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.
We 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.
To what ills has our class of political elite succumbed? Rare has been the occasion when a breadth of candidates aiming directly for key legislative and municipal seats been so oversaturated by characters all embroiled in scandals of precisely the same theme, though with minor stylistic differences. Kellner and Lopez’s difficulties stem directly from clearly abusive behavior towards office-mates, colleagues, and employees - a blatant violation of public trust and the implicit, tacit understanding - not to mention legal explicitness - to which all parties agree upon entering into a work arrangement. Weiner and Spitzer’s are an entirely different class of misbehavior that, while reprehensible, did not necessarily step over the same lines that the other two did.
Where, now, does this leave us? Much has been made, recently, of politicians evolving into effectively sex scandal proof entities. But ever since the days of JFK supposedly sneaking Marilyn Monroe into the Lincoln Room, we have been as a nation overly obsessed with every politician’s bedroom behavior. Similarly, ever since “Client #9” became a widely referenced moniker, local elected officials have been under additional scrutiny. But despite living in the Mecca of Progressivism and idyllic thought, this conundrum has vexed us with a bewilderment.
We are adamantly anti- the Micah Kellner/Vito Lopez section of the spectrum. This is brazenly in conflict with worker’s rights. No woman - or man, for that matter - should need fear that s/he will suffer untoward advances from their professional superior. To work in an environment where the leadership individual is an elected official adds an extra layer of complete disenfranchisement. True - in the end, they are only human. Also true - we hold our elected officials to a higher expectation of morality, but really, with their access to so many layers of power capable of affecting so many people’s lives, should we not keep our expectations high?
What we do know is that we have arrived clearly at the following: whether the topic is sexual preferences, (non) wedded bliss, or polyamory, a Normal Rockwell painting type life should not be a pre-requisite for considering a candidate to be politically viable. If you are gay, bisexual, straight, have multiple partners or are seeking the same, that’s your business. Just kindly remember that as a public official that every move you make exposes itself to the public record. So, again: there is danger, and then there’s Carlos Danger.
So, to sum up: sexuality good, sexual abuse in the workplace - bad. Embarrassing yourself online; mmm-meh. Embarrassing yourself online as a public official and the public finds out: doubleunplusgood. Embarrassing yourself either online or not as a public official sexually harassing interns/employees in your office and the public finds out about it: lose your access to power. There is a reason why laws exist regarding sexual harassment. Protecting elected officials that cross that line creates a landscape that allows for more harassers, not more equitable work and that is something which we are decidedly against.
We've got DFNYC volunteers knocking on doors to campaign for our endorsed candidates. We're a grassroots politicl group that came out of Howard Deans campaign. Did you get a card with the candidates on your ballot for the Democratic primary on September 10th?
Click here to learn about the candidates by reading their answers to our candidate questionnaire. More information coming soon!
Great event tonight with Gov. Howard Dean and Bill de Blasio! We've got some of the first photos up - click here.
These past 72 hours have seen an outpouring of public sentiment regarding the verdict in George Zimmerman’s trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin. Experts are lined up in 24 hour cycles to comment on how our vaunted post-racial society has really not gone so well. From our perspective as a local political action group, we have just been subjected to a most egregious public administration failure.
That perspective is contingent upon several details, not the least of which is a jury’s inability to convict a man who - from all the evidence presented and broadly displayed across media outlets, points directly at his guilt. But the larger public administration failure is in allowing the environment to exist wherein the confluence of legislation, thought patterns, and instruments create this tragedy as a logical outcome. The failure in this case was buckling to pressure from the American Legislative Council (ALEC), passing laws directly endangering the public, and in particular a broad band of society.
More firearms in the public’s hands does not make us safer, it makes firearms more likely to negatively affect the public. In turn, when a young man is profiled, judged without trial, and summarily executed by a non-official, undeputized, notoriety seeking individual hoping to ascribe himself power, we feel the loss personally. We feel it to such a degree because we - as a progressive group, - fight so adamantly for creating environments of safety, prosperity, and individual liberty. These are violated by Stand Your Ground laws, Stop-and-Frisk initiatives, precedents set by the Zimmerman trial, eliminating sections of the Voting Rights Act, or when the ATF goes without executive leadership for years on end.
When one entire group of people must question their survivability rate for going to the store at night in their own neighborhood, when that same group sees its Civil Liberties significantly diminished only weeks before, when the African American community is suffering in terms of educational and economic outcomes, incarceration rates, and the State of Florida contributes setting a precedent to allow anyone who is not from their community to eliminate anyone from their community and be released on his own recognizance, we have regressed. We have regressed to a period in our history over which wars were fought, and many lives were lost.
This - ladies and gentlemen of the jury, - I tell you is not the America we had envisioned for the 21st Century. We, that is, from the Progressive community. But from great tragedy comes great hope, and there exists the possibility that the combined efforts of the FBI and Attorney General Eric Holder will yield a fruitful and instructive hate crimes case. For now we wait with baited breath.
This fight became a cause celebre not only because of one young black man. This fight is everyone’s: no matter the color of your skin, your creed, your place of origin, it is reason to be afraid until such time as Stand Your Ground can be removed.
For us, as a Progressive group, we frequently discuss the term that is our moniker with differing results. What we do agree on is that “progress” as such means we all travel together towards a brighter future. Under the umbrella and careful shepherding of groups such as ALEC, Stand Your Ground, the diminution of the Voting Rights Act, and George Zimmerman’s acquittal all occurred. As a local Progressive political action group, we refuse to sit by and allow this to pass into history without raising our voices. Over the weekend, many of us participated in the protests here in New York. Undoubtedly more actions will be forthcoming. We welcome your thoughts and ideas.
DFNYC is sad to report the passing of our longtime Linkup host and grassroots Brooklyn political organizer Annette Mont. She lost her battle with cancer at the age of 71 on June 11th. Our thoughts are with her family; her husband Stuart Mont, her daughter Randi, her son Ira and daughter-in-law Jill, and her two grandchildren.
Annette volunteered for Howard Dean's presidential campaign, and when we first met her, we were impressed at her intelligence, her friendliness, her straightforward nature, and the wonderful community of progressives she was a part of in the Sheepshead Bay / Midwood area of Brooklyn. Annette and Estelle Glasser were the hosts of Meetups (Linkups) at Annette and Stuart Mont's home, a historic Dutch Farm house in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
Annette had an impressive career helping children. She worked as a teacher, a guidance counselor and a child psychologist.
Annette was also a preserver of New York history. She and her husband lived in the Wyckoff-Bennett homestead, an original Dutch farmhouse in Brooklyn. Here is a short heartwarming video about the house with Stuart and Annette. One of the best lines is a great representation of Annette's personality: "For the record, I don't believe in the ghost."
Video - Annette & Stuart Mont in their historic home
Daily Kos post - by Rosalie Caliendo