• Ben Yee

Good News, Everyone!

Good news, everyone!

Last night I won my first election to become the new Democratic State Committeeman for New York’s 66th Assembly District (there is a State Committeewoman, too).

For those who don’t know, the State Committee Members represent their State Assembly Districts to the State Democratic Party. They amend and ratify the Party platform and endorse

candidates for Statewide office.

None of this would have been possible without the people who supported me throughout this whole process. I want to thank everyone who came out my events, canvassed with me, passed out a flyer or offered me encouragement in my decision to run.

In particular, I really must thank all the clubs in my district. Everyone should know who they are because not only is each a formidable organizing force, they are all bastions of good principles. I feel truly lucky to live in a district where a vocal progressive and reformer like myself can be endorsed by every club. I know that’s not the case everywhere, but it is in downtown Manhattan.

In alphabetical order, they are:

The Downtown Independent Democrats

The Village Independent Democrats

The Village Reform Democratic Club

Additionally, The Jim Owles Club which is city-wide

Also want to give a special thanks to some of the folks who went above and beyond, canvassing with me regularly, giving up whole days, organizing events and bringing me into their buildings to meet their neighbors. Without these folks, I would not have been able to be the candidate I was.

In no particular order, and only including the folks I know won’t mind being pushed into the public eye for a moment (there are plenty aside from this to whom I owe individual thanks):

Terri Cude

Ray Cline

Dennis Gault

Harold Donahue

Tom Connor

Sahand Shaharabani

Glenn Oldhoff

Cathy Wolpe

Ed Yutkowitz

Al Benninghoff

Haili Copas-Starke

Dodge Landesman

And for putting up with me (and for being generally sarcastic about my candidacy):

My dad, Chester.

I also want to thank, with all my heart, the folks who voted for me. Especially the ones I just met yesterday who weren’t going to vote at all, met me, and then voted for me.

Finally, and this will have to be its own post later since it’s buried down at the bottom here,I want to say: If you’re a progressive or a reformer or a liberal and you’re discouraged (as many people I met yesterday were), you don’t have to be.

It is possible to go against the grain, stand on principle and win. I openly Obama in 2008, Zephyr Teachout in 2014 and Bernie Sanders in 2016. I was still endorsed by the clubs in my district, I was still elected to serve as Secretary of the Manhattan Democratic Party and I was still elected to State Committee.

While none of that’s as noticeable as running for President or Governor, there are a lot more opportunities to stand up for what you believe than you think -- definitely more than there are to elect a President. You don’t have to put your hope is some far away person, you can put your hope in yourself and your values. America is about self-governance, so come help govern.


© 2016 Ben Yee for State Committee

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