Brooklyn political club New Kings Democrats (NKD) has adopted a reform platform for the Kings County Democratic Committee (AKA Brooklyn Democratic Party) with a major plank being to help elect over 1,000 Brooklynites to the 3,000+ seats on the Kings County Democratic Committee.
The #RepYourBlock (www.repyourblock.com) campaign builds on NKD’s successful track record of helping elect over 500 Brooklynites to the Kings County Democratic Committee since 2009.
Seats on the Kings County Democratic Committee serve as entry level positions for Brooklyn Democrats to represent their local neighborhoods within their political party and to get involved in local politics. However, the positions often go unfilled, leaving decision-making on judicial candidates, the Democratic Party’s nominee in special elections, and the Democratic party platform to 42 well-connected and mostly unopposed District Leaders.
“New Kings Democrats is proud to launch this collaborative effort to draw attention to the potential the County Committee has for voter and civic engagement, and the great need for reform needed to fulfill this potential,” said NKD President and County Committee Member Anusha Venkataraman.
Two fellow political reform clubs – the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID) and Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform (PHDR) – have also signed on to the Rep Your Block.
“CBID has always been committed to bringing people into the Democratic process and the Kings County Democratic Committee is great way to get people involved in the political decisions that guide the party in Brooklyn,” said CBID President Benjamin Solotaire, who is also a county committee member. “Using online platforms, like this one developed by New Kings Democrats, to help recruit and inform people about ways they can have an impact in Brooklyn Democratic politics is a great step towards the goals of transparency and reform.”
PHDR and County Committee Member Raul Rothblatt noted that while New York used to be leader in innovative legislation, it has now by some measures to have become the worst state.
“One example was pointed by FiveThirtyEight.com: It’s Far Harder To Change Parties In New York Than In Any Other State. No wonder we’ve come to the point that New York ranks 46th in voter turnout, just behind Tennessee,” said Rothblatt.
“Luckily, we have new optimism that the current leadership of the Brooklyn Democratic Party is receptive to these proposals. As Lin Manuel Miranda wrote, ‘Corruption’s such an old song that we can sing along in harmony, And nowhere is it stronger than in Albany,’ and we are here to write a new song. We urge all New Yorkers to support this proposal,” he added.
The effort to increase participation in Brooklyn’s Democratic Party is part of a multi plank platform that the NKD recently adopted to make the political body more progressive.
Other planks include reforming ethics in the Kings County Democratic Committee so that support by the party is withheld for any politician who has been convicted of a felony due to corruption or malfeasance related to their public or party office; improving the judiciary so that Brooklyn’s judges and judicial candidates better reflect the values of the party and borough; increasing political participation countywide by lowering the threshold for participation and organization; and improving committee meetings by increasing participation of members and barring any one person from holding more proxy votes than the number of County Committee members currently serving in his or her district.