Check out New York State Young Democrats President Patrick Jordan, alongside Council of Presidents Chair and state committeeman John Midwood and Rural Caucus Chair Paolo Cremidis, speaking on a young democrats panel at the New York State Democrat State Committee meeting in Albany, NY on July 26, 2017 discussing the planned growth of the organization over the next 2 years.
The Executive Board of the New York State Young Democrats is proud to endorse the Young Democrats Forward Slate of candidates for the upcoming Young Democrats of America Convention in Dallas. The YD Forward candidates are strong, passionate, and experienced leaders that will continue to embolden young progressives into taking action wherever they are from. From promoting young candidates running for office, to strengthening relationships between the caucuses and their DNC counterparts for continued issue advocacy, the slate will empower state chapters with the resources and training to ensure progressive values are the future of this country. We look forward to working with them in the years to come.
For more information on the YD Forward platform, please visit: https://www.ydforward.com/
The LGBTQ community in NYS is vibrant, resilient, and worth celebrating, especially in the Hudson Valley region. Last month was LGBTQ Pride Month, and across the Hudson Valley people experienced two annual pride celebrations, one in Hudson, the other in New Paltz. The recently formed Columbia County Young Democrats (CCYD) proudly marched alongside other local Democrats at the parade in Hudson. Though this was Hudson’s first parade with a Republican occupying the White House, this year’s parade did have a different feel to it.
The Democratic contingency in the parade was the largest I have ever seen. Marching with the Young Dems were the Hudson Democrats, Columbia County Democratic Committee, and the Greene County Democratic Committee as well as four of the candidates running for the congressional seat in NY-19.
The crowd in Hudson was, to say the least, happy to see us, especially us Young Democrats. We had just received our new CCYD banner and it was our first time ever having an identifiable presence at a public event. The streets of Hudson were packed, largely with Democrats of course. The entire city was ecstatic to see us.
As CCYD walked down the seven long blocks of Warren Street, we were greeted with cheers fueled by hope and excitement. Several people looked surprised, but happy to see that we even existed. This was Hudson’s first pride parade since the election, and you could tell that the City of Hudson had a heightened sense of awareness and urgency surrounding the current political climate. The way the crowd cheered on Democrats was something I have never seen before in Hudson. The residents in the parade and around the route knew that we were the leaders actively working to change the local political landscape, and for that they were grateful.
For many LGBTQ New Yorkers, the battle towards liberation and justice is just beginning. Rural LGBTQ New Yorkers, many of whom are not protected by the laws of larger neighboring cities, are even further away from full equality. Three crucial pieces of legislation have repeatedly failed to pass in the NYS Assembly and Senate. The Gender Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which would add gender identity and expression as a protected class in the state’s human rights and hate crimes laws. The Healthy Teens Act which would establish an age-appropriate sex education grant program for schools throughout NYS. And lastly, the Child-Parent Security Act, which recognizes the legitimacy of children born through assisted reproductive technology and legalizes surrogate parenting contracts. These are just a few examples to show that the fight for LGBTQ equality, even in NYS, is far from finished.
Marching in a parade may not seem revolutionary, but for the small-town communities in the Hudson Valley, it continues to be an important act of celebration. In rural NYS, LGBTQ people are in need of local political champions that will bring their voices to the table. CCYD is working tirelessly to ensure that every local office across the county is filled with progressive leaders who uplift, affirm, and fight for the LGBTQ community. It is our hope, that through the efforts of our rural young Democratic chapters, we can elect new Democrats, pass critical LGBTQ legislation in Albany, and finally have NYS model what LGBTQ justice and liberation looks like.
WHEREAS, a vacancy exists in the office of Downstate Vice President of the New York State Young Democrats;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, PATRICK JORDAN, President of the New York State Young Democrats, pursuant to Article V, Section 7 of the New York State Young Democrats Constitution, do hereby order and proclaim that an election for Downstate Vice President for the unexpired term be held on the sixteenth day of July, two thousand seventeen and that such election to be conducted in the manner prescribed by said section the New York State Young Democrats Constitution with the Presidents of the chapters of the Downstate Region of the New York State Young Democrats serving as the designated electors and that all perspective candidates shall apply no later than the Ninth day of July, two thousand seventeen.
GIVEN under my hand in the City of New York, Borough of Queens this twelfth day of June in the year two thousand seventeen.
In light of recent events the New York State Young Democrats are taking the necessary actions to remove the person from all levels of the organization. NYSYD unequivocally condemns any such heinous crimes and/or actions. NYSYD believes that those charged with these crimes are entitled to their day in court, but that those convicted should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
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.
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.”
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.