2016 Civil Court Independent Screening Panel

The New York County Democratic Committee has announced the formation
of an Independent Screening Panel to report on candidates for nomination by the Democratic Party for two (2) New York County-wide Civil Court vacancies, one vacancy in the 4th Civil Court District, and one incumbent in the 4th Civil Court District, which will be filled in the November 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 most highly qualified candidates for the three Civil Court vacancies.

Candidates for the Courts may obtain applications, via email, from the administrator of the panel, Lucas A. Ferrara, Newman Ferrara LLP, 1250 Broadway, 27th Floor, New York, New York 10001 telephone number 212-619-5400; Email: lferrara@nfllp.com. Questions concerning the panel should be directed to the Panel Administrator, or the New York County Democratic Committee at (212) 687-6540.

Please note: the deadline for submitting completed Civil Court applications is Monday, March 14, 2016 at 5:00P.M.

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#TransparencyTuesday Summary

The Democratic Party is the party of The People. We fight for inclusivity and demand solutions to the inequities that plague communities big and small. Here in Manhattan, we’re using our platform to emphasize the importance of getting involved.

This #TransparencyTuesday we have so much we have to do it over two weeks! This week:

  • Watch a quick video of our Secretary, Ben Yee, explaining how County Committee selected a Democratic nominee for the special Assembly race on the Lower East Side.

Next time:

We’ll update manhattandems.org, with all of the State Committee members – democratic voters’ representatives to the State Party. We’ll also publish an article explaining the importance of their role in the democratic process.

A new map with electoral information everyone needs to know, but many don’t! And who doesn’t love maps?

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The Election You Never Heard Of

Secretary Ben Yee breaks down one of the most important functions of the County Committee and what happened last Sunday.

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Minutes: February 7th County Committee Nomination for Special Election of Assembly Member

For a brief video of how this process works, check out Secretary Yee’s “The Election You Never Heard Of“.

I. Meeting called to order by Jeanine Johnson at 3:05PM

II. Temporary Officer Appointments

  • Credentials chair Cathleen McCadden

  • Chief Teller Domenico Minerva

III. Credentials Chair Report

  • Quorum of 30% present

  • Vacancies

    • ED 13: 2 vacancies

    • ED 14: 1 vacancy

    • ED 15: 1 vacancy

    • ED 37: 2 vacancies

    • ED 38: 1 vacancy due to member not living in District

    • ED 43: 1 vacancy

    • ED 61: 1 vacancy due to member not living in District

    • ED 62: 1 vacancy due to member not living in District

    • ED 67: 1 vacancy

  • Jennie Low moves to approve the report

    • Seconded by Pedro cardi

  • Report approved

IV. Election of Permanent Officers

  • Chair

    • Paul Newell nominated Jeanine Johnson for Chair

    • Justin Yu seconds

    • Jeanine Johnson is elected by voice vote

  • Secretary

    • Karen Blatt nominates Ben Yee secretary

    • Alice Cancel seconds

    • Ben Yee is elected by voice vote

V. Adoption of Rules

  • Domenico Minerva moves to adopt the rules

  • Chung Seto seconds

  • Rules adopted by voice vote

VI. Appointment of Committee to Fill Vacancies

  • Jenifer Rajkumar moves to appoint Domenico Minerva, Jeanine Johnson and Keith Wright

  • Rosie Mendez seconds

  • The appointments are approved by voice vote

— A point of order Point of Order is raised regarding county committee vacancy filling by Samuel Chiera —

  • There was a district Divisional meeting to fill vacancies before the meeting. However, the names were not submitted before 72 hour deadline.

  • An objection was filed by Samuel Chiera

VII. Nomination of Democratic Candidate for the 4/16 Special Election for the Vacant Assembly Seat in the 65th District

  • Speeches – speech order is alphabetical and was determined and agreed to prior to the meeting.

    • Alice Cancel – District Leader

    • Gigi Lee – Community Board 3 Chair

    • Paul Newell – District Leader

    • Yuh-Line Niou- withdrew candidacy

    • Jenifer Rajkumar – District Leader

  • Voting

    • If no candidate receives a majority voting on the first ballot, voting will continue in subsequent ballots. Candidate must receive at least 20% of the vote to pass to the next round of balloting.

VIII. Recess for Counting of the Vote

  • Speeches by representatives from the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns

    • Clinton represented by Melissa Sklarz

    • Sanders represented by Arthur Schwartz

IX. Results

  • Alice Cancel wins in the nomination with 5,870 weighted votes

  • Paul Newell garners 1770.5 weighted votes

  • Jenifer Rajkumar garners 634.6 weighted votes

  • Yuh-Line Niou garners 93 weighted votes

X. Adjournment

  • Alice Cancel addresses and thanks attendees; moves to adjourn

  • Rosie Mendez seconds

  • meeting adjourns at 5:30PM

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February 4th Judicial Committee Minutes

Chair: Curtis Arluck

Co Chair: Louise Dankberg

Membership: Each Assembly District may be represented by one of its District Leaders.

The Judicial Committee chooses organizations which designates members to a screening panel for judicial candidates. Organizations designate panelists, and panelists review judicial candidates, without party input.

I: Panel Administrator Search

  • Candidates

    • Past administrators have been contacted and the committee is awaiting responses. A new Administrator interview date/time will need to be set due to the delay.

    • Committee members are welcome to submit candidates for Administrator.

    • A three year layover is required for Administrators and panelists. They may not serve back to back sessions.

  • Resolution

    • A past Administrator was contacted mid-meeting and accepted the invitation to serve as Administrator again.

    • Since this candidate has served in the past, and most committee members are familiar with him, the Judicial Committee voted for an expedited interview process which would not require a meeting of the whole committee (though everyone is invited)

    • If approved name of the Administrator will be revealed in the official public notice for Judge Applicants in the Law Journal and on ManhattanDems.org

    • The interview was tentatively scheduled for 2/10

II: Organization Outreach

  • Organizations which have agreed to designate a panelist

    • Asian Americans for Equality

    • Korean American Lawyers Assoc

    • LGBT Bar

    • Neighborhood Defenders of Harlem

    • NY State Defenders Assoc.

  • Organizations which have declined to designate a panelist

    • Columbia University Law School

  • All other organizations are pending a response

  • Requirement Review

    • At least 20 organizations should be represented

    • Organizations must be:

      • Non-profit

      • Sufficient affiliation with the County (Manhattan) (Usually satisfied by a local chapter)

      • Sufficient affiliation with the ideals of the Democratic Party

III: New Organization Applications

  • National Hispanic Bar Assoc.

    • Deputy VP Albert Barrueco, Attorney at Pepper Hamilton, addressed the committee

    • Organization wants to be considered for an invite to nominate a panelist

    • Local Chapter President is counsel to NYC Bar

    • Thousands of members nationally

    • Over one hundred members in the NYC area

  • Hispanic Bar invited by acclamation

IV: Organizational Designees

  • Alan Flacks submits Designee from Association of the Bar of City of New York (City Bar Assoc.)

  • Names of organization designees are not released prior to the convening of the panel to prevent lobbying by judicial applicants

V: Old Business (last week)

    • Committee voted to extend invitation to Nigerian Bar Assoc – but question: Does Nigerian bar have NY presence

      • Verified intent to invite Nigerian Lawyers Association not Nigerian Bar Association

      • Nigerian Lawyers Association found to have sufficient affiliation and invite extended by acclamation

    • Committee voted down extending invitation to National Bar Association (National African American bar)

      • The National Bar is represented in the NY region by Joseph Drayton

      • National Bar resubmitted by and voted up for extending an invitation by acclamation

VI: District vacancies in Judicial District 4, 6, 7

      • Judicial Screening Panels

        • District Leaders in the 6th, 7th and 9th are holding their own panels and soliciting groups for designees independently

          • The 9th is an incumbent judge and is non-competitive

        • The 4th is incorporating its screening panel with the County Independent Judicial Screening Panel

        • Judicial Applicants may go before multiple panels and all panels will use same application

VII: Current Timeline (subject to change)

    • 2/17 Law Journal and online Notice for Judicial applicants

    • 2/25 Designees appointed

    • 2/25 Applications begin being accepted

      • A unified application for all panels is suggested and agreed to

    • 3/9 Panel Convenes

    • 5/5 Panel reports out
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How the Iowa Caucus Works

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The #‎IowaCaucus‬ is tonight & it’s unlike any other election. Get to know the process that gets to know the President with this short breakdown.

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Primary Primer III: What Happens At Convention

The primaries are upon us and soon both parties will be selecting their nominees. But if the residents of States vote in the primary, what’s the role of the Party Convention? Where do SuperDelegates fit in? Who is really choosing the Presidential candidate?

As we covered in the last two posts, the Presidential nominee for a political party is not directly elected by all voters. Instead, delegates are selected in a variety of ways; most often exclusively by registered members of a particular party. These delegates are then sent to a party’s National Convention to pick the nominee.

Nothing Is For Sure
Oftentimes it is clear who will win the nomination before Convention. However, even with primaries done and delegates pledged, the results are not predetermined. People can walk in expecting to be the Nominee and walk out an also ran. How? Let’s find out.

Voting Share
Unlike in general elections, representation isn’t necessarily based on the number of residents, or even eligible voters. Instead, every State is given a certain number of delegates proportional to the number of votes people in that State cast for the Party’s Presidential candidate in previous elections. So, the more votes your state give to a Democrat (averaged over the last three elections) the delegates your state gets to the Convention.

Who Can Delegates Vote For?
At the Convention, elected (not Super) delegates are bound to vote for whoever won the primary or caucus in their state; and in the same percentage. So, if a candidate on 40% of the vote, they get 40% of the delegates. Whoever wins a majority of the of Convention Delegates receives the nomination.

If no one wins a majority, delegates are released from their pledges. At this point, horse-trading and deals can be struck in a Brokered Convention. Voting continues through successive rounds until one candidate wins a majority.

The Democratic Party actually changed its rules in 1936 because nomination required ⅔ of the delegate vote and made brokered conventions incredibly common. As a result, many nominees ended up being compromise candidates who weren’t even front-runners before the Convention!

And The Winner Is…
Whoever gets the required majority of delegates becomes that party’s nominee. This candidate will receive the prodigious support that a National Party can offer – from local organizing apparatus (like local parties and Democratic Clubs), to the Party’s political brand and, of course, money.

It is up to the Party to come together after a nominee has been chosen and put aside the differences which were expressed in the primary period. Whatever issues were raised, the job of the primary was to air them and give Party members a chance to make the decision of who would perform best in the General election with their eyes open.

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Primary Primer II: Who Chooses The Presidential Choosers?


The primaries are upon us and soon both parties will be selecting their nominees. But if the residents of States vote in the primary, what’s the role of the Party Convention? Where do SuperDelegates fit in? Who is really choosing the Presidential candidate?

In the last post we saw that many of the delegates are elected. But it’s not always clear who can vote for them. In this post we’ll examine who chooses them.

How Many Delegates are There? Who Can Be a Delegate?

Each state is awarded a set number of delegates based on Party rules. In the Democratic Party, for example, delegates are awarded based on a State’s historical electoral vote and its turnout for the Democratic candidate in previous elections. In this way, more Democratic States are given more voice.

Parties may also set representation goals, requiring that some number of seats be reserved for specific classes such as young members, or members of specific ethnic groups. This is often done to bring delegations in-line with the census report for each State.

Who Chooses the Elected Delegates?

Possibly the most important piece of all this – Delegates are RARELY chosen by voters at large. Even though the media makes it sound like caucuses and primaries are open to all, they generally aren’t. There are four kinds of election processes, each with their own rules.

Closed Primaries

In order to vote in a party’s primary, you must  to be registered with that political party before the election.

Deadlines for registration vary but if, for example, you want to vote in the Democratic Primary and you haven’t registered as a Democrat, you won’t be able to. New York actually has the most stringent laws in the country, with registration deadlines month before the vote.

There are 12 states that use a strictly closed primary process, including:[5][4][6]

Open Primaries

Any voter can vote in one party primary of their choice, regardless of registration. So, it’s basically the opposite of the closed primary.

There are 14 States that use a strictly open primary process:

Mixed Primaries

Mixed primaries are anything that’s not strictly open or closed. They have all sorts of rules ranging from some parties being open and others being closed, to using past voting history to decide in which primary a person can vote.

There are only 8 states which use mixed primaries and you can check out all their rules on Ballotpedia.org.

Blanket Primaries (Jungle Primary)

The least popular kind of primary, everyone can vote and the top vote-getter from each party for a particular office wins. So instead of voting by party, voters vote on candidates for office. But if one Democrat gets 100 votes, another 80 votes and the Republican gets 50; the top Democrat and top Republican both go on to the General election as the nominees of their party.

States which use this system are

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Happy New Year, Manhattan Democrats!

This year promises to be a critical one for our Party. With Republican extremism at full throttle, there’s never been a more urgent need to turn out votes for Dems up and down the ballot. Spread the word about how to get involved today!

Support the local clubs and organizations that make New York County so great. Check out these upcoming events in your neighborhood—

Ansonia Democratic Club
Annual Holiday Party
Sunday, January 10th from 4-6pm
Spring Natural Kitchen
474 Columbus Avenue between West 82nd & 83rd Streets
RSVP here

Concerned Democratic Coalition
celebrate Dia De Los Tres Reyes 
Sunday, January 10th from 4-6pm
Broadway Temple
4111 Broadway between 173rd & 174th Streets

Judicial Induction of Hon. Lyle Frank
Thursday, January 14th at 4:30pm
111 Centre Street, Manhattan

Democratic Presidential Debate
Sunday, January 17th, 9pm on NBC

4th NYC Grassroots Debate Watch for Hillary
Sunday, January 17th from 7:30 to 11pm
STITCH Bar and Lounge
247 West 37th Street
Contact Jamie.Ansorge@gmail.com or TrudyL@tmo.blackberry.net/
917-443-3315 & RSVP

National Women’s Political Caucus
January Meeting
Tuesday, January 19th at 5:30pm
Murphy Institute
25 West 43rd Street

Four Freedoms Democratic Club
Annual Election Meeting
Tuesday, January 26th at 7pm
Church of the Holy Trinity
316 East 88th Street, between 1st & 2nd Avenues

Ansonia Independent Democrats
Presentation & Conversation on Voting Rights
with Ari Berman
Tuesday, January 26th at 7:30pm
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
30 West 68th Street
Registration required 212-877-4050 x280

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Democratic Clubs II: What’s In a Number?

A typical Assembly District (AD) in Manhattan

You’ve read about Democratic Clubs and you’ve decided you’d like to get involved. How do you get started? And which Club’s district are you in, anyway?

When it comes to political districts, the first thing you need to know is your Assembly District, or “AD” for short. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know it! Lots of folks don’t, and the numbers change over the years so it may be different then you remember.

The best bet is to click here and do a quick search. When I put in my address, I learn that I’m in the 73rd AD, and that my Assembly Member is Dan Quart.

Now, for me, this makes things easy. The whole of the 73rd AD, from 96th down to 32nd, is represented by one Club: the Lexington Democratic Club. So my next step would be to go to the Lex Club’s website, join the Club and sign up for the e-mail newsletter.

But here’s where it gets confusing. Some clubs cover more than just one AD, and lots of ADs are covered by more than one club! Confused? Let’s look at an example.

Suppose my friend Keiko lives on Roosevelt Island. She goes online and finds out that she lives in the 76th AD and is represented by Assembly Member Seawright. But the 76th AD has two official Democratic Clubs: the Lenox Hill Democratic Club and the Four Freedoms Democratic Club. Which one covers Keiko?

To find out, we have to dig deeper and look at how ADs themselves are politically divided. Next time we’ll look at what are called Assembly District Parts, and learn how to sort out exactly where we stand.

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