Hybrid: In Person at Subotnik Center, Brooklyn Law School and via Zoom
Ilyssa Meyer, President of IND, congratulated and thanked all members who worked with the Club to achieve great successes in races for State Senator Gounardes, State Senator Zellnor Myrie, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, Governor Kathy Hochul, Lt. Governor Anthony Delgado, Attorney General Tish James, and Senator Chuck Schumer. The 52nd AD had the highest voter turnout of any district in the entire state. We celebrated at an election night party.
It was disappointing that, while we worked closely with numerous other Brooklyn Democratic clubs, including, NKD, BYD, CBID, SCBUFP, Lambda, and Stars and Stripes, we had no help from the State or County Democratic Party Committees.
Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Borough President was in attendance and said that the Brooklyn Democratic reform clubs did an amazing job during the campaigns. He discussed the importance of understanding the concerns of Southern Brooklyn constituents, where moderate Democratic positions are more acceptable and where we lost some key races. He emphasized the importance of effective messaging that is simple and direct. He said that controlling the message, having support from State and County leadership, and meeting Southern Brooklyn’s moderate Democrats where they are at, are key elements to winning future races.
State Senator Andrew Gounardes joined the meeting and said that while he was glad that the top of our ticket won and was happy about the results of his own race, the results in Southern Brooklyn were “a disaster”. Iwen Chu won her race, but Mathilde Frontus and Peter Abbate both lost, as did Max Rose. The State and Local party leadership did not participate and this missed opportunity was very frustrating. In the future, we need to work hard to win these communities, and we need to recognize that there has recently been a shift to Republicans among Asian communities in Brooklyn.
Borough President Reynoso and Senator Gounardes then led a lively discussion with the members on messaging and its impact on the midterms. Infighting among progressive and establishment factions of the Democratic Party was cited as part of the problem with messaging, especially with regard to crime and the criminal justice system.
Hal Friedman, Second Vice President of IND, reminded the membership that there is still work to be done in this election cycle: specifically, we need to do everything possible to see that Raphael Warnock keeps his seat in the Senate. He asked that members volunteer to phone bank for Warnock and also moved to have IND make a $200 donation to the Warnock campaign. Joan Millman raised a question about whether the Club could legally donate money to a congressional candidate in another state. The motion was unanimously approved, with the caveat that Joan’s concern would be investigated and that if the donation could not be made by the Club, information on making individual contributions to the campaign would be placed on the website.
Seamus Campbell, Corresponding Secretary of IND, presented a motion (which had previously been circulated) calling for the resignation of Jay Jacobs, Chair of the NYS Democratic Committee. The motion passed unanimously and notice of its passing will be sent to the media.
Susannah Pasquantonio, representing Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, extended thanks for the support the Assemblymember received from the Club and provided an update on some community events being sponsored by Assemblymember Simon,
Ilyssa Meyer reminded those in attendance to join IND or renew their membership in order to be able to vote in Club elections. Those joining or renewing in December will have membership privileges extended through all of 2023. At the January meeting, nominations for the Club’s Executive Board will be accepted and changes to the Club’s Constitution will be voted on. At the February meeting, officers and members of the Executive Board will be elected.