NKD Says Get Involved


The New Kings Democrats (NKD) urged Brooklyn residents to participate in local politics last night at their annual monthly meeting.

About three dozen politically informed Brooklynites were in attendance, including Boroughwide Civic Court Judge candidate Edward King, and 6th Municipal District Civil Court Candidate Chinyelu Udoh. The district includes Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

The NKD defines themselves as a progressive, grassroots political organization committed to bringing transparency, accountability, and inclusionary democracy to the Kings County Democratic Party.

At last night’s gathering in a nondescript air-conditioned room with folding chairs at the YWCA, 30 3rd Avenue in Boerum Hill, NKD Vice President of Organizing K. Sage Rockermann explained the importance of everyday citizens participating in local politics.

One of the best ways, according to NKD members, to get involved is by becoming a member of the County Committee. With this in mind the NKD created #RepYourBlock, a community-led campaign that assists Brooklyn residents in running for office.

Photo by Denise Ladji.

Members guide aspirants through the election cycle by processing petitions and holding neighborhood events. #RepYourBlock is a coalition of groups and does not officially endorse any candidates, they merely guide them through the process.

As KCP has reported, though, the #RepYourBlock initiative has received criticism from communities of color, who have accused the NKD of political gentrification.

In any case, #RepYourBlock proponents believe the salient benefit of being a County Committee member is having the power to put a check on any corruptions occurring locally.

After asking the group what their motivations would be for joining the Committee one said, “because Frank Seddio shouldn’t be able to spend $15,000 on Christmas lights!”

This was met with slightly rueful laughs from the room. Seddio’s name was thrown around more than once and nary in a positive light. Yet when asked if the NKD bears grievance with anyone in particular President Brandon West said,  “Our grievance is with the [voting process] not being easy and transparent enough for voters to understand.”

The NKD sought to demystify how local judges are chosen and stressed the importance of the position.

“While the process in which we choose them [judicial candidates] is flawed, they have an impact on people’s lives and its important to understand what they do and get the best information as possible about them and make an informed vote,” said West.

According to the NKD website, they have not made any endorsements in Tuesday’s Judicial races.