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Statement on Comments Made at Convention


In light of comments of which I was made aware following convention, I want to make something perfectly clear about the board of the New York State Young Democrats: we will not tolerate any racially charged nor racially insensitive comments made by anyone who wants to be a member of this organization.

We will do anything and everything that we can do to tackle the issue of race. I will work with any chapter who asks, as well as the New York State Democratic Party, to fight this. If you have any statements on actions of individuals that were made at convention please report them to myself and any member of the board you wish to handle this. I will respond to any questions or comments as quickly as I can.

It is my belief that the diversity of this organization is one of its strongest as well as most important qualities. However, moving forward, I do want us all to have open and frank discussions and dialogues about how to address issues of race in the future of this organization.

New York State Young Democrats Holds 2017 Convention


The New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) convened in Poughkeepsie, NY from May 5th through 7th to elect new officers, adopt rule changes, and attend trainings to learn the role and relevancy of young democrats on the local, state, and national levels under the Presidency of Donald Trump.

The newly elected Executive Board officers and caucus chairs consists of:

President: Patrick Jordan (Queens)
Executive Vice President: Lauren Bailey (Albany)
Treasurer: Stephanie Campanha Wheaton (Brooklyn)
Secretary: Justin Westbrook-Lowery (Bronx)
National Committeeman: Mohammad Alam (Manhattan)
National Committeewoman: Stacey Eliuk (Queens)
Legal Director: Michael Twomey (Brooklyn)
Capital Region Vice President: Danielle McMullen (Rensselaer)
Central Region Vice President: Brian Garcia (Broome)
Hudson Valley Region Vice President: Jovan Richards (Westchester)
Western Region Vice President: Heather Neu (Monroe)
Chair of Council of Presidents: John Midwood (Dutchess)
Caucus of Color Co-Chair: Jugba Santi (Bronx)
Caucus of Color Co-Chair: Kyle Ishmael (Manhattan)
Disability Issues Caucus Chair: Jim Kane (Dutchess)
Jewish Caucus Chair: Brent Weitzberg (Queens)
Labor Caucus Chair: Rebecca Lamorte (Manhattan)
LGBT Caucus Chair: KC Hankins (Staten Island)
Rural Caucus Chair: Paolo Cemedis (Chemung)
Women’s Caucus Chair: Veronica Aveis (Brooklyn)

“When I decided to run for President, I wanted to have a strong team alongside me and I got exactly that,” said NYSYD President Patrick Jordan. “The team that was elected has a great diversity of skills and backgrounds. If we are going to kick out the Republicans and their allies, the work starts now with our local elections. We need to begin now to stop any brand of Trump’s politics that may arise and fight for Democratic values in our State in all 62 counties at all times.” Following the convention, in his first act as President, Jordan appointed Seamus Campbell of Brooklyn to serve as NYSYD Chief of Staff.

Young Democrats from all across New York State attended panel discussions about the role of labor unions during the Era of Trump, women in politics, and a training on how to write and develop a field plan for a successful political campaign – all vital skills as NYSYD prepares for the all-important mid-term elections next year. Speakers throughout the weekend included Assemblyman Michael Blake, former congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout, Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Committee Basil Smikle, and Chairwoman of the Dutchess County Democratic Committee Elisa Sumner. Additionally, NYSYD adopted changes to its Constitution to ensure accountability of the caucuses, fiscal responsibility, and clarified membership requirements.

On the second night of the convention, NYSYD held its 3rd Annual Awards Gala honoring:

Young Elected of the Year: New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake
FDR Trailblazer Award: New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Rookie of the Year: Justin Westbrook-Lowery
Labor Leader of the Year: Michele Gilliam
Chapter of the Year: Manhattan Young Democrats
Alumni of the Year: Christopher Smith
Woman of the Year: Amanda Pizzuti
Man of the Year: Michael Corbett

This convention marks the last under the presidency of Mike Corbett. “Having seen all that Patrick has done in Queens and having worked with him for the past three years on the state level,” said Corbett, “I am honored to have been named Man of the Year but I am even more honored to have been succeeded by a man who has the most capable hands to lead this organization.”

Videos from Convention 2017


Check out some videos from the 2017 New York State Young Democrats Convention in Poughkeepsie, NY.

NYSYD to Sen. Robert Ortt: Resign


In light of his recent indictment, New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) calls on Robert Ortt (R-Niagara County) to immediately resign from his seat in the New York State Senate.

In an indictment in Albany County unsealed yesterday, Sen. Robert Ortt was indicted on three felony counts of filing a false instrument in a scheme to create a no-show job for his wife while he was Mayor of North Tonawanda and facing a $5,000 annual salary reduction and funnel $21,500 into his household between 2010 and 2014. The charges were brought by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Senator Ortt has pleaded not guilty and said he will not resign his seat in light of the charges. Ortt, however, had no issue in 2015 calling on former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to resign from his leadership post when Skelos was indicted on similar charges when he arranged a no-show job for his son, Adam.

“As the late, great Yogi Berra liked to say, ‘This is déjà vu all over again,'” said NYSYD President Mike Corbett. “We saw this with Dean Skelos – a public official setup a no-show job for a family member. The people of the 62nd Senate District deserve better than another corrupt official who will end up spending more time in a courtroom than doing work for constituents. It’s only right that Senator Ortt practices what he preached two years ago and step down.”

Stemming from the investigation by Attorney General Schneiderman’s Office, Ortt’s predecessor, former Sen. George Maziarz, was indicted on five felony counts of filing a false instrument in relation to the scheme and has pleaded not guilty. Maziarz is accused of misusing funds donated to both his campaign committee and the Niagara County Republican Committee in order to funnel money to a former State Senate staff member, who left following allegations of sexually harassing a female colleague, using a “pass-through” entity to hide the payments from public scrutiny. Additionally, Former Niagara County Republican Chairman Henry Wojtaszek has plead guilty to a misdemeanor related to failing to proper file campaign finance disclosures between 2012 and 2013 and will be sentenced later this year.

NYSYD Endorses Home Stability Support


The New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) is proud to join an ever-growing broad and bipartisan chorus of elected officials, labor unions, and community leaders in supporting the Home Stability Support (HSS) – a proposal which aims to bring an end to the homeless crisis in New York State put forward by New York State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens).

HSS aims to be be a new statewide rent supplement for individuals and families eligible for public assistance benefits as well as for those who are facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous living conditions. HSS will replace all current city, state, and federal rent supplements and will be fully paid for by state and federal government. Further, this more-expansive program will save taxpayer dollars. According to current estimates, it costs $38,460 per year to house family of three in a homelessness shelter in New York City; however, HSS is estimated only cost $11,224.

In 1975, shelter allowances were created as a means to pay the rents of most of households using public assistance, factoring-in locale, family size, and if heating is included in rent. However, those allowances failed to keep up with the rising cost of housing. New York State has over 150,000 homeless children and over 80,000 families on the brink of homelessness, which amounts to billions of dollars being spent by local, state, and federal governments on essential services. Finding concrete solutions to homelessness has become a moral and fiscal obligation for every New Yorker.

Especially troubling is the impact homelessness has on young people. According to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, runaway and homeless youth (RHY) often do not complete their education, which in turn, hurts their ability to seek employment. Further, a new report by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness shows that RHY are more likely to have health problems, be bullied, attempt suicide, be sexually exploited and abused, and abuse drugs and alcohol while also being less likely to graduate high school.

“Homelessness is an issue that affects everyone, especially young people,” said Mike Corbett, President of the New York State Young Democrats. “Given the number of youth that are either homeless or are on the brink, it is imperative that we act now. That is why I believe Home Stability Support is a good plan, not only because will end up saving taxpayer dollars, but more importantly because it will save lives as well.”

“I am proud to have the New York State Young Democrats endorse the Home Stability Support plan. I look forward to working with this new generation of leaders to help some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (A.D. 28).

The New York State Young Democrats calls on its representatives in Albany to pass Home Stability Support as a concrete way to end the state’s homelessness crisis and, in turn, help flourish the Empire State’s economic outlook.

The New York State Young Democrats is the official youth arm of the New York State Democratic Committee. It represents Democrats between the ages of 16-36 living in all of New York’s 62 counties.

NYSYD at the Women’s March on NYC


With chants like “This is what democracy looks like” and “Build a fence around Mike Pence,” today, January 21, 2017, the New York State Young Democrats participated in the Women’s March on New York City. Members from across the city and the Hudson Valley peacefully took to the streets of New York and we made our voices heard. Going from Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza to Trump Tower, throughout the day, we were joined by various elected officials including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Photo of Amanda Pizzuti and Mike Corbett in the Women's March on New York City

Marching alongside 500,000 other New Yorkers and hundreds of thousands more in sister marches across the globe, we stood united in saying that we will not be silenced. We said that we will not stand idly by while a man who jokes about sexually assaulting women occupies the Oval Office. We showed we will fight back when our Commander in Chief insults the disabled, veterans, immigrants, minorities, Muslims, and women.

Photo of thousands of protesters along 42nd Street

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer today claimed that more people attended President Trump’s inauguration than both protests in D.C. or either of President Obama’s inaugurations and any photographs to the contrary are proof of media manipulation. From the outpouring I saw today, I would say that Mr. Spicer is perpetuating “fake news.”

Though we have had some setbacks, for the next 1,460 days, we must stand united and be vigilant. We must fight to ensure that our health care is not taken away. We must fight to protect the freedom of our press. We must fight to be protect the right to marry the person we love.

To quote a famous Democrat, “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.”

NYSYD 2017 – CALL TO CONVENTION Official Call to Convention" aria-label="NYSYD 2017 – CALL TO CONVENTION Official Call to Convention"> NYSYD 2017 – CALL TO CONVENTION Official Call to Convention

Official Call to Convention


Join us May 5-7, 2017 in Dutchess County, New York as we meet for training, networking, electing officers and continuing to build the future of the New York State Young Democrats. This document is the official Call to Convention for the 2017 State Convention.

Convention Officers

The 2017 Convention Chair is Andrew Goldston. The 2017 Convention Rules Committee Chair and Parliamentarian is Dusan Lakic. Other convention officers shall be named at a later date.

Chartering or Re-chartering

Re-chartering packets will be distributed and made available electronically on or before February 1, 2017, and will be due for submission by electronic mail by no later than 11:59:59 PM EST on March 17, 2017. Each Chapter must submit a roster listing all members and required data in accordance with Article II Section 1.1 and Article III, Section 5 of the NYSYD Constitution.  A spreadsheet template will be provided online. The Chartering fee is $65.00 plus 0.50 cents per member in accordance with Article IV, Section 1. The deadline for the chartering fee and certification from county chairs to be submitted is April 6, 2017.

Delegates to Convention

Re-chartered and Newly Chartered Chapters must submit their preliminary list of Delegates to the Credentials Chair at the following e-mail address: credentials@nysyd.net by no later than 11:59:59 PM EST on or before March 17, 2017. Amendments can be made to delegate lists until 11:59:59 PM EST on  May 1, 2017. Each chartered or re-chartered County Chapter shall receive one (1) delegate for every ten (10) members of the Chartered Chapter who are residents of the county in which the chapter is located as set forth in Article III, Section 6 of the Constitution. Delegates and Alternate Delegates must be members in good standing of the chapter they represent in accordance with Article III, Section 3 of our Constitution. Proxies are permitted, and individuals may be empowered to act as proxies on behalf of delegates, so long as such individual’s name is submitted to the Secretary prior to the commencement of voting. No one person may hold more than 3 proxies, in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of our Constitution. All delegations are subject to the provisions of Article III, Section 6.1 of our Constitution. The Credentials Committee shall submit their final pre-convention report of eligible delegates and alternates by April 22, 2017.

New York State Young Democrats Executive Board Positions

All members of the New York State Young Democrats are invited to consider running for an Officer position on the State Executive board. Applications will be collected via Google Form. The link for applications will be distributed on February 1, 2017 by electronic mail as well as our website and social media pages. Applications are due by 11:59:59 PM EST on April 1, 2017. All applications will be automatically time stamped.

Pursuant to the constitution and bylaws, positions you may consider running for are:

President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, Regional Vice President (Capital, Central, Downstate, Hudson Valley, Upstate, and Western), and Legal Director (must be an attorney licensed to practice in the State of New York).

In addition, the following caucuses will hold elections: Caucus of Color; Disability Issues; High School; Jewish; Labor; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT); Rural  (YDR); and Women. Only members of the aforementioned caucuses may vote in these elections.

Executive Board Election Procedures

All candidates must submit their applications via Google Form by 11:59:59 PM EST on or before April 1, 2017. All Candidates shall have an opportunity to address the convention and answer any questions delegates may have prior to their election. All elections must be conducted by roll call vote by County name in alphabetical order alternating between ascending and descending order. Each candidate may only run for one position. In an election for a position involving one candidate, one must receive a majority of the votes cast otherwise the position will remain vacant. In an election for two candidates one candidate must receive a majority of votes cast, a failure for either candidate to achieve a majority will result in a further round of debate and voting until a majority is reached. In an election for a position involving more than two candidates, one candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast, and if no candidate received a majority then the candidate with the lowest number of votes shall be dropped from the ballot and the election run again with the remaining candidates until one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast.

Write-in votes will not be accepted.  Nominations from the floor will not be accepted unless there is an Amendment to the Constitution on that day and only for a position that was newly created or for which the nominee was not previously eligible for candidacy. Following the conclusion of elections, the newly elected officers will assume their positions. In the event of a vacancy after the application due date or following elections, the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with our Constitution and By-laws.  A motion to suspend the rules shall be in order upon the affirmation of 2/3rds of the appointed delegates.

Special Executive Board Election Procedures

Each region elects a Regional Vice President pursuant to the Constitution, Article III Section 3. Only individuals who are registered voters in the region shall be eligible to run for a Regional Vice President position. The elections for Regional Vice Presidents will occur in a manner and time identical to all other Executive Board positions, except only votes from the respective region will be counted for each regional election.

Constitutional Amendment Procedures

Any proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be submitted electronically to the Rules Chair Dusan Lakic at rules@nysyd.net. Any proposed amendments to the Constitution must be received by 11:59:59 pm EST on or before April 22, 2017. All proponents for a Constitutional Amendment shall be entitled to be heard by the Convention Rules Committee. Proposed amendments to the constitution must both articulate the specific provisions amended and the rationale for the amendment.

Agenda and Programming

The agenda and program of the Convention will be determined by the Convention Programs committee, pursuant to the NYSYD Bylaws Article V.

Key Dates

February 1, 2017

  • Re-chartering Packets Distributed Electronically
  • Executive Board Election Applications Open

March 17, 2017

  • Re-chartering Packets Due
  • Proposed Delegate Lists Due

April 6, 2017

  • Chartering Fees Due
  • Certification from Democratic County Chair Due

April 22, 2017

  • Final Pre-Convention Credentials Report Due
  • Constitution and Bylaws Amendments Due

May 1, 2017

  • Amended Delegate Lists Due

We look forward to seeing you in May and ensuring the future of our organization.