NKD Executive Committee Status Quo Remains In Power

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In a case of do as I say and not as I do, The New Kings Democrats (NKD) might have been somewhat successful in challenging the status quo of the Kings County Democratic Party Executive Committee last year, but when it comes to their own executive committee the status quo is doing just fine.

This was reflected in last night’s yearly re-organizational meeting at the YWCA on 3rd Avenue in Boerum Hill when six of the eight-member executive board was re-elected without a challenge in the room.

New Kings Democrats at a recent holiday party. Photo by Hassan Bakiriddin.

Re-elected for another term were President Brandon West, Vice President of Policy Mariana Alexander, Director of Membership Becky Steinberg, Treasurer Fred Lapolla, Vice President of Political Affairs Emily Hoffman and Director of Communications Jessica Thurston.

Only Chief of Operations Jesse Pierce was replaced with Jessica Baker Vodoor. The new Vice President of Organizing is K. Sage Rockermann, who replaced Angela Lascala-Gruenewald, 

The lack of new faces on the executive board was not lost on NKD member, Alicia Bonner, who pushed for fellow club participants run for office next year.

“I think that all of you guys are super qualified and this year is gonna be great but I would issue a challenge to everyone else that next year every position should be contested,” said Bonner. “If you think you have it in you to serve on the executive committee, you should run for the executive committee. We are Democrats and we believe in democracy, and competitive elections. We should live our values here not just out there.”

West, in his remarks, looked back on the possibly over-ambitious year NKD had in 2018. Group projects like Vision Project (VP) and Rep Your Block (RYB) were largely successful. West cited that RYB canvassed more than half of what the governor’s team did for re-election, and Vision Project had 15 workshops this passed year.

Similarly he proposed NKD remember to keep up with the ideals they impose on others.

“We have to offer ideas when no one else does. We  need to lead by example by how we do our work. So we have to, if we want transparency and accountability we need to do that internally for ourselves,” said West. 

VP was started as a 2016 initiative by NKD. Currently it involves interactive conversations with Brooklyn residents to, “what would make the Democratic Party better: more reflective of our values and more effective at creating the kind of society we want.” These conversations are focused on how to make community members more involved in democracy, and sharing issues.

The club will hold their last VP workshop on Jan 27. Following that, Bonner, and other NKD members will create a mission statement for the borough in February.

As the new Vice President of Organizing, Rockermann plans to help newly elected Kings County Democratic Committee members with their new responsibilities as an extension of RYB. She also had her sights set on getting members ready for the 2020 election year.

“Twenty-twenty will be a really big year for NKD, both with Rep Your Block happening again and also elections,” said Rockermann. “So everything that we do in 2019 should be looking forward and making sure that we have the organizing teams and infrastructure in place so that when the time comes we are ready to go.”

According to a former KCP article, RYB, “has NKD club members going to various assembly districts throughout the borough in an attempt to get people to become part of the Democratic Party County Committee, the first step to active participation in local party politics.