The chaos continues. In case you missed our last post (County Committee Chaos: What’s Going On?), there have been a lot of changes in the Brooklyn Democratic Party lately, from new leadership to a subverted rulemaking process - and we believe a recent rules change moves the party in the wrong direction.
This change, which we’ve detailed below, limits County Committee members’ ability to make their voice heard and bring meaningful change to the party.
Here’s what happened so far with leadership changes within the Brooklyn Democratic Party:
- Sunday, January 12 - Rumors spread that Frank Seddio would resign as Party Boss.
- Wednesday, January 15 - Brooklyn’s District Leaders met and selected Carlo Scissura, President and CEO of the New York Building Congress (as well as a major donor to the Party) as interim County Committee Chair. District Leader Joe Bova vacated the role a few months ago; unlike Party Boss, County Committee members who are not District Leaders can hold the role (Scissura is not a District Leader). Also at this meeting, Chair Seddio formally announced his intention to resign.
- Monday, January 20 - The District Leaders gathered at the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club (the political club in Canarsie aligned explicitly with now former-Chair Seddio) to vote on and swear in Rodneyse Bichotte as the new Party Boss, Seddio’s replacement.
On Wednesday, January 22nd, we learned of a new change to the Party’s rules. At that same meeting on January 20, District Leaders voted to enact three amendments to the Party’s rules:
- County Committee Officers will no longer be able to vote on the Executive Committee. Reformers pushed for this reform in 2013 because former Party Boss Vito Lopez would stack the Officers with loyalists, giving himself an automatic 13 votes on the Executive Committee. Upon becoming Boss, Chair Seddio agreed to stop the practice - but it failed to make it into the rules until Monday. The update to the rules to reflect this reform is a positive step in the right direction.
- The County Committee will only meet ONCE a year, rather than twice a year.
- Resolutions can no longer compel action. At the September 2019 County Committee meeting, County Committee members introduced and passed a resolution compelling Party leadership to convene the finance committee. With this new amendment in place, no County Committee members will be able to pass a similar resolution.
We are deeply concerned by the latter two rules amendments, which disempower County Committee members and weaken the Party as a whole. County Committee is an opportunity for everyday Brooklynites to make their voice heard within the party; reducing the meetings and members’ ability to influence the Party only further consolidates power and reduces the accountability of the leadership.
It is more important than ever to be a part of making change at the ground-floor level of the Brooklyn Democratic Party — which everyday Brooklynites can do by running to be a member of County Committee! Petitioning starts February 25 — a small number of signatures gets you on the ballot, and most seats go uncontested. Sign up today at www.RepYourBlock.com to learn more.