November 2017 General Meeting Round Up

Thanks to all who came out to the NKD November meeting in Brooklyn Heights last Thursday. We had a great crowd, including several first-timers. Welcome all newbies!

You may have heard that Anusha Venkataraman recently stepped down from her role as NKD President upon taking a new job in city government. At this meeting she gave her formal goodbye. We’ve been very lucky for Anusha’s leadership—NKD has grown and accomplished much in the past few years!

Sara Shoener, our Chief of Operations (and interim president for the next couple months), outlined our club's planned work for the next 12 months, which will include electing a new Executive Committee in January, working on the Vision project (more below), helping folks run for County Committee through our #RepYourBlock campaign, and tracking some important primaries for state legislative and congressional seats.

The bulk of the meeting consisted of a presentation from Dave Algoso, who has been leading the work on our Vision project within Policy Committee. Dave gave a great overview of the Vision project; the goal is to develop a positive vision for what the Kings County Democratic party could be. What is key to this project? A wide array of stakeholders who live throughout Brooklyn will be engaged from the start, shaping the process process itself as well as helping craft the shared vision. This is not a matter of NKD drafting something and asking others to get on board, but rather a multi-stage, collaborative effort led by a broad steering committee. In small groups, we brainstormed who we could engage and how to ensure that the ultimate vision is as representative as possible. This exciting work will be ongoing. Stay tuned, share your feedback, and get involved in Policy Committee if you’d like to help.

Lucky us! We also heard from Ede Fox, who we endorsed in the 35th Council District race. Ede popped in to thank our club for all the petitioning and canvassing work we did. She ran an inspiring campaign dedicated to progressive values, so we’re happy to hear that she remains committed to public service and community leadership. Can’t wait to see what’s next for Ede!

As mentioned above, NKD’s 2018 Executive Committee elections are coming soon., Sara gave an overview of all elected ExCo positions and the roles underneath each. The current ExCo members discussed their work and their vision for the next year. Yaneth Lombana, our VP of Organizing, talked about the #RepYourBlock campaign, County Committee reform efforts, and the great work Organizing Committee did this summer canvassing for our endorsed candidates. Brandon West, who announced that he doesn’t plan to run again for VP of Policy, talked about the success of our criminal justice reform platform, and the ongoing work of the Vision subcommittee. Matt Stern said he, too, doesn't plan to run again for his role as VP of Political Affairs, but discussed the endorsement process he’s helped develop. He asked us to think about community leaders and activists who should run for elected office in Brooklyn, as we continue to develop processes to identify and nurture potential candidates. Jasmine Fernandez talked about her work in the new Membership Director role, through which she’s sought to diversify and expand our membership, to bring NKD to more of Brooklyn and to bring more of Brooklyn to NKD. Jasmine and her Membership Committee team have been working to identify and address barriers to getting involved with NKD, planning and hosting social events to improve recruitment, cohesion, and retention. Sara spoke about her work as Chief of Operations, and Ryan Shanley discussed the role of Communications Director.

All of the Executive Committee stuck around for “office hours” to talk to members who are considering ways to get more involved with NKD, whether in an elected leadership role or just as an all-star volunteer. Stay tuned for details about nominating yourself or a friend for the January ExCo elections, and mark your calendars for our December general meeting. See you then!

Special thanks to Amber Sexton for her help writing this recap!

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