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  • Writer's pictureBen Yee

Breakdown: Big News for New York Politics

Hey everyone,

There’s an incredible amount happening but don’t be intimidated. Just know that there is truly major local news at the bottom.

National News

The biggest headline is that Donald Trump and North Korea are trading barbs after the North announced it has developed a missile capable of hitting the United States. Tensions have reached a point where North Korea has threatened a preemptive strike on Guam.

Don’t start heading for your bunkers yet, though. While these two leaders may care little for the people they govern, they care immensely about their own, pampered, skin. Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, knows that a strike against the U.S. would be the end of his regime. While war is always an option, it’s still the least desirable for everyone involved.

Still, I think we’ll all feel better when Congress, which has the exclusive power to declare war, has better people and starts doing its job right. To that end...

Last weekend I had an amazing time doing voter engagement in VA with You Matter. Our work helped Network NoVA reach voters for the 2017 elections. Which, in turn, lays the foundations for 2018 victory and, more importantly, a voice in redistricting (or gerrymandering) in 2020.

While voter engagement is serious work, there were also some serious perks which have me excited to go back; including:

  • #GetOutTheBoat. As in, we went boating with the canvassing team! (I took the paddleboard).

  • BBQ after party. Virginians really know how to celebrate a great day of canvassing. We had an awesome BBQ with amazing food. And don't joke about food quality.

  • A discussion with a County Chair (at the BBQ) in which I got the (Real) Politics 101 of VA and took a deeper dive into their Party structure than ever before.

Everyone was incredibly excited to have help from NY. They have promised food and lodging to anyone else who wants to come down. And they really need us.

While canvassing we ran into a lot of Republicans. To the point that, in one community, one of the voters was ecstatic to be visited by Democrats and gave a "Yes!", which she quickly muted while looking around to see who might caught it.

I kind of wish I had gone back to tell her that her neighbor across the street, and a cluster to her west, were also secret Democrats. One who, when asked if we could also count on her husband's vote, responded "Hahaha, yeah. Anyone who supports Trump in this house is getting divorced."

Virginia has statewide elections this year so it’s crucial that we commit to sustained and valuable organizing activities there. This year will determine their entire State government and determine the reach in organizing for Federal elections next year:

  • Governor - Currently blue, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) secured the Democratic primary in june and will run against Ed Gillespie (R). The Governor can veto gerrymandering.

  • State Legislature - All 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for grabs. The current breakdown is 66 Republicans and 34 Democrats. The legislature has the power to gerrymander.

  • In addition, there is also an election for Attorney General, School Boards, and other executive offices. If you’ve taken a (Real) Politics 101, you know how important these elections can be. If you haven’t, there’s one coming up (see below)!

If you wish you’d been able to join us last weekend, don’t miss out on an opportunity to canvass right here in New York state. On August 20th, we will be sponsoring a trip to canvas for Kristen Browde in New Castle, NY. Kristen is running for Town Supervisor as part of a slate of women running for town positions, referred to as the Stronger New Castle campaign.

Sarah met Kristen at this year's Progressive Campaign Committee training and was so inspired by her vision for a more united New York. We are also thrilled to take part in a very historic race, as she is the first transgender woman running in NY on a major party ticket. We are so excited to help volunteer for her campaign. To join us fill out this link!

Local News

Big local news - State Senator Daniel Squadron is stepping down. Why is this so big when we have elections all the time? State Senate isn’t up for election until 2018 and, even though we DO have an election coming up so there’s no Special Election, petitioning for the Primary is already over!

If you’ve been to a (Real) Politics 101, you know what’s coming next. County Committee members in his Senate District will decide on the Democratic candidate this November; and that person will almost surely win. In this case, because Squadron represents both Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights, it will be a meeting of TWO county committees.

But wait, there’s more. There’s a really crazy race for City Council in Queens heating up. It’s now between Francisco Moya against Hiram Monserrate. Monserrate is a political cancer, a corrupt politician and a violent criminal. Normally, I wouldn't make the argument you should support someone because the opposition is so base but this race warrants your attention - Moya is the easy pick.

Francisco Moya, is having a fundraiser/meet and greet in our district. Please consider attending or making a contribution:

Francisco Moya Event

Monday, 8/14 from 6-8pm

Woodrow’s (43 Murray St.)

Any contributions are matched 6 to 1.


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