FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Press Contact: Alex Low ([email protected])
Today, in the wake of growing public pressure for Vito Lopez to resign immediately as Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman, Lopez announced that he would not seek another term as chair. In response, New Kings Democrats repeated its demand that Lopez step down immediately, citing the moral and political ramifications of Vito's continued grip on power.
First, Vito's continued tenure would send the wrong message to sexual harassment victims everywhere: a powerful man is allowed to stay in his job and determine the timing of his exit despite these extremely serious charges. Second, Vito would be able to continue to control and influence the next meetings of the party's county committee and executive committee, thus preventing real reforms from taking place and influencing the selection of his successor. For example, he has used his power to hand-pick 11 at-large members of the executive committee thus extending his grip on power and circumventing the electoral process.
"Vito Lopez's continued hold on power is an insult to his victims as well as victims of sexual harassment everywhere," said Alex Low, president of NKD. "No business would keep a repeat sexual predator on its staff, nor allow him to determine the timing of his exit, and certainly not let him continue to exert such great influence. Why should the Brooklyn Democratic Party be any different? We call on all local elected officials and district leaders to show unflagging resolve and renew their demands for Lopez to step down immediately."