Skip to content Skip to footer

Tag: New York State Young Democrats

Stop The Hate: My Letter To The Editor Of The Queens Tribune


From The Queens Tribune – Thursday October 29, 2009 Issue

To The Editor:

On October 17, hundreds of people gathered in College Point, Queens to share their disgust with the assault of Jack Price, an openly gay College Point resident.  I was one of those New Yorkers outraged that another citizen was brutally beaten to near death simply because of his sexual orientation. What was perhaps more outrageous was the disturbing revelation that was made at the rally.

Did you know that the majority of hate crimes are committed by young people under the age of 24? Think about that. Terrifying and true.

As the President of the New York State Young Democrats, an organization that represents this demographic of offenders, I feel that something must be done to address this issue. I call upon my local, state and federal elected officials to increase the amount of money allocated to tolerance and acceptance education. If we are going to reduce the amount of young people who commit hate crimes we must do so by doing a better job at educating our young people in love, tolerance and acceptance.

Let’s honor Jack Price by calling your elected officials and telling them that you demand an increase in funding for tolerance education.

Matthew Silverstein

New York State Young Democrats President & Bay Terrace Resident

Spend Halloween With The New York State Young Democrats & Help To Scare Off Those Republicans!


1. Rockland County Halloween Campaign Invasion

Help Turn Rockland County Blue

Let’s Help Elect Thom Kleiner As The Next County Executive Of Rockland County!

Date: Saturday October 31, 2009

Time: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Location: Thom Kleiner For County Executive HQ
120 North Main Street
New City, NY

2. Raid The 36th Annual Village Halloween Parade

Join The Manhattan Young Democrats & Show Your Outrage Over Republican Bloombucks Buying Another Term. Come Dressed Like A Billionaire And Ready To Take Action! We Will Be Handing Out $8 Bloomberg Bucks To Remind The Crowds That “Eight Is Enough”.

Date: Saturday October31, 2009

Time: 6:15pm

Location: Meet @ Corner of Varrick Street & Laight Street

NYSYD Statement On Hiram Monserrate: RESIGN! New York State Young Democrats Praise Senate President Malcolm Smith and Conference Leader John Sampson  for the Creation of a Committee to Debate Whether Further Disciplinary Action for Senator Monserrate is Necessary

President Malcolm Smith and Conference Leader John Sampson announced the creation of a special committee to discuss potential additional disciplinary action for Senator Hiram Monserrate resulting from his conviction on misdemeanor assault charges.

The New York State Young Democrats President Matthew Silverstein called for Senator Monserrate to resign stating that, “Senator Monserrate’s actions and his prosecution severely identify questions of his character as an elected official.  I join many others in calling for his resignation so that the State of New York can move on to the important state-wide issues on the agenda.”

Silverstein went on to commend the Senate Democratic leadership for creating the committee, which will be chaired by Senator Eric Schneiderman and consist of a majority of Democrats.  “The actions taken by Senators Smith and Sampson demonstrate our Democratic commitment to strong moral character and that actions, like those of Senator Monserrate, will not be tolerated or ignored.  I entrust that the State Leadership will seriously consider the findings of this committee and urge all of the other New York State Senators to vote in favor of expelling Senator Monserrate.”

The New York State Young Democrats Women’s Caucus echoed Silverstein  by stating that Senator Monserrate should resign or be expelled as an illustration that domestic violence should not be tolerated or ignored.  Co-Chairs Julienne Verdi and Kathleen O’Hagen stated, “Domestic violence is a serious problem in New York State, nationwide and internationally.  Senator Monserrate’s behavior with his female companion cannot and will not be ignored.  We hope that this egregious situation will shine light on this often hidden issue.”


The New York State Young Democrats are the official youth arm of the New York State Democratic Committee. The New York State Young Democrats represent young democrats between the ages of 16-36 in all of New York’s sixty two counties.

If you would like more information on this topic, or to set up an interview with New York State Young Democrats President Matthew Silverstein or New York State Young Democrats Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Julienne Verdi and Kathleen O’Hagen, please contact New York State Young Democrats Communication Director Jennifer Royer at

Resolution in Support of H.R. 1283, The Military Readiness Enhancement

Last night the New York State Young Democrats Executive Committee approved the following resolution….

Sponsored by the New York State Young Democrats

WHEREAS, Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have served and continue to serve honorably in the United States Armed Forces; and

WHEREAS, the Armed Forces are weakened when competent and qualified individuals are involuntarily discharged solely due to their sexual orientation; and

WHEREAS, the National Defense Authorization Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-160) created the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; and

WHEREAS, under the restrictions of the current policy, an average of two service members are discharged from the military every day simply due to their sexual orientation; and

WHEREAS, over 13,000 service members – the equivalent of 3 ½ combat brigades – have been discharged as a result of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;” and

WHEREAS, in the last five years, while our country has been engaged in two wars, the military has discharged over 800 mission critical troops under of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” including over 50 Arabic linguists; and

WHEREAS, up to $1.3 billion in taxpayer money has been wasted discharging otherwise qualified troops under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;” and

WHEREAS, it costs the military at least $60,000 to recruit and train each new service member, and much more to prosecute and pursue separations under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;”

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats hereby supports H.R. 1283, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Get Back Into The Fight

“For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.”

These words have been used a lot over the past few weeks as the nation remembers Senator Edward Kennedy. Indeed, they are of particular relevance when considering the issue of health care reform and its impact on the millennial generation. Many critics have said lately that my generation has gone AWOL from this battle. Well consider this is a plea to my generation to get back into the fight.

The millennial generation is the largest uninsured demographic in America, with only 1 in 3 living with health insurance. In 2007 approximately 13.2 million young people were uninsured. Young people are especially vulnerable to the rising costs of health care. The price tag of individual health coverage, which is expected to reach over $16,000 in 2040, is already sprinting past $5,000 annually. More and more young people are incapable of purchasing even the most basic coverage plan. This leads to a higher rate of worker absenteeism due to preventable illnesses, which in turn decreases production and results in poorer economic performance. So why pass comprehensive reform? As James Carville once so succinctly put it, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Health care reform is the single most important issue that faces the millennial generation. Too often the millennial generation walks around feeling young and indestructible, and not interested in old people issues. This is an attitude that we must correct before someone gets hurt. Health Care Reform was the dream and the life mission of the late Senator Kennedy. He might have passed the torch, but now we must be the ones who carry it across the finish line. If we truly are the next generation of American leaders, we must show that we are as passionate as Senator Kennedy was regarding this issue. If we do not act now, millions of our young brothers and sisters face the risk of getting sick and without proper health care coverage someone is going to get hurt or possibly die.

I encourage all millennials to make sure you voice is heard in this fight. Contact your elected representatives and make sure that they know just how important Health Care is to you. Attend Health Care Reform rallies to show you support this issue. Go to a Health Care Town Hall and participate in the debate. Just because we were the driving force behind the election of President Barack Obama does not mean the work stops there. We must support the President efforts to continue the cause of Senator Kennedy life. It is up to us to insure that the dream lives on.

Matthew Silverstein is 27 years old and is the President of the New York State Young Democrats, an organization which represents identified Democrats from ages 16-36 throughout the State of New York.

MY Letter To The Editor – Allow Gays In Military


Queens Chronicle – Thursday, September 10, 2009

Allow gays in military 

 Dear Editor: 

 On the campaign trail, President Obama spoke out against the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in our armed forces. Now, as commander in chief, the president has a chance to do something about it.

All qualified Americans should be able to serve openly in the military regardless of sexual orientation.Don’t ask, don’t tell is the only policy that mandates firing a person because of their sexual orientation. Nearly 13,000 service members have been discharged from the military since it was put in place. Of those, more than 800 have skills considered to be “mission-critical.”

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act would repeal don’t ask, don’t tell and allow all qualified Americans to serve openly regardless of sexual orientation. 

The time is now for President Obama to fulfill his campaign pledge to end this discriminatory law that prevents brave men and women from serving their country. It’s time for the president to partner with Congress to pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act and get rid of don’t ask, don’t tell once and for all. 

Matthew Silverstein 
President, New York State Young Democrats

Goodbye Senator Kennedy

Goodbye Senator Kennedy

Dear New York State Young Democrats,

I never met Senator Kennedy in person but I remember attending a meeting at the Senator’s Washington D.C. office last year. As I was sitting in the reception area waiting for his staff to meet with me, I was awe struck by all of the pictures of Senator Kennedy, his family and the world leaders the Senator met during his political career. Senator Kennedy was larger than life and I was saddened yesterday to hear that the Liberal Lion of the Senate had lost his long battle with brain cancer.


As President Barack Obama said yesterday, “our country has lost a great leader who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time”. Senator Kennedy helped push through the Americans with Disabilities Act, he extended prescription drugs to seniors, he helped to ensure health care coverage for children from low income families and he was a champion of Civil Rights.


Senator Kennedy’s 1980 Democratic National Convention speech still is a very powerful message for all of us today: “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die”. The work does go on, the cause does endure, the hope does still live and we must not let the dream die.

Kennedy Brothers

I believe that  now is the time for Young Democrats all across New York State to join together, start local chapters in areas where Young Democrats have no voice, and let our elected officials know where we stand on health care reform, equality for all New Yorkers, education and any other issue that matters to you.

Senator Kennedy has passed the torch to our generation, but we must now be the ones to carry that torch. This is our opportunity and we must not let our beloved friend down.

I need your help now more than ever!

There are still places in New York where Young Democrats have no one or no place to turn to. Please join me as we work to strengthen the New York State Young Democrats and ensure that our voices are heard.

For more information on the New York State Young Democrats or on how to start a chapter, please visit our website at

Matthew Silverstein

NYSYD Executive Committee Adopts Health Care Resolution

On July 23, 2009 The New York  State Young Democrats Executive Committee Adopted The Following Resolution….

CONCERNING: Comprehensive Health Care Reform 

WHEREAS, the New York State Young Democrats believe all Americans, regardless of life station or social position, have a right to high quality, affordable Health Care; and,

WHEREAS, one in six or 45 million Americans are currently uninsured and another 20 million are underinsured, which places and expensive burden upon the nation’s emergency services and proliferates contagious diseases; and,

WHEREAS, young people aged 18-29 comprise the largest uninsured group in the United States, with nearly a third living without Health Coverage; and

 WHEREAS, Health care costs have increased 85% in the last ten years, with the expectation of exponential increases in years to come, forcing as many as 72 million Americans onto the roles of the uninsured by 2040; and,

 WHEREAS, the increasing costs of Health Care will lower the take home wages of Americans by nearly $25,000 in 2040, detrimentally impacting the United States’ Gross Domestic Product and saddling future generations with insurmountable national debt; and,

 WHEREAS, the Obama-Biden Health Care proposal seeks to expand coverage, improve quality, lower costs, expand preventative care, and promote innovation and advancement in medical technologies, at an affordable cost to America; therefore,

 BE IT RESOLVED, the New York State Young Democrats and its members actively recommend and encourage the passage of President Obama’s Health Care plan to the members of the 111th Congress; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, New York State Young Democrats officially and publicly add its name to the growing list of progressive organizations which support the Presidents Health Care plan.

Happy Pride!

rainbow smiley face

Dear New York State Young Democrats,

As President of the New York State Young Democrats, I would like to wish everyone in the LGBT community a very happy Pride!  This is a very special year, as this marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and the birth of the LGBT Liberation Movement.

As the 39th annual Gay Pride Parade marches down Fifth Avenue, I urge all young democrats to remember what is at stake this year. Homosexual couples still are unable to marry in New York State. True equality is within our reach, but we need your help! I urge everyone to join our Marriage Equality Campaign and remind your State Senators that we demand equality now!

Please visit our campaign at

Remember that together we really can make a difference, and someday soon we will truly have Equality.

Matthew Silverstein


NYSYD Executive Committee Votes To Supports Same Sex Marriage

On Tuesday April 21, 2009 the New York State Young Democrats Executive Committee on behalf of the New York States Young Democrats adopted the following resolution supporting Same Sex Marriage in New York State.

(Sponsored By NYSYD President Matthew Silverstein & NYSYD Executive Vice President Ben Jakes-Johnson, GLBT Caucus Jessica Teicher, YDA Secretary Stephanie Hausner, NYSYD Secretary Tajian Jones, NYSYD National Committeeman Dustin Hausner, NYSYD National Committeewoman Kate O’Hagen, NYSYD Council Of Presidents Chair Chris Smith, NYSYD Labor Caucus Chair Michael Corbett, YDA Organizing Director Joe McNearney)

WHEREAS, the New York State Young Democrats support all efforts to afford equal protection under the law to New York State citizens regardless of race, religion, gender, disability and sexual orientation;

WHEREAS, same gender couples, opposite gender couples, and their families are equal under the New York State Constitution and equally deserve the protections and happiness of marriage;

WHEREAS, civil union does not mean marriage;

WHEREAS, equal marriage will promote and protect the happiness and well-being of same gender couples and same gender attracted youth and adults;

WHEREAS, Governor David Paterson’s Marriage Equality Program Bill would amend the Domestic Relations Law to give same-sex couples the opportunity to enter into civil marriages. It would mandate that all provisions of State law be construed to encompass same-sex marriages, consistent with the legislation’ s intent, regardless of whether they use gender-specific or gender-neutral terms. As a result of this legislation, same-sex spouses would enjoy the same legal status and treatment under New York law as heterosexual couples, on issues such as property ownership, inheritance, health care, and insurance coverage.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats Executive Committee on behalf of the New York State Young Democrats, enthusiastically supports the passage of Governor David Paterson’s Marriage Equality Program Bill to end legal discrimination against same sex couples and recognizes the fundamental civil right of marriage to promote the happiness and well-being of all couples.