The Brooklyn Democratic Party’s leadership is doing everything in its power to prevent its democratically elected membership from participating in their own party.
On November 29, the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s Executive Committee - made up of its 42 District Leaders - voted to transfer the power to fill vacancies on the County Committee to themselves, taking that power away from elected County Committee members.
Three days later, on December 2, they voted to appoint 2,379 members — flooding the committee with the Executive Committee’s hand-picked appointees ahead of the most important votes in the committee's two-year term. As of Wednesday, there are more County Committee members appointed to seats than elected County Committee members, outnumbering elected members 2,379 to 2,137.
Coupled with the Executive Committee’s other recent power grabs, the Party’s endgame is clear: they are actively working to prevent the newly elected County Committee members from assuming the powers of their position.
In September, Party leadership attempted to cancel the Organizational Meeting, where the newly elected County Committee votes on the committee’s rules and elects officers. At the same time, the Executive Committee voted to change the County Committee’s rules so that County Committee members’ votes would be transferred to the Executive Committee without their affirmative consent. In other words, the District Leaders gave themselves the ability to take the votes of County Committee members.
Together, all these actions amount to more than a simple rule change. Party leadership first ensured they could take the votes of County Committee members at future meetings, then changed the rules so they could appoint County Committee members before the Organizational Meeting — members whose votes they would then control at that meeting.
Fearing that grassroots County Committee members would outvote Party leadership in a fair vote, the Executive Committee changed the rules, in violation of basic democratic norms.
Normally, without these rule changes, elected County Committee members would meet, vote on rules and officers, and then vote on appointments. The appointments would take effect before the following meeting — after the vote on rules and officers.
By changing this process, the Executive Committee ensured that they will have more power than the elected County Committee at the committee’s most important meeting. This is a clear attempt to prevent the newly elected Committee from exercising their legal right to adopt their own rules and elect leadership.
The rule change that transferred the power to appoint to the Executive Committee is in violation of NY Election Law, which states that elected County Committee members have the power to fill vacancies. So, on December 3rd, County Committee members sued the Brooklyn Democratic Party for this most recent attempt to prevent an open and fair County Committee meeting.
2,137 Brooklyn Democrats were elected to County Committee in June. They deserve the opportunity for a fair vote to elect officers and adopt the committee’s rules — as state law requires.
It is clear that there are thousands of everyday Brooklyn Democrats eager to get involved in the Party — but instead of engaging them, Party leadership continues to engage in Trump-like tactics to hold onto power. Brooklyn Democrats deserve better from their leadership.