Friday, November 12, 2010

Bay Ridge Dems: Opening New Doors in Southwest Brooklyn








Despite the recent loss of the Congressional seat held by incumbent Mike McMahon, Democrats in Brooklyn continue to be on the move.  Close to 40 people turned up to help a launch a new Democratic club, simply named Bay Ridge Democrats, formed by local activists who want to see the political process in Brooklyn become more democratic. The club is dedicated to making the Democratic party more open and inclusive. More about activism and working toward progress for all Bay Ridge residents and Brooklynites, based on democratic principles and inclusiveness and less about politics as  an “insiders-only” game.  

At a recent gathering at Longbow’s Pub and Pantry on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, many former-members of the American Heritage Democratic Organization (AHDO), the United American Democratic Organization, and other newly involved activists, joined together to compare notes on the recent election and begin to discuss next steps and strategy for building a progressive, community-based political organization in Bay Ridge.

Attendees included former State Senator now City Councilman Vincent Gentile; Joanne Seminara, 60th Assembly District Democratic Committeewoman and Community Board 10 Chair;  Steve Harrison, former City Council candidate and two-time Congressional candidate against Vito Fossella; Scott Klein, Lambda Independent Democrats treasurer, past president of the AHDO, and now president of the new Bay Ridge Democrats group, Justin Brannan, community activist and organizer, as well as many interested community members seeking to revitalize the Bay Ridge Democratic scene.

"It’s a great turnout” said Ms. Seminara.  And, indeed, the assembled participants, from elected officials like Councilman Gentile, to veteran political activists and candidates like Ms. Seminara and Mr. Harrison, to eager community members interested in getting involved who munched on snacks as they chatted  and networked, clearly pointed toward a reinvigoration of Democratic progressive politics in southwest Brooklyn. Mr. Brannan noted "Bay Ridge Democrats will be an organization where people seeking to become more engaged in local politics can come and get their feet wet - really quick.”   He continued:  “Our endorsement is actually going to mean something - we are going to roll up our sleeves and work very hard for our candidates."  

Brannan said that the Bay Ridge Democrats will be involved in every aspect of the political process, from petitions to voter registration to poll watching, but also in political activism and “raising awareness about the critical issues to our community, our city, our state and our country.”

The next meeting of the Bay Ridge Democrats will be held on Thursday, December 9, 7 PM, at Good Shepherd Church, 7240 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Interested residents are invited to attend and see what the excitement is all about.

One thing is clear: a progressive, vocal Democratic (Big “D”) party is alive and well in Bay Ridge.


--Anthony Napoli for Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

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