I won a tough election against a long-time incumbent with a message that the Democratic Party needs to build from the ground up and do a better job of engaging voters at a grassroots level. Immediately after the election I began working on a number of ambitious projects, including changing the rules of the Manhattan Democratic Party to ensure transparency and accountability, organizing volunteers to help Democratic candidates in more conservative districts outside the City, and working to connect voters to opportunities for local activism here on the East Side. If you want a play-by-play breakdown of what I’ve been doing to make that happen, take a look at my Progress Blog!
Reforming the Manhattan Democratic Party: Less than two weeks after being elected I began working with a small group of other young, reform-minded District Leaders to write a slate of changes to the rules of the Manhattan Democratic Party. Most of the changes are uncontroversial, but two were seen as direct challenges to the sitting leader and it caused quite a stir when we introduced them to the County Democratic Committee. Nearly all of the rules we proposed were adopted in 2018, and I am now working on pushing complementary measures at the State level.
Organizing for Democrats Nearby: The centerpiece of my campaign was the idea that the Democratic Party in Manhattan had grown too comfortable and complacent, and that one way to re-energize the Party would be to connect volunteers here with competitive races outside the City. Immediately after being elected I started working with local groups in support of State Senator George Latimer’s bid to oust incumbent Republican Rob Astorino for Westchester County Executive (Latimer won), and led an effort to organize phone banks and bus trips in support of challengers to the Independent Democratic Conference and Congressional districts represented by Republicans around NYC in the 2018 midterms.
Supporting Neighborhood Businesses: In 2017 my colleague Kim Moscaritolo and I hosted a forum on the issue of vacant storefronts. It was clear there was concern from folks in our community, but few resources available to help people better advocate on behalf of their local businesses. In late 2018 we began discussing ways to better engage people on the issue, and founded Yorkville Buy Local. In 2019 we began hosting the Small Business Saturday tour of the neighborhood, which we hope to make an annual event. Take a look at our Facebook page and sign up for our email list here.