- How can I get on Brooklyn’s Democratic County Committee?
- Where is my election district?
- What does a County Committee member do?
- Once I am on County Committee, how much of a time commitment is it?
- Do I currently have somebody representing my Election District on County Committee?
- What do I do if my seat is already filled?
- If the seat is currently empty, can I just be added right now?
- If multiple people run for the same seat, is it possible that I will have an election?
- Me and my neighbors all want to run. Will we have to run against each other?
- How much time will it take to run for County Committee?
- Can you help me find a running mate?
- What’s the deal with the gendered (male/female) seats?
- As long as I'm collecting signatures, can I also help out a candidate for State Assembly (or State Senate or District Leader) that I support?
- When would my term start?
- What is the history of NKD’s work in County Committee?
- What is the best way to support the #RepYourBlock2018 campaign?
- Can I ask something else?
Getting on a ballot requires petitioning, or collecting signatures from neighbors. Every County Committee seat is up for election in every even-numbered year, and the petitioning window is usually February through March. The minimum requirement is to collect signatures from 5% of the registered Democrats in your Election District. As the number of voters in each Election District varies, the number of signatures required varies, but it's usually somewhere between 30 and 60 signatures.
Then you need to file the signatures with the Board of Elections. If there are more candidates than there are available seats in your election districts, the candidates will appear on the primary ballot for the voters to choose, but most county committee members run unopposed and don't appear on the ballot.
Rep Your Block was created to help Brooklynites run for County Committee, and they do an excellent job guiding candidates through every step of the process. Sign up at RepYourBlock.com and they'll reach out to you with more information.
Each Assembly District is composed of smaller Election Districts, typically one to three city blocks. To find out what your Election District number is, enter your address in PollsiteLocator.com, and save that list! Then you’ll know the numbers of all the overlapping legislative and judicial districts you live in. For the purposes of County Committee, you need to know your Assembly District (AD) and your Election District (ED).
The main responsibilities of a County Committee member are to cast a vote for the Executive Committee, including Chair, of the Democratic Party of Brooklyn and to vote on any resolutions proposed to the entire County Committee, including the passage of the Party budget. Well-organized groups of County Committee members can even advance resolutions! Most importantly, a County Committee member may be called upon to choose among candidates seeking the Democratic ballot line in a special election. Special elections are called when a midterm vacancy in an elected office occurs for any reason (such as when an elected official resigns to take a different office, or is indicted).
It’s up to you. The most important power--and responsibility--you have is your vote. You can either come to the County Committee meetings (two per year) or you can send an NKD member your proxy vote. But some people like to use their position on the County Committee as an overture to organize their neighbors around issues that matter to the community, or an opportunity to get to know their elected officials. In that case, the sky's the limit!
Maybe! Once you know your Election District, you can scroll through the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s website to look for your Election District number. If you see your Election District listed, you will see the names and addresses of your County Committee representatives. If you can’t find your ED within your AD, then there is no County Committee member currently serving there.
You should plan to run anyway! Because County Committee is a two year term, nobody is automatically put back on County Committee. Every seat is open and if you want to put in the work to get on, you should!
No, unfortunately, not according to the Rules of the Kings County Democratic Party. Special election rules don’t apply to County Committee, and your District Leader only has the power to appoint people to vacant seats at the beginning of every two-year County Committee term. But even then, we encourage people to petition for their own seat so that your neighbors have an opportunity to interact with you, rather than being appointed and never getting to meet your neighbors. The best way to get on County Committee is with your own two feet (or however you get around your neighborhood!).
We’re careful to avoid that, but yes, it is possible that somebody else will petition for the same Election District as you. If that happens, it’s important that you take your time collecting petitions and have conversations with the other Democrats in your Election District so that they will want to vote for you! We will provide you with a plan for how to run an effective (and tiny!) campaign for your Election District.
We will also coordinate with everybody signed up for #RepYourBlock to make sure you are not running against each other.
No. Members of the county committee only have to live in the same Assembly District as the Election District where they're registered to vote. We'll coordinate our candidates to be sure there are no unnecessary head-to-head match-ups between our allies. Ultimately, you (or your neighbors) might end up representing the ED across the street or around the corner from you.
Not much! Petitioning will take you perhaps two half-days or three evenings (in nice weather!), depending on how fast you can track down approximately fifty of your neighbors who are registered Democrats. We’ll give you names and addresses so you’ll know exactly which doors to knock.
Yes! If you don't have anyone in mind to run with you, leave the referral field on the sign-up page blank. If we have another solo candidate in your Assembly District, we can pair you up.
The County Committee rules require that every Election District has at least two seats, one female, and one male. So if you have a different-gendered person you know (maybe a roommate or a spouse or a friend) they are the ideal person to collect signatures with you. Plus it’s more fun and less stressful with a running-mate! (Some districts even have four seats: two women, and two men.)
For non-binary/gender non-conforming individuals, run for the seat with which you feel more closely aligned.
As long as I'm collecting signatures, can I also help out a candidate for State Assembly (or State Senate or District Leader) that I support?
Yes! If you live in an area where NKD has endorsed a candidate, we'll coordinate to make sure you're collecting signatures for yourself AND for that candidate. If you want to help out a candidate we haven't endorsed, we can try to help put you in touch with that campaign.
If you successfully petition yourself onto County Committee in summer 2018, you will become a member at the party’s September 2018 organizational meeting.
New Kings Democrats (NKD) has been working to reform County Committee since our club began in 2008, and since then we’ve recruited hundreds of Brooklyn Democrats to petition for (and run for) seats on County Committee. We, along with our reform club friends, have successfully introduced incremental reforms to the County Committee. We are currently waiting for the County Committee to adopt or reject the reforms we proposed in September 2016. Take a look through our press releases to get more details about this and other work we’ve done.