A View From The Left: Brooklyn’s Progressive Clubs Party Hearty


Brooklyn’s most progressive Democratic Clubs celebrated along with City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D- Bushwick, Greenpoint, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, East New York, Brooklyn Heights, Sunset Park, and Williamsburg) the purging of all the elected officials they deemed not ideologically pure in this year’s elections.

All involved at the holiday party agreed that their largest accomplishment of the year was the removal of the six state senate members of the chamber’s Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), the breakaway and more moderate Democratic Party group that forged a ruling coalition with the then majority Republicans.

In Brooklyn, this included former IDC member State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, who lost to State Sen.-elect Zellnor Myrie.

Progressive Democrats celebrated several key wins in the last election. Photo by Hassan Bakiriddin.

“A lot of good happened in this town in this past election. The first thing that happened is we took the IDC to the dictus,” said Stringer, to the revelers at Basquiat’s Bottle, 1198 Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant. “We cleaned out the cavity of every Democrat who acted like a Republican, we got rid of every last one of them and then we brought the state Senate back to the democratic party, and so much of Brooklyn was a part of that.”

Members and leaders from the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Independent Neighborhood Democrats, Brooklyn Young Democrats, Sunset Park Latino Democrats, the Ernest Skinner Political Association, North Brooklyn Progressive Democrats and New Kings Democrats exchanged ideas with the other groups over cocktails and red wine at Basquiat’s Bottle, 1198 Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

New Kings Democrats President Brandon West, left, with two other partygoers. Photo by Hassan Bakiriddin.

Advocacy and Policy Strategist, Na’ilah Amaru, who works with multiple Brooklyn political clubs thought it was interesting to see so many groups who normally work independently come together and believed the groups had a lot to celebrate in terms of increasing voter turnout.

“The grassroots organizing, voter mobilization, and civic engagement took us through the finish line with the civic majority for a Democratic senate in Albany,” said Amaru. “Without question that’s our biggest accomplishment in terms of why we exist as organizations. The numbers that showed up on November 6 reflect that.”

Velázquez rose to the stage triumphantly to speak to the Brooklyn progressive clubs about all that they accomplished, and how much it meant to her.

“Let me just say this, I am just so excited when people ask me how are you doing- I’m doing great, because of these movements, these progressive grassroots movements,” said Velázquez. “That not only did they gave us [U.S. Rep.-Elect] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but you got the message that even though we were agonizing by the actions taken by this president, we said don’t agonize, organize, and indeed that is what you have done, to the point that we have won in red districts.”