I haven’t posted anything in the past few months – first because I was busy on the campaign trail for Congressional Democrats in NY and NJ, then because I’ve been taking a much-needed break from politics.
First, the big news: WE WON! We won big, and all over the NYC area. In fact, since I was elected Democratic District Leader last year activists on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island have provided grassroots support for 17 different campaigns to flip Republican-held offices, and 16 of them ended in a Democratic victory. We helped remove turncoat “Independent Democrats” from the State Senate, flipped it Democratic for the first time in ages, and took back control of the U.S. House of Representatives. I cannot emphasize enough how happy I am with the results and how grateful I am to everyone in the neighborhood who knocked on doors and made phone calls to make this possible.
There’s not much time to rest, though. The wave of grassroots energy that made these wins possible was driven by a desire to see accountability and fairness in our politics once again, and the most important part of that is reforming our campaign and election laws. Anyone who had to deal with the long lines at the polls, or who has been ignored by an elected official taking big money donations knows these need to change. That’s why I’m partnering with the Fair Elections NY coalition to advocate for reforms such as early voting, simplified voter registration, and public matching funds for small donations to political campaigns. Yesterday the coalition sent a letter to the governor and legislature calling on them to support these changes, and between now and the Spring I will be organizing volunteers in the neighborhood to contact elected officials to advocate for them. Please let me know if you would like to help at Ben@voteben.nyc.