May 26 – Endorsement Meeting

At Community Free Democrats’ May meeting on May 26, at 7:30 PM, at Goddard Riverside Community Center, NE corner of West 88th and Columbus Avenue, we will be voting to endorse candidates in the following upcoming races:

NYS Assembly, 69th District (Daniel O’Donnell is incumbent)
NYS Senate, 29th District (Jose Serrano, Jr., is incumbent)
NYS Senate, 30th District (incumbent Bill Perkins and challenger Brian Benjamin)
NYC Senate, 31st District (Micah Lasher and former Councilmember Robert Jackson)

All candidates for these offices will be addressing us and taking questions, so come get informed and involved!

I hope to see you next Thursday.

Stephanie Lasher
CFD President

Apr 28 – Endorsements & Presentation from Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal

Here’s a reminder — and update — about the CFD meeting on Thursday, April 28th, 7:30 PM at Goddard Riverside (Columbus Avenue & 88th Street ). The meeting will feature:

  • Statements by candidates for Judicial Delegates, followed by an endorsement vote
  • Statements by candidates for Democratic State Committee, followed by an endorsement vote
  • Consideration of Endorsement of candidates for US Senate and NYS Assembly, 67th District
  • And saving the best for last, a presentation by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal about the budget, her legislative accomplishments, and other matters of timely interest.

Feb 25 – CFD Annual Meeting: Criminal Justice Reform and Club Elections

Come to our meeting on Thursday, February 25th, 7:30 PM, at Goddard Riverside, 88th and Columbus, for an informative and timely panel discussion about criminal justice reform, focusing on pre-trial and sentencing issues. Our panelists will include (with possible later additions):

Donna Henkin, Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Defense Division
Fran Hoffinger, The Hoffinger Firm PLLC, partner
Irwin Shaw, Attorney-in-Charge, Legal Aid Society, NY County Criminal Division
Moderator: Jason M. Clark, Assistant Atty. General, Office of NYS Attorney General

Hardly a day goes by, it seems, without some reference to criminal justice reform, at the Federal, State and local levels. Whether it’s police conduct during arrests, or pre-trial and sentencing issues like bail reform and the age of juvenile jurisdiction, or incarceration initiatives aimed to reduce recidivism, or post-release constraints, current procedures are under review, with abundant suggestions for reform. Our panelists will explain those current procedures, expose the problems, and explore proposed fixes. The first step in getting pro-active is getting smart — let’s take the first step together.

And, at the same meeting, momentarily turn your attention from the national Presidential Primaries to the election of CFD’s officers and board members-at-large. Renewing members need to pay their 2016 dues (and any arrears) in order to vote. New members cannot vote until 60 days after initially joining the club, but even if you can’t vote in the club elections, it’s a great year to be part of a political club and at this meeting you’ll get to hear from the people who will be responsible for the club over the next 12 months. Not to mention you’ll get the member rate for our Gala on April 3rd, and be able to vote in club endorsements and for judicial delegates later this year.

The candidates are listed below:
President — Stephanie Lasher
VP-Communications – Arlene Karole
VP-Programming – Janice Oppenheimer
VP-Membership – Zvi Bassan; Hilda B. Classon
Fundraising Director – Suzanne Jacobson
Recording Secretary – Irene Dess
Corresponding Secretary – Ron Walton
Treasurer – Rob Gottheim

Board Members-at-Large (25 to be chosen)
Bob Amsterdam
William King
Judy Bader-York
Rachel Landis
Alec Barrett
Micah Lasher
Richard Oppenheimer
Mark Diller
Erica Overton
Renee Goodstein
Maggi Peyton
Susan Gwertzman
Stephanie Pinto
Marion Harris
Ben Schachter
Ray Hodell
Sharon Silberfarb
Valerie Horst
Ana Singh
Sam Hudis
Milagros Stanley
Joan Yazmir

We look forward to seeing you on February 25th!

Calling on Mayor de Blasio

The below letter was sent to Mayor de Blasio regarding the recent City Council bill to raise City Council salaries above the recommendations of the Quadrennial Advisory Commission.


Dear Mayor de Blasio,

The Board of Directors of Community Free Democrats has adopted a resolution calling upon you to veto Int. 1055-2016 in its present form.

We object to this legislation because the City Council elected to grant themselves a pay increase that exceeds the recommendations of the Quadrennial Advisory Commission. Furthermore, signing this legislation would mean that the City Council and Mayor would have increased their own pay during your current term in office (and even retroactively), damaging the public’s faith in honest government and increasing cynicism in the political process as a whole.

We believe that our elected officials should be fairly compensated. Nonetheless, we urge that you only consider approving pay raises for the Mayor and City Council that take effect following the term in which the increase was adopted, and that are in accordance with the recommendations of the Quadrennial Advisory Commission.

Respectfully,
Stephanie Lasher
President, Community Free Democrats

Cc:
Councilmember Helen Rosenthal
Councilmember Mark Levine

April 3 – CFD’s 47th Annual Spring Gala!

Dear Friend of Community Free Democrats,

Please join us for CFD’s 47th Annual Gala on Sunday, April 3, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Bella Luna Restaurant, 584 Columbus Avenue (between 88th and 89th Streets). It’s a highlight of the New York political calendar, where we break bread and chat with leaders who make us proud to be Democrats with progressive values. With so many races, from President and U.S. Senate on down, we’ll have lots of gossip to trade and plans to map out.

Our very own Congressman Jerry Nadler will receive CFD’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Stephan Russo, widely-acclaimed Executive Director of Goddard Riverside Community Center, will be awarded our Distinguished Community Leader Award. The Michalski-Leutner Community Activism Award will recognize several neighbors in both the 67th and 69th ADs who make a huge difference. We’ll salute activists working together to block a high-rise nursing home from being built on overdeveloped West 97th Street, specifically, Maggi Peyton and the Park West Village Tenants Association, along with Rene Kathawala, who’s both a PS 163 parent and the attorney representing the Parent Association in their struggle. We’ll also honor Melissa Elstein, indefatigable co-founder of the West 80’s Neighborhood Association.

For decades, CFD leaders like Jerry Nadler, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal have contributed to the Upper West Side’s nationwide reputation for progressive Democratic leadership. By helping CFD continue to be a proving ground for excellent public servants, you’ll be helping keep our party and its principles strong.

Your contribution and presence will help advance our shared political and social agenda, including fighting to expand affordable housing, rent laws and other tenant protections; advocating for workers’ protections and a living wage; protecting the environment; and clearing paths to equal justice in areas such as voting rights, criminal justice and human rights.

Sponsorship categories, which include a listing on the invitation, are: Angel ($1,500), Benefactor ($550), and Patron ($350). The regular ticket price is $250 (no listing). Invitations to this popular event will be circulated to approximately 2,000 West Siders and political and civic leaders, and sponsors will be featured on the CFD website, cfdnyc.org.

The deadline to be included on the invitation is March 15, 2016. Direct any questions to Suzanne Jacobson at sjacobny@aol.com or 212-873-5187. We look forward to seeing you on April 3.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Lasher
President, Community Free Democrats


We gratefully acknowledge the sponsors of our reception

Angels
Hon. Jerry Nadler & Hon. Joyce Miller
Hon. Linda B. Rosenthal

Benefactors
Hon. Adriano Espaillat
Hon. Marc Landis and the Landis Family
Hon. Mark Levine

Patrons
Judith Bader-York & Elizabeth York
Alice & David Belgray
Hon. Gale Brewer
Hon. Daniel Marks Cohen
Mark Diller
Hon. Richard Gottfried
Robert Gottheim
Hon. Jason Haber & Hon. Cory Haber
Ray Hodell
Hon. Brad Hoylman
Hon. Suzanne Jacobson
Ed Kornreich
Craig Kraus
Micah Lasher & Elizabeth Mann
Stephanie and Albert Lasher
Harlan Levy
Hon. Daniel O’Donnell
Janice & Richard Oppenheimer
Hon. Bill Perkins
Hon. Nick & Michele Prigo
Hon. José M. Serrano, Jr.
Hon. Keith L. T. Wright
Joan & Martin Yazmir


You can pay online here or make checks payable to Community Free Democrats and mail to Suzanne Jacobson, CFD Fundraising Director, 40 West 75 Street, #1B, New York, NY 10023.







Contributions to Community Free Democrats are not tax deductible
Handicapped Accessible

E-cigarette Rally, Dem Debate Watch, Stringer on housing and more!

Happy 2016, CFD Members and Friends!

Mother Nature may have tossed us into the dead of winter, but that just gives us reason to huddle together for warmth. Bundle up and come out to these events.

Rally Against E-Cigarette Advertising That Targets Children and Teens
Sunday, Jan. 17 at 11 a.m.
Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Ave. @ 88th St.

Join NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, along with co-sponsors US Rep. Jerrold Nadler; Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal; State Senators Adriano Espaillat, Brad Hoylman, Bill Perkins and Jose Serrano; the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and the NYS American Academy of Pediatrics District II.
To RSVP for the rally call 212-669-8736. This is a child-friendly event, so bring the young people in your life.

NYC Grassroots Debate Watch for Hillary!
Sunday, Jan. 17, 7:30 to 11 p.m.
Stitch Bar & Lounge, 247 W. 37th St., Manhattan

CFD members and other Manhattan Democrats, Secretary Hillary Clinton supporters, local elected officials and special guests will gather to watch and cheer on CFD’s endorsed candidate and to Tweet along during the fourth Democratic Presidential Primary Debate broadcast live from South Carolina. The debate is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.; doors open at 7:30.

We will be joined by special guests.
– This is a FREE event.
– There will be a cash bar (food and drinks available for purchase).
– This venue is accessible.

RSVP is recommended to https://www.hillaryclinton.com/events/view/1338155/

NYC Comptroller to Speak at Central Park Gardens
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 8 p.m.
50 W. 97th St., Community Room

Jan. 20 is the traditional date for the POTUS’ State of the Union Address, but since that happened Jan. 12, you have a chance to hear Scott Stringer speak at CPGardens’ Tenant Association meeting, hosted by housing advocate Sue Susman.

This is not a political campaign meeting. RSVPs would be appreciated since light refreshments will be served. Email Sue@janak.org.

CFD January Meeting – Voting Reform, US Senate & House endorsements, club nominations
Thursday, Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Ave. @ 88th St.

Panel discussion: Voting Reform in New York.
Denora Getachew, Campaign Manager and Legislative Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, and Douglas Kellner, co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, are our distinguished speakers. Come learn why our city and state haven’t implemented early voting or other innovations to improve voter turnout, why your local poll site may have been moved, and what we can do to bring our fair city into the 21st Century!

Club endorsement votes for US Senator from NY State and Congressmember, 10th District, seats currently held by Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Jerry Nadler, who both must run again in 2016. You must be current with your dues in order to vote.

Nominations for CFD officers and board members for the coming year.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s 2016 State of the Borough Address
Sunday, January 31. Doors open 1 p.m.; program begins 2 p.m.
The New School, 63 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street

RSVP: 212-669-8300 or info@manhattanbp.nyc.gov or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/state-of-the-borough-tickets-20528242526

Jan 28 – CFD Meeting on Voting Reform; Federal Endorsements; Officer Nominations

General Membership Meeting
7:30 PM
Goddard Riverside
Thursday, January 28th

Both Jerry Nadler and Chuck Schumer are running for re-election, and we will vote on endorsements in those races.

We will be nominating CFD officers and board members for the coming year.

Denora Getachew of the Brennan Center for Justice and Doug Kellner, co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, will be speaking on Voting Reform in New York City. Come learn why NYC hasn’t implemented early voting or other innovations to improve voter turnout, and what we can do to bring our fair city into the 21st century!

We’re starting 2016 off with a bang!

Dear CFD members,

We’re starting 2016 off with a bang! Here’s what’s happening:

Reception in support of SCOTT STRINGER — Tonight – January 5th – 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Joanne Trattoria, 70 West 68th Street – call 212-614-3106 to RSVP.

We are – right now – collecting petition signatures for Hillary Clinton delegates, including CFD’s own Scott Stringer. You will need to return the completed petitions no later than our January 28th General meeting. Given the ‘seasonal’ temperatures (brrrr!), you may want collect signatures in your building, although we will be happy to organize some street locations if we get enough volunteers. Please contact Richard Oppenheimer (roppenheimer@nyc.rr.com), Joan Paylo (cfdjoan@aol.com) or Stephanie Lasher (stephanielasher46@gmail.com) to let us know you want some petitions. No time to contemplate on this one – contact us TODAY.

Dues are due! Please pay your dues via our website, www.cfdnyc.org, or send your check, made payable to Community Free Democrats, to Rob Gottheim, 200 West 79th Street, Apt. 8N, New York, NY 10024.

Our General Meeting, 7:30 PM, Goddard Riverside, Thursday, January 28th, will be HUGE!

  • Both Jerry Nadler and Chuck Schumer are running for re-election, and we will vote on endorsements in those races.
  • We will be nominating CFD officers and board members for the coming year.
  • Denora Getachew of the Brennan Center for Justice and Doug Kellner, co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, will be speaking on Voting Reform in New York City. Come learn why NYC hasn’t implemented early voting or other innovations to improve voter turnout, and what we can do to bring our fair city into the 21st century!

IT’S GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR – GET INVOLVED STARTING TODAY!

Dec 17 – Holiday Party

Goddard Riverside Community Center
NE corner of 88th and Columbus
Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

CFD’s annual can’t-miss Holiday Party. Activists and elected officials from all over Manhattan will have this one on their personal calendars, and that includes YOU!

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
on
Thursday, November 19th, 7:30 PM
in the community room at 875 West End Avenue at 103rd Street.
(NOTE NEW LOCATION)

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.