Dear New York MoveOn member,
For the past seven years, Democrats have been elected to the majority of New York State Senate seats by voters. But Republicans control the chamber. Why? Because a breakaway group of self-serving, conservative Democrats have handed over control of our state Senate to the GOP!
Isn't it stunning that so-called "Democrats" are letting Republicans control the New York State Senate? The goods news is: we have a chance to change that this week. In this Thursday's Democratic primary, we have the opportunity to defeat enough of these senators—known as the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC—to flip control of the New York Senate to Democrats, where it belongs!
With Election Day on Thursday, there isn't a moment to lose. Will you rush a $3 contribution to help take back the New York State Senate today?
Click here to chip in directly to the campaigns of progressive Democrats who will take back control of the New York State Senate this week. With your help, we will make New York a leader of the nation!
Why hasn't New York passed laws defending abortion rights in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned? Why hasn't New York pursued a single-payer health system, despite support from an overwhelming number of New Yorkers? Why haven't we reformed the criminal justice system, legalized marijuana, made billionaires pay their fair share, or transformed voting rights in our state?
It's all because of the IDC. The IDC has stalled big, important progressive legislation, including the New York Health Act, the New York Reproductive Health Act, the New York State DREAM Act, and the New York State Fair Pay Act (which prevented wage discrimination based on gender, race, or nation of origin). All four of these bills passed through the Assembly with massive majorities but died in the Senate because of the IDC.1
But these IDC members—Democrats-in-name-only—all have to face Democratic primaries at home. And this year, MoveOn members in key districts have endorsed principled challengers who will caucus with Democrats and ensure real leadership in the New York Senate. The primary is on a Thursday—which means turnout is likely to be low. And as a result, every little bit we can do could make a big difference.
The results of these primaries will impact all New Yorkers. If we win this Thursday, we can replace these "Democrats" who let Republicans control the State Senate with hard-charging progressives, end GOP control of New York, and put our state on a path to profound progressive legislation.
Can you pitch in $3 to the campaigns of these progressive New York Democrats?
Let me tell you about a few of these races.
New York Senate District 34: Where the IDC began
State Senator Jeffrey Klein, who was recently accused by a former staffer of sexual misconduct, has been the IDC's leader since its inception.2 As the head of the IDC, he got to sit on the committee to update the sexual harassment policy and did not recuse himself, despite his own open investigation.3
This year, MoveOn members in New York's Senate District 34 voted to endorse Klein's challenger, Alessandra Biaggi.
Alessandra is an advocate for women's reproductive health and the passage of the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Coverage Act.
While she was working in the governor's office, focusing her efforts on the Council for Women & Girls and the state's women's policy agenda, Jeff Klein and his IDC followers refused to let the bills she's fighting to pass come to a vote in the state Senate.
In three other key districts, progressive Democrats are challenging IDC incumbents in the Sept. 13 primary. All four can defeat these IDC turncoats, but they need our help to do it.
Senate District 13: Labor Union Activist vs. IDC Enabler
Jessica Ramos is public-school parent and labor activist.
She joined with Build UP NYC to fight for construction, hotel, and maintenance workers in New York City.
Jessica is challenging Senator Jose Peralta. When he joined the IDC in 2017, Peralta enriched himself by getting a larger staff and better office, committee appointments that led to higher pay, and more discretionary funds for his district than he would if he were a member of the Democratic caucus.4 He got thousands of dollars in taxpayer money from the state of New York after GOP officials submitted fraudulent paperwork claiming Peralta chaired a committee that was actually led by a Republican senator.5
Senate District 20: Tenants Bill of Rights Drafter vs. In-the-Pocket Politician for Real Estate Developers
Local attorney Zellnor Myrie is running in Senate District 20 against State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, who defected to the IDC one day before the 2016 election.
For his role as legislative director in the New York City Council, Zellnor Myrie helped to draft and pass the Tenants' Bill of Rights.
Since 2014, IDC Sen. Hamilton has received at least $60,000 in campaign donations from real estate interests, including $10,000 this cycle from the Real Estate Board of New York's PAC.6
Senate District 31: Education Champion vs. Election Day IDC Defector
Robert Jackson was first elected to the New York City Council in 2001 and was subsequently reelected three times.
He has been a champion of education, helping create more than 4,000 pre-K spots, fought against teacher layoffs, and helped start the Drop-Out Prevention Initiative.
The current incumbent in Senate District 34 is Sen. Marisol Alcantara, who won a three-way primary election in 2016 (where Robert Jackson was one of the candidates) and immediately joined the IDC. She's received over $500,000 from the Senate Independence Campaign, a fundraising committee for the IDC.7
After repeatedly betraying Democrats across the state, there is absolutely no reason why these four incumbents should be allowed to stay in office. All four of these seats are safely Democratic, and they should be represented by people who truly represent their constituents.
Thanks for all you do.
–MoveOn's New York Elections Team
1. "Sen. Jesse Hamilton made his case for the IDC. Here's why he failed to convince us." Medium, March 22, 2018
2. "Can Alessandra Biaggi and Julia Salazar Unseat the GOP in Albany?" The Nation, August 9, 2018
3. "Four men, including one accused of forcible kissing, negotiating NY's harassment policies," Lohud, March 28, 2018
4. "Sen. Jesse Hamilton made his case for the IDC. Here's why he failed to convince us." Medium, March 22, 2018
5. "False Payroll Information Allows 3 State Senators to Collect Thousands," The New York Times, May 11, 2017
6. "Myrie campaign ad attacks ex-IDC Hamilton's real estate ties," City & State New York, July 5, 2018
7. "Don't Help Republicans Keep Power in Albany, Foes Urge Marisol Alcantara," DNA Info, December 27, 2016
Paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action, pol.moveon.org. This communication was not expressly authorized or requested by any federal, state, or local candidate, or by any candidate's political committee or any of its agents.