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Law should be used as a model until full implementation in 2012

2016 Convention Promises Continued Growth For The New York State Young Democrats New Executive Board Promises Democratic Party Wins In November

The New York State Young Democrats convened in Bronx, NY from May 20th through May 22th to elect a new Executive Board, marking a continued commitment for building the Democratic Party New York and engaging young Democrats across New York State. The new Executive Board officers and caucus chairs are:

  • President: Michael Corbett (Manhattan)
  • Executive Vice President: Tom Meier (Westchester)
  • Treasurer: Amanda Pizzuti (Brooklyn)
  • Secretary: Lauren Bailey (Albany)
  • National Committeeman: Sam Hudis (Manhattan)
  • National Committeewoman: Stacey Eliuk (Queens)
  • Legal Director: Dusan Lakic (Westchester)
  • Downstate Region Vice President: Patrick Jordan (Queens)
  • Hudson Valley Region Vice President Alex Roithmayr (Westchester)
  • Capital Region Vice President: T.J. Kennedy (Rensselaer)
  • Chair of Council of Presidents: Dylan Miyoshi (Dutchess)
  • Caucus of Color: Jovan Richards (Westchester)
  • Disability Issues: Seamus Campbell (Brooklyn)
  • High School Co-Chairs: Sarah Shamoon (Manhattan) and Hannah Zimmerman (Manhattan)
  • Jewish Caucus: Brent Weitzberg (Queens)
  • Labor Caucus: Christina Isnardi (Manhattan)
  • LGBT Caucus: Austin Markford (Manhattan)
  • Rural Caucus Co-Chairs: Paolo Cemedis (Chemung) and John Midwood (Dutchess)
  • Women’s Caucus: Marcia Grippen (Broome)

In addition to selecting new leadership, the organization adopted a number of reforms to how its structure. Most notably, a change to hold conventions in odd-numbered years as to ensure better coordination with the state and national parties.

“I am honored to be the first person in over a decade to be elected as President of the New York State Young Democrats for a second term,” said President Michael Corbett. “For the past two years, we have seen NYSYD become a more stable and trusted organization, both to our local chapters and the State Democratic Party. I cannot stress how vital this has been in ensuring that we take back Congress, the New York State Senate and, most importantly, keeping the White House this November. And we have already seen this with the election of Todd Kaminsky last month. While we still have a long way to go, I could not ask this endeavor.”

New York State Young Democrats Congratulate Democratic National Committee for Moving to America’s Labor Bank

NEW YORK, NY, August 13, 2012: Today, the New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) congratulated the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and its chair, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), for deciding last Friday to transfer its day-to-day banking needs to Amalgamated Bank, known widely as “America’s Labor Bank”. Last month, NYSYD transferred its own funds to Amalgamated Bank and has since been advocating for other chapters to follow suit.

“It is a proud day when NYSYD can say we helped lead the charge for organizations as prominent as the Democratic National Committee,” said Glenn Oldhoff, president of NYSYD. “Building a stronger New York and a stronger America requires responsible banking partners who prioritize the value of our working families. I thank Chair Wasserman-Schultz and the entire DNC for joining us at Amalgamated and for making a loud statement about the value of our party’s future. Our bankrolls are more Main Street than Wall Street, and so are our values.”

“Amalgamated Bank is pleased to be the bank for the New York State Young Democrats Political Action Committee and to join with the state’s young Democrats in their efforts to elect candidates who support the agenda of working families.” said Ed Grebow, Amalgamated Bank’s president and CEO, at the time of last month’s announcement. “Young Democrats are the future leaders of the Democratic Party and of our nation. Providing banking services to organizations like theirs is consistent with the Bank’s mission of supporting organizations aiming to improve the lives of workers in New York State and across the country. The New York State Young Democrats join a growing chorus of non-profit groups, labor unions and progressive organizations who are choosing to bank with an institution that supports the agenda of the 99% and we are proud to have their business.”

Established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Amalgamated Bank continues the progressive traditions of its founders as the only union-owned bank in the United States. Chartered by New York State, Amalgamated Bank is an FDIC insured commercial bank with $4.2 billion in assets.

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

New York State Young Democrats Transfer Funds to America’s Labor Bank

Today, the New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) transferred their funds to Amalgamated Bank, known widely as “America’s Labor Bank”. Established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Amalgamated Bank continues the progressive traditions of its founders as the only union-owned bank in the United States. Chartered by New York State, Amalgamated Bank is an FDIC insured commercial bank with $4.2 billion in assets.

NYSYD is putting its money where its heart is,” said Glenn Oldhoff, president of NYSYD. “Our bankroll is more Main Street than Wall Street, and so are our values. In a political reality where money equals speech, unfortunately far more than it should, our organization will speak loudly for a progressive future that holds hard working New Yorkers in its highest regard.”

“I am pleased with our selection of Amalgamated Bank as a new depository for NYSYD,” said Jon Reznick, treasurer of NYSYD. “We live in an era when most banks are struggling with their reputations as well as with their books, an era where everything connected with money is seen as a way of giving your values voice. We are lucky that the only union-owned bank in the United States has many branches conveniently located near the city of New York. Our funds will be kept at a bank which actually talks about its progressive traditions on its website, and their branch manager and team at the midtown branch already know who we are as customers.”

“Amalgamated Bank is pleased to be the bank for the New York State Young Democrats Political Action Committee and to join with the state’s young Democrats in their efforts to elect candidates who support the agenda of working families.” said Ed Grebow, Amalgamated Bank’s president and CEO. “Young Democrats are the future leaders of the Democratic Party and of our nation. Providing banking services to organizations like theirs is consistent with the Bank’s mission of supporting organizations aiming to improve the lives of workers in New York State and across the country. The New York State Young Democrats join a growing chorus of non-profit groups, labor unions and progressive organizations who are choosing to bank with an institution that supports the agenda of the 99% and we are proud to have their business.”

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

New York State Young Democrats Support Governor Cuomo’s Efforts to Reform Marijuana Laws

Today, the New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) declared their support for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-New York) efforts to reform the state’s marijuana laws. On Monday, he announced a proposal to decriminalize possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana that’s in public view. Currently, concealed possession of small amounts of marijuana is a violation, subject to a ticket and $100 fine, while smoking or public possession rises to a misdemeanor. The Governor stated his desire to create “fairness and consistency in our laws”; 82 percent of the more than 50,000 arrests last year in the state were of black or Hispanic individuals, primarily young men.

“Governor Cuomo’s proposed legislation will close loopholes in our criminal justice system that unfairly target youth of color,” said Joseph Coe, vice president of NYSYD. “This is an issue of equality and justice and we commend the proactive approach the Governor and his partners in government and law enforcement are taking to redress the injustice that currently exists in our penal code. The message that Governor Cuomo is sending both within New York and throughout the United States is clear: unfair and unjust laws must be changed, and that we must value our greatest human resource, the youth in our state.”

“This is a new beginning for New York State in changing the decriminalization of our African American, Hispanic and all minority youth,” said Rachael Walton, chair of NYSYD‘s Caucus of Color. “The New York State Young Democrats Caucus of Color is in full support of the Governor’s new legislation and hope that we continue to make great effective policy that preserve the next generation.

NYSYD also encouraged Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to reexamine how it can help lead efforts to curb racial profiling concerns in municipalities across the state, including the controversy surrounding the stop, question and frisk policy of the New York City Police Department. Critics have alleged that this policing strategy magnified issues related to the discrepancy in the state’s marijuana laws.

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

Elections Usher In A New Era For The New York State Young Democrats 2012 Convention Revitalizes Democratic Youth Organization

The New York State Young Democrats convened in Albany May 18-20 to elect a new Executive Board, marking what the organization says is “a renewed commitment to building a sustained Democratic movement in New York and engaging young Democrats statewide.”

The new Executive Board officers and caucus chairs are:

President: Glenn Oldhoff (Westchester)
Executive Vice President: Joseph Coe (Rockland)
Treasurer: Jon Reznick (Manhattan)
Secretary: Michael J. Murphy (Queens)
National Committeeman: Jahi Lafayette (Westchester)
National Committeewoman: Jugba Santi (Brooklyn)
Legal Director: Jenifer Rajkumar (Manhattan)
Downstate Region Vice President: Benjamin Yee (Manhattan)
Hudson Valley Region Vice President: Christopher Smith (Rockland)
Central Region Vice President: Jenni Royer (Broome)
Chair of Council of Presidents: Amanda Pizzuti (Brooklyn)
Disability Issues Caucus: Seamus Campbell (Brooklyn)
Caucus of Color: Rachel Walton (Queens)
LGBT Caucus: Katherine Brezler (Westchester)
Women’s Caucus: Angelica Katz (Queens)
Labor Caucus: Eric Katz (Westchester)
Jewish Caucus: Sam Hudis (Manhattan)
Rural Caucus: Jamie Duchessi (Montgomery)

“It’s my great honor to serve as president of the New York State Young Democrats,” said Glenn Oldhoff. “Together, we’ve taken the first steps toward a revitalized Democratic youth movement in New York state. Now, we’ll continue that progress and work to build new chapters from the North Country to the South Shore. We stand united to elect Democratic leaders statewide and support the Democratic vision for our state and our nation.”

“We look forward to working with the new caucus leadership that provides voices for marginalized communities,” said Joseph Coe. “We are committed to working with our partners in government to help secure social justice and equality for all New Yorkers.”

State Legislators from New York and New Jersey to Join Young Democrats to Raise Money for 9/11 Widows

(HOBOKEN, NJ)– One week after the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, the New York State and New Jersey Young Democrats will jointly sponsor a softball game to raise money for the 9/11 Widows Foundation. Between 50 and 75 Young Democrats will be joined by New York Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski of Rockland County and Assemblyman Ruben Ramos of Hoboken at Mama Johnson’s Field on Sunday. Zebrowski and Ramos will throw out the ceremonial first pitches just before game time at 3PM. Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, one of New York’s youngest State Legislators stated, “On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 it is extremely important that we remember the victims and their families. It is also important that we renew the American spirit that encouraged so many citizens to give their time, energy and money to help the victims and our nation recover from that horrible day. I am proud to participate in this event which is just one small way people can get together and donate much needed resources to those that continue to suffer from the attack on our nation.” The Assemblyman is also slated to start at shortstop for the New York State Young Dems.

“As one of the closest communities to New York, the residents of Hoboken will always remember those that were lost on September 11, 2001,” stated Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. “Every year we get together to celebrate the strength that America displayed in the face of adversity and will always honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice that day. This softball game between the Young Democrats is a fun way to pay tribute to such a tragic day and I’m flattered to be a part of it.”

“10 years after September 11th, we all still have heavy hearts with the memories of those who were lost that day,” said Christopher Smith, one of the event’s organizers. “Everyone in New York or New Jersey knows someone that lost a loved one on 9/11. It’s important for us to pay tribute to their memories and stand side by side with them every year. The lives of so many children and young adults were forever changed that day and no one understands how important that is more than our friends here today,” Smith concluded.

Fahim Abedrabbo, another event organizer said, “We are thrilled to host this event in Hoboken this year and be a part of a special way to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. In the wake of that horrific day, Americans stood together as a Country and not citizens of an individual state. Playing this softball game every year around this time is a great reminder that we must always continue to be united as Americans.”

All participants and spectators will make a $10 donation to the 9/11 Widows Foundation. Mama Johnson’s Field is located at the corner of 4th Street and Jackson Street in Hoboken. First pitch is scheduled for 3PM.

Young Democrats in Hudson Valley Hold Session to Map Out Strategy for 2011 Elections

(CENTRAL VALLEY, NY) December 11, Chapter Leaders of the Young Democrats from Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties came together to outline a strategy for the next twelve months that will focus entirely on county and municipal elections. Ira Marguiles, the Hudson Valley Regional Vice President of the New York State Young Democrats, led the meeting of approximately 20 young Democrats who represent dozens more throughout the region.

The New York State Young Democrats have made it very clear that the people of New York must be represented by individuals who seek to serve the people for the good of their community, not for their own personal advancement. Today’s meeting was a productive first step towards electing Democrats throughout county and municipal government to ensure that the people of the Hudson Valley are appropriately represented at the most communal level.

The Hudson Valley area Young Democrats identified specific elections in Putnam and Westchester Counties including the Mayoral election in Yonkers and a potential special election to fill the vacancy in the Putnam County Executive’s Office. Republicans that are ensnared in scandal; Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone and Former State Senator and Never Actually County Executive Vincent Leibell, who recently plead guilty to federal corruption charges, currently hold both of these offices.

New York State Young Democrats President Kevin Lawrie said, “Today’s meeting is exactly how our organization is designed to function. Our regional vice presidents are the people on the ground with the ties to the individual communities throughout our state and they will only see greater results as resources and ideas come together for one unified goal. I’d like to thank the leaders in the Hudson Valley for taking this initiative and coming together to make sure that we solidify New York as the base for the Democratic Party.”

“It’s really encouraging that we have such an engaged group of young people working to advance the goals of the Democratic Party in the Hudson Valley,” said Hudson Valley Vice President and Dutchess County resident, Ira Margulies. “The Young Democrats are looking forward to 2011 when we will be aggressively promoting our progressive agenda and working to elect qualified Democrats to the hundreds of local offices in our region.”

World AIDS Day Statement from the NYSYD Women’s Caucus, LGBT Caucus and Caucus of Color

In observance of World AIDS Day, the Women’s Caucus, LGBT Caucus and the Caucus of Color, are joining together to ask all New York State Young Democrats to take a moment to remember the countless individuals and families who have been effected by HIV/AIDS and to be a leader in the struggle to cure and stop the spread of this disease.

Started in 1988 by the World Health Organization, December 1st marks a day each year when the world stops to reflect on the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in our local communities and throughout the world. This year, the World Health Organization is stressing the importance of Universal Access and Human Rights, a theme that the New York State Young Democrats enthusiastically support.

In 2006, a United Nations Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS stated that, the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all is an essential element in the global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative said in its 2009 Global Community Health Statement, Stigma, discrimination and human rights violations against people living with HIV and AIDS and other marginalized populations continue to be some of the greatest barriers to effectively addressing the epidemic.

More recently, the global community has made tremendous strides. Thanks to anti-viral drugs individuals with HIV/AIDS are living longer, fuller lives. However, HIV/AIDS is still a serious disease.

Did You Know?

  • Everyday 7,397 people contract HIV. That’s 308 people per hour.
  • In 2007, 2.0 million people died from AIDS.
  • A total of 33 million people now live with HIV/AIDS. Two million of them are under the age of 15.
  • Worldwide, women make up half of all people living with HIV. The number of women living with HIV in the U.S. has tripled in the last two decades; by 2005, 26% of people living with HIV were women.
  • There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
  • African Americans accounted for 46% of new HIV infections diagnosed in 2006, although they comprise only 12% of the population.
  • HIV can be spread through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
  • Consistent and correct use of latex condoms is highly effective in preventing sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

In New York:

  • As of December 2008, nearly 40,000 individuals were living with HIV/AIDS in New York City.
  • 15,000 of those NYC residents are under the age of 40.
  • In 2008, over 125,000 people were effected by HIV/AIDS
  • County by county (not including NYC), the highest populations of individuals with HIV/AIDS were Westchester, Suffolk, Nassau, Erie and Albany Counties. All of these counties either have or are very close in proximity to urban centers.

Call to Action: Help the NYS Young Democrats bring awareness today. Change your Facebook Status to:

Today is World AIDS Day. The full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all is an essential element in the global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. 2006 UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. Get tested, know your status, help fund HIV/AIDS research, and make a promise to protect the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS throughout the world.

For more information regarding World AIDS Day and to locate events around the world, check out:
http://www.worldaidsday.org/

The following places are just a few of the locations where you can get tested:

NYC Department of Health Free Clinics
Planned Parenthood of NYC

Community Health Action of Staten Island

GMHC

World AIDS Day Related Events:

Light for Rights New York City Event
Washington Square Park, New York, NY
12/01 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Kenneth Cole, Liza Minnelli, and others will help mark New York’s World AIDS Day event in Washington Square Park by turning off the lights on the fabled Washington Square Park Arch before turning them back on. This event is just one place in New York marking Light for Rights; other participating venues include the Brooklyn Bridge; the New York Stock Exchange; Madison Square Garden; Carnegie Hall; Museum of Modern Art; Washington Square Park Arch; the Beacon Theatre; Radio City Music Hall; the Apollo Theater; and 40 Broadway theaters

For more information about the Lights for Rights campaign, check out:
http://lightforrights.org/events.php

Free HIV Testing
Union Square, New York, NY
12/01 9:00am – 2:00pm

NYC‘s Planned Parenthood Activist Council is partnering with MTV and providing free testing in Union Square. They will also be handing out condoms and palm cards encouraging folks to get tested right then and there. MTV will be shooting video throughout the morning. Interested in volunteering?
Email, Stephanie.Demmons@ppnyc.org for exact details.
GMHC‘s Calendar of Community Events

Other Noteworthy Links:

NYS Division of Human Rights
Find out where you can pick up free condoms from the New York City Department of Health

NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence on the Correlation Between Domestic Violence and a Greater Risk for contracting HIV/AIDS

We hope you’ll join us in taking a moment to get tested, protect the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, and help fund research for a cure. Knowledge is power in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In Solidarity,

Julienne Verdi
Women’s Caucus

Ben Murphy
LGBT Caucus

Joshua Waters
Caucus of Color

Women’s Caucus of the New York State Young Democrats Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month New Laws Will Give New Protections to Survivors of Domestic Violence

(NEW YORK)–In observance of October being designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Women’s Caucus of the New York State Young Democrats applauds legislation recently passed in both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor, in support of domestic violence victims and survivors. The NYSYD Women’s Caucus also praises Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer for introducing her domestic violence legislative package that will further expand critical protections that every woman needs and deserves. The Women’s Caucus is looking forward to partnering and working with Assemblywoman Hyer-Spencer to combat the severity of domestic violence.

Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer’s domestic violence package includes Danielle DiMedici and Jessica Tush’s Law, which creates a registry of domestic violence offenders (A.10265-A). The registry will allow victims to know the location of their abusers and inform women if someone they are dating has a history of dangerous behavior.

Other measures in the Assemblywoman’s package provide unemployment insurance for domestic violence victims (A.4903); require that victims be automatically notified when an order of protection has been served (A.10663); require that high schools provide incoming freshman with information on domestic violence and stalking (A.9940); and authorize closed-circuit television testimony for domestic violence witnesses (A.4338).

“The Women’s Caucus has been a great partner in advocating for stronger laws and improved outreach on domestic violence,” Hyer-Spencer said. “To combat this crime, New York State must take the lead in protecting and educating young women.”

“Intimate partner violence is the most prevalent cause of homicides for women 16 years of age and older in New York State. Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer’s legislation would take the next steps to provide essential resources to victims and educate women about this heinous crime,” said Women’s Caucus Chairwoman Julienne Verdi.

Recently enacted by the Governor is also a set of protections for victims of domestic violence which includes a provision to create a separate voter registration file, immune from FOIL requests, to hide the locations and information of violence victims. This package also provides domestic violence survivors with the option to request an unlisted telephone number at no charge or use an altered name for the directory listing.

“The bills that were passed and signed into law are excellent first steps to providing resources for victims of domestic violence,” said Kevin Lawrie, President of the New York State Young Democrats. “NYSYD‘s Women’s Caucus approached Assemblywoman Hyer-Spencer and identified her legislation as a priority for our organization so that women all over New York can achieve the quality of life that everyone is entitled to. Along with Julienne and the Women’s Caucus and Assemblywoman Hyer-Spencer, the members of NYSYD will always be committed to ensuring the health and well being of so many people in the young adult community.”

NYSYD Praises the Signing of DASA Law should be used as a model until full implementation in 2012

In the spirit of the start of the new school year, the New York State Young Democrats applaud the signing of the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), into law yesterday by Governor Paterson. DASA aims to eliminate harassment and discrimination based on race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex, demonstrating the Governor’s and Legislature’s commitment to ensuring that all students have a safe environment in which to learn.

NYSYD most specifically salutes the provisions of this new law that will prohibit harassment or discrimination against students or employees while on school property and codifying the definition of harassment as the creation of a hostile environment by conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that would interfere with academic performance.

A survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) stated that 52% of students who describe themselves as the victims of bullying say they were harassed because they were perceived to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Only 5% of these students actually identified themselves as such.

NYSYD President Kevin Lawrie said, As an organization that seeks to help develop leaders of the future, our mission is not all that different than that of most of our educators. It has always been the goal of NYSYD to ensure that the leadership of the next generation is perfectly equipped to serve the people of our Country and State. The signing of DASA is a monumental occasion moving towards true equal rights for members of the LGBT community and will also allow students and teachers alike to focus on the tasks at hand inside the classroom. On behalf of all of the members of the New York State Young Democrats, I commend the Governor and Legislature on taking this unique and inclusive approach to improving the quality of education for our students and raising the quality of life for young members of the LGBT community.

Even though this law does not take effect until 2012, NYSYD would like to see that this law be used as a model for school teachers and administrators all over New York for how to address one of our education systems most prominent problems until DASA‘s protections are fully effective. Every student must be afforded the same opportunity to learn the required material and our students should not have to wait until the 2012 school year to be fully protected from discrimination.