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.
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. I am now working to ensure they are given a fair read and that Democratic Party activists have an opportunity to debate and vote on them in the open. Read about the progress I'm making here.
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). Now I am organizing phone banks in support of challengers to the Independent Democratic Conference and sending volunteers to districts represented by Republican members of Congress in NYC. I try to post as many volunteer opportunities as I can on my local events calendar. You can also sign up for my email list for information on what I'm helping organize. Read about the progress I'm making here.
Engaging the Community: I see my role not just as a Democratic Party official, but as a community leader and organizer here on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. I try to stay involved in as many things going on as I can and to help educate residents about the neighborhood. These include organizing forums, connecting residents with their elected officials, and helping them navigate the state, local, and federal bureaucracies. A lot of these initiatives are done in conjunction with the Four Freedoms Democratic Club, the largest and most active progressive grassroots organization in the area. Read about the progress I'm making here.