Congratulations to NKD-endorsed District Leader candidates — Shaquana Boykin (AD57), Jesse Pierce (AD52), Julio Pena (AD51), Samy Nemir Oliveres (AD53), and Kristina Naplatarski (AD50) — who all won their races!
New Kings Democrats endorsed these five reform-oriented candidates for their leadership in their respective communities and their vision for the Brooklyn Democratic Party. They each committed to working for a Party that fights for a more just Brooklyn, not a Party focused on protecting people currently in power.
They’ve already demonstrated this commitment in the way they ran their campaigns relying on small dollar donations from their communities instead of donations from judicial candidates as some District Leaders do. (District Leaders play a major role in deciding who ends up on the ballot in judicial races). When it comes to the judicial process, they already started advocating for a more transparent judicial selection process. They also advocated against the Party’s attempts to remove candidates from the ballot, and pushed for every absentee vote to be counted in the wake of the election, as many were thrown out on technicalities. We know they will bring this commitment to democracy to their District Leader roles.
Inspired by these candidates, NKD members, along with members of other clubs, volunteered this cycle to phone bank, text voters, and mail postcards to share these candidates’ visions and get out the vote during this challenging election cycle. It worked — even with changes to the voting process during the pandemic, voters were inspired by these candidates and turned out to vote for them.
So, what’s next? These District Leaders’ terms start with the next Organizing Committee meeting in September/October 2020. District Leaders are charged with serving as liaisons between their constituents and the local Party. We’re counting on these newly elected District Leaders to provide much needed transparency when it comes to the Party’s Executive Committee — for example, communicating with their constituents about Executive Committee meetings, sharing updates about County Committee, and keeping Brooklyn Democrats informed about the Party’s rules and finances, which impact the Party’s ability to engage Brooklyn Democrats. With uncertainty over whether the County Committee will be able to meet this fall, having engaged District Leaders is critical to keep everyday Brooklyn Democrats connected to the Party.
The impact of these five new District Leaders should not be underestimated. They will bring new perspectives to both the Brooklyn Democratic Party and the State Party as representatives to the Democratic Party’s State Committee. Five new voices — three of them queer, the most ever in Brooklyn’s history — means new perspectives, new proposed reforms, and new voices challenging the status quo and backroom deals that have characterized the Brooklyn Democratic Party for too long.
We look forward to continuing to work with these District Leaders, along with the rest of the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s Executive Committee, to create a Party that not only reflects everyday Brooklynites, but works to create a more just and equitable Brooklyn.