At the September 2019 County Committee meeting, KCDC members at large successfully passed a resolution -- drafted by NKD and some of our partners across Brooklyn -- calling for the Party to convene its Finance Committee and for an audit of the Party’s finances. Last week, we learned that the Party is indeed taking steps to form this and other standing committees -- a great update, though there’s more to be done, and there are key ways by which Brooklynites can hold our leaders accountable now.
The Party has until December 8 to form the Finance Committee. This week, we learned from members of the Party’s Executive Committee (aka the 42 District Leaders across Brooklyn) that Chair Seddio is also taking steps to form the 14 other standing committees outlined in the Party Rules.
This is great news. Convening the standing committees could be a way to improve the functioning and transparency of the party while also involving more Brooklynites in the process. As Brooklyn deals with issues that come with its continued growth like the strain on infrastructure and affordable housing, it’s more important than ever that the Party bring everyday Brooklynites together to problem-solve and advocate for solutions. But we still want to see the Party’s Executive Committee do more to proactively engage County Committee members, inviting them to participate in what we see as the most essential committee -- Finance -- and ensuring they can attend at least the two general membership meetings per year. Having more everyday Brooklynites on the Finance Committee could encourage the Committee to shift its budgetary priorities to the needs of everyday Brooklynites, like basic voter education and engagement.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about the standing committees, reach out to one of your District Leaders, tell them which committee you’d like to join, and let them know why you’re interested. If you need the contact information for your District Leaders, reach out to [email protected] or message them directly via the Party’s website. If you previously expressed an interest in joining a committee and shared your name with NKD (over 60 people did!), we’ve passed that along to Party leadership -- but still encourage you to work to engage directly with them (and let us know if you hear back!).
We heard that each committee will be capped at 15 members, though the Party rules state that only the Finance Committee and Committee on Public Relations should be limited in this way, while “there shall be no limitation on the size of all other committees” (Article VI, Section 4).
We urge District Leaders to ensure that all interested County Committee members have an opportunity to join a committee if interested. More importantly, we want to see District Leaders proactively encourage County Committee members in their districts to attend the general membership County Committee meetings, let alone standing committee meetings.