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Both Sides of the Candlestick

To say the members of the New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) are sad and hurt regarding the current state of our country would be an immense understatement. We are not only sad and hurt, but we are angry, frustrated, and more ready than ever to mobilize and to do the work necessary to bring ever-lasting change to our state and local governments.

What has happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others are appalling acts of police brutality and racism, and they are not made any less painful by 45’s comments and actions in recent days. Moreover, our anger increases when we have to deal with leaders within our own party — that we help get elected — fail to help create safe spaces for New Yorkers to peacefully protest and come together to mourn (looking at you Mayor De Blasio).

Our anger, our frustration, our hurt, and our sadness have compiled into taking actions and making our collective voices heard in halls of power and in the streets. The NYSYD has always and will continue to always burn the candle at both ends.

Our members from Long Island, to Brooklyn, to Manhattan, to Westchester, to Putnam, to Utica, to Yates, and beyond have marched, rallied, and have spoken out against racial injustice, because we know that BLACK LIVES MATTER! We ask our members to continue to protest, and organize within every community in New York State, but our work cannot stop there!

We, The New York State Young Democrats, call on EVERY New York State Democratic Legislator in the State Senate and Assembly to support an array of necessary and long overdue bills to get passed. These bills, which make up the Police Reform Package have highlighted by our friends at the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus include:

  1. The Repeal of 50-A
    1. A.2513/S.3695 (O’Donnell/Bailey)
  2. False 9-1-1 Complaints
    1. A.3566 (Ortiz/Benjamin)
  3. Office of the Special Prosecutor
    1. A.1601/S.2574 (Perry/Bailey)
  4. Police Stat Act
    1. A. 1360a/S.1830b (Lentol/Hoylman)
  5. Right to Monitor Act
    1. A.1360a/S.3253 (Perry/Parker)
  6. Local Independent Oversight of Police
    1. A.10560/S.7527 (Richardson/Myrie)
  7. Medical Attention For Persons Under Arrest
    1. A.8226a/S.6601 (Fernandez/Bailey)
  8. Establishing the Crime of Strangulation
    1. A.6144/S.6670a (Mosley/Benjamin)
  9. Failure to Obtain Medical Care
    1. A.3056b/S.4076 (Fernandez/Biaggi)
  10. Bans Racial/Ethnic Profiling by Police
    1. A.4615/S.1137a (Bichotte/Benjamin)
  11. Reducing Arrests for Non-Criminal Offenses
    1. A.4053/S.2571 (Aubry/Bailey)
  12. Expanded Use of Law Enforcement Body Cameras
    1. Body Cameras for NYS Police | A.8674/S.6686 (Walker/Parker)
    2. Body Cameras for MTA Police | A.8943a/S.6793a (Reyes/Ramos)

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO GET THIS DONE NOW!

CLICK HERE to send your petition to your local elected and DEMAND PUBLIC SUPPORT for this Police Reform Package.

Our work has just begun and we will not be finished until we, as a collective voice, are heard in every corner in every county, and in every chamber of every local and state government.

Resolution Calling for Electoral Changes in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic

WHEREAS, there is a global pandemic of COVID-19 – a novel coronavirus which already has approximately 5,500 cases of infection in New York and has claimed the lives of at least twenty-two New Yorkers; and

WHEREAS, the newest guidelines from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alone suggest that no more than 50 people be in the same area at one time to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to not take this action would result in placing not only the voters of our great state in harm’s way but also the dedicated election staff and poll site workers; many of whom are over 70 years old – placing them in the highest risk bracket; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 can remain alive on casual items like touch screens, table surfaces and pens; and

WHEREAS, to curb the rate of infection, every other layer of government is trying to limit access, travel, crowds, etc. and, thus, it would defy logic to ask people to come out and vote under these circumstances; and

WHEREAS, New York State has always celebrated the fact that its elections are fair, open, safe, and secure and, at this present time, all four of those core principles are now threatened by COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, several local elections in New York State have already either been postponed or canceled; and

WHEREAS, the delegate selection rules set forth by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) do not allow for a presidential primary to occur after the second Tuesday in June in the calendar year of the national convention; and

WHEREAS, any deviation from the DNC’s delegate selection rules could result in a state delegation allocation being cut in as much as one-half; and

WHEREAS, it would be hypocritical for any political party and/or government to require in-person voting during a time when social distancing is imperative; and

WHEREAS, the New York State Young Democrats urge everyone to follow the CDC recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats call on Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to merge all elections between now and June 23rd, including all that have been postponed, to be on June 23rd and to institute no-excuse absentee voting for those elections; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats call on the Democratic National Committee and its Rules and Bylaws Committee to change its previously established delegate allocation rules to require all presidential primaries to occur by July 1, 2020 which would allow New York State to deviate from previously established rules without a cut to New York’s delegate allocation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats call on the New York State Board of Elections, Governor Cuomo, and the New York State Legislature to allow for no-excuse absentee voting while New York is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – especially if the DNC fails to act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats commend Sens. Ron Wyden and Amy Klobuchar for their bill to institute an emergency national vote-by-mail bill, the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020, as a way to nationally curb the spread of COVID-19 and call for its swift passage and enactment – especially if New York fails to act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats call on Governor Cuomo to work with the New York State Board of Elections and county boards of elections to establish a plan of action so that all postponed special and local elections will be conducted as seamlessly as possible; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats commend the Governor, the legislature, local elected officials, first responders, public health workers, and all others involved in the Coronavirus response for their work to keep New Yorkers safe and to contain the outbreak.

NYSYD Denounces Sen. Borrello’s Anti-Disabled Comments Senator Says Automatic Voter Registration Will Expand Voting Rights for Persons Who Lack the Cognitive Skills to Understand the Electoral Process

The New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) condemn the anti-disabled and ableist remarks made by newly-elected State Senator George Borrello (R-57) on the first full day of the 2020 legislative session, Thursday, January 9, 2020, during a floor debate regarding a bill to enact automatic voter registration (AVR) when he said that the bill would enfranchise people with cognitive disabilities who, he claims, lack the requisite skills to understand how to vote.

The bill, if enacted, will automatically register people to vote after they fill-out paperwork with certain New York State government agencies – most notably the Department of Motor Vehicles. Currently, when a person goes to a DMV office to get a license, permit, or other state identification, they can check a box to indicate that they wish to have their information forwarded to the New York State Board of Elections (BOE) so that they will be added to the voter rolls. The AVR bill would do the opposite: the person would have to check a box to actively opt-out of their information being sent to the BOE. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the states that have enacted AVR have seen the rates of voter registration rise to be as much as 94%. Furthermore, The Nation reports that as a result of its AVR law, Oregon saw a 4% increase in voter turnout from 2012 to 2016.

While explaining his plans to vote against the AVR bill Sen. Borrello finished his remarks by saying:

This [bill] is [also] about registering people who have come into government to collect benefits, [and] to, perhaps, address mental health issues they may have. Those are the folks who are automatically be registered – people who may not even understand the impact of voting. It’s about influencing people who, otherwise, should not understand and will not understand. I find that really abhorrent. So, I will be voting ‘no’ on this.

“It is quite a feat to show yourself to be ableist on your first day at a new job,” said NYSYD and Young Democrats of America Disability Issues Caucus Chair Seamus Campbell. “Senator Borrello literally said people with mental illness and cognitive disabilities are too dumb or unbalanced to vote. He should be ashamed of himself. Borrello thinks that people with disabilities lack the ability to learn about the role and importance of democracy and how to do the necessary research about the issues and candidates on the ballot. As a person who has dealt with clinical depression for his entire adult life, I am both shocked and disgusted that to learn that he honestly thinks that my condition is in any way a barrier to being an informed citizen and active voter. The fact that I have not missed a single election – primary, general, run-off, or special – in over 5 years should be proof that his beliefs are just plain wrong.”

Under New York State Law, any United States citizen, a resident of New York State for at least 30 days, and over the age of 18, and is not currently serving time for a felony conviction can register to vote. Furthermore, the only persons empowered to remove a person’s voting rights due to mental capacity is a judge.

Said Paolo Cremidis, NYSYD Rural Caucus Chair, “George Borrello is peddling fear for the sake of peddling fear. I am troubled by the fact that he is targeting folks to exclude via automatic voter registration. The issue of mental health is not something that we can joke about. He needs to apologize for his comments to his constituents and to our broader Upstate New York community. Making comments like these do not do anything to help represent Upstate.”

“It’s disappointing to see our representation in Albany speaking out against legislation that will strengthen democracy in New York State,” said Frank Besse, Chautauqua County Young Democrats President. “Not only does Mr. Borrello position himself in opposition to empowering the people of our state he does so in a way that incites baseless fears and offends common decency.”

“It makes total sense that Senator Borrello would say this in 2020 of all years,” said NYSYD President Patrick Jordan. “The GOP in New York knows that with Trump on the top of the ballot this year, they are vulnerable because there will be an even bigger surge in voter turnout than we saw in 2018. So, their only recourse to save themselves electorally is to add more barriers so that people cannot or will not go to the polls in November. The New York State Young Democrats just found yet another reason to mobilize this year against Republicans up and down the ballot and we have added a new candidate we’re targetting: George Borrello.”

The New York State Young Democrats call on Senator George Borrello to apologize immediately for his statements. NYSYD plans to organize and mobilize its members so that 2020 will be the only year Borrello spends in Albany.

To view Senator George Borrello’s floor remarks in their entirety, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuxWppCmy30.

New York State Young Democrats Delegate Selection Plan 2019 Young Democrats of America Biennial Convention

Indianapolis, IN – July 17-21, 2019

The President of the New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) shall present a list of delegates and alternates to the NYSYD Executive Board for consideration. The Executive Board will give its advice and consent on the names submitted prior to approval.

New York will cast 110 votes at a ratio of about 3 votes per delegate. As such, we will send 37 delegates and 3 alternates to Indianapolis, Indiana for the Young Democrats of America (YDA) Biennial Convention. One delegate, chosen by lot, will cast 2 votes.

All prospective delegates or alternates (delegation members) are required to submit an online application form. This form will be made available online beginning on May 16, 2019, and will receive applications until 11:59:59 PM EST on May 31, 2019. Failure to submit a form during this time will result in an individual not being considered. In addition, all persons chosen as delegation members are required to attend the 2019 NYSYD Convention. Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of their status as a delegation member.

Affirmative Action Goals

Women: 50% (Fixed at 50% regardless of population)

Based on the updated 2015 U.S. Census estimates, we will attempt to meet the following goals for minority representation:

  • African-American: 20%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 20%
  • Asian: 10%

In addition, extensive research has provided these goals for the following groups:

  • Rural: 15% (2010 Census)
  • LGBTQ: 10% (2012 Gallup Poll[1])
  • Disabled: 15% (ages 18-44, 2010 CDC[2])
  • Labor: 20% (2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics[3])
  • Jewish:  10% (2015 Brandeis University[4])

Taking these numbers into consideration, and based on those who applied by the deadline, NYSYD will strive to meet the following goals:

  • Women: 19 delegation members
  • African-American:  8 delegation members
  • Hispanic or Latino: 8 delegation members
  • Asian: 4 delegation members
  • Rural: 6 delegation members
  • LGBTQ: 4 delegation members
  • Disabled: 6 delegation members
  • Labor: 8 delegation members
  • Jewish: 4 delegation members

Delegation members may qualify for more than one of the aforementioned categories. For example, someone can be an African-American union member with a disability and thus be counted to satisfy all 3 requirements.

Delegates will be expected to be present and in their seats during all general sessions. Failure to do so will result in the seating of an Alternate in their place.

In addition, delegation members may be appointed to represent NYSYD in specific committee and caucus meetings. While all of these meetings are open to the public, some allow only one (1) person to vote on behalf of each state. In this instance, only those who are specifically assigned by the Delegation Chair will be given voting privileges on behalf of New York.

Any necessary changes to the delegation roster as a result of a penalty imposed by the YDA Credentials Committee will be made by the Delegation Chair with the consultation of the National Committee Members from New York.

Finally, in an effort to be more inclusive, it is the sole discretion of the Delegation Chair to add any members of the New York State Young Democrats present at the YDA Convention to the list of Alternates. Should a person be added, they cannot be seated as a Delegate until the list of Alternates who applied in a timely manner is exhausted.

[1] http://www.gallup.com/poll/160517/lgbt-percentage-highest-lowest-north-dakota.aspx
[2] https://www.cdc.gov/BRFSS/
[3] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf
[4] http://ajpp.brandeis.edu/

NYSYD Call to Convention 2019 #NYSYD2019

Join us May 17-19, 2019 in Queens County, New York as we meet for training, networking, electing officers and continuing to build the future of the New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD). This document is the official Call to Convention for the 2019 State Convention.

Convention Officers

The 2019 Convention Chair is Andrew Goldston. The 2019 Convention Secretary and Credentials Committee Chair is Seamus Campbell. The Rules Committee Chair is Michael Twomey. The 2019 Convention Parliamentarian is Aries dela Cruz; the alternate Parliamentarian is Tyler White. Other convention officers and committee members shall be named at a later date by approval by the NYSYD Executive Board.

Chartering or Re-chartering

Chartering packets will be distributed and made available electronically on or before March 21, 2019, and will be due for submission by electronic mail by no later than 11:59:59 PM EST on May 8, 2019.

Each county chapter that is rechartering must submit the following items to the Credentials Committee by emailing them to Chair Seamus Campbell at scampbell@nysyd.org as individual attachments on or before May 8, 2019:

  • A roster listing all members within the county chapter and required data in accordance with Article II Section 1.1 and Article III, Section 5 of the NYSYD Constitution. The roster must include each member’s first name, last name, address, zip code, date of birth, and either an email address or telephone number (preferably both). The roster must be sent in an Excel or Google Sheet format; any roster not sent in a spreadsheet format (e.g. as a PDF) and/or are missing the aforementioned fields will not be accepted.

  • A scanned copy of the certification of current highest ranking officer (usually the County Chair) of the county chapter’s Democratic county committee

  • A list of all officers of the county chapter

  • A copy of the county chapter’s constitution and bylaws, preferably sent as a Word or Google Document AND a PDF

  • A proposed delegation list (each chapter will be entitled to 1 delegate for each validated member)

All county chapters that are submitting new charters (i.e. currently are not chartered chapters) must submit the aforementioned items on or before May 16, 2019. Those chapters will be limited to no more than two (2) delegates.

Chapters who do not submit the aforementioned items in the required formats will have their applications rejected with the Credentials Committee informing said chapters of the errors. If the errors are not corrected by the stated due dates, the application will be rejected by the Credentials Committee.

Should a chapter wish to resubmit their membership roster prior to May 8, 2019, they may do so only if they properly delineate which members have been added or removed since their previous submission; updated rosters not showing which members have been added or removed will not be accepted.

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 to be submitted is May 8, 2019. All chartering fees must be submitted via check and mailed to:

Attn: Patrick Jordan, President
New York State Young Democrats
36-23 204th Street
Bayside, NY 11361

Should a chapter be unable to submit a check by that date, they must alert the President, the Convention Chair, and Convention Secretary by May 11, 2019 by emailing, respectively, jordanpatrick76@gmail.com, agoldston@gmail.com, and scampbell@nysyd.org, and must pay the chartering fee at the convention by check. Failure to pay the chartering fee will result in the chapter in question not being chartered.

Should concerns arise within the Credentials Committee regarding the authenticity of documents submitted by county chapters, the Credentials Committee will be empowered to investigate, as necessary, by means including, but not limited to, contacting the county’s Democratic Committee leadership, and requesting copies of sign-in sheets from county chapter events.

All county chapter members over the age of 18 must be registered members of the Democratic Party, according to the New York State Board of Elections no later than April 15, 2019. It is recommended that any member of a chartering county chapter newly registering or re-registering to vote with the Democratic Party register at their county’s Board of Elections office and photograph a timestamped, submitted voter registration form should concerns arise by the Credentials Committee. Members who turn the age of 18 between April 15, 2019 and the final gavel of the convention shall be exempted from this clause. It will be to the chapters’ benefit to check the registration of their membership on the New York State Board of Elections website prior to submitting rosters to the Credentials Committee as to mitigate the chances that members will not be stricken as ineligible to be charter members.

County chapter members who do not turn the age of 36 before the final gavel at the convention and will be at least the age of 16 before the first gavel at the convention will be eligible to be listed as charter members for a county chapter.

County chapters charted in between December 01, 2018 and January 31, 2019, under Article VI, Section 5 of the NYSYD Constitution will be exempted from chartering under this section and those chapters shall each be allotted one vote at the convention. The NYSYD Secretary shall electronically transmit all chartering documents they have received from said chapters to the Chair of the Credentials Committee.

Delegates to Convention

Re-chartering chapters must submit their preliminary list of delegates to the Credentials Chair at the following e-mail address: scampbell@nysyd.org by no later than 11:59:59 PM EST on May 8, 2019; newly chartered chapters  must submit their preliminary list of delegates to the Credentials Chair no later than 11:59:59 PM EST on May 16, 2019 to the same aformention e-mail address. Amendments can be made to delegate lists until 11:59:59 PM EST on May 8, 2019. 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 the NYSYD 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 the NYSYD Constitution. All delegations are subject to the provisions of Article III, Section 6.1 of the NYSYD Constitution. The Credentials Committee shall submit their final pre-convention report of eligible members, delegates, and alternates to chapters by May 8, 2019.

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 or before April 1, 2019 by electronic mail as well as the NYSYD website and social media pages. Applications are due by 11:59:59 PM EST on April 15, 2019. 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. These positions are not subject to the online application process.

Executive Board Election Procedures

All candidates must submit their applications via Google Form by 11:59:59 PM EST on or before April 15, 2019. However, if no candidate submits an application for a position by that date, applications for the positions lacking candidates will be extended to May 8, 2019 at by 11:59:59 PM EST.

All Candidates shall have an opportunity to address the convention and answer any questions delegates may have prior to their election. All elections will be conducted by roll call vote by the Convention Secretary, by order of the Chair, with the delegation chair of each county chapter designating how many votes it will apportion to each candidate. 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 the NYSYD Constitution and Bylaws.  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 Michael Twomey at mtwomey@nysyd.org and NYSYD President Patrick Jordan at jordanpatrick76@gmail.com. Any proposed amendments to the Constitution must be received by 11:59:59 pm EST on April 30, 2019. 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

Pursuant to the NYSYD Bylaws Article V, the Executive Board of the Queens County Young Democrats shall be designated as the Convention Program Committee and shall be empowered to create the agenda and program of the convention in consultation with the convention officers and the NYSYD Executive Board.

Key Dates

March 21, 2019

  • Chartering Packets Distributed Electronically (docx, pdf)

April 1, 2019

April 15, 2019

  • Proposed Delegate Lists Due

  • Executive Board Election Application Due

  • NYSYD Award Nominations Deadline

April 30, 2019

  • Constitution and Bylaws Amendments Due

May 8, 2019

  • Executive Board Election Applications Due for Capital Vice President, Northern Vice President, and Legal Director

  • Amended Membership Roster Due

  • Chartering Fees Due

  • Chartering Packets Due (existing chapters)

  • Final Delegate List Due

May 11, 2019

  • Chapters intending to pay dues at the convention must inform President, Convention Chair, and Convention President such intention

May 16, 2019

  • Chartering Packets Due (new chapters)

  • Credentials Committee Report Due

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

Excelsior,
Patrick Jordan
President
New York State Young Democrats

Rural Caucus response to the State of the Union Address NYSYD Rural Caucus condemns the partisan and lacking vision delivered by President Donald Trump in his 2019 State of the Union Address on Tuesday Night

Instead of delivering a true message of unity, President Trump stuck to his well-practiced playbook, which calls for pitting progressives against conservatives, rural versus urban and the wealthy against the poor.

His address outlined a jingoistic nightmare of international issues — a border wall with Mexico, talks with the Taliban despite continued violence in Afghanistan, and crediting himself with avoiding a nuclear standoff with Korea — which still intends to develop and deploy nuclear weapons against America.

Again and again, the president contorted statistics to tout an economy that has made the rich richer, and the working class wondering how they will educate their children, purchase a home and retire.

Today, those living in rural communities, waiting for a raise, waiting for a path to prosperity for their families ask President Trump — “What about us?”

What about the roads and bridges that carry rural commuters to their jobs?

What about the farmers literally giving their cows away because milk prices have tanked?

What about the global markets cut off to America’s innovators due to steep tariffs caused by a trade war sparked by himself?

Why does New York only see 87 cents on the federal tax dollar returned for programs that create jobs, feed the hungry and assure healthcare and housing for those who would otherwise go without?

What we saw last night was lip service, and not even good lip service that promises an empty framework. The president’s words are reflective of how he’s handled the office for two years — all show and no substance. This is not reflective of the needs, will or work ethic of America’s rural communities.

To paraphrase the president, he alone can’t fix it. He and his Republican colleagues in Congress can be a part of the solution. We will them to fix it, but we won’t hold our breath as the federal government hurtles towards another shutdown on Feb. 15, despite the hurt the first one caused.

New York State Young Democrats Rural Caucus will continue to work on the grassroots level to elect representatives in local, county state and federal government who want to work as hard as the people of Upstate New York.

In The News: Website standards ensure access for all Times Union Letter to the Editor by Seamus Campbell

Check out Young Democrats of America Disability Issues Caucus Chair Seamus Campbell’s letter to the editor in the Albany Times Union about the legal need for accessible college websites and the recent changes to YDA rules requiring Section 508 compliance.

When reading the article “Lawsuits target colleges over access to websites,” Dec. 5, I was troubled to hear that the defendants find the case to be frivolous when, they, in fact, did not create their websites using proper web standards and are, in fact, violating federal law.

When the HTML format was created more than 20 years ago, the World Wide Web’s creator, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, wanted to ensure the web was accessible to everyone. For that reason, things like labels for form items and alternative text for images (which read out descriptions of different elements within a web page to those using assistive technologies like screen readers) are required in order to have valid HTML code, according to the standards set by the W3C – the governing body on web standards.

Furthermore, practically every college in the United States is required to have accessible websites because, under the Rehabilitation Act, any institution that receives any sort of federal funding must provide accommodations to students or prospective students with disabilities. Section 508 of that law is what sets those federal standards, and the website for it is a good resource for people to see what is required of them to create accessible digital content.

In the Young Democrats of America, because we believe our members should have access to the information we disseminate, regardless of disability, we recently passed rules changes to require all of our communications to follow Section 508 guidelines and it is my hope that other institutions will do the same.

Seamus Campbell
New York City
Chair, Young Democrats of America Disability Issues Caucus

Blue Wave

NYSYD Is Proud to Endorse…

One major step to putting our state and nation on the right path is to work to elect the people making major decisions in our lives. Pound the pavement, knock doors, & GOTV!

We're proud to endorse the following individuals for the 2018 Election Cycle!

Congress

  • NY-3 – Tom Suozzi
  • NY-2 – Liuba Gretchen Shirley
  • NY-11 – Max Rose
  • NY-14 – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • NY-19 – Antonio Delgado
  • NY-21 – Tedra Cobb
  • NY-22 – Anthony Brindisi
  • NY-23 – Tracy Mitrano
  • NY-25 – Joe Morelle
  • NY-27 – Nathan McMurray

Statewide

  • Governor – Andrew Cuomo
  • Lieutenant Governor – Kathy Hochul
  • Attorney General – Tish James
  • Comptroller – Tom DiNapoli

State Senate

  • SD 3 – Monica Martinez
  • SD 4 – Lou D'Amaro
  • SD 7 – Anna Kaplan
  • SD 8 – John Brooks
  • SD 11 – John Liu
  • SD 15 – Joe Addabbo
  • SD 22 – Andrew Gournardes
  • SD 39 – James Skoufis
  • SD 40 – Pete Harkham
  • SD 41 – Karen Smythe
  • SD 43 – Aaron Gladd
  • SD 44 – Neil Breslin
  • SD 46 – Pat Strong
  • SD 50 – John Mannion
  • SD 51 – Joyce St. George
  • SD 53 – Rachel May

Assembly

  • AD 9 – Christine Pellegrino
  • AD 11 – Kimberly Jean-Pierre
  • AD 46 – Mathylde Frontus
  • AD 61 – Charles Fall
  • AD 64 – Adam Baumel
  • AD 94 – Vedat Gashi
  • AD 101 – Chad McEvoy
  • AD 102 – Aidan O'Connor, Jr.
  • AD 106 – Didi Barrett
  • AD 118 – Keith Rubino
  • AD 124 – Bill Batrowny

Local Elections

  • Broome County Legislator – Rob Rynearson
  • Broome County Legislator – Karen Beebe
  • Chautauqua County Sheriff – Joe Gerace
  • Chemung County Executive – Jerome Emanuel
  • Chemung County Legislator – Deborah Lynch
  • Chemung County Legislator – Bill McCarthy
  • Chemung County Legislator – Ed Bond
  • Columbia County Coroner – Bernadette Powis
  • Dutchess County Legislator – Tara Langworthy
  • Johnson City Village Trustee – Benjamin Reynolds
  • Putnam County Legislator – Scott Reing
  • St. Lawrence County Legislator – Kaitlin Tyndall
  • St. Lawrence County Legislator – Nicole Terminelli
  • St. Lawrence County Legislator – Shawna Cecot
  • St. Lawrence County Legislator – Anthony Arquiett

Statement on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

“No matter the who, no matter when, no matter what we should believe people who come forward with their experiences of sexual assault or misconduct. No one is above the law especially those who are supposed to enforce it. NYSYD supports the Governor Andrew Cuomo and Speaker Johnson’s ask of the Attorney General to resign. The Executive Board is unanimous in asking Schniederman to resign immediately.”

Update: Eric Schneiderman has resigned as the Attorney General of New York State.