endorsement vote in the race for Comptroller of New York City. Voting will open after our August 13th forum in Manhattan. For endorsement rules, click here.

The Democratic primary will take place on Sept. 10th, and the candidates in that primary are Scott Stringer and Eliot Spitzer.  (The Democratic nominee is highly likely to win the general election on Nov. 5th)

DFNYC leadership, after talking with our active members and friends in the progressive community, has put together this candidate questionnaire. (We previously had a draft here, asked for feedback, and made changes.)


Democracy for NYC's 2013 Candidate Questionnaire - Comptroller

1. Shareholder Power. One of the most significant powers of the NYC Comptroller is management of NYC’s five pension funds, valued at approximately $140 billion, which are invested in stocks and other assets.  Would you seek to use this power as an activist shareholder, for the purpose of making corporations and Wall Street more responsible and ethical? How would you seek to accomplish this? Each pension fund has its own Board of Trustees with decision making authority. Please include in your answer your experience in working with Boards or other groups to change or improve policies.

2. Qualifications. The role of Comptroller will require expertise in financial strategy and investing, knowledge of markets, as well as experience in effective management and cooperation with others, including shareholder groups, Boards, and government agencies to effect positive change. Please briefly give your qualifications for the position of Comptroller.

3. City Contracts - Accountability. Would you seek to actively use the power of the Comptroller's office, as currect Comptroller John Liu has done, to review city contracts (including those entered into before his tenure), to ensure they remain within budget constraints, at the most competitive pricing, and that vendors are paying their fair share of taxes to the city? 

4. Relationship with State & Other Comptrollers. As City Comptroller, how would you view your relationship with the New York State Comptroller, and the officials that control pension funds in other States? Do you feel these relationships could be used advantageously for common goals, such as curbing irresponsible risk taking on Wall Street or supporting sensible budget policies for properly funding pensions (as opposed to simply redoing the math to assume the market will go up)?

5. We can’t believe we have to ask this.  In light of some of the past scandals with pension funds in New York State, do you agree not to accept personal favors and gifts from people or corporations that are likely to be seeking favorable treatment from the Comptroller’s Office?

6. NYC Council Member Items – Slush Fund. Do you think the powers of the City Comptroller should be used to change or improve the use of City Council member items, including the “slush fund” as described in a NY Times OpEd, to make it more fairly distributed, properly used, and less dependent on the discretion of whomever holds the position of Speaker?

7. Protecting Tenants - Divesting in "Predatory Equity".  Former Comptroller Bill Thompson
stopped the city's pension funds from investing in "predatory equity"; specifically private companies that would buy buildings with rent-regulated apartments at inflated prices, with the goal of trying
to evict rent-regulated tenants who have lived in these apartments for several years, most of whom cannot afford market rate rents. Do agree with this ban on investing city pension funds on firms that seek to undermine affordable housing laws?  (City Limits article - March 3rd, 2008)

8. Cable & Internet Companies - Options & Customer Service.  There are many areas of NYC that still lack quality options for cable television and internet service.  In addition, many customers have had
horrible service experiences, for example waiting at home during a 4-hour "window" for a cable technician who never shows up, only to be told that the appointment can't be rescheduled for a week, and the customer will receive nothing more for this trouble and lack of service than a small bill credit. The Comptroller's office has significant regulatory authority over telecom companies, including auditing and approvals of upgrades and expansions to existing systems. Would you use this power to ensure that broadband companies expand service to all areas of NYC and actually provide better customer service, (not just transparency about their service) and face real penalties when they fail to do so?

9. Your Ideas. Are there other ways you would seek to use the Comptroller's office to help push and support a progressive political agenda in the city?


Bully Pulpit Questions: Issues where the Comptroller has a voice but not a vote:

10. Home Rule for NYC. One of the biggest obstacles to enacting policy for New York City is that we do not have "Home Rule"; so many issues that affect New York City are actually decided by Albany, leaving NYC in the precarious position of begging Albany for action.  Examples include rent-stabilization laws that protect tenants, congestion pricing, taxation, and even some parking policies. Will you advocate for stronger home rule for NYC? Both Democratic candidates have served in state government. Please tell us what, if anything, you did during your time of service in favor of Home Rule for New York City.

11. Getting Big Money Out of Politics. Large donors have a huge amount of influence in local and national politics due to their campaign contributions. While NYC’s matching funds program is seen as one of the most innovative public funding campaigns in the country, many DFNYC members feel that big money donors still have too much influence, candidates still spend too much time fundraising, and the matching funds come to the campaigns too late to make a real difference in how we run elections.  Would you support a change to full public financing of campaigns, similar to the Clean Money Clean Elections programs in Arizona, Connecticut and Maine? Do you feel that Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that strengthened corporate personhood and struck down many campaign finance laws, was wrongly decided?

12. Tax Against High Frequency Trading. In NYC, Wall Street is Main Street; protecting the markets means, in some sense, protecting the economy of New York City.  In December, DFNYC members met with staffers at the offices of both U.S. Senators from New York. One of our proposals was a federal financial transaction tax that would strongly discourage the risky practice of high frequency trading (which has cause flash crashes and other market disruptions while only benefitting a few) that would be very small – fraction of a penny per share – so that it would not discourage regular trading, only HFT.  If such a proposal is raised again at the federal level, would you publically support it?  (For more on this issue, lease see Lee Sheppard’s article in Forbes.)


DFNYC: What We Stand For


Democracy for NYC was started in 2004 by former volunteers of Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign.  

Join us as we make our voices heard on the issues:

● We want to overturn Citizens United & get Big $ out of politics.

● We want women, not politicians, to have control over their own bodies.

● We want marriage equality in all 50 states, a repeal of DOMA (Done!), and an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation.

● We want an economic policy that creates good sustainable jobs, not bailouts and deregulation for big banks.

● We want to stop fracking of natural gas in NY and across America.

● We want smart foreign policy, not the endless wars and excessive military contracting of the Bush years.

● We want to reform Albany & pass budgets on time.

● We want smart, creative policies to reduce crime, not excessive use of stop-and-frisk by local police and unchecked electronic surveillance by the federal government.

● We are happy that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was upheld and we're continuing the push to ensure that every American has quality, accessible health care.

● We want so much more – including immigration reform, tenants rights, safe drinking water, a fair tax system, an end to excessive unchecked government surveillance, the list goes on!

● We want to elect candidates that are socially progressive and fiscally responsible - from President to local Democratic District Leader.

Vote Now - DFNYC Endorsement for Governor - General Election

Vote Now: Endorsement for Governor: *General* Election

       ~Ballot at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DFNYC2014

       ~You are eligible if you attended 2 DFNYC events since Nov. 2011

       ~Deadline is Friday, October 10th, at midnight.



After Labor Day, we made several endorsements in the 2014 primary and general elections in New York City. Due to the energy and attention around the governor's race, we informed our members that if the candidate that Democracy for NYC endorsed did not win the Sept. 9th primary, we would have another endorsement vote for the general election.




Rob Astorino & Christopher Moss

Steve Cohn & Bobby Kalotee

Andrew Cuomo & Kathy Hochul

Howie Hawkins & Brian Jones

Michael McDermott & Chris Edes

No Endorsement (DFNYC Should not endorse in this race)


Other (please specify)


  ~(Gov. & Lt. Gov candidates run as a ticket)

  ~(Listed in alphabetical order by Gov. candidate's last name)







Eligibility & Process:

The same rules from the September endorsement vote apply to this revote. DFNYC members who have attended 2 events from Nov. 17th, 2011 to Tuesday, August 12, are eligible to vote. DFNYC is committed to the principle of the secret ballot. After getting feedback from our members in 2012, we moved to an online system, and we preserve anonymity by having trusted DFA activists from outside New York count the ballots. (In September's vote, one vote counter was a DFA activist while the other was not affiliate with DFA.) No one in DFNYC will see how any member voted.



Tonight! (Mon) Gale Brewer Speaks at Manhattan event for Peter King Opponent

Tonight! Columbus Day Event to Beat Peter King!

      ~Democratic candidate Patricia Maher in Manhattan

      ~See below for host committee


Democrat Patricia Maher from Long Island in challenging incumbent Republican (and frequent Fox News commentator) Peter King for Congress on Long Island.  Patricia will be in Manhattan this Monday evening, Columbus Day:


When: Monday, October 13, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM.


Where:  Jacques Rosas Art Studio, 528 West 39th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues)


Guest Speakers:  Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblyman David Weprin, Councilman Corey Johnson


RSVP to Lewis H. Cohen at 917-653-2255 or by email to lewiscohen6-at-gmail.com (replace -at- w/@).


Contribution Levels:

$2,500 - Christopher Columbus

$1,000 - Santa Maria

$500 - Pinta

$250 - Nina

$100 - Explorer


Host Committee:

Hon. Kenny Agosto, Steve Behar, Sandra Bennett, Jennifer Berkley, Bruce Bingman, Ramon Cameron, Donetta Cherry, Batya Cohen, Hon. DuWayne Gregory, Hon. Corey Johnson , Tracey Keij-Denton, Stephanie Low, Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney, Hon. Anthony Martinez, Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Michael Pinto, Jacques Rosas, Hon. Rich Schaffer, Kenneth St. John.

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.