2022 was a wild year in Brooklyn politics, and we got closer than ever to our goal of a more transparent, inclusive, and accountable local party — but we still have work to do! Here are some of our highlights from 2022:
Electing better district leaders
- NKD launched and co-led Brooklyn Can’t Wait, a campaign to recruit and elect district leaders pledged to reform the Brooklyn Democratic Party. The campaign built a coalition of 10+ clubs from across the borough and endorsed 21 District Leader candidates, 13 of them running for the first time. Brooklyn Can’t Wait coordinated volunteer and financial support for all these candidates, and secured endorsements from 16 elected officials.
- Our members produced a guidebook — How to Run for District Leader — to make these party offices more accessible to first-time candidates.
- We endorsed 19 district leader candidates, all on the Brooklyn Can’t Wait slate. 13 of them won seats in the June 2022 Democratic Primary, dramatically shifting the balance of power in our local party.
- 2022 Endorsements & Voter Guides
While we were primarily focused on district leader races, NKD also endorsed in the Governor’s race and two Assembly races:
- Jumaane Williams for Governor and Ana María Archila for Lt. Governor
- Emily Gallagher for Assembly in District 50 (Emily won re-election!)
- Samy Nemir Olivares for Assembly in District 54
- NKD members developed detailed Voter Guides for the June and August Democratic Primaries and the November General Election
- While we were primarily focused on district leader races, NKD also endorsed in the Governor’s race and two Assembly races:
2022 General Election
- NKD and Rep Your Block teamed up for #KnockYourBlock, which mobilized nearly 100 grassroots volunteers and County Committee members to knock over 10K doors in their neighborhoods and turn out the vote for Brooklyn Democrats
- When we learned that Gov. Hochul’s campaign had minimal presence in NYC in the crucial days before the election, NKD coordinated a borough-wide call with other organizations and electeds to mobilize volunteers and get out the vote in a dangerously close race.
- Our state and local party organizations let us down in the general election, and Republicans gained ground here while losing in other states. NKD President Caitlin Kawaguchi laid out the problem in a Daily News op ed, and VP of Organizing Mikael Haxby crunched the numbers in this presentation for NKD members and others working to reform our local party.
- NKD and allied clubs coordinated a Reform Slate of 15 candidates for County Committee officer positions, representing communities across Brooklyn.
- NKD’s Policy Committee crafted a detailed and thoughtful proposal to reform our party rules, which was supported by 8 other clubs. These changes would increase transparency and allow County Committee members — the grassroots level of our party — to have more say in party governance. Importantly, they would end the undemocratic abuse of proxy votes by party leaders.
- After the County Committee meeting, where party leaders and their proxy votes shot down the reform slate and our rules proposals, County Committee members raised concerns that the vote totals announced at the meeting didn’t add up. NKD drafted a statement calling on party leaders to release vote details, and 132 people signed on. Leaders responded that votes were still being “certified” — more than two months later we haven’t seen any details.
- The election for Party Chair (held after the County Committee meeting concluded) was the closest in recent memory, with Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn winning re-election with votes from only 23 of the 44 district leaders. Every district leader is up for re-election in 2024 — we’re so close to the change we need!
- NKD joined the campaign to replace NY Dems Chair Jay Jacobs, and the campaign to stop the appointment of anti-choice, anti-labor Justice Hector LaSalle to the top judicial post in NY.
- NKD-founded Rep Your Block helped hundreds of Brooklynites run for County Committee.
- We created new Deputy Officer positions to give more NKD members leadership experience and build up our leadership pipeline.
- NKD Policy Committee reviewed and updated its volume of Policy Platforms, incorporating the latest updates in policy as it relates to Brooklyn politics within these educational tools that reflect our values.
We're so grateful to our members and supporters who made all this possible. Please consider making a donation to support our work, and best wishes for the New Year!