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


Tonight! Letter Writing Mon Oct. 20 to Save the U.S. Senate

Join us tonight, Monday, Oct. 20th, at Bunga's Den, 137 West 14th Street. We'll be writing short letters to DFNYC members in N.C. and Iowa to encourage them to volunteer in key U.S. Senate races. We'll be at Bunga's from 6:30 to 9ish PM. Cash bar, snacks and food provided. More details here.

Should Shelly Silver Resign the Speakership?

This email was sent this morning to our Alerts email list, which includes most of our active members:
Dear DFNYC members,
In light of the arrest yesterday of State Assembly Speaker Sheldon "Shelly" Silver, the leadership of DFNYC is strongly considering making a statement calling on Mr. Silver to resign the speakership.
We want to hear your opinion before we make a statement. You can respond to this email, or contact us directly at info-at-dfnyc.org (replace -at- w/@). 

While Mr. Silver is not required by law to resign as speaker right after having been arrested on federal corruption charges, we feel that for the integrity of the legislative process, he should resign now.  
The Speaker is a very powerful position and one that Shelly Silver has held since 1994, making him one of the "three-men-in-a-room" that essentially control state government. Due process for the accused is an important principle of government.  But the allegations against Mr. Silver are arguably not surprising to anyone who has been following state politics for awhile.  In addition, Mr. Silver has shown questionable ethics in other areas, including blocking sexual harassment and assault charges brought to him by Assembly staffers.
Brad Hoylman, the Democratic State Senator from the west side of Manhattan, has called for Silver's resignation.  While it is true that Mr. Silver's Democratic colleagues in the Assembly are on record as supporting him, it is important to know that there are strong incentives for them to do so, despite how they may actually feel. While Silver is Speaker, he has enormous control over the Assembly, including individual members' budgets.  In 2000, some Democrats in the state Assembly started a movement to vote him out as speaker. It failed, and Silver retaliated against the members that voted for his opponent.  See http://nymag.com/news/politics/47409/index2.html
As an independent grassroots organization, Democracy for NYC is in a unique position to take a strong stand  in favor of ethics and transparency in government by calling for Sheldon Silver to resign as speaker. But we want to hear your opinion, even if you disagree.
What's Next:
If Mr. Silver were to resign, we do not know who would become speaker or how the process would work; we are looking into that now. It is clear that Democrats will remain a large majority in the Assembly. We strongly feel that any speaker - whether it is Sheldon Silver, a successor, or a new candidate voted on by the Assembly members - should support rules reform in Albany, including:

 1. Making funds for staff and resources equal across all members, not determined by the Speaker, which leads to unfair distribution and conflicts of interest.

 2. Allowing Committee Chairs, and not the Speaker, to control their individual committees 

 3. Changing the system for member items so that it is not subject to discretion of the Speaker 

 4. Make it possible for bills to come to the floor without having to be approved by the Speaker
 5. Much needed improvements to campaign finance and rules about outside income
Brad Hoylman calls for Silver's resignation:
Your Opinion:
Should Sheldon Silver resign as speaker? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Join us Wednesday Feb. 4 for Immigration Linkup with Jim Dean


This Wednesday, February 4th, will be a special Linkup with Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America, and Councilmember Mark Levine. We will be talking about immigration, including a brief speech by my husband Eelco Keij. 


Wed. Feb. 4th, Bunga's Den, 137 West 14th Street, btwn 6&7, 7-9:30pm. More details here.


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This Tuesday is the most important election day of our lives!  Lets get everyone we know out to vote!  

(1) Get Out the Vote for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania and elsewhere

       ~SaturdaySunday, and Election Day! From Midtown, Brooklyn, Queens, & Bronx
        ~Make Calls from HomeDFA-Dialer hosted by Democracy for America - click here
(2) Get Out the Vote for Zephyr Teachout in NY19!      

(3)  Get Out the Vote for NY State Senate Candidates-- take back the Senate!
(4) Election Night Parties! Incl. Hillary Clinton national victory party @Javits Center!
(5) Progressive Awards Gala honoring Jim Brennan and Kate Linker Dec. 13th!


Hello members and supporters of Democracy for New York City!  Tuesday is the most important election day of our lives!  We must do everything we can to Get Out the Vote!!

(1) Get Out the Vote for Hillary Clinton in PA and elsewhere!  Canvassing, Phone Banking, Text-A-Thons!


This weekend is the critical GOTV time in the Presidential race.  It is very important to get as many people as possible to swing states, which include Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is organizing bus trips from New York, also on SundayMonday andTuesday from several locations in 4 boroughs:

Manhattan (9th Ave between 34th and 35th Streets) - Click here to sign up.

Brooklyn (300 Cadman Plaza West) - Click here to sign up.

Bronx (Bronx Supreme Court, Walton Ave between 158th and 161st Streets) - Click here to sign up.

Queens (Queens Democrats, 7250 Austin Street, Forest Hills) - Click here to sign up.


The KEEP PA BLUE Coalition, which includes Greater NY for Change, Village Independent Democrats and others are sponsoring bus trips to the Lehigh Valley area of PA this weekend and through Tuesday with our neighbors in the KeyStone State to build support for Hillary Clinton for President; Katie McGinty for the U.S. Senate, and Rick Daugherty for Congress (15th CD).


Volunteers will travel by bus from New York City to Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and neighborhoods in Philadelphia both days this weekend and election day, November 8.

Buses will begin boarding at Union Square at 8:30 am and depart at 9 am. Return buses will leave Pennsylvania at  5:30 pm. The trips are about 90 miles, or two hours or so, from New York City. Traffic permitting, we'll be back at Union Square by 8 pm. ADA buses will be available with advance notices.

Sign up right now for this Saturday and future Saturdays:  http://www.keeppablue.com/


Make Calls from Home to Stop Trump & Take Back Congress

     ~DFA-Dialer hosted by Democracy for America

Democracy for NYC is a local group of Democracy for America, the organizations tarted by Howard Dean after his presidential campaign in 2004. DFA is a nationwide organization with headquarters in Vermont. They are running a great GOTV program for volunteers - the DFA Dialer. You make calls to voters from home. You just need a phone and a computer. There is training provided, and you will be helping get out the vote for Hillary, as well as progressive Democrats running for Congress.  To learn more or join, visit this link:



ColorofChange.org is sponsoring a Text-A-Thon in Manhattan on Sunday afternoon to help GOTV in black and Latino communities.  The first two events they did in Brooklyn have been quite successful. 

What: Text-A-Thon to Get Out the Vote!
When: Sunday Afternoon, November 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where:  Civil Hall, 156 5th Avenue (in Chelsea)
(Remember to bring your phone!)

To RSVP and for more info:
For more http://act.colorofchange.org/survey/Textathon_NYC_finaldays/?t=1&akid=6510.1839364.Huszsi

(2) Get Out the Vote for Zephyr Teachout in NY 19th District

Zephyr Teachout is running for Congress in the 19th District upstate.  Zephyr is a longtime friend and supporter of DFNYC and DFA and we are supporting her candidacy enthusiastically.  We think she will be a star in Congress.  Zephyr's race will be very close, every vote counts!


Our Revolution is sponsoring Bus Trips to the NY 19th District this weekend to canvass for Zephyr.  Destinations will be Hudson Valley, Monticello and Hyde Park, New York.

Canvass the Hudson Valley for Zephyr Teachout
Saturday, November 5, 2016

What: Canvass for Zephyr Teachout in the Hudson Valley, sponsored by Our Revolution

When: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM EDT Saturday, November 5th

Where: 110 E 23rd St New York, NY 1001

To RSVP please go to:  https://go.ourrevolution.com/page/s/gotv-canvass-nyc-to-office?source=em161103

Citizen Action NY Bus Trips--  Citizen 
Action is sponsoring bus trips to Kingston NY this weekend and on election day to canvass for Zephyr.  

What: Bus Trip to Kingston, NY to canvass for Zephyr
When:  This Saturday10:30am
Where:  32BJ office located at 25 W. 18th St, near Union Square. The bus is free but seats are limited so be sure to RSVP. Coffee and donuts will be provided.  The bus will go to Citizen Action’s office at 7 Grand Street in Kingston, NY.

RSVP HERE (click the link, then scroll down) http://tinyurl.com/jvaqgrq

Election Day Van Trip to Hyde Park, NY
In addition, on election day (Tuesday) there is a van trip sponsored by Three Parks Independent Democrats this Saturday to Hyde Park, NY to canvass in that part of the district.  Plenty of seats are available and they promise to be back in town early on election night so nobody misses any parties!

What: Election Day Van Trip to Hyde Park, NY to canvass for Zephyr Teachout
Where--  Leaves from the Three Parks/Broadway Democrats Election Day Storefront HQ, 2697 Broadway between 102nd and 103rd Sts. at 9:39 a.m.

To RSVP or for more info, email Merle McEldowney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Want to make calls to voters for Zephyr from your home? Visit this site:


Instructions & a script are in a Powerpoint once you log in.

(3) Get Out the Vote for State Senate Candidates!  Take back the Senate!

This election could again determine who controls the New York State Senate in Albany.  There are several close races in swing districts.

Citizen Action NY State Senate PhoneBanks!

Citizen Action will be phone banking for several  progressive candidates including:

Sara Niccoli-- NY 46th District http://saraniccoli.com

Terry Gipson  NY 41st District  https://www.terrygipsonny.com

Pramila Malick, NY 42nd District  http://www.facebook.com/pramillaforstatesenate/https://www.facebook.com/pramillaforstatesenate/

For more information contact Darius Gordon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and to RSVP for Citizen Action NY phone banks for these candidates, please go to:


TENANTS PAC Canvassing and Phone Banks

The Tenants PAC, which fights for fair housing policies, is going to be canvassing and phone banking this weekend for four of their candidates who will support Tenants Rights:

Ryan Cronin NY 6th District http://croninfornewyork.com

Contact Emily Abbott, Field Director 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Campaign HQ: 2120 Hempstead Turnpike, 
East Meadow. 
Parking is available in the Kitchen & Bath lot or take Long Island Rail Road to Hempstead or Hicksville; call Emily to arrange for someone to pick you up, as the East Meadow campaign HQ is not near either train station.

The campaign is arranging for a canvass on Sunday based in Hempstead, not far from the LIRR train station; check with Emily.

Adam Haber NY 7th Districhttp://www.haber4newyork.com

Contact Luke Strong, Field Director 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Haber campaign will be staging GOTV out of three locations:

Mineola: (Campaign HQ) 164 Jericho Turnpike
Great Neck: 169 Middle Neck Road
Elmont: 529 Conway Road

The Mineola location is closest to a LIRR train station.

Haber Campaign shifts: 
Mineola & Elmont shifts: 1:00-4:00 pm, & 4:00-7:00 pm both weekend days, 4:00-8:00 pm on Monday. On Election Day volunteers are needed all day for poll site visibility plus canvassing shifts that afternoon and evening.

Great Neck: canvassing shifts at 11:00 am on Saturday, with another later in the afternoon. Then the same as Mineola for the following days.

George Latimer http://georgelatimer.com

GEORGE LATIMER  New York 37th District

Contact Alex Elmasri, Field Coordinator 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Campaign HQ: 437 Ward Ave, Mamaroneck, right across the street from Metro-North Mamaroneck train station.

ALISON BOAK  NY 40th District  https://boak4ny.com

Contact Cory Miller, Field Director 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Staging locations for GOTV all four days (Saturday through Tuesday):
105 Smith Avenue
Mount Cisco

105 Smith Avenue is a ten-minute walk from the Mt. Kisco Metro-North station but Cory can pick you up if you let him know when your train arrives.

Cory is also working on setting up some satellite locations for GOTV.


If you can't leave town this weekend, The Working Families Party is hosting a phone bank for state senate candidates today (Thursday), tomorrow (Friday), Monday, and also on Tuesday (Election Day).

Location: WFP office at 1 Metrotech Center North, 11th Floor in downtown Brooklyn.
A, C or F train to Jay Street/MetroTech station. 2,3, 4 or 5 train to Borough Hall. R train to Court Street.

Hours each day: 2:00 to 8:30 pm.

WFP has land lines but it will be helpful if you bring your cell phone and charger.

To sign up for a shift, and for information:
Get in touch with Elijah Garcia 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OR get in touch with Darius Gordon of Citizen Action:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(4) Election Night Parties!     
 Where will you be on election night as the results come in?  

The big one, if you can deal with the masses of people and the metal detectors .etc, is Hillary Clinton's victory party at the Javits Center, 34th St and 12th Ave. I mean how many times do you ever get to see a Presidential candidate go over the top on election night in person?  They are even planning fireworks over the Hudson River if Hillary wins!


But if you don't want to deal with the crowds, or can't get there early enough to get in, there is also:

CBID-- Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats election night party, at the Black Horse Pub, 568 5th Avenue Brooklyn  

Housing Works Election Night Party--  Housing Works bookstore on Crosby St. is sponsoring an election night bash, watch the returns on big screens in the bookstore 

New Kings Democrats Election Night Party--  Starr Bar, 214 Starr St., Brooklyn

Drinking Liberally Election Night at DCTV (this is always cool)  87 Lafayette St, Manhattan


Our friends at Drinking Liberally will also be sponsoring election night watch parties at:

Pacific Standard in Brooklyn, 82 4th Ave @St. Marks Place

Rudy's Bar, 627 9th Avenue (Btw 44th and 45th)

Village Pourhouse, 64 3rd Ave., at 11th Street

(5) Progressive Leadership Awards Gala December 13th Honoring Jim Brennan, Kate Linker and others

Mark your calendars for December 13th, as Citizen Action will be having its annual Progressive Leadership Awards, which this year will have several special honorees including Assemblyman Jim Brennan and our good friend (and one of the best progressives in the city in our opinion) Kate Linker.

For more info and to RSVP:


Neoliberalism and How We Got Here

Neoliberalism and How We Got Here


Mark Dieffenbacher

“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”

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.