Monday’s powerful and moving DWC panel on Women and Gun Violence provided more evidence of the interconnectedness of so many of the issues we are grappling with - misogyny; racism; gun proliferation; economic inequality and it’s concomitant stresses; the underfunding of health care, public schools, affordable housing, infrastructure; police violence and the abrogation of civil rights; political corruption and the role of big money in that; etc, etc…..
While it is very important to see and understand these connections and to look for intersectionality in our solutions, it can also be overwhelming to contemplate the big picture. Sometimes we have to narrow the focus and put our energy into a few things.
That said, the connectedness of it all, means that each small thing we do has a ripple effect. For instance, when we work on defeating Congressman John Faso in NY19, we are not only flipping the district from red to blue, but we will be getting rid of an NRA sponsored, A-graded politician who voted for and actually introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that passed the House in December and is now waiting in committee at the Senate -presumably until passions die down about recent mass shootings…….. John Faso really has to go, and the efforts of NY19 Votes and VoteSmartNY are making a huge difference in the numbers of registered Democrats in the district.
And as we continue to support Alessandra Biaggi’s State Senate primary campaign to replace Jeff Klein with a TRUE Democrat (and a progressive, pro-choice woman, at that) we will also be helping to break the cynical legislative blockade that has stymied New York’s efforts as a leading Blue State on this issue. Five pieces of important gun violence prevention legislation that passed the Assembly in March are now sitting blocked in committee in the Republican controlled Senate. Alessandra’s presence Monday night at our meeting was certainly testimony to how important an issue she thinks this is. Our March 29th DWC fundraiser for her - beautifully put together and graciously hosted by Diane Koeppel - raised $3500, introduced her to 60 more people through DWC, and rallied a few more campaign volunteers to join Daria, Logan and Rie in their plans to go out petitioning and canvassing for Alessandra. Let’s get her elected and get this legislation through!
And just last week DWC's monthly Post Card Party focused on those same pieces of gun legislation, writing to IDC Senators - and the Governor - demanding that they put all pressure possible to bring these bills to the floor for a vote. Kudos to Elizabeth, Barbara, Betsy and the Scribblers for getting several hundred more missives in the mail!
Action is still the best antidote to despair! And acting in concert with others creates energy and hope!
SO, here are some concrete things to do in the next month in the areas NY PAT has been focussed on…….
April 29, Sunday
That supposed “deal" was too little and too late and we need to keep the pressure on!
If you can get up to Van Cortland Park in the Bronx on Sunday to the Biaggi event please tell Alessandra and her team that DWC is with them all the way to Albany! If you haven’t met Alessandra yet be prepared to come away all fired up! (And if you are already fired up and want to work on getting her elected, get in touch with Daria who is our liaison with the campaign.)
If you don’t want to go north, you can go south or east to attend another one of the rallies! These are all terrific candidates, including the newest one, Jasi Robinson, running against Diane Savino on Staten Island/ Brooklyn. I met her last week, and can say that she is smart and brave and ready to do this. And Jessica Ramos, running in Queens against Jose Peralta, is also quite amazing - she will be our RAP team’s May candidate for the brilliant FundHerCampaign lunch project, brainchild of DWC’s Marta Wolaver. (Buy lunch! It’s so easy, delicious, and virtuous!)
May 1, Tuesday, 6:30 at Cooper Union
Do not miss this! We have rescheduled our NY PAT meeting so as to have no conflict with this event!
It is going to be really interesting and right up our New York State alley, with the four women being
- Zephyr Teachout, who ran for Congress against John Faso in NY19 in 2016, ran in the Democratic primary against Cuomo in 2014, and is now Cynthia Nixon’s campaign treasurer. She’s a law professor at Fordham and is also a passionate crusader for campaign finance reform
- Melissa Mark-Viverito, term limited out of City Council last year (where she held the Speakership), now at the Latino Victory Fund PAC
- Stephanie Miner, two term mayor of Syracuse and a rising progressive in New York politics, whom many had hoped would get into the governor’s race
- L. Joy Williams, dynamic and insightful president of the Brooklyn chapter of the NAACP and a founder of Higher Heights
Here is the Eventbrite link - it’s free, but ticketed
If you are going please rsvp to them, but also let me know.
May 23, Wednesday, 5:30-7:30
Post Card Party!! Wine, snacks, dish, views and political action!
May 24, Thursday, 7:00-9:00, Tribeca
NY PAT working meeting - long overdue!
We will be sharing the details about what we are working on now and talking about how to get involved in those projects.
And looking ahead to future efforts, such as a voter guide for our members at the nitty-gritty Assembly District level.
Bring questions and suggestions - and look up your Assembly District and the names of your elected representatives and bring them with you. Try to go to a Community Board meeting or a Democratic Club meeting in the meantime!
June 9, Saturday evening
Riverdale in Brooklyn
Another fundraiser for Alessandra is in the works. This one will be younger, cooler, funner and in Brooklyn. Contact Rie or Logan if you want to learn more about working on this event - or to reserve your spot!
June, July, August
And as a side note - I voted in a special election State Assembly race up in District 19 yesterday, having changed my own registration to our home upstate, and the results were too close for the race to be called! Absentee ballots will now be counted, and that could tip the balance towards the Democrat Adain O’Connor in a district that hasn’t even fielded a Democratic candidate in years! Will keep you posted,
Did I mention that I am am so proud to be in an organization with every single one of you?
DWC NY Political Action Team