Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Endorses Jo Anne Simon for Assembly (AD-52, Brooklyn)

This may be the biggest endorsement yet in the 52nd Assembly race in Brooklyn. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joins retiring Assembly member Joan Millman, current Assembly member Jim Brennan, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, the National Organization of Women, Planned Parenthood, and all four LGBT organizations that are endorsing in the race:

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New York Defines America to the World

Even as a transplant from California who STILL prefers California to New York, I have to agree with this:

The rest of [America] is but the pedestal on which New York stands.

–W.T. Stead, British journalist, 1849 – 1912

True then, true now.

This mish-mash of all the races…Japanese, Chinese with European haircuts, Greeks, Levantines, Scandanavians with pale hair…

–Pierre Loti, French writer and naval officer, 1850 – 1923

I love a city that thrives on diversity, and I enjoy hearing a dozen languages every day when I ride the subway. I cannot understand the fear of immigrants that so much of America seems immersed in.

[New York is a] huge mill, into the hopper of which is annually thrown raw material in the form of brain, brawn, money, and character drawn from the outside world.

[Newyorkitis is a communicable condition where] the gray matter if the brain is never used to think with, except when the patient is engaged in getting money, or when gratifying some physical appetite.

–John H. Girdner, NY physician, consulting physician for President James Garfield after assassination attempt

All quotes from 1913, In Search of the World Before the Great War by Charles Emmerson


Write Now New York launches this week.

PrintGood evening, New York,

we’re there: the glitches in the architecture of this site are ironed out, the six-hundred-plus spam accounts nuked, we are ready, and this weekend, we start changing the conversation. Write Now New York is ready to launch.

Open enrollment starts Friday noon-ish, existing contributor accounts are already enabled to post to the front page, and we’ll of course add more functionality as we build this new Progressive online community for the Empire State. We expect it to be self-moderating; use basic common sense, and all will be well. The job of the editorial and admin team is not to moderate differences, edit your copy (though we will at need), or to point out the bloody obvious – no, the Klan is not welcome here, or the Tea Party, neither is any form of discrimination based on innate human characteristics, whatever they may be, nor for that matter are GOP members or talking points. In general, we’re all adults here (youth is of course delightedly welcome), let’s act accordingly. Sometimes, often, it’s better to listen than to lecture, to learn than to preach.

Make no mistake: this is an ambitious project, it will grow and change as time flows, steadily through calm or storm towards our common future. Technology can do much, but only so much; what makes any blog, any online medium for that matter, succeed or fail are the people it draws to itself, gives a voice, helps to hone that voice and give the means to ring forth, soft as a brook or in peals of thunder. Glittering prose is not a requirement; the truth of your story, any story from the heart or deep in your soul, is the most compelling written word of all. Tell the world your tragedies and triumphs, the story of you, that is all we ask. No clarion call springs forth full-born, complete and entire in itself like Aphrodite rising from the foam; give it time and be gentle with yourself.

Nor should anyone expect that what we’re doing here, on this site and more broadly in this state, will be a quick succession of panaceas, an effortless series of triumphs.

Simply, we face high odds and steep challenges. But we are New Yorkers, we can overcome them.

New York State’s leadership, most of its political class elected and not, has been deeply corrupted by vast, unaccountable and often enough permanent power. Power beyond challenge, secure in its secrets, its lies, in the immeasurable strength born of token elections in tailored districts, of three men in a locked room ruling the fate of millions as despotically as the Caesars.

It is a sickness, a state of mind, not the occasional crony hire or fat envelope filled with bills. They say power corrupts; the corruption suffocating this state is deeply entrenched, clothed in power, hidden behind walls of habit or indifference, even as its claws draw the living blood from our people and enfeeble the institutions of our government.

That must, and will, change. If it be elections, grassroots communities, is not for us to say, it is for you to decide and to do.

What we, this blog and the vast citizen movement beyond and behind it seek to change, to cure, to tear out by the roots if need be, is the underlying disease. If we can empower you to build your own resources, we will. If we are your dagger, we will relish the fight. It is time for our reality to meet our expectations, live up to our storied past and build the gleaming future we deserve; as free men and women, black and white, gay or straight; these not divisions, but common to our human soul, one people, one flesh and blood bound together by fate or choice. New Yorkers all who still dare to dream. Our pasts diverge, our future is and can only be one, and it is bright.

New York, our fabled Empire State, needs, hungers for a new birth of Freedom, of Equality, of Justice and Opportunity. It does not begin or end here on a mere blog, pixels in the ether carrying words of rage, of power, wisdom, solace or joy, the too-often unheard calls of the better angels of our nature. Let all these ring forth, words in all their unique power. Let them be heard.

We are Americans, proud New Yorkers, with a glorious past and a shining future. We want, we demand, a State as good, as generous, as mercurial, creative and brilliant as its people, drawn as we are from all God’s creation, born in all lands under the sun, worshiping many gods or none as we see fit, here in our vast, rich land sprawled from the white-capped waves of the broad Atlantic to the thunderous torrents of Niagara.

There is nothing we cannot do. Consider the battle joined.

Michael Bouldin





Executive Editor

Working Families Party Incompetence Takes Away Vote from Brooklyn Democrats

WFP and their supposed wunderkind, Pete Sikora, have either fatally fumbled or deliberately sabotaged the chances of a bright, enthusiastic new candidate after bullying her to rely solely on their support. It is as if they set her up just to knock her down, but in reality I believe it was just sheer stupidity on their parts. Either way, meanness or incompetence, they and their bullying has taken away my chance to actually VOTE for a candidate in my Democratic Party Primary.

I have been waiting to write this. I have a rule with anonymous sources: I need at least three clearly independent sources before I feel comfortable writing about something. If I can actually cite a source I will go with that one source and just say who it was. But if everyone is anonymous, I have to have multiple good, independent sources. I now have said variety of sources, representing more than one side of the races below. So here goes. The Working Families Party machine decided to stick its nose in business that was strictly internal Democratic Party business, and their extreme incompetence (or deliberate sabotage?) has taken away my vote in a Democratic Party primary for a Democratic Party District Leader.

Our story takes place in the 52nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. The setting is the Democratic Party primary. I take a special interest because this is the district wherein I live, vote, and have been an activist for 10 years. In this district there are three races, one hotly contested and two that should have been completely straightforward. These three races are the Assembly seat opening up due to the extremely popular Joan Millman’s retirement to a city position, and the male and female Democratic District Leader positions. Again, these last two are relevant ONLY within the Democratic Party. The full, sordid story below.

Continue reading

Upcoming Progressive Events in Brooklyn

Here are some upcoming events sponsored by Lambda Independent Democrats on behalf of Jo Anne Simon (running for Assembly and unanimously endorsed by all LBGT organizations covering the race) and Debbie Medina (running for State Senate and endorsed by Lambda Independent Democrats as well as Stonewall Democrats).


Young Professionals for Jo Anne Simon

Who: Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, and Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (list in formation)

What: Young professionals in support of Jo Anne Simon, our candidate for the 52nd District in the New York State Assembly

When: Tuesday, August 19th from 7:30pm to 9pm

Where: 200 Fifth Restaurant, Bar & Grill at 200 5th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Suggested contribution:
Friend – $50, Supporter: $75, Patron: $100 and Sponsor: $150 – donate online too

“Age is just a number. It’s total irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine” – Joan Collins

Join the Medina campaign tomorrow (Saturday) for a rally then out to canvass so the community can hear how Debbie plans to pass women’s equality legislation, bring more affordable housing units to the area, and make our streets safer.

Debbie has been fighting hard for this community. Come out and show everyone in the community that Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, and Bed-Stuy are not going to stand for politics as usual. Help  ake some noise in support of Debbie Medina!

When: August 16th from 10am to 4pm. Rally at 10am then out to canvass

Where: Campaign Headquarters, 346 Bedford (between S. 3rd and S. 4th Streets)


Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn

Muslim Democratic Club of NY Endorsements for Sept. 9th Primary

Another in my ongoing coverage of endorsements for the Sept. 9th Primary

From the Muslim Democratic Club of NY:

Candidates endorsed by MDCNY include:

Senate District 11 – John Liu

Senate District 14 – Munir Avery

Senate District 16 – SJ Jung

Senate District 31 – Robert Jackson

Assembly District 51 – Felix Ortiz

Assembly District 55 – Anthony Jones

There are approximately 105,000 Muslim Americans registered to vote in NY and about 70% of them are Democrats, according to voter analysis conducted by MDCNY.

Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens Endorsements

This is an LGBT organization I am less familiar with so I don’t know if they are influential as the four organizations I highlighted in my “Unanimous LGBT Endorsements for Sept. 9th Primary” post. Since they don’t overlap so much in races covered by the other clubs, I will highlight their endorsements on their own. I will say, though, that the following candidates in Queens are endorsed by at least a majority of LGBT clubs I have been covering:

  • SD11 (Queens) John Liu (D)
  • SD 12 (Queens) Michael Gianaris (D)
  • SD 14 (Queens) Leroy Comrie (D)

Here are the endorsements of the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens:

Governor: Andrew Cuomo

Attorney General: Eric Schneiderman

State Controller: Thomas DiNapoli

NYS Senate District 11: John Liu (a good friend of mine I heartily endorse)

NYS Senate District 12: Michael Gianaris

NYS Senate District 13: Jose Peralta

NYS Senate District 14: Leroy Comrie

NYS Senate District 16: Toby Ann Stavisky

NYS Assembly District 24: David Weprin

NYS Assembly District 25: Nily Rozic

NYS Assembly District 26: Edward Braunstein

NYS Assembly District 28: Andrew Hevesi

NYS Assembly District 34: Michael DenDekker

NYS Assembly District 35: Jeffrion Aubry

NYS Assembly District 36: Aravella Simotas

NYS Assembly District 39: Francisco Moya

NYS Assembly District 40: Ron Kim

Congressional District 3: Steve Israel

Congressional District 6: Grace Meng

Congressional District 12: Carolyn Maloney

Congressional District 14: Joseph Crowley