Welcome Democrats!

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PROGRESS- LEADERSHIP- INCLUSION- ACTION

Welcome to the New York County Democratic Committee website! Here you’ll find important information regarding upcoming events, relevant news and photos, and information about how to get involved.

New York County is the most historic and important democratic region in America. Each day we carry the banner for progress while fighting to make our borough one of inclusivity and pride. We are elated to welcome you to that fight.

Democrats believe that all people deserve the ability to pursue their dreams and fulfill their potential. We fiercely protect and promote access to opportunity for all New Yorkers, and we believe in lending a hand when necessary and unifying to meet our community’s collective challenges.

Join us.

Keith L.T. Wright
County Leader, New York County Democratic Committee

Announcing the Meeting of the 30th Senate District Committee

As per the September 17, 2021 proclamation issued by Governor Kathy Hochul, a vacancy exists in the office of the Member of the Senate of the State of New York from the thirtieth Senate District in New York County, caused by the resignation of Brian A. Benjamin.

In order to select a Democratic Nominee for the Special Election to be held on November 2, 2021, the Manhattan Democratic Party will hold a nominating meeting of the 30th Senate District Committee on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 10:00am.

For additional details: https://manhattandemocrats.org/sd30-2021/
Contact: manhattandems@gmail.com

Manhattan Democrats Press Release on Results of August 5, 2021 Judicial Convention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 6, 2021

Last night the New York County Democrats gathered to nominate two fantastic jurists, Judge Margaret Chan and Judge John “J.J.” Kelley, for the New York State Supreme Court for the First Judicial District. Opened by County Leader Keith L.T. Wright, chaired by New York County Democratic Committee Chair Domenico Minerva, and organized by Executive Director Kyle Ishmael, Law Chair Darren Marks, and District Leader Arthur Schwartz, the Convention required significant logistics to verify attendees’ vaccination status and stagger check-in to minimize the amount of time necessary for the over 180 Delegates and Alternate Delegates to spend indoors. We would also like to thank our host, the School of Visual Arts Theater, for accommodating these logistical needs.

The Convention nominated Acting Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan for the first vacancy. Judge Chan has both been reported out of the New York County Democratic Party’s Independent Judicial Screening Panel twice as highly qualified and been found highly qualified by the Independent Judicial Commission. Having been on the bench for 14 years, Judge Chan has extensive experience over her 9 years as an Acting Supreme Court Justice overseeing complex cases and trials, and is well-known for her important, well-reasoned, and clear written decisions in important cases that have been repeatedly upheld by the Appellate Division. As an immigrant from Hong Kong who has made New York her home for nearly 50 years and who began her career as an immigration attorney working with Ben Gim, the first Asian American attorney to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Chan is an exemplar of the commitment to merit, character, and diversity that Manhattan Democrats look for in their New York State Supreme Court Justices.

For the second vacancy, the Convention nominated Acting Supreme Court Justice JJ Kelley. Reported out twice by the New York Democratic Party’s Independent Judicial Screening Panel as highly qualified, Judge Kelley has served as a jurist for 17 years, serving as an Acting Supreme Court Justice since 2018. As an Acting Supreme Court Justice, he presided over 58 complex jury trials before COVID and has completed 5 jury trials since COVID began and made such trials even more complex. A former volunteer firefighter and ambulance driver, his calm, capable, but affable court demeanor continue to support New York County’s reputation for the electing the most meritorious and civic-minded jurists to handle the legal disputes that New Yorkers find themselves bringing before our courts.

While we are thrilled to put forth such highly-qualified and meritorious nominees, we were disappointed and dismayed that the New York State Legislature has not allowed for virtual meetings since it repealed the Governor’s emergency powers and the Governor declared an end to the pandemic emergency on June 24th. With COVID cases once again on the rise due to the Delta variant, bodies such as the New York County Democratic Committee’s Judicial Convention need the option to conduct business remotely to reduce the risk of large gatherings to the health of the public and to our members, especially those who are immunocompromised or have pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID infection. We call on the Legislature and Governor to temporarily amend the Open Meetings Law or allow for an executive order doing the same so that organizations across the state can conduct business virtually once again as infections rise and the risk to New Yorkers’ increases.

The New York County Democratic Committee is the official home for Manhattan Democrats. The livestream of the Convention can be found on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/262700364088/videos/781088335893140

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Results of the 2021 Supreme Court Independent Screening Panel

On July 22, 2021, the Supreme Court Independent Screening Panel concluded its deliberations and reported out as most highly qualified the following candidates:

Hon. Judy Kim
Hon. Suzanne Adams
Hon. Leslie Stroth
Hon. Gerald Lebovits
Hon. Shahabuddeen Ally
Hon. Phaedra Perry

The screening panel, administered by Janice Grubin and consisting of Teny Geragos (Armenian Bar Association), Yasuhiro Saito (Asian American Bar Association of New York), Bobby Lee (Asian Americans for Equality), Joseph Thompson (Brehon Law Society), Maeve Glass (Columbia Law School), Albert Broccolo (Columbian Lawyers Association), Donald Zolin (Jewish Lawyers Guild), James Lee (Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York), Yolette Green (Mid-Manhattan Branch of the NAACP), Katrina Jefferson (National Action Network), Richard Abend (New York State Trial Lawyers Association), Jocelyn Jacobson (New York Women’s Bar Association), Ethan Rice (The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (Le-Gal)), and Erin Hurley (Women’s Trial Lawyers Caucus) extensively reviewed the background and experience of a number of applicants and determined these well-deserved candidates would be most qualified to vie for two (2) open positions on the Supreme Court, to be filled at the general election set for November 2, 2021.

On behalf of the Manhattan Democratic Party, County Leader Keith L.T. Wright and Judiciary Co-Chairs Curtis Arluck and Louise Dankberg, we sincerely thank the panel and its administrator for their diligent work and congratulate tonight’s applicants who join the following candidates reported out of previous panels:

Hon. Paul Goetz
Hon. Lisa Sokoloff
Hon. Machelle Sweeting
Hon. Dakota Ramseur
Hon. Sabrina Kraus
Hon. Louis Nock
Hon. JJ Kelley
Hon. Cori Weston
Hon. Margaret Chan
Hon. Althea Drysdale
Hon. Lyle Frank

Manhattan Dems Announce the Formation of the 2021 Supreme Court Independent Judicial Screening Panel

The New York County Democratic Committee has announced the formation of an Independent Screening Panel to report on the qualifications of candidates seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party for two (2) vacancies on the New York State Supreme Court to be elected in the November 2021 general election. The heads of numerous bar associations, community organizations and law schools have been invited to nominate members of the panel, which will be directed to report a total of no more than the six (6) most highly qualified candidates for the two vacancies.

Candidates for the nomination may obtain applications from Kyle H. Ishmael, Esq., executive director for the New York County Democratic Committee, via email at manhattandems@gmail.com. The deadline for submitting completed applications is Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 5:00 PM.

Announcing the Results of the 2021 Civil Court Independent Screening Panel

On the evening of February 8, 2021, the Independent Judicial Screening Panel for Civil Court reported the following candidates as most highly qualified: Judge Paul Goetz, Christopher Chin, Edward Irizarry, E. Deronn Bowen, George Santana, Harold Bahr, Hasa Kingo, Kim Parker, Terence McCormick, Betty Lugo, Jeffrey Zellan. On behalf of the Manhattan Democratic Party, County Leader Keith L.T. Wright and Judiciary Co-Chairs Curtis Arluck and Louise Dankberg, we sincerely thank the panel and its administrator for their diligent work–and we congratulate the candidates.

2021 CIVIL COURT INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL SCREENING PANEL

The New York County Democratic Committee has announced the formation of an Independent Screening Panel to report on candidates for the nomination of the Democratic Party for two (2) vacancies on the New York County Civil Court and up to five (5) seats in the Municipal Civil Court Districts, all of which will be voted on in the November 2021 general election. The heads of numerous bar associations, community organizations and law schools have been invited to nominate members of the panel, which will be directed to report no more than three of the most highly qualified candidates for each seat.

Interested candidates for the Court may obtain applications from Mr. Kyle Ishmael, the Executive Director of the New York County Democratic Committee, via email at manhattandems@gmail.com beginning immediately. The deadline for submitting completed applications via email is December 21st at 5:00PM. Questions concerning this year’s panel should be directed to Mr. Ishmael via email or the New York County Democratic Committee office at (212) 687-6540.

UPDATE: December 21, 2020
The screening panel for Civil Court 2021, administered by Jacqueline Silbermann, consists of:
Hung Ta | Asian American Bar Association of New York
Uel Rheem | Asian Americans for Equality
Edward Harrington | Brehon Law Society
Kellen Funk | Columbia Law School
Massimo F. D’Angelo | Columbian Lawyers Association
Eric Seiff | Fortune Society
Robert Godosky | Jewish Lawyers Guild
Michelle Lee | Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York
Dena DeFazio | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL)
William Guilford | Metropolitan Black Bar Association
Mojoyin Onijala | Mission Society
Alberto Gonzalez | Mobilization for Justice, Inc.
Derek Perkinson | National Action Network
Leslie Kelmachter | New York State Trial Lawyers Association
Lakimja Mattocks | New York Urban League
Susan Bender | New York Women’s Bar Association
Alicia Neal | Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation

The 2020 Democratic Nominees for NYS Supreme Court 1st Judicial District are…

On Monday, August 10th, the newly-elected Democratic Judicial Delegates of the 1st Judicial District met during what was the New York County Democratic Committee’s very first virtual judicial convention.

Over 350 Democrats and guests joined virtually in an act of transparent democracy as the Manhattan Democratic Party sought to ensure high participation despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A large, diverse group of highly-qualified candidates were nominated by our diverse Manhattan electorate. After all voices were heard, the following candidates were selected as the 2020 Democratic Nominees for the 1st Judicial District election on November 3rd:

Hon. Carol Sharpe
Hon. Ta-Tanisha James
Hon. Melissa Crane
Hon. David Cohen

The Results of the 2020 Supreme Court Independent Screening Panel

On July 28, 2020, the Supreme Court Independent Screening Panel concluded its deliberations and reported out as most highly qualified the following candidates:

Hon. Suzanne Adams
Hon. Judy Kim
Hon. Lyle Frank
Hon. Josh Hanshaft

The screening panel, administered by Josh Silber and consisting of Christopher Carfora (Brehon Law Society), Michael Weiner (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association of Greater New York), Lola Omoyosi (Mobilization for Justice, Inc.), Morgan Fraser Mouchette (New York Women’s Bar Association), Souren Israelyan (Armenian Bar Association), Joseph Fan (Asian Americans for Equality), Ira Pollack (Jewish Lawyers Guild), Tracey Salmon-Smith (Women’s City Club/Women Creating Change), Stephane Howze (Fortune Society), Christine Vetter (Columbian Lawyers Association), Leneer Hutchison (Association of Black Women Attorneys), George N. Zapantis (Hellenic Lawyers Association), Christina Nguyen (Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York), Monsurat Adebanjo (Mid-Manhattan Branch of the NAACP), Brian Brown (New York State Trial Lawyers Association), Max Levine (Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Inc.), Karlyne Fequiere (Metropolitan Black Bar Association), Lenore Kramer (Women’s Trial Lawyers Caucus), extensively reviewed the background and experience of a number of applicants and determined these well-deserved candidates would be most qualified to vie for at least three (3) open positions on the Supreme Court, to be filled at the general election set for November 3, 2020.

On behalf of the Manhattan Democratic Party, County Leader Keith L.T. Wright and Judiciary Co-Chairs Curtis Arluck & Louise Dankberg, and interim co-chair Sylvia DiPietro, we sincerely thank the panel and its administrator for their diligent work; and we congratulate tonight’s applicants who join the following candidates reported out of previous panels:

Hon. Carol Sharpe
Hon. Tatanisha James
Hon. Gerald Lebovits
Hon. Paul Goetz
Hon. Melissa Crane
Hon. Lisa Sokoloff
Hon. Machelle Sweeting
Hon. David Cohen
Hon. Dakota Ramseur
Hon. Sabrina Kraus
Hon. Louis Nock
Hon. JJ Kelley
Hon. Cori Weston
Hon. Margaret Chan
Hon. Althea Drysdale

Manhattan Dems Announce the Formation of the 2020 Supreme Court Independent Judicial Screening Panel

The New York County Democratic Committee has announced the formation of an Independent Screening Panel to report on the qualifications of candidates seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party for three (3) vacancies on the New York State Supreme Court to be elected in the November 2020 general election. The heads of numerous bar associations, community organizations and law schools have been invited to nominate members of the panel, which will be directed to report a total of no more than the nine (9) most highly qualified candidates for the three vacancies.

Candidates for the Court may obtain applications from Kyle H. Ishmael, Esq., executive director for the New York County Democratic Committee, via email at manhattandems@gmail.com. The deadline for submitting completed applications is Friday, June 19, 2020, 5 P.M.

Manhattan Democratic Party Calls on Cuomo to End Petition Challenges Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

As we all act to readjust our everyday lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that we recognize that the lives and well-being of all are paramount. This includes the government employees tasked with ensuring free and fair elections in our modern democracy.

While elections are an essential part of society—especially in an important election year—we must be thoughtful about how we exercise democracy while protecting human life.

As stated by Keith L.T. Wright, County Leader of the Manhattan Democratic Party, “it’s time to shut down the Board of Elections offices, as a matter of public safety. People are dying. We need to end petition challenges now and let the hardworking staff at the Board of Elections focus on preparing for the June primary safely.”

The Manhattan Democratic Party calls on New York State—either through legislative action or executive order of the governor—to end all petition challenges for the 2020 election cycle; and ensure that government employees are fully protected against this virus and only called upon to provide truly essential services in preparation for our upcoming elections in June and November.