MEMO TO BROOKLYN POLITICAL ACTIVISTS: YOU’VE GOT TO FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE.
I am often asked by those who are politically sick and tired of being sick and tired, what can be done to effectuate real change in the politics, at all three levels of government (federal, state, city/local). There are no easy answers. One thing I do know is that politics must never become a spectator sport. People of goodwill and strong ideals must participate in the process, no matter who else isn’t.
Recently, I was part of a small group which met to discuss the 2012 and 2013 election cycles. The discussion did not focus on any singular level or branch of government; nor did it focus on any specific race. After the discussions, I gave a lot of thought to action. You see it’s easy to sit around and pontificate. It’s even cool (somewhat) to gather in esoteric groups and theorize.
Talk is cheap. It’s action that brings about change more so than posturing and the selling of woof-tickets.
What I have done recently is initiate a recruitment process, seeking to get people thinking about challenging many of the district leader spots (both male and female) in Brooklyn. I have started in areas with heavy black populations or pockets; 12 assembly districts have immediately come into view: ADs 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 50, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58 and 59. I hope to eventually accumulate allies on the White and Hispanic sides of the tracks.
So far there are many folks interested in starting this movement based on only three immediate platform planks; namely: (a) that the democrats tackle the implementation of twelve-year term limits in New York, for elected officials at all three levels of government; (b) that elected officials surrender their district leader spots once elected/selected to higher office/positions; and (c) that the party advocate for a non-partisan commission to be set up immediately; so that after this census-cycle(2010), redistricting/reapportionment will be taken out of the hands of self-serving electeds.
Sure there are many other community concerns which many activists involved see as pressing; for example police misconduct, education reform, high-unemployment in communities of color, housing, et al. Right now, however, the focus will be placed on these three platform planks once new leaders are elected. The aim is to pressure the party to do better in terms of day to day political activism. We need to recruit new blood to the political process. We need to get more young people motivated and activated. Democrats haven’t held the NYC mayoralty since 1993. We need to recapture the state senate. We need to help President Obama get re-elected. We need to push back on “Tea-Party” people.
Recently, community activists like Lindiwe Kamau and Delroy Wright have been working with the Obama re-election team, in order to establish and work with Obama support-groups in central Brooklyn. Mundane things like voter-registration exercises have already started. Political education initiatives are amongst the activities planned for the immediate future.
So far I have identified nine people interested in run; six are male and three are female. The objective is to continue recruiting people of high-caliber to challenge the powers that be.
Next Sunday (12th February, 2012) there will be a meeting of Brooklyn activists at Delroy’s café/ restaurant/ bar, to further discuss all this (and more). The address is 14 Duryea Place (near Flatbush Avenue); between Beverley and Tilden. It starts at 6:00 p.m. All interested parties are free to attend; however, one must submit to a pre-clearance/screening process since we are not looking for provocateurs. If you are interested, do contact me (1-347-998-7631); or either Mr. Wright or Ms. Kamau. Ms. Kamau’s phone number is 1-718-774-5466. She is the head of the Nostrand Avenue Merchants Association (Brooklyn). Delroy Wright’s number is 1-516-359-8056. He is head of the Flatbush/Empire Avenues Merchant’s Association; and a potential candidate for City Council in the 2013 election-cycle.
Any change in NY politics must start with the party machinery. District leaders do more than simply select judges; they vet people; they also select emerging leaders and usually fill vacancies. We can all sit around and talk about change, but we will have to fight the powers that be to obtain real change and not be placated with small change. So, in the immortal words of a former head of the DNC (Ed Schultz): “Let’s get to work”.
Stay tuned-in folks.
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