FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
Press Contact: Anusha Venkataraman, President, New Kings Democrats ([email protected])
KINGS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE BLOCKS REFORMS ON TRANSPARENCY AND ETHICS
Brooklyn, NY — In a move emblematic of New York State politics, the Kings County Democratic County Committee (aka Brooklyn Democratic Party) blocked a vote on a set of ethics and transparency amendments to the governing rules of the Brooklyn Democratic Party committee proposed by Kings County reform activists at the first County Committee meeting of the new term.
The reform amendments were proposed by Brooklyn reform clubs the New Kings Democrats, Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform, and Southern Brooklyn Democrats with the objectives of: 1. Increasing transparency in Executive Committee decision-making processes like the nomination of judges; 2. Strengthening Party ethics to disallow public officials who have been convicted of public malfeasance from being supported by the Party; and 3. Broadening participation by limiting the use of proxy votes and allowing for resolutions to be distributed via email and posting on the Party website. A full list of the common sense reforms brought forward last night can be found at http://www.newkingsdemocrats.com/county_committee_reform.
The proposed reforms were motioned for a vote as five separate amendments to the Party Rules by members of Kings County Democratic Committee. In a dramatic turn of events the amendments were motioned for review by the Party’s Executive Committee instead of being afforded an up or down vote by the county committee’s members as required by Party rules.
In response to the absence of a committee vote on the proposed reforms, the auditorium erupted into chants of "Reform Now!" followed by impassioned pleas by County Committee members to the borough leadership. The general County Committee meeting was ended abruptly and prior to the completion of full agenda.
Kings County Party Chairman Frank Seddio, who replaced disgraced late Assemblyman Vito Lopez, promised a review of the progressive reforms by a committee made up of members of his choosing.
"While New Kings Democrats is disappointed with the outcome from the County Committee meeting tonight, we feel there could be no better demonstration for the need for immediate reform. We are proud of all the members that stood alongside us, demanding a more open, democratic process of engagement for our Democratic Party. We look forward to building further partnerships across the borough to make these reforms, and many more, a reality," said Anusha Venkataraman, President of New Kings Democrats, after last night’s meeting.
"We want an active Democratic Party, we want a party that will help everybody in this borough. The folks that came up with these reforms deserve a vote, and they deserve a vote tonight," said Robert Carroll, Democratic Nominee for the 44th New York State Assembly District, in an impassioned plea during the meeting.