Manhattan to Pleasantville for Justin Wagner!

This past Sunday, 18 intrepid NYC’ers set out for Pleasantville, New York to help turn the New York State Senate blue!  MYD joined with Greater NYC for Change and Citizen Action NY to knock on doors for State Senate candidate Justin Wagner, this year’s best chance for a Democratic pick-up.

10678664_10154736979385230_8408108764390495984_nAs canvassing goes, you can’t do much better than the Hudson Valley in the fall. We broke up into teams of two and headed out on foot to talk to voters. A lot of people weren’t home (hey, it was a beautiful day!) but the people we did talk to were very nice, and there was a lot of support for Justin.  All told we knocked on over 500 doors!
10675689_10154736979065230_3152569080194944148_nOf course, the day wouldn’t have been complete without lunch at the Pleasantville Diner.

There are 22 days until the election, and there are still plenty of opportunities to help. Interested in volunteering in the next few weeks? Check out one of these great events:
Canvass for Dom Recchia in Brooklyn on October 19th

Canvass for Terry Gipson in Cold Spring on October 25th

Phone bank for Democratic candidates

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Sahand Shahrabani- September Member of the Month


MYD’s newest Member of the Month is Sahand Shahrabani!  Sahand joined MYD earlier this year after relocating from San Francisco to NYC.  Within a few short months, he has quickly become one of MYD’s superstar members!  He is a constant presence at all of MYD’s meetings and events, and also contributes to MYD’s blog.  He has also represented MYD at a variety of events, including the Eric Garner march (which he blogged about HERE), the People’s Climate March, and AFL-CIO’s 9/11 Health Watch Benefit.  He is also an elected member of the Queens County Committee.

Sahand was actively involved with the San Francisco Young Democrats before he moved to NYC.  When he arrived in NYC, he knew that he needed to become involved in New York’s Young Democratic scene, as it would be a great opportunity for him to network and meet like-minded people.  Sahand found MYD simply by googling “Young Dems” and “NYC”!  We’re so fortunate that we can attract awesome members this way!

Sahand’s love for politics began at an early age: “I got involved with politics at a young age passionately following elections and was intrigued by the fascinating and exciting structure of political campaigns. Although I didn’t get seriously involved in politics until late in my college years. Off the top of my head, I’d have to say my favorite memory in politics, was witnessing President Obama become elected, it was truly a great moment in our nation’s history.”

While there are many issues that are near and dear to Sahand’s heart, his current signature policy is youth engagement: “[It] has been something I’ve been extremely passionate about.  Election after election, young people continue to be labeled as being uninformed or uninterested.  For me, I hope to do my part to change this unfortunate stereotype.”

Sahand’s favorite thing about living in NYC so far is the ability to experience a new environment and meeting amazing people.  Admittedly though, the hardest part about living in New York for Sahand has been learning to navigate the subway system: “I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten lost on the subway!”

You can meet Sahand and other active young MYD members at our next general body meeting on Tuesday, October 21st at 7pm at the Gramercy Park Bar (322 2nd Avenue)

Learn more about how you can become involved in MYD on our membership page.

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THIS SUNDAY (is the most important Sunday in a long time)

THIS SUNDAY, 9/21, is the People’s Climate March. MYD will meet outside Starbucks at 388 Columbus Ave between 75th and 76th at 10:30am  Please Please wear the color blue so we stand out!  Email Kate our Green Committee chair with any questions: green[at]gomyd[dot]com
PCM 921
The People’s Climate March will be the LARGEST CLIMATE MARCH in history with hundreds of thousands of people planning to participate!!
The march is timed around the UN summit on the climate crisis in NYC. With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.
The MOST important thing to note is this really is not just a climate event, it’s a justice event and it affects each and every one of us. Buses are coming in from across the country to make this the largest climate march on record. We need to be there!
This is not just an environmental issue–it’s a justice issue. Please see below for more info and contact me with questions or concerns.
  • Logistics (here they are!)
  • Lineup  (we are marching in the “We Have Solutions” section)
  • Our “Hub” (government & political groups)
Ready to march?? Hooray!! Email Kate our Green Committee chair with any questions: green[at]gomyd[dot]com
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The Morning After

It’s the morning after the primary! Congrats to all the victors, but just as importantly- THANK YOU to everyone who ran in the first place! It’s a courageous thing to participate in the democratic process- gathering signatures, fundraising, and canvassing.

Now that we know who will fall under the “D” column in November we are gearing up for a solid 2 months of campaigning for #NYSBlue. How can you help?

First and foremost, bookmark this page and signup for our newsletter if you haven’t already. Then take note of these upcoming events:

  • We want to train you on how to campaign! Take this survey so we know exactly how to make YOU the best campaigner!
  • SUNDAY 9/14 State Attorney General Eric Schniederman is kicking off his re-election campaign on the steps of City Hall at Noon! We endorsed him last month so join the party! RSVP by emailing finance[at]gomyd[dot]com
  • TUESDAY 9/16 MYD General Meeting we’ll be at the Gramercy Park Bar (322 2nd Ave) with Dan Garodnick and your favorite young liberals! Let us know you’ll be there
  • WEEKEND OF 10/12-10/13 We’re going on the road to Pennsylvania! Help our neighbors in PA go blue! Contact/RSVP VP[at]gomyd[dot]com
  • TUESDAY 10/7 OPEN BAR with State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli- Yes, you read right: OPEN BAR with Tom DiNapoli- You MUST RSVP TO ATTEND, do so HERE

Don’t forget what’s at stake here: Women’s Rights, the DREAM Act, and Income Inequality come to mind- Let’s do this young dems!!

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I’m voting for the best Governor; not the best manager.

Please Note: MYD does NOT endorse any candidate in a Democratic Primary. The views expressed below are solely those of the author.

First things first – views stated here are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the opinions of any organizations or other individuals. You should vote your conscience tomorrow, Tuesday 9/9 (find your poll site here).

If you’re a progressive you should be voting for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu with no qualms.

Sadly, this is not the case for many. The most common and deceptive argument I’ve heard is that Andrew Cuomo is an effective governor while Zephyr Teachout has no experience. That the Governorship is not a trivial job and running New York State is not a job for anyone – it is a job for Andrew Cuomo so suck it up.

This insidious argument is one of the most common false dichotomies in politics and one of the roots of voter antipathy. In America, our leaders – especially our executives – are more than functionaries. The Governor IS a non-trivial job. They appoint agency heads, who are responsible for the day to day management of public services; they set the agenda and work to pass legislation so they can execute their vision of government; and most importantly they play a pivotal role in creating the budget, turning our ideals and beliefs in financial reality.

But understand, elections are not primarily there for us to decide who we think will turn ideals and beliefs into governing practices the best, they are there for us to decide on our ideals and beliefs. Implementation is a matter for the civil service but policy is a matter for the people. That’s the real idea of democracy.

Zephyr Teachout has been a professor of government for a long time. She specializes in government corruption – which essentially means how to keep government in the hands of those it is meant to serve. I have no doubt that she understands what it means to be a manager and has what it takes be a Governor. Because ultimately, a one term Senator and community activist can manage the pants off a predecessor who has an MBA and ran an oil company, a major league sports team and a state.

But even if Andrew Cuomo could Governor her into the ground, I don’t care. I don’t care about the bipartisan support he built to lower taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year during the recession. I don’t care how on-time his budget was in slashing $10 billion in services – $5 billion of which came from his own millionaire’s tax cut. And I don’t care about how politically suave he is at keeping his poll numbers up while wriggling his way out of promises or demands on campaign finance reform, corruption, hydrofracking, redistricting and women’s rights. I would honestly prefer a Governor who did ALL of those things late, never or with complete incompetence than the studied quagmire Andrew Cuomo has brought us.

The cynics have one thing right. This election and this position are too important to make a single-issue vote. Which is why I’m not voting for the best manager; I’m voting for the best Governor.

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Mel Farrah- August Member of the Month

NYS Demmy Awards

MYD’s Member of the Month is Mel Farrah! Mel just joined MYD this year after relocating to NYC from Atlanta, and is already one of our most active members. She’s been a rockstar for MYD this year; not only did she attend and represent MYD at the New York State Young Democrats Convention, but she also raised over $1,000 for MYD’s AIDS Walk team.

Although Mel recently moved to NYC from Atlanta, she was actually born and raised in Cambria Heights – Queens, NY.  For Mel, “New York is home, and home will always be my favorite place because it has provided the foundation for all that I have learned thus far.” Mel’s passion for politics began at an early age in her “home” of Queens:

“My grassroots beginnings, ‘sign holding’ with fellow Queens native former Governor Mario Cuomo at the tender age of seven, was just the beginning of my life-long passion for service and politics. Former Assemblywoman Cynthia Jenkins was my first political role-model practically adopted me as her ‘granddaughter,’ taking me to every rally and campaign event she could find.  Our photos from that day made the cover of the local paper – the day our work culminated in the Governor’s election is my favorite; as that was the day it all began to make sense. When people work hard and work together they really can make a difference.”

Mel has worked in social service for several years now.  While she was in Atlanta, she was the former Chief of Staff and Policy Advisor with the Atlanta City Council. In 2007, she joined a government agency, to gain targeted policy and government experience with a social service focused agency.  Now that she is back in NYC, she continues to make a difference in the social service sector:

“Information is essential for breaking negative cycles; poverty, ignorance, violence. I’m a service-oriented politico, with a passion for community service and education – especially civic education, which I believe, is the key to political and economic empowerment for every community. As Board President of a nonprofit that empowers urban youth distinct travel and service experiences, I have seen firsthand how integral information is in facilitating a child’s opportunity to succeed in school and in life.”

Mel found and joined MYD after researching the New York chapters of YDA.  She had positive experiences with the Young Democrats of Atlanta, and was eager to join and become an active member of a YDA chapter in New York.  After moving to the Upper East Side, she joined the MYD chapter after meeting some friendly MYD members at a NYSYD holiday party.  We are thrilled she did, and are lucky to have Mel back in New York and as a member of MYD!



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