About Democracy for NYC

Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.

EndorsedLogo PlasticWe work both locally and nationally to ensure that fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates are elected at all levels of government. We develop innovative ways to advocate for the issues that matter to our members and support legislation which has a positive effect in our communities.  We promote transparency and ethical practices in government.  We engage people in the political process and give them the tools to organize, communicate, mobilize, and enact change on the local, state, and national level.

You can download our bylaws here.

About Democracy for New York City


Protect the Dreamers!!








September 7, 2017 

The Board of Democracy for New York City (DFNYC) strongly condemns President Trump's decision this week to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. This action will result in the possible deportation of over 800,000 mostly young persons who have lived most of their lives here and who contribute positively to our communities in many ways. This decision will particularly affect New York City where many young people live among us who were brought to this country by their parents as minors and who are now responsible adult residents of our city. We find Trump's decision to be cruel and feel that this is clearly being done for political as opposed to practical reasons. We should never use human lives as political pawns to negotiate for other things. All of us must fight this. As President Obama stated eloquently in his response:

"Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we'd want our own kids to be treated. Its about who we are as a people- and who we want to be"

DFNYC pledges to stand with the Dreamers and fight for their right to stay in our country and continue to help build our communities. They share the same dreams and hopes that we do. We are the Dreamers.

Roberta Cohen
Carlos Dennis
Tracey Keij Denton
Rhonda Patillo
Max Smith
Richard Wallner
Wilson Chau





DFNYC Condemns Trump Ban on Transgender Military Service








August 5, 2017

**Official DFNYC Statement**

Democracy for New York City (DFNYC) strongly condemns the Trump Administration’s plan to ban U.S. citizens who happen to be transgender from being allowed to serve in the military.

Transgender citizens have served actively and courageously in the military, fought wars and defended our country and continue to do so. This ban is no different than past discrimination against African American and openly gay citizens who attempted to serve their country.

State sponsored discrimination is a threat to all of us and DFNYC is proud to join the ACLU, and our friends at Trans PAC, Democracy for America (DFA) and other progressive groups who have pledged to come together and fight to ensure and maintain equal rights for *all* U.S, citizens" including those who are transgender.

Roberta Cohen
Tracey Keij Denton
Rhonda Patillo
Max Smith
Richard Wallner
Wilson Chau


Other Statements/Resources:

The New York Times has an excellent editorial by Jennifer Boylan

Here is a statement from State Senator Brad Hoylman, the only openly LGBTQ member of the NY Senate:


Here is a good petition to sign:

Finally if you want to hear about more events taking place in the ongoing fight to protect the rights of transgender citizens, consider joining TransPAC:


NeoLiberalism-- How We Got Here

(The following is an editorial by DFNYC board member Mark Dieffenbacher)

Neoliberalism and How We Got Here

“The neoliberalism package is specifically designed to undercut democracy” (Noam Chomsky, 2014)

Neoliberalism is an economic geopolitical philosophy that emphasizes privatization, deregulation in the interest of corporations, and deep cuts to social spending.   It a system that has a “by the market and for the market” approach.    Proponents preach of the wonderful, fair, and just powers of the free market.

The neoliberal approach was formulated  at the University of Chicago by economist and professor Milton Friedman in the early part of the last half of the 20th century.  Friedman was adamantly opposed to the New Deal policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which were an extension of the doctrines of economist John Maynard Keynes.  Keynes had advocated, conversely to Friedman, for strong government intervention and corporate regulation to temper the rampant inequality and cyclical recessions that unfettered capitalism produces.  He advocated for programs that leveled the economic inequality and cyclical instability inherent in a capitalist system.   These policies, implemented in response to the Great Depression, produced a uniquely vibrant middle class in the US. 

Income Inequality Trends Europe Versus US 1900-2010

This graph is taken from Capital In The 21st Century by Thomas Piketty


Relative Industry Shares of corporate profits in US Economy. 1950 -2001.   This chart illustrates the steep decline of manufacturing in the designated period and the sharp rise of the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) sector, also indicated in the following chart.



   Friedman’s policies were readily welcomed by corporations and Republican politicians and bureaucrats in the early 1970’s, most notably Henry Kissinger, then Secretary of State. It was impossible to set these policies into practice as the Democratic party still held dear the policies and institutions originated by FDR, including the Social Security system and welfare.  Over the past 45 years, the US government has been able to gradually cut these programs by using globalization, forcing millions of American workers in the field of manufacturing to compete with workers from countries that pay much, much lower wages.  The weakening of campaign finance laws over time also allowed corporate money and lobbying to overwhelm the US political system, making US politicians mere courtiers to corporate interests.  The Democratic party became subservient to corporate money and loosened its adherence to FDR-style public policies.  The membership of unions was devastated.  Holding the upper hand, the corporations, in collusion with the US government, drove down pay and benefits.  Workers in the US saw manufacturing jobs leave the country by the millions.  Social programs have been severely reduced and privatized.  Austerity, or cutting government spending for the working class, is the rule. The wealthy, on the other hand, enjoy lavish perks from the government, including, quite dangerously, exorbitant military spending.   

    Neoliberalism is not just the norm in the US, but also throughout most of the western world.  Bureaucratic institutions such as the European Union and International Monetary Fund, which have little association with the working classes, impose austerity behind closed doors.  A myriad of elite international institutions stretching from the ivy league universities to the International Monetary Fund collude to create a worldwide ruling class.  The economy has become financialized, with the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE) sector assuming dominance in the economy and deeply exacerbating inequality by creating wild wealth on one end and a vast debtor class on the other.  

    Of course, the general public becomes enraged with its ever-declining living standards.  The age-old ploy of using scapegoats, such as immigrants, minorities and even the government itself, is utilized to divide the populace.  Politicians, doing the bidding of their corporate masters, egg on this sentiment in order to deflect public ire from the true corporate culprits.  The western world, riddled with austerity and the results of unending wars and the present danger of climate change for which it is largely responsible, is in deep crisis.  Donald Trump played on the angst of the US public, using a combination of scapegoating, white nationalism, and narrow but accurate economic critiques of the system to successfully claim the US presidency.   Interestingly, with the election of Trump as US President and the subsequent cabinet appointments of corporate CEO’s and board members such as Rex Tillerson (Exxon), Betsy DeVos (Amway), and Ben Carson (Costco) to name but a few, the courtier class has now been supplanted at the top of the executive branch by the corporate masters themselves. Indeed, the middleman has been eliminated.   


Paul Street, “They Rule:  The 1% v. Democracy”

Dr. Gus Bagakis, “Seeing Through the System: The Invisible Class Struggle in America”

Greta R. Krippner, “The Financialization of the American Economy”

DFNYC Statement on Trump Border Policies


February 5, 2017

President Donald Trump's announced policy to prevent citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States is bigoted, cowardly and short sighted. This ban is against everything for which the United States, the land of liberty, was founded. The lives of people who are friends of ours and valuable contributors to our communities are being needlessly threatened and disrupted. When Trump says that our borders are overrun, and that refugees are not subject to the closest scrutiny when they try to enter the country, he is lying. He wants to push Islamophobia and xenophobia as a way to instill fear and gain support for his isolationist, America first, policies.

Democracy for New York City (DFNYC) pledges to join with our allies in the progressive community here in NYC to fight these misguided policies now coming out of the White House. We will use our social media and every resource we have to protect the freedoms that our forefathers fought for and to keep our borders open. Lady Liberty does not just belong to us, she belongs to everyone around the world, and we will not let the light in her torch go out. Ever.

Roberta Cohen
Tracey Keij Denton
Mark Dieffenbacher
Rhonda Patillo
Max Smith
Richard Wallner

The Board of Directors DFNYC

Ken Thompson

Democracy for NYC is deeply saddened by the death of Ken Thompson, the pioneering Brooklyn DA. We were so proud to support him in his hard fought Democratic primary in 2013 and impressed at the ways that he transformed criminal justice in New York City. Click here for the NY Times article about his life.


Contact Information

Email: info -at- dfnyc.org


A local coalition group of Democracy for America since 2004

Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.