April 27 - CFD's 45th Annual Spring Gala!

Dear Friend of the Community Free Democrats,

I hope you will join us for our 45th Annual Spring Gala on Sunday, April 27, from 1 to 4 pm at Bella Luna Restaurant, 584 Columbus Avenue (88-89 Streets).

The Spring Gala is a great opportunity to savor the outstanding victories we helped our candidates achieve in 2013, and to share solidarity as we prepare for the significant races to be won in 2014. It is also a highlight of the New York political calendar, where we can break bread and share a moment with the leaders who make us so proud to be Democrats and to work in concert for our progressive values.

Our Gala is also an opportunity to honor those who make our city and community a better place. This year, our Outstanding Leadership Award will honor the indefatigable Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.   See below for our formal invitation which lists all of our outstanding award recipients and our current sponsor list (there is still time to be a sponsor!) .

CFD’s leaders like Congressmember Jerry Nadler, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal have contributed to the Upper West Side’s nationwide reputation for progressive Democratic leadership. You can help us keep our party and its principles strong by participating in our event.

The regular ticket price is $250 (no listing).   Sponsorship categories, which include listing in our formal invitation, are: Angel ($1,500), Benefactor ($500), and Patron ($300).

Scroll below for instructions on purchasing tickets, either immediately online by Paypal / Credit Card or by mailing a check to our Gala Chair.

And scroll to the very bottom to view our formal invitation which lists all of our outstanding award recipients and our current sponsor list (there is still time to be a sponsor!) .

We are looking forward to seeing you on April 27.

Jason Haber
President, Community Free Democrats


Please pay below or make checks payable to Community Free Democrats and mail with this form to Mark Diller, CFD Fundraising Director, 171 West 79 Street, #33, New York, NY 10024.

Direct any questions to Mark Diller at mdiller@nyc.rr.com or 917-691-0865

Contributions to Community Free Democrats are not tax deductible
Handicapped Accessible



March 16 - Petition for Congressman Nadler

CFD will be out the next two weekends to help get Congressman Nadler on the ballot.
Sunday, March 16th, 11:00am
Fairway Market, West 74th and Broadway
RSVP to CFD Treasurer Rob Gottheim - rgottheim@gmail.com
Saturday, March 22nd, (time & location TBA)
RSVP to District Leader Joan Paylo - cfdjoan@aol.com
Sunday, March 23rd, 11:00am
Barnes & Noble, West 81st and Broadway
RSVP to District Leader Nick Prigo - nprigo@gmail.com

March 22 & 23 - Petition for Congressman Nadler

Beginning on March 9th and throughout March, please stand with Community Free Democrats and Congressman Nadler to collect signatures and help get him on the ballot. The federal primary will be June 24th and we look forward to Jerry's continuing to represent us in the 10th Congressional District.

Saturday, March 22nd, (time & location TBA)
RSVP to District Leader Joan Paylo - cfdjoan@aol.com

Sunday, March 23rd, 11:00am. Barnes & Noble, West 81st and Broadway
RSVP to District Leader Nick Prigo - nprigo@gmail.com

March 6 - Petitioning Party

Please join your CFD friends on Thursday evening for a Jerry Nadler Petitioning Party! Whether Jerry has a primary opponent or not, we need to collect designating signatures to qualify him for the ballot.

Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm
Place: The Parlour, 250 West 86th Street (just west of Broadway)

February 27 - CFD Annual Meeting


Community Free Democrats Annual Meeting 2014

Thursday, February 27, 7:30 p.m.

Goddard Riverside Community Center

593 Columbus Avenue ( between W. 88th and W.
89th Sts.)


Endorsement for Congress (10th District)

Election of Officers and Board of Directors


To pay your dues online, click here and look for the Join CFD button down along the left-hand column!



The following topics and speakers have been added to CFD's annual
meeting to be held at Goddard-Riverside Community Center at 7:30 on Thursday, Feb. 27.



:  Educated Convicts Benefit Society


Richard Aborn, President of the Citizens Crime
Commission of New York City, will explain his support of Gov. Cuomo's proposal
to offer college courses for inmates at 10 state prisons.



Stopping the Two-Tiered Tenant Trend in Stonehenge and NYC


Long-time middle-income residents
have been barred from a new gym built for market-rate tenants in their former
Mitchell-Lama on West 97th Street, and city officials are taking it to the
Human Rights Division.
Hear Jean Green Dorsey, president of the
Westgate Tenants Association @ Stonehenge Village and activist/resident Sonia
unscramble this divisive, discriminatory situation and its effect on
rent-stabilized and new tenants alike.



February 27 - Annual Meeting Notice - Reminder!




Community Free Democrats Annual Meeting 2014

Thursday, February 27, 7:30 p.m.

Goddard Riverside Community Center

593 Columbus Avenue ( between W. 88th and W. 89th Sts.)



Election of CFD Officers and Board of Directors

(Click here for a list of candidates and their bios)
Endorsement vote for NY-Congressional District 10, where Jerry Nadler is the incumbent
Program, TBA

Ballot box will be open no later than 15 minutes after meeting is called to order and will close no earlier than 9:30 p.m., or 10 minutes after last candidate has spoken, whichever is later.

Participation in nominations and elections is limited to Voting Members (as defined in the CFD Constitution). See below for details**.

Your membership dues must be current in order
to vote.

(If you are behind in your dues, you must pay all back dues as well as 2014 dues to receive a ballot on Thursday night. You may pay only 2014 dues if you wish, however, you will have to wait 60 days to become a voting member again.)

You may pay ( $ 30 regular annual dues ; $ 15
limited income annual dues ) plus all back dues, if any:

With cash or check at the meeting

Via PayPal ( see our website http://www.cfdnyc.org )

By mailing a check, payable to CFD, to:

David Matarasso
545 West End Avenue
Apt. 6-D
New York, NY 10024

**If you were a CFD member in 2013, you must pay your 2014 dues in order to vote. However, if you owe any past dues for 2012 and/or 2013, you must pay all past dues as well in order to vote, or, you may instead choose to rejoin CFD as a new member. If you are a lapsed member (paid through 2011 or earlier) or if you want to join or rejoin CFD as a new member without paying two years of past dues, you may choose to pay only your 2014 dues, but you must wait 60 calendar days before being eligible to vote. There are also geographical and other rules that constrain membership voting status, which can be found on our web site at http://www.cfdnyc.org

2014 Board & Officer Nominee Bios

2014 Officers & Board of Directors Nominee Bios

The days may still be short, and spring's darling buds still many long weeks away, but there is reason to rejoice,  fellow CFDers: The annual election of our 2014 officers and board members on Thursday, Feb. 27, is rapidly approaching!  Here's an introduction to some of the terrific nominees who took the time to submit their bios:

CFD Officers

(Vote for 1 for each office)


Jason has spent over a decade working in CFD. Joined 2001, elected Vice-President then President, in charge of annual holiday party for numerous years including highly touted 2012 party. This fall lead effort to secure Columbus Avenue election storefront. Ran 2004, 2008, 2012 Election Night Victory Parties - important quadrennial events for club. He was born in New York and can produce his birth certificate on request.

VP Communications

I have been involved with CFD for over a decade, serving on the board for the last 2 years. Having worked with numerous campaigns, serving on the New York County Democratic Committee, and having worked for the New York State Assembly, I am a strong advocate of pragmatic, progressive politics.

VP Membership and Outreach

CFD member 30 years.  Positions held: Exec. Director, Treasurer, Vice Pres. Recording & Corresponding Secretary, Judicial Delegate.   Board Member Citizen Action, Women’s Leadership Forum (DNC). Recipient CFD Outstanding Member Award.  Organized tabling operations; Street Fairs, weekend community Out Reach and GOTV (Get Out The Vote).  “Without hindsight one cannot have Foresight”.

My name is Erica Overton and I am running to be the Vice President of Membership. I had the honor of running Marc Landis’ City Council campaign last summer, and I currently serve as the Constituent Liaison for Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal.  I want to bring my campaign experience to this role and expand CFD’s membership.

VP Programming

Active member of CFD 19 years - Especially enjoy being part of CFD’s board for past 3 years and would like to continue in that capacity.  I feel CFD has a mission to serve as a progressive voice for our community, city, and state. I want to participate in our club to the fullest extent possible.


Member CFD since 1998, current Treasurer. Graduated Binghamton U (SUNY) & Brooklyn Law School. Practiced w/ firm O’Dwyer and Bernstein. Worked for Congressman Nadler since 1998, currently his District Director. Since 1997 Counsel for Nadler for Congress, handling all campaign finances & compliance issues w/ the FEC. Numerous campaigns — Stringer, Nadler, Schneiderman, Rosenthal, and others in metro area.

Fundraising Director

Mark Diller has served Community Board 7 in variety of leadership capacities including chair.  Mark is also a recidivist PTA president and education advocate.  A graduate of Columbia College and Fordham Law, Mark lives with his wife (a soprano) and during college breaks his son (a baritone).  No one wants Mark to sing.

Recording Secretary

Moved to area in 2010. Have been active in democratic politics all my life. This election season I collected signatures and volunteered at Obama store-front. Been working on anti-fracking committee of League of Women Voters. Most of my working years spent in Social Welfare and Public Assistance. Developed and ran education and job training programs for welfare clients and programs for their children. Presently enrolled in Masters Program in Labor Studies at CUNY.

Corresponding Secretary

Westside resident 53 years. VP at Fleet Services 18 years, opened trucking company 1977, retired 1997. CFD member 6 years, Board member 3 years, Corresponding Secretary 1 year and Judicial Delegate. On Board of Park West Village Tenant Association where I’ve lived 42 years. Formerly on Board of Concerned Citizens for Community Action.  Board of Elections poll worker 8 years and Coordinator 2 years.

CFD Board of Directors Candidates

(Vote for up to 25)

Chair Person of CFD President's Council 2011. VP of Membership/Public Outreach 2010. Former CFD President and VP. Poll Site Monitor 69 AD. Continually collects 200+ Petition Signatures. Judicial Delegate, Campaigned for CFD endorsed candidates for Local, State, and National offices. Worked for Obama/Biden campaign 2007 including trips to PA. CWA Local 1180 Activist - One Nation March.

CFD member over 25 years; Former CFD President, Vice President, Chair of Fundraising Committee, Board member, Judicial Convention Delegate.  Chaired CFD Westside Mayoral Forum. Active in numerous political campaigns for CFD candidates. Attorney; community activist.  I believe I can share knowledge, experience, and historical perspective with the Board.

Vietnam veteran. Graduated: U Of Central Florida. V.P. DL Passante Associates,(Advertising Agency); retired MTA Bridges and Tunnels (Law enforcement); Chairman, Wise Towers DeHostos Buildings Green Committee; Board member, Wise Towers Tenants Assoc. & CFD 2009 & 2010.  I feel that serving the community is the cornerstone of good government and citizenship.

20 year UWS resident working in progressive politics and advocacy for candidates and non profits.

Current Board of Directors member. CFD member for 35+ years, Liberal activist concerned about housing, civil rights and community issues. CFD Board is a venue for working on and learning about these issues. I hope CFD will be even more active in 2014 and continue to protect tenants’ rights in New York.

A CFD member for the last decade Bob has been and is now a Board member. Corresponding Secretary for 8 years. In 2010 he was the recipient of CFD’s Ivan Merber Award for “Years of Distinguished Service.” He’s a Petitioning champion (1,000+) & County Committee member. Works hard to elect Democrats.

CFD Board member and judicial alternate since 2011. Prior to moving to UWS was active in many campaigns, ran as an Edwards and Harkin delegate, chaired Nassau County DSA, served on ADA national board; named "Man of the Year” by the Nassau County Dems, honored by other progressive orgs. UWS campaigns: Nadler ’85, Karen Smith for Judge, enthusiastic supporter of Landis for City Council.

Renée Goodstein is a psychologist who received her Ed.M. in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University.  In addition to local politics, she is involved in environmental activism, focusing on issues such as preventing “fracking” in New York State and global climate change.  Renée is Professor of Psychology at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, and supervisor in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She has a psychotherapy practice, and research interests in multicultural psychology.

VP of Membership for 1 year. Board for 2 years. Chair of Membership & Outreach Committee for 1 year. Active member of Judiciary (2 years) and Membership Committees.  Judicial Delegate/Alternate for 2 years. Resident of Upper West Side for 33 years.  President of City Club of NY for 2 years. Board of City Club for 10 years. Practiced law in NYC since 1975. In private practice between 1975 and 2000. Civil servant between 1996 and the current date.

VP Programming last several years, Fundraising Director 6 years. Have run successful judicial and political campaigns. Former DL, Member of NY County Judiciary Committee. Organized/ran CFD storefront for Obama. Formulated, initiated and planned forums for parent and political organizations including 2010 voter education demonstrations, joint club activities from Obama Acceptance Speech Party to Obama's SOTU 2011. One of the few with CFD institutional memory.

I am an upper west side resident, native New Yorker, retired physician, long-time Democrat, 6th year CFD member, and CFD Board member since 2011. If selected I would be happy to serve and help CFD.

I have been an active member of CFD since October 2012. I am an attorney and a second year associate at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. I have prior experience as an intern for the U.S. Senate  Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Department of Labor. I look forward to working more with CFD.

CFD member since birth, finally reached voting member status last year. Obama-Biden kid supporter and phone banker; campaigned for Landis, Stringer, Brewer.  7th grader, Time for Kids kid reporter, synchronized ice skater and soccer player. I hope to get more young people involved in politics.

Member of CFD since 1996, serving several times on the Board, including as Corresponding Secretary, newsletter editor, and Executive Director. I've taken a step back for several years with the births of Nate and Ben, but am ready to reengage -- with a growing family, it matters to me more than ever.

CFD Board Member 15+ yrs, on committees including Membership and Judicial. Board of Elections 16 yrs - From Door Clerk to Dem. Coordinator for 8 yrs at poll site PS 163 serving 12 ED’s in 69th AD.  On Committee to hold symposium on electronic voting machines. Goals for 2012: reelection of President Obama, bring new CFD members.

CFD member since 1974 and active in the Riverside Dems before that date. Formerly on the CFD Board and now, in retirement, interested in getting more active. Presently chair of the CFD Judiciary Comm. that puts on annual forums to hear from members of the judicial screening panel and a separate annual forum to hear from judge candidates reported out by the screening panels.

UWS resident & CFD member many years. Pleased to serve on CFD Board, as Judicial Delegate and member of both the Judicial &  Programming Committees. I campaign for CFD endorsed candidates; do petitioning, phoning & disseminating information. I’m Eager to serve CFD for the political growth of the club and positive change for the community.

Louis L. Nock, Esq. (“Lou”), is a long-time loyal member of the Club, and one of the most prodigious petitioners and campaigners in town.  Lou is a Senior Attorney at the prestigious law firm of Akin Gump, where he devotes substantial time to representing indigent families and hard-working immigrants as pro bono counsel in landlord/tenant cases, asylum cases, and many other legal matters affecting the disadvantaged.  Lou also served with distinction as the Principal Law Clerk to New York State Supreme Court Justice Herman Cahn.  Lou was awarded the NY State Humane Service Medal in 2013 for saving lives during Hurricane Sandy, and President Obama’s Silver Volunteer Service Award in 2012 for the body of his pro bono work.  Lou Nock has one primary mission if elected as a member of the Club’s Board: to use that office to better promote and enhance the liberal values that are emblematic of our Upper West Side Community, of which he has been a stalwart member for nearly 15 years.

Founding member of Community Free Democrats; Former CFD President, Board Member, Judicial Convention Delegate.  President Park West Village Tenants Association, Member West 97th Street Working Group.  Worked in many CFD campaigns for numerous candidates. Committed to preserving rent stabilization and protecting tenants' rights.

A lifelong Upper West Sider, Gabe is a Stuyvesant High School junior interested in voting issues and fair housing. He co-founded his school’s Young Democrats club, served as Community Outreach intern in the Speaker’s office, as well as a Democratic campaign volunteer, and looks forward to working for his community.

I am a lifelong Upper West Sider. Now a law student, I served as UWS Community Liaison for State Senator Adriano Espaillat. Graduated from Beacon HS, 2009; SUNY New Patltz, BS Political Science, 2009. Worked with many of our West Side Elected Officials, and on many campaigns including: Aborn for DA, Schneiderman for Attorney General, and Stringer 2013.

I'm the oldest Board member, which makes everybody else feel young, the longest resident of the Upper West Side (since 1941) and a CFD member since 1982. I've been a judicial delegate and alternate, have worked on many campaigns, and am a member of the County Committee.


Incumbent. Active in NYCHA community, local Latino community leader, including senior group at Holy Name Church. Valued petitioner in UWS Latino community and with our candidates on the streets. Recipient of coveted Goddard-Riverside "Good Neighbor Award" in 2009. Passionate about improving street & sidewalk conditions and improving housing options for low income families.


February 27 - Annual Meeting Notice

Meeting Notice

Community Free Democrats Annual Meeting 2014

Thursday, February 27, 7:30 p.m.
Goddard Riverside Community Center
593 Columbus Avenue ( between W. 88th and W. 89th Sts.)

Election of CFD Officers and Board of Directors
Endorsement vote for U.S. Congress, 10th District
Program, TBA

Your membership dues must be current in order to vote.

You may pay  ( $ 30 regular dues ;  $ 15 limited income dues ):
With cash or check at the meeting
Via PayPal ( see our website http://www.cfdnyc.org )
By mailing a check, payable to CFD, to:
David Matarasso
545 West End Avenue
Apt. 6-D
New York, NY  10024

January 30 - NYC DOT presents 96th St. & B'way safety improvements

In response to the tragic pedestrian deaths in the area of West 96th and Broadway, the community has demanded that safety improvements be implemented quickly. We wanted to share with you an important public meeting to help move these improvements forward.

Presentation by the NYC Department of Transportation
Safety Improvement Proposal for Broadway and West 96th Street

Thursday, January 30, 6:00 PM
Goddard Riverside Community Center
593 Columbus Avenue at 88th Street

The Department of Transportation will be presenting their proposal and soliciting feedback. If you have a question, comment, or idea you should attend.

Modes of Judicial Selection by Lloyd McAulay

Modes of Judicial Selection
Lloyd McAulay
Chair of CFD Judiciary Committee - 1/12/14

In government, the modes of executive and legislative selection are fairly uniform. By contrast, we have much variance in how we select judges. Broadly speaking, judges are either elected or appointed. In New York City, we elect Supreme Court (our basic trial court) judges, Surrogates and Civil Court judges. The Mayor appoints Family Court and Criminal Court judges.

But “election” and “appointment” is a somewhat misleading simplification. In New York, and around the country, there are restrictions on these two processes that lead to a wide variety of selection systems. The systems in use employ one or more of the features set forth below. The goal of these features is to strike a balance between “independence” and “responsiveness”. Usually the mode of selection, whether elected or appointed, employs a combination of a number of the following:

  • Direct election. Candidates are nominated by one or more parties. This is how we elect many judges in New York. It is common throughout the United States.
  • Primary selection. Most candidates who are elected in a direct election are selected as a party candidate in a primary. See also convention selection below.
  • Retention election. A judge directly elected or appointed for a first term, runs for a second term without opposition. If the judge is turned down for a second term, the office is then open for selection by the mode used in the state. This is often called the Missouri Plan.
  • Term limitations. One proposal (not adopted) in Wisconsin is to a single, non renewal 16 year term.
  • Lifetime appointment. U. S. Supreme Court and all Federal Courts.
  • Age limitations. In New York, 70 is an age limitation, with certain exceptions.
  • Appointment by President, governor or mayor. The governor or mayor is often limited in some way; such as to someone from a group designated by a screening panel. Often, approval by the upper house of the legislature is required.
  • Screening panel. The appointing authority is limited to selection from a group of judicial candidates designated by a screening panel. Screening panels are created in different ways. In NYC, the screening panels used by the Mayor to appoint Criminal and Family court judges are panels appointed by the Mayor. The NYS Constitution spells out how the screening panel for Court of Appeals (our top court) is established.
  • Executive Appointment with legislative confirmation. This is how federal judge and N.Y. Court of Appeals are selected. Usually, it is Senate confirmation that is required.
  • Require that judges be lawyers. Though a common requirement, many justices of the peace are elected non-lawyers.
  • Party Convention. In NYS, and possibly nowhere else, the party nomination for Supreme Court is through a convention of party members who are elected in a primary election.

All federal courts (District Courts, Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court) are by presidential appointment with approval of the Senate. The state courts, within each state and form state to state, have widely varying methods of selecting judges.

In my opinion, a large part of the reason for such diverse modes of judge selection is the recognition that judicial decision making is often influenced by a judge’s policy/political leanings. Yet we would like to think that the courts are “above” politics. Thus we want “independence” of a sort coupled with “responsiveness” to public policy. We lose the rule of law if judges are not above the current political fray. We lose democratic governance if judges are free to decide all cases based on personal policy.