Thursday, November 16th, after weeks of badgering the county leadership to move forward on rules reform, we finally had a meeting of all the district leaders to discuss composition of the Rules Committee and a schedule for reconvening the full County Democratic Committee.
The meeting was a mixed bag of results. We got a commitment from the leadership that a vote on whatever reform package is put out by the Rules Committee will happen some time in early January. I made a motion that was accepted that the Rules Committee make its proposals available online at least two weeks before that meeting so participants and the public have time to read and understand them. In addition to the changes proposed at the September 25th party organizing meeting, we asked that the Rules Committee consider imposing restrictions on Democratic Clubs in Manhattan soliciting contributions from candidates for judgeships, on the grounds that judges should be neutral and apolitical.
The Rules Committee will be made up of one representative from each Assembly District. The members will be recommended by the district leaders but ultimately selected by the rules chair. It will be chaired by Chung Seto with Borough President Gale Brewer overseeing as honorary co-chair. Ms. Seto has been actively involved in politics in Chinatown for years and was a senior aide to former Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu.
A number of Democratic activists here on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island expressed interest in serving on the committee. The other East Side district leaders and I talked it over and decided that we would recommend Pierre Ratzki as the 76th AD's representative. Pierre is an attorney and an active member of the Four Freedoms Democratic Club and I'm confident he will do a good job advocating for a more open and honest Democratic Party.
The Rules Committee meetings are open to the public. Once there is a published schedule I will make it available here. If you have recommendations for rules changes to be considered in addition to the ones posted above you can send them to Ben@voteben.nyc and I'll pass them along to Pierre.