Letter to Mr. Joseph Lhota

October 25th, 2013

Mr. Joseph Lhota
Joe Lhota for Mayor
51 East 42nd Street
Suite 1502
New York, NY 10017

Re: Commercial Attacking de Blasio’s record on crime

Dear Mr. Lhota,

As an organization dedicated to enhancing the democratic process, the Executive Committee of the New York County Democratic Committee would like to express its displeasure with your most recent commercial and refute the claims made therein. Our mission is to help elect candidates who share our progressive views and ideals, but we also strive to increase the electorate. Every political season, the District Leaders in New York County talk to eligible voters and many are apathetic and turned off by the dirty tactics candidates use to disparage their opponents. In a City of more than eight million people, it is rather telling that only seven hundred thousand New Yorkers cast a ballot in this year’s Primary Election.  The next Mayor will face incredible challenges and the voters deserve a vigorous debate on the City’s most pressing issues.

Instead, this commercial distorts Mr. de Blasio’s positions on crime and it preys on people’s darkest fears and prejudices. It is very reminiscent of the Willie Horton ad used by the George Bush campaign during the 1988 Presidential Election. The images chosen elicit memories of a tense and difficult time in the City’s history but as you know, New York is the safest big city in the world. We’ve come a long way but there are still inequities in our approach to policing and Mr. de Blasio cannot ignore the impact “Stop, Question, and Frisk” has on communities of color. It is indeed possible to protect and preserve personal liberties while keeping the City safe.

You have a formidable professional resume and a strong base of support in the City’s Republican Party. It is unwise and unnecessary for you to resort to tactics used by your counterparts in Washington. I ask that you cease running the ad and issue an apology for the offensive images and conclusions expressed in the commercial. The New York County Democratic Committee supports Democrats exclusively but we are dedicated to expanding the electorate and making sure all New Yorkers have a voice in the political process. Commercials like yours do not help this cause and actually exacerbate voter apathy.


Keith L.T. Wright
County Leader

Thank You!

Dear New York County Democratic Committee,

On Thursday, September 16th, we held our Annual Meeting of the County Committee for 2013 in Chelsea. I want to thank all of the district leaders and the active members of the party for recruiting and filling a large number of vacancies throughout the County. We emerged from the meeting stronger than ever, and I look forward to working with the District Leaders to mobilize the County Committee’s support of grassroots Democratic efforts.

During this meeting, members of the County Committee selected the following officers:

Chair: Domenico Minerva
Vice Chair: Maria Luna
First Vice-Chair: Louise Dankberg
Second Vice-Chair: Bob Botfeld
Third Vice-Chair: Benjamin Yee
Treasurer: Darrell Pastor
Vice-Treasurer: Tom Schuler
Sergeant of Arms: Earl Scott

I am honored and humbled that you voted to re-elect me as the County Leader at the September 2013 Executive Committee meeting. Please know how excited I am to serve you again, and how ready I am for any challenges ahead. New York County sets the standard for excellence. I ask for your support as I do my best to promote progressive values and to engage voters all across the borough.

Congratulations to our new district leaders Pedro Cardi (65th AD Part B), Arthur Schwartz (66th AD Part A), Theresa Richardson (68th AD Part A), Julia Torrence (70th AD Part C), Gabriela Rosa (72nd AD, Part B), Maria Morillo (72nd AD Part A), and Carolina Rivera (74th AD Part A).

Further congratulations to the newly elected officers of the Executive committee. The officers are:

Chair: Louise Dankberg
Vice Chair: Jenny Lam Low
Secretary: Maria Luna

This election season has been quite dynamic; from the sensationalism of the Mayoral race to the hard fought victories garnered by our future Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James. I am immensely proud of her historic win! Now, we must focus our efforts to elect Bill de Blasio as the next Mayor of this incredible City. Thank you again to everyone who made my re-election and the county committee meeting such a huge success!

With appreciation,

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

Judicial Convention

Dear Democrats,

On September 17th, the New York County Democratic Committee held its 2013 Judicial Convention. We pride ourselves in selecting the most qualified and diverse judicial candidates. This year there were fourteen candidates for Supreme Court:

Hon. Arlene Bluth
Hon. Raymond Bruce
Hon. Arthur Engoron
Hon. Kathryn Freed
Hon. Marcy Friedman
Hon. Barbara Jaffe
Hon. Debra James
Hon. Tanya Kennedy
Hon. Kelly O’Neil Levy
Hon. Andrea Masley
Hon. Peter Moulton
Hon. Robert Reed
Hon. Lori Sattler
Hon. Anil Singh

All judicial candidates go through by an independent screening panel comprised of bar associations and local civic and community organizations. The 2013 independent screen panel found all of the fourteen candidates to be highly qualified. This made the selection process difficult for our Judicial delegates, but the they selected Debra James, Anil Singh, and Peter Moulton. The New York County screening panel process has ensured that only qualified candidates with the right judicial philosophy are deemed appropriate for selection, and this successful group will prove the panel proud.

I would like to thank this year’s panel members and it’s administrator for their hard work and dedication. The nomination of members of the judiciary is one of the most important responsibilities of the County organization, and I take pride in the integrity of the process and will continue to ensure that the candidates are as diverse as our great city.


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

2013 Supreme Court Independent Judicial Screening Panel Report

The following were approved by the Independent Judicial Screening Panel for consideration for the three (3) 1st Judicial District Supreme Court vacancies to be elected at the general election on November 5, 2013:

Hon. Arlene Bluth
Hon. Raymond Bruce
Hon. Kathryn Freed
Hon. Marcy Friedman
Hon. Tanya Kennedy
Hon. Kelly O’Neill Levy
Hon. Andrea Masley
Hon. Robert Reed
Hon. Lori Sattler

In addition to the above, the following candidates were previously qualified by Independent Judicial Screening Panels and remain eligible for consideration:

Hon. Arthur Engoron
Hon. Barbara Jaffe
Hon. Debra James
Hon. Peter Moulton
Hon. Anil Singh

We extend our gratitude to the Panel and its Administrator, Tracee E. Davis, of Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP, for their diligent work.

Thank you,

Curtis Arluck and Louise Dankberg


Judiciary Committee

Upcoming Events

New York County Judicial Cocktail Party
Thursday, August 29th, 2013, 6PM to 8PM
25 West 18th Street
5th Floor
New York, New York 10011

New York County Committee Convention
Monday, September 16, 2013, 6PM to 8PM
Chelsea SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street
New York, New York 10011

New York County Judicial Convention
Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 6PM to 8PM
Chelsea SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street
New York, New York 10011



Supreme Court Screening Panel

On July 8th, the New York County Democratic Committee announced the formation of an Independent Screening Panel to report on candidates for the nomination of the Democratic Party for three (3) vacancies on the New York State Supreme Court, 1st Judicial District (New York County), which will be filled in the November general election. The heads of numerous bar associations, community organizations and law schools nominated the following members to the panel, which will be directed to report a total of no more than the nine (9) most highly qualified candidates for the three (3) vacancies:

Designating Organization
First Name
Last Name
The New York City Bar Mitchell Auslander
Association of Black Women Attorneys Tamika Bent
Puerto Rican Bar Association David B. Cabrera
LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York Jason Davidson
Dominican Bar Association Brent English
Columbian Lawyers Association Elizabeth Filardi
Jewish Lawyers Guild Norman Flitt
Brehon Law Society James P. Gilroy
Cardozo Law School Sanford Hausler
West Side
SRO Law Project
Luis Henriquez Carrero
NAACP Mid Manhattan Branch Jennifer Jones
Womens Bar- NYC Chapter Eve Jordonne
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York Karen Kim
Asian Americans for Equality Steve Madra
GMHC Mona Moayad
Asian American Bar
Association of New York
Yasu Saito
New York State Trial Lawyers Assn. Josh Silber
Metropolitan Black Bar Association Asha Smith
CUNY Law Nicole Smith
Commercial Litigation Section, NYSBA Vincent J. Syracuse
Urban League Raquel A. Thompson
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys Munonyedi Ugbode
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Adam John Wolff



2013 Demmy Awards

The first ever Demmy Awards was an absolute success! With a unique and fun-filled Broadway theme and an outstanding turnout of democrats from across New York, the ceremony is being referred to as the “gold standard” for political events.

The New York County Democratic Committee was thrilled by the opportunity to honor so many hardworking individuals and organizations committed to improving their communities and pushing the democratic agenda forward. Whether they are fighting for every day New Yorkers or making our City a more just place, these folks are truly the spirit of this party. It’s because of them that New York County is the democratic capital of the nation!

The Courage Award: New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

Lifetime Achievement Award: Tony Bennett

Canyon of Heroes Award: Mike Fishman and Randi Weingarten

Bella Abzug Award: United State Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Spirit of New York Award: Actors Equity Association

Heart of New York Award: Born for Broadway

Governmental Scholar Award: United States Congressman Jerrold Nadler

Rookie of the Year Award: West Harlem Progressive Democratic Club

Manhattan Democrat of the Year Award: Louise Dankberg and Stuart Shorenstein

Young Democrat of the Year Award: Camille C. Joseph

Herman D. Farrell, Jr. Democratic Club Award: Broadway Democrats and Three Parks Independent Democrats

Major Civil Rights Victory and Set Back in Supreme Court Decisions This Week

This has been quite an eventful week for the United States Supreme Court, as we have experienced great highs and lows.

On Tuesday, the Court struck down a critical component of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, one of the towering achievements of the Civil Rights Era. This was a truly sad day for this country. The Court deemed that the criteria used to determine areas in which voter discrimination is prevalent no longer applies today. In effect, the Supreme Court gutted voting rights protections for millions of Americans and some states are already moving to implement voter suppression laws.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been a great success. Voter discrimination has decreased in recent decades because of this great legislative achievement. To remove this provision of the Act indicates that voter discrimination is no longer an issue in this country, and that is simply not the truth. Too many people have worked too long and too hard to see the Supreme Court make a decision like this one.

After the disappointment of Tuesday’s events, the Supreme Court made the right decision on Wednesday. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.

A movement that began in our great state of New York, and where two years ago Governor Cuomo signed a law that ended marriage discrimination, has finally received the national attention that it deserves. The time has come for America to join the list of progressive nations that promote marriage equality. There is still much work to be done in this fight, but yesterday was a great day for this nation. I commend the Court for this decision.

-County Leader Keith Wright