1,000 Turkey Appeal; CFD Holiday Party Date Is Set!

This is the first of a few CFD notices listing opportunities for each of us to volunteer our services or to donate goods or money to organizations in our neighborhood that stretch to meet the needs of the less fortunate year round, but particularly during this holiday season.

Our thanks to our friends at DNAInfo.com for this list of Thanksgiving options,


West Side Campaign Against Hunger
263 W. 86th St.

Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24

The Thousand Turkey Challenge is the product of an interfaith coalition of churches and synagogues from the neighborhood that band together to provide Thanksgiving turkeys to low-income families.

The West Side Campaign Against Hunger is one of the main drop-off points for the turkeys. WSCAH is a supermarket-style food bank that allows recipients to shop for what they need at its pantry.

Donate a turkey at WSCAH on Sunday, Nov. 22, from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; or Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Note: The turkey must be frozen.

The Campaign can also use volunteers on those days to help with turkey intake, said executive director Stewart Desmond.

For those who can’t drop off a turkey but want to participate, text TURKEY to 77948 (the birds cost $18 each) or donate that amount online at www.wscah.org.

For more information, email turkeys@wscah.org or call (212) 362-3662 x 127.


Goddard Riverside
593 Columbus Ave.

Wednesday, Nov. 25., and Thursday, Nov. 26

From 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, both drivers and non-drivers are needed to deliver meals to homebound people in the area. For those who can help the day before, on Nov. 25, volunteers are also needed to pick up food and make deliveries. Email holidaymeals@goddard.org or call 212-873-6600 ext. 301 for more info.


Goddard Riverside

Volunteers are welcome to serve a meal at the soup kitchen at Goddard Riverside from 12 to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. They are also needed to help with clean-up between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Goddard Riverside welcomes the donation of homemade pies, cookies and cakes, or packaged versions.


And speaking of the convenience and central location of Goddard Riverside Community Center, NE corner of 88th and Columbus, CFD’s annual can’t-miss Holiday Party will be held there on Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Activists and elected officials from all over Manhattan will have this one on their personal calendars, and that includes YOU!


If you don’t already have them delivered to your email inbox, CFD strongly recommends that you visit www.westsiderag.com and www.DNAInfo.com (click on Upper West Side on their menu) to subscribe to both!

Nov 19 – Race in the era of the Obama presidency and Black Lives Matter

Join us for a conversation about

Race in the era of the Obama presidency and Black Lives Matter

Community Free Democrats will hold its General Membership Meeting
Thursday, November 19th, 7:30 PM
in the community room at 875 West End Avenue at 103rd Street.

Barack Obama’s election in 2008 carried with it the promise of a more open, dynamic, no-holds-barred conversation about race.

Sadly, apart from fleeting reactions to short-lived news cycles such as the recent exposure of racial fault lines at the University of Missouri or repeated incidents of excessive force by police against people of color, that broader conversation has not occurred.

On Thursday, November 19th, at the CFD General Meeting, Marcia Ann Gillespie and Stephanie Fuchs Lasher, who were high school friends in Rockville Centre, NY, will facilitate such a conversation.

Join us, listen in, and add your voice as well. We hope to break through the code words and conspicuous silences and have a frank and authentic discussion.

Our facilitators:

Marcia Ann Gillespie has distinguished herself as a trailblazer in the magazine industry and a leader in the women’s movement. Marcia served as editor in chief of Essence (1971-1980) and Ms. (1993-2001). She is currently a visiting professor at SUNY Old Westbury College in the Media and Communications department, and has written extensively about issues relating to the African American community and about women, particularly black women.

Stephanie Fuchs Lasher served as press and scheduling secretary to Mary Lindsay during the John Lindsay’s first term as Mayor (1965-1969), and subsequently started a business with her husband, Albert, in which she is still active. She was elected president of Community Free Democrats in the spring of 2015.

Oct 13 – Democratic Debate Watch Party

You’re Invited:

Watch the Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 8:30

Dublin House
225 West 79th Street
(Just East of Broadway)

Join other Upper West Side Democrats and cheer for your candidate. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be provided, and pizza, too. If the Mets haven’t swept the Dodgers, we will of course provide updates!!

CFD Endorses Hillary Clinton

Community Free Democrats, one of the oldest, strongest, and most influential reform Democratic clubs in Manhattan, voted at its June 25th Membership Meeting to endorse the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States. The tally was 59% to endorse Clinton; 34% to endorse Bernie Sanders; and 7% for no endorsement.

Club President Stephanie Lasher said, “I am so proud CFD is the first political club in New York State to officially support Secretary Clinton, who served us so well as our US Senator, in her campaign for the Presidency. Community Free Democrats eagerly anticipates the excitement and energy we know we will find when we campaign on our neighborhood streets in 2016.”

District Leader Joan Paylo added, “So many Americans have been waiting for a uniquely experienced candidate to emerge who is tough, compassionate, and very, very smart. Like many women, Secretary Clinton has paid her dues and done her homework many times over; she will be a great President. That we have a chance to elect a world leader who will speak with a strong and clear woman’s voice is a dream come true for so many, young and old alike, at home and abroad.”

District Leader Nick Prigo, who supported an endorsement vote for Senator Bernie Sanders, commented, “Bernie Sanders is a wonderful progressive with a clear vision for the future of our country. I appreciate how seriously CFD took his candidacy and the spirited and positive dialogue that ensued. This entire endorsement process was a testament to the Democratic activism of the Upper West Side. While I’m disappointed he didn’t win the club’s endorsement, he remains an overwhelmingly positive influence on the Presidential campaign.”

Community Free Democrats was founded as a reform Democratic club in 1969. It is the home club of Representative Jerry Nadler, NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. Membership meetings are usually held the 4th Thursday of the month, except during the summer months.