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.

Stephanie Lasher
President, Community Free Democrats

Councilmember Helen Rosenthal
Councilmember Mark Levine

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 (, Joan Paylo ( or Stephanie Lasher ( 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,, 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!


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.

Resolution In Support of the International Agreement to Prevent Iran From Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon

A majority of the A majority of the Board of Directors, Officers and District leaders of Community Free Democrats (CFD) have voted in favor of a resolution urging our Congressional representatives to support approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the multinational agreement to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. The full resolution is attached.

We urge Senator Gillibrand, Representative Rangel and Representative Nadler to vote in favor of the deal. We urge Senator Schumer, in light of his announced opposition to the deal, to refrain from lobbying his colleagues to join him in opposition, to consider not voting to override a Presidential veto should the deal fail to be approved by Congress, and perhaps to even re-consider his decision based on new expressions of support from nuclear scientists and the former head of United Against Nuclear Iran, Gary Samore.

Resolution In Support of the International Agreement to Prevent Iran From Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon

Whereas, an agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was reached between Iran and the international community after more than six years of discussions,

Whereas, an overwhelming majority of nuclear experts agrees that this deal is a good deal and far better than no deal,

Whereas, without a deal, and its concomitant monitoring, inspections and restraint, Iran could “breakout” and have a nuclear weapon in as short as three months,

Whereas, with this international agreement Iran’s nuclear building program would be halted from ten to fifteen years,

Whereas, with this international agreement cheating on the part of Iran would be far easier to detect than what is in place today,

Whereas, if Iran cheated there are mechanisms in the agreement to reinstate sanctions,

Whereas, the critics of this international agreement have not come up with an alternative other than to ratchet up sanctions or military intervention,

Whereas, if this international agreement, which was agreed to by the United States and five other major countries, plus the United Nations Security Council, were to be rejected by the US Congress international sanctions would surely fall apart and Iran would be free to pursue nuclear weapons without sanctions,

Therefore, Be It Resolved, That Community Free Democrats calls on Congress, and especially its elected officials, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congress members Jerrold Nadler and Charlie Rangel, to support the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and support President Obama’s veto of any legislation that rejects the agreement.

Oct 1 - Common Core: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What We Can Do About It

Goddard-Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Ave.
Community Free Democrats Meeting
Thursday, October 1, 7:30 p.m.
(NE corner of West 88th Street)

We welcome our panel of education leaders:

Kathleen Cashin, member, State Board of Regents

Ben Shuldiner, member, Mayor's Panel on Education Policy

Dan Katz, chair, Common Core Committee of the Community Education Council, District 3 (Upper West Side)

Some Issues to be discussed include:

  • The Common Core State Standards, which New York has adopted, and the state tests aligned to these standards, which are now administered to students beginning in 3rd grade. The standards and tests have generated opposition on both sides of the aisle in the form of a statewide opt-out protest movement, an issue-specific ballot line ("Stop Common Core") in 2014 and posturing and/or problem-solving from the public and private
  • The aspirations and limitations of the new standards
  • Lessons to be learned from the controversial way they were rolled out in our state and The public backlash against the standards and how public officials have responded.

Bring your questions and join us for a timely and informative conversation.CFD’s monthly meetings are free and open to the public.

June 25 - City Council Hearing on Bill to Limit Construction Noise Near Schools

City Council to Hold Hearing on Levine Bill to Limit Construction Noise Near Schools


MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Thursday, June 25, 2015

CONTACT: Tyrone Stevens 917-842-5748 /

NEW YORK -- On June 25, 2015 the Committee on Environmental Protection Chaired by Council Member Donovan Richards will hold a hearing on Intro 420, a bill sponsored by City Council Member Mark Levine that would require mitigation of construction noise near schools. The bill would require noise from construction sites within 75 feet of any public or private school to not exceed 45 decibels (dBs) in any classroom during school operating hours. Currently, Intro 420 has more than 20 co-sponsors and has the support of concerned parents, as well as numerous health, legal and noise experts across the city.

Since 2011, construction has disrupted learning at more than 10 NYC public schools impacting more than 6,000 students. Right now, PS 75 and PS 163--elementary schools each serving more than 600 children on the Upper West Side--and the School of the Future, a well regarded middle and high school serving more than 700 students, all face the possibility of future years of loud and dangerous construction next door to their buildings. In 2014 alone, there were at least 880 individual schools located both within 100 feet of a tax lot containing a Building Permit and within 100 feet of a Noise Complaint during school hours.

What: Committee on Environmental Protection hearing on Intro 420 that would require noise from construction sites within 75 feet of any public or private school to not exceed 45 decibels (dBs) in any classroom during school operating hours.

When: Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 1pm

Where: Committee Room, City Hall

Who: Council Member Levine, Members of the Council Committee on Environmental Protection, medical, legal and noise experts, education advocates and concerned parents

CFD Endorsements 2015

On May 28th CFD voted to endorse the following candidates for the 2015 election cycle.

District Leader, 67th A.D., Part C – Female
Shari Gottheim

District Leader, 67th A.D., Part C – Male
Marc Landis

District Leader, 69th A.D., Part B – Female
Joan Paylo

District Leader, 69th A.D., Part B – Male
Nick Prigo

Judicial Delegates, 67th AD
Susan Gwertzman
Ray Hodell
Robert Gottheim

Alternate Judicial Delegates, 67th AD
Hilda B. Classon
Bridget Amatore
Theresa Baiano

Judicial Delegates, 69th AD
Judith Bader-York
Sharon Silberfarb
Irene Dess

Alternate Judicial Delegates, 69th AD
Lloyd McAulay
Joan Mendez



Contact: Joel Kupferman, Esq. 917-414-1983 /
Martin Rosenblatt 212-677-7729 /

(April 13, 2015, NYC)

Nine residents of the Park West Village neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan have filed a lawsuit against the New York State Health Department to prevent it from giving approval to Jewish Home Lifecare (JHL) to construct a twenty-story nursing home on a parking lot on West 97th Street. The lawsuit challenges the Department’s handling of a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) proceeding, which was initiated after significant amounts of lead and other toxins were found at the proposed site.

The petitioners include two mothers, their minor children, six senior citizens, and other residents of the Park West Village neighborhood who live in buildings adjacent to the proposed site and will be exposed to toxic dust, excessive noise, and delayed emergency responses if the proposed project is allowed to move forward. Many of the petitioners have health conditions that will be harmed by the release of lead and other toxins from the proposed construction site, which also abuts elementary school P.S. 163.

The lawsuit was filed on April 9, 2015, in the New York County Supreme Court by Joel Kupferman, a highly regarded environmental attorney and Executive Director of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project. The suit seeks an order vacating the environmental review conducted by the New York State Health Department, and an injunction against the Department to prevent it from granting any approval for the proposed project until the State has complied with the requirements of the SEQR law and the Public Health Law. The suit contends that the Department failed to comply with the law by not taking a “hard look” at the environmental dangers posed by the project, and by not presenting a “reasoned elaboration” for its conclusions regarding environmental impacts, mitigation measures, and feasible alternatives. The suit claims that the Department failed to apply measures to prevent harm from a project that should not have been treated as a typical construction project, but rather as a project involving significant contamination issues and intrusion upon very close sensitive receptors.

Kupferman said, “This community with a long history of exposure to dust, lead, and other toxins, have earned a healthy skepticism of questionable assurances that imminent exposure that is posed from a major construction project will be controlled.”

The suit also states that the State failed to take a hard look at the fact that Jewish Home Lifecare had received approval from the State Health Department in 2008 to construct a new facility at its existing location on West 106th Street, and that Jewish Home Lifecare claimed that the 106th Street project was designed to apply best practices from the “Green House” model and other innovative models that would provide significant improvements in the quality of life of the residents. In direct contrast, the so-called “Green House” proposed for West 97th Street would diminish quality of life by relegating mobility challenged nursing home residents to high floors of a twenty-story tower, and would be difficult to evacuate in the event of a fire or natural disaster like hurricanes Irene or Sandy.

April 13 - Participatory Budgeting in Districts 6 & 7 Begins

Make sure you get out and vote in this year's participatory budgeting!

PB lets the community participate in decision-making. It’s a yearlong process of public meetings, to make sure that people have the time and resources to make wise decisions. Community members discuss local needs and develop proposals to meet these needs. Through a public vote, residents then decide which proposals to fund. PB is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

District 6 (Helen Rosenthal)

See District 6 Map
View All District 6 Projects
View All District 6 Voting Locations

District 7 (Mark Levine)

See District 7 Map
View All District 7 Projects
View All District 7 Voting Locations

Select Voting Locations in CFD's Catchment

District 6

Wednesday, April 15
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Broadway Mall Community Center
West 96th Street & Broadway

Friday, April 17
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Outside Council Member Rosenthal’s District Office
563 Columbus Ave.
(On the corner of 87th Street)

Sunday, April 19
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Community Board 7 Offices
250 West 87th Street, First floor
(Between Broadway & West End Ave.)

District 7

Monday, April 13
7:45 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
PS 145, The Bloomingdale School
150 West 105 Street

Monday, April 13
10:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Morningside Library
2900 Broadway

April 23 - Affordable Housing in Peril

Affordable Housing in Peril:
Will Albany Renew Expiring Rent Regs?

Thursday, April 23
Goddard Riverside Community Center
Columbus Avenue and 88th Street
Monthly Meeting starts at 7:30 PM
Panel Discussion at 8:00 PM

Nominations for CFD candidates for Delegates and Alternates in the 67th and 69th Assembly Districts to the 2015 Judicial Convention

The laws establishing ‘Rent Regs’ (Rent Stabilization and Rent Control) will expire this June. And although the affected apartments are in New York City, the state legislature holds the reins on this issue.

Come hear Sue Susman, affordable housing advocate, and Ellen Davidson, a Legal Aid attorney working on the new legislation, discuss the history, current status and outlook for ‘rent regs.’ Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal will provide an up-to-the-minute report on the proceedings in Albany, including the progress of her bill to move certain de-regulated units back into regulated status. And a report on a meeting convened to coordinate community advocacy in support of rent regs will jump-start a conversation on the big question: What Can We Do?!

Be heard! Bring your questions and comments!

Please download the meeting flier to forward to your friends, post in your building and share on local bulletin boards

1. Call to Order
2. Approval of March 2014 Minutes
3. President’s Report
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Rent Regulations Panel Discussion: Sue Susman, Ellen Davidson, Bob Amsterdam, Arlene Karole
6. Rent Regulation Update by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal
7. Nominations for Judicial Delegates and Alternates
8. Elected and Party Official Reports
9. New Business
10. Adjourn