MYD Statement On CUNY Funding

The Manhattan Young Democrats stand with the CUNY University Student Senate, and call for the Governor to rescind his proposal to cut CUNY’s state funding.  For further information, please see our official statement attached.

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February Issues Assembly

Greetings Young Democrats,

Our most recent Issues Assembly meeting on February 23 was informative, engaging and exciting… as always!

We were joined by two members of the Village Independent Democrats who brought our attention to an urgent matter on the energy front. Spectra Energy is spearheading the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project to more than double the capacity of a pipeline that passes through the Hudson Valley near the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Any accidents at Indian Point Energy Center, located 25 miles from New York City, pose a huge threat to the millions of people living in the tri-state area.

The risk is twofold.  First, the Algonquin pipeline’s proximity to Indian Point (within 105 feet) could undermine the safety of construction on the pipeline, increasing the threat of a nuclear accident. Second, once constructed, any gas leak in the pipeline itself could compound the nuclear threat even further.  As such, our guests from VID shared a growing sentiment that an independent safety analysis must be done by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), who authorized the project, before the pipeline is built. The members of the Issues Assembly passed a resolution to support the call for this safety assessment!


In the wake of our Issues Assembly, we’re happy to report that these concerns have been acknowledged at the highest level of state government. On February 29th, Governor Cuomo addressed a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) instructing that it hold off on green-lighting the AIM project until the safety analysis is complete. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, Cuomo’s letter is only a recommendation and not a guarantee for action. The Manhattan Young Democrats will continue to monitor this issue’s progress or lack thereof.

We continued on with a discussion of Mayor De Blasio’s proposal for a new streetcar line, the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) and what the line’s establishment would mean for several waterfront neighborhoods, current public transit riders, etc. One important question raised was regarding what quality of service the BQX would provide that would make it superior to an express or regular bus and whether the draw of a light rail over a bus would be enough of an added benefit. We didn’t draw any conclusions and hope that this will be a continued discussion in the coming months.

In the city that never sleeps, it is to be expected that there will always be a barrage of issues that captivate the citizens. That is what makes our Issues Assembly and the forum that it provides so valuable. The three Ps (platform, passion and of course pizza) join together at the Issues Assembly, leading to robust exploration of policy issues affecting New York.

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2016 Director Applications – Now Open!

Applications are officially open for 2016 MYD Directorships!

2016 is going to be a big year, and we’re looking for great people to join our team. If you’re interested in getting more involved with MYD this year, take a look at our open positions below.

Applications for the positions listed are due by Tuesday, December 22nd at 5 PM.  Interviews will then be conducted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.  We ask all candidates to please be prepared to attend your first Board meeting as early as January 5th, should you be appointed.

To apply, simply fill out the form at the bottom, and email it and your resume to:

Director Descriptions (in no particular order):

  • Political Director – The Political Director is responsible for tracking elections, candidates, appointments, and any legislative issues of interest to MYD. The Political Director will also assist in developing and managing campaign strategy and mobilization for MYD this election season, including volunteer recruitment and deployment (both in and out of the state).  Additionally, the Political Director will help ensure that MYD has a strong presence amongst the local clubs.  The Political Director reports to the President.
  • Policy Director – The Policy Director is responsible for maintaining and updating the internal policies of MYD, and developing the policy platform and agenda for MYD, in consultation with the Executive Board and the general membership.  The Policy Director will also consult on all policy programming.  Additionally, the Policy Director will be eligible to chair the monthly Issues Assembly meetings.  The Policy Director reports to the President.
  • Technical Director – The Technical Director is responsible for maintenance and development of the MYD website, and general web presence.  The Technical Director will also maintain all MYD email accounts, and will be responsible for developing new tools to aid in the efficient and effective operations of MYD.  The Technical Director reports to the President.
  • Membership Director – The Membership Director is responsible for growing the general membership of MYD and building membership participation, including the coordination of volunteer and other service opportunities to get members involved. The Membership Director will also maintain up-to-date membership lists.  Additionally, the Membership Director will be eligible to chair the monthly Issues Assembly meetings.  The Membership Director reports to the Vice President.
  • Programming Director – The Programming Director is responsible for coordinating all regular MYD programming.  Such programming includes the organization of Learning Labs and other training sessions of subjects of policy and politics.  The Programming Director will also coordinate speakers and presenters for general body meetings, as well as for any panel discussions organized by MYD.  Additionally, the  Programming Director will be eligible to chair the monthly Issues Assembly meetings.  The Programming Director reports to the Vice President.
  • Finance Director – The Finance Director is responsible for raising funds by tracking donors and finding new sources of funding for the organization.  The Finance Director will also assist the Treasurer in filing reports and meeting deadlines.  The Finance Director will work closely with the Events Director in planning fundraisers.  The Finance Director reports to the Treasurer
  • Events Director – The Events Director is responsible for planning and executing special events for the organization. These events may include, but are not limited to, fundraisers, conventions, general meetings and campaign invasions. The Events Director will also organize space and logistics for all regularly scheduled MYD meetings, including general body meetings and Issues Assemblies.  The Events Director reports to the Secretary.
  • Creative Director – The Creative Director is responsible for developing and maintaining consistent design and branding across all MYD communications and resources.  Anything produced by the organization for public consumption, with the exception of standard documents on letterhead, must have consult of Creative Director. The Creative Director reports to the Secretary.
  • Communications Director – The Communications Director is responsible for regular media outreach and communications on all mediums, including social media.  The Communications Director is also responsible for messaging, in consultation with the Secretary, to whom the Communications Director reports.
  • College & University Liaison – The College & University Liaison will act as a liaison between the MYD Executive Board and local colleges and universities, and will coordinate and implement recruitment efforts at these institutions.  The College & University Liaison reports to the Executive Board.
  • High School Liaison – The High School Liaison will act as a liaison between the MYD Executive Board and local high schools, and will coordinate and implement recruitment efforts at these institutions.  The High School Liaison reports to the Executive Board.

MYD Director Application:

Please submit answers to these questions, along with your resume, to by 5pm on Tuesday, December 22nd.



Phone Number:


MYD events attended in 2015:

Please answer the following questions.

1) What is your vision for the Manhattan Young Democrats for 2016? Give some concrete examples of initiatives you would like to undertake before the end of the year.

2) Why do you think you’re a good fit? Please list relevant experiences you would draw from and strengths you could bring to the position you are applying for.

3) Serving on the executive board of MYD is a significant time commitment. How committed will you be as a member — how would you be able to fit your leadership responsibilities within your current schedule? Please list your commitments outside of your employment (i.e. leadership positions in other clubs).

4) Give an example of an issue that’s important to young New Yorkers and how you would, from your position, engage our membership to take action on that issue.

5) (Optional) Is there anything else you think the Officers should know about you before reviewing your application?


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Why Should You Join a Democratic Club?

New York City Democratic Clubs have a rich and storied history, which has been explored at length in books such as Machine Made and Plunkitt of Tammany Hall (both of which I highly recommend.)

No matter where you live in Manhattan, chances are there is a Democratic Club in your neighborhood. So why join a local club? Well, there are a few practical reasons.

1. You care about your neighborhood
This is the most local of local politics, and since elected officials often attend club meetings and events, it will give you an opportunity to ask questions and alert them to issues.

2. You might want to run for office one day
If you have aspirations of running for office, or just getting involved in local elections, joining your local club will give you the opportunity to connect with your elected officials, and meet people who live in your neighborhood.

3. You don’t like traipsing all over the city
One great thing about local clubs is that they generally hold meetings in the neighborhood, so it’s a lot easier to make it to meetings, and perhaps grab a drink with your fellow club members afterwards.

4. You care about the judiciary
This is especially important if you are an attorney, because local clubs generally play an important role in selecting Democratic nominees for civil court judge.

Now, it is true that not all Democratic clubs are created equally, and depending on your interests, you want to find a club that best suits you. Some clubs focus on issue activism, others focus on judicial politics. Some clubs don’t do much of anything. So don’t be afraid to ask around, reach out to your local elected officials, attend some events, and see which organizations seem like the best fit.

The Manhattan Democratic Party has a good list of local clubs:

If you live on the Upper East Side, I’ll make a shameless plug for my local club, the Four Freedoms Democratic Club, of which several MYD’ers are members.

Getting involved in a local club may not seem that important, but remember that most of the elected officials serving now in New York started out in a local club. Clubs elect District Leaders, State Committee Members, and County Committee members, and these folks often go on to run for office. So even if you’re not interested in running yourself, being involved means that you get to play a role in the local process, and in helping to build the bench of new talent in the Democratic Party.

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2016 Officer Applications

Once again it’s election time for MYD!  Every year the members of the club vote for our leadership. In order to run for an officer position you must fill out an application which is then distributed to the membership to read.

Officer positions are President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. These positions will be elected at the November meeting (per the changes to the Constitution and By-Laws approved tonight) by dues paying members.  The meeting will be held Tuesday, November 17 at 7pm.

To run for these positions you must have attended at least one MYD event in 2015 and be a dues paying member for 2016 (which can be paid at the Holiday Party in December).

Please submit Officer Applications to me at president [@] with the subject line “2016 Officer Application” by 6PM on Monday, November 2nd.  Applications will then be posted to the blog for the general membership to read and review no later than November 3rd. The Officer Application is below.

MYD Officer Application

To be voted on at the November MYD General Meeting

Submitted applications (not including contact information) will be available on for the membership to view no later than two weeks prior to the election.

Applicants must be a 2016 dues paying member

Please submit to no later than Monday, November 2nd.


Position Running For:


Phone Number:



MYD events attended in 2015:


Please answer the following questions.


1) What is your vision for the Manhattan Young Democrats for 2016? Give some concrete examples of initiatives you would like to undertake before the end of the year.


2) Why do you think you’re a good fit? Please list relevant experiences you would draw from and strengths you could bring to the position you are running for.


3) Serving on the executive board of MYD is a significant time commitment. How committed will you be as a member — how would you be able to fit your leadership responsibilities within your current schedule? Please list your commitments outside of your employment (i.e. leadership positions in other clubs).


4) What 3 (three) issues would you consider most important to New York?


5) What do you see as the biggest challenge to engaging young voters? In broad terms, how can we make changes to correct it?


6) (Optional) Is there anything else you think MYD’s membership and leadership should know about you before reviewing you application?

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Constitution & By-Laws Changes – For Review

Hello everyone! We’ve got some exciting news. One of the major goals our President set for the Executive Board this year was to give our governing documents a makeover and to bring them up to speed with the current state of the organization.  So, for the last several months, our Board has been hard at work developing proposals to clean up and update our Constitution & By-Laws.  We believe that what we have developed will strengthen our organization for years to come.

We will be voting on the proposed changes at our October General Meeting this month.  In preparation for this vote, the proposals are presented below.  Full copies of the revised documents will be available at the General Meeting.

For any questions, please reach out to me @


Proposal 1: Cleanup and Clarify Language and Sentence Structure

As the Constitution and By-Laws have been improved upon over the years, understandably little effort has been made to ensure that additions followed a standard sentence structure. This includes how numbers are written (with the full word, followed by the number itself in parentheses), the use of “the” before abbreviating MYD, capitalization of “Officers” and words like “Constitution”, the tense in which requirements are listed, whether the Vice President is “Executive” or not, and where in the sentence caveats are placed (such as “subject to…”). Additionally, some of the language can be too cleverly written to understand and simply needs to be unwound, or is unclear as to what kind of members or meetings are being referred to (general, voting, Board, those in good standing, present, etc). Some is unnecessarily repetitive (like respelling out the process of run-off election voting, even though it’s the same as the regular vote), or in some instances, there are simply typos (such as referring to “the Executive Board Member” under Article IX Section 1 Sub-Section (g) of the Constitution, instead of “the Officer”, even though it’s about Officer removal).

We propose correcting these inconsistencies, so that our Constitution and By-Laws are easy to follow and navigate, and ensure that they are never accidentally contradictory.


Proposal 2: Standardize and Adjust Time Lengths

Keeping track of how long we have to complete the tasks of our organization is difficult. And with the hodgepodge of time lengths in our Constitution and By-Laws, these duration often end up being ignored, with the knowledge that no one will challenge them, because no one else can keep track either.

Therefore, we propose standardizing time lengths overall to follow a 7 day (or one week) pattern. Additionally we propose altering some to more effectively serve our organization. Specifically, we propose making candidates for office apply 4 weeks prior to election (rather than 2) and make their application available 2 weeks (rather than 1) in Article III Section 2 of the Constitution, notifying Officers in writing 14 days prior to the final Board meeting on their removal (rather than 15) in Article IX Section 1 Sub-Section (g) of the Constitution, and requiring 7 days notice of both Board and general meetings to respective parties (rather than 5 and 10 days respectively) in Articles IV and VIII Section 2 of the Constitution.


Proposal 3: Add Secretary to Line of Succession

In order that the seemingly implied succession of Officers may be carried out without objection, in the event that warranting circumstances should come to pass, we propose formally adding the Secretary to the line of succession. Specifically, we propose specifying such succession in Article III Section 3 Sub-Section (d)Article IV Section 3 and Article VIII Section 1 of the Constitution.


Proposal 4: Specially-Designated General Body Meetings

There are times when special meetings must be called for various special functions of our organization. A meeting to amend the Constitution is a prime example. Luckily our Constitution and By-Laws are consistent in specifying that such meetings require a 3/4 affirmative vote of the Board in order to be called. But one instance could easily be altered on its own, which would risk confusion. Consequently, we propose that a section be added to Article VIII of the Constitution specifically codifying “specially-designated general body meetings” and the 3/4 requirements for such meetings to be called. Additionally, we propose simply replacing language on alternative meetings in Article X Section 1 of the Constitution and Article III Section 1 of the By-Laws with “specially-designated general body meetings.


Proposal 5: Financial Flexibility

The President and Treasurer are not always in the same room, but, for MYD to operate effectively, our ability to pay for services in an efficient manner is imperative. Recognizing this, we propose amending Article V Section 3 of the By-Laws,by formally adopting the current practice of allowing either President or the Treasurer to sign checks. Additionally we propose amending Article V Section 2 of the By-Laws to include the names of both the President and the Treasurer on all bank or investment accounts, as representatives of our organization.


 Proposal 6: Budget Committee

In order to ensure that budgeting decisions are properly considered, and in order to ensure participation in such budgeting decisions is more open to participation, we propose the formation of a Budget Committee. Specifically, we propose adding a section to Article V of the By-Laws stating that a Budget Committee shall be appointed within the first two months of a new Officer term, shall be chaired by the Treasurer, and consist of at least 2 additional Board members, not including the President (who shall be ex-officio). It shall also state that this Committee shall meet to review appropriations on a quarterly basis.


Proposal 7: Expand Non-Discrimination

In order that we may exemplify the highest ideals of the Democratic Party of the State of New York, we propose expanding our language on non-discrimination, so that it falls more in line with that of the New York State Division of Human Rights. Specifically, we propose amending Article II Section 2 of the Constitution to include military status, marital status and gender identity.


Proposal 8: Voting Membership Requirement

In order that we may more seamlessly interface with our larger chartering organizations, we propose clarifying our language on voting membership requirements. Specifically, we propose amending Article II Section 3 of the Constitution to specify “first and last name”, “mailing address”, “date of birth (including day, month and year)”, and “email address”.


Proposal 9: Cleanup Officer Removal

Formal Officer removal is both an unfortunate and very serious occurrence. As such, the rules around such actions should be crystal clear and fair to all those involved. Therefore, we propose the following amendments to the officer removal process in Article XI Section 1 of the Constitution. First, that an Officer being removed must be notified of the initial motion for removal within 7 days of said motion. Second, that the Ethics Committee that investigates the motion must include at least one Board member, as chosen by the general membership. Third, that the general membership does not require quorum in order to make their Ethics Committee selections (as this would be nearly impossible). And finally, that all parties calling for removal must be present at the Board meeting at which final removal is ultimately considered.


Proposal 10: Expand Officer and Cabinet Attendance Requirements

While our current Constitution contains a provision requiring the attendance of Officers at Board meetings, no such provision exists for attendance at any other MYD functions. Nor is there any requirement of any kind for Cabinet member attendance. We hope to always be represented by those to whom attendance, and more importantly engagement with members, is a foregone conclusion. However, the extra incentive of a mandate and the threat of removal would help ensure that those to whom it is not foregone may take their positions more seriously.

Thus, we propose amending Article III Section 4 of the Constitution to include a provision that if an Officer misses 3 consecutive general meetings, it is grounds for formal removal, subject to written warning before the 2nd absence. Additionally we propose that both this provision and the provision on missing 3 consecutive Board meetings, which already exists, be mirrored in a new section of Article VIII of the By-Laws for cabinet members (with dismissal by the Officers or a 2/3 vote of the Board replacing formal removal procedures).


Proposal 11: Standardize Election Timing

Traditionally, elections of MYD Officers have taken place in the first month of the year, with the transition to new leadership occurring immediately thereafter. However, there is no constitutional provision stating that this must be the case, nor do we believe it should be going forward. Electing new Officers a bit before the exit of the old would allow for smoother transitions and sharing of knowledge (as well as help us avoid the unpredictable weather we faced last year). It would also allow ample time to plan before diving in, which would help ensure that one year terms begin in earnest from month one.

Therefore, we propose adding a Sub-Section to Article III Section 2 of the Constitution, stating that Officer elections shall take place at November general meetings, with Officer terms commencing the following January.


Proposal 12: The Issues Assembly

In the past year MYD has conducted an experiment. In the beginning of the year, the new leadership decided to combine all remaining Standing Committees into one body, which would address all of their issues. The reasoning was that the Standing Committees as they existed generally consisted of only a small handful of members. Often that small group was actually the same members from committee to committee, which stretched interested parties far too thin. And while the newly established Issues Assembly still has kinks to work out, it has been one of the more consistent successes of the past year.

Hence, we propose formally adopting the Issues Assembly under Article VII of the By-Laws and removing all other language in that Article on other Standing Committees and Committee Chairs. Specifically, the Issues Assembly shall be said to occur on the last Tuesday of the month, shall function as a Standing Committee (as defined in the Constitution), shall periodically elect Members-at-Large as representatives to the Board (the number of which shall be designated by the Board at the beginning of the year), and shall be chaired by the Vice President or a specific cabinet level designee, as determined by the Officers. Should the Issues Assembly become overwhelmed, or should the general membership or leadership of MYD choose to revert back to the old committee structure (or another structure entirely), no significant changes shall be made to Article V of the Constitution (which provides the backbone for the MYD Committee structure), other than the relocation of committee Chair election procedures to the By-Laws (for more flexibility).


Proposal 13: Board Reorganization

The leadership of an organization should be representative of that organization. Its power structure should exemplify this notion, while also allowing for efficient distribution of responsibility. These principles apply to MYD as they would to any democratic organization. But as the Board of MYD, we feel that, while the overall nature of our leadership structure is sound, the details on how we achieve those principles do not do our members sufficient justice.

As a result, we propose the following changes to the structure of the MYD leadership. Each of the four Officers shall be assigned purview over a given set of regular MYD functions. This shall extend to the oversight of cabinet level appointees whose responsibilities fall within said purviews. Specifically, the President shall oversee all political, policy and technical matters, the Vice President shall oversee all programming and membership matters, the Treasurer shall oversee all finance and fundraising matters, and the Secretary shall oversee all matters around event logistics, communications and messaging. Article III Section 2 of the Constitution shall be amended to reflect these designations. Additionally, the cabinet of MYD shall be combined and expanded into the following positions under Article VI Section 1 of the By-Laws: Political Director, Policy Director, Technical Director, Membership Director, Programming Director, Finance Director, Events Director and Communications Director. The first 3 shall report to the President, the next two to the Vice President, Finance to the Treasurer, and the last two to the Secretary. The College and High School Liaisons (as currently codified in Article VI of the Constitution)shall be moved under the same section, to be treated as cabinet level positions, and shall report to the full Executive Board. Supplementary positions may be added as needed, but must be outlined explicitly in writing prior to appointment.

In addition, we propose that the Executive Board and its power structure be reorganized. First, a clear delineation of voting verses non-voting members of the Board shall be established in Article III Section 1 of the Constitution (with Delegates and Deputies falling into the latter category, as is current practice). And second, all decisions regarding cabinet level appointments, financial appropriations, rules regarding participation in charter organizations, and Board resolutions shall be subject to confirmation and approval of the Officers. Lastly, we propose that District Leaders should be able to request Delegates, in addition to Assembly members and Political Clubs, in Article VII Section 1 of the Constitution.


Proposal 14: Standardize Amendment and Resolution Procedures

Amending the Constitution and By-Laws of MYD is something to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, the language in our Constitution and By-Laws on the topic of amendments and resolutions is inconsistent, and has resulted in persistently unclear editing of these documents over the years.

Thus, we propose the following solutions. First, we propose adding a section to Article X of the Constitution stating that all amendments proposed for adoption must be presented in writing to the Board at least 14 days prior to consideration, a mirror of a section already in Article III of the By-Laws. Second we propose adding sections to both Article X of the Constitution and Article III of the By-Laws stating that all amendments made from here on out shall be either explicitly footnoted or codified as separate articles at the end of each document. Third, we propose specifying in Article III Section 6 of the By-Laws that membership resolutions must be adopted at formal MYD meetings. And finally, we propose amending Article III Section 1 of the By-Laws to say that amendments of the By-Laws can be adopted by a simple majority vote, rather than 3/4. This will allow for greater flexibility in organizational specifics as MYD changes from year to year, while still maintaining the stringency of our constitutional amendment process. 


Proposal 15: Reorder and Reorganize the Articles and Sections of the Constitution and By-Laws

In keeping with the theme of making our Constitution and By-Laws easier to follow, our final proposal is a mass reorganization and reordering of the Articles, Sections and even Clauses of these documents. The order in which we propose to present the information follows what we feel is the most logical and understandable flow of information. In addition, we propose adding more references throughout both documents to other sections and articles, so as to help guide readers as they make their way through.

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