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


Presidential Campaign Storefront!

Three Parks Independent Democrats is again this cycle sponsoring their Presidential Campaign Storefront!

The store is at 2696 Broadway, between 102nd and 103rd, and they will having phone banks, and other activities every day until election day.  In addition there will be bus trips organized to leave from the storefront and go to Pennsylvania to canvass for Clinton/Kaine and to upstate to canvass for Zephyr Teachout and Sara Niccoli.

For more information:







DFNYC September 8, 2016 Newsletter

DFNYC Newsletter September 89, 2016

Election Day is this Tuesday, September 13th, for NY State legislative seats. Details and more here in our newsletter....

(1) This Tuesday, September 13th: Election Day in NY for the Primaries
~ Is there a primary in your area? Check here.
(2) Volunteer for Paul Newell: Now until Tuesday
~ Paul is running for the seat vacated by Shelly Silver’s conviction

(3) The Presidential Primary: Thoughts from a Howard Dean-inspired Group

(4) Canvassing Bus Rides with KeepPABlue
~ RSVP now for Sept. 17th and/or 24th: http://www.keeppablue.com/

Paul Newell is running for the State Assembly seat formerly held by Shelly Silver.

DFNYC September 2016 Newsletter

Hello members and supporters of Democracy for New York City! Election season is here and there is much to do!

(1) This Tuesday, September 13th: Election Day in NY for the Primaries

A few state Assembly and State Senate seats have primaries this Tuesday. In New York City, most of these seats are safely Democratic, so the Democratic primary is basically the general election; the election that will decide your representative. However, only a few districts have primaries, for example

How do I know if there is a primary in my area?
You can look up your address at this website, then see if there is anything listed for September 13th primary. https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search

Where do I vote?
Probably the same place you voted last time, but to be sure, check https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search.

When are the polls open?
6am to 9pm. Also, because these are primaries, the lines will be much shorter. In our experience, when you vote in a primary, it usually takes 10 minutes or less. (Not counting presidential primaries.

(2) Volunteer for Paul Newell: Now until Tuesday
~ Paul is running for the seat vacated by Shelly Silver’s indictment

Though DFNYC did not hold endorsement votes this year, several of our members and leaders are supporting good progressive candidates. DFNYC leadership urges you to support two candidates in particular: Zephyr Teachout for Congress in the 19th Congressional District (Nov. General Election) and Paul Newell, running for the Assembly seat in the 65th District in downtown Manhattan vacated by Shelly Silver – the election is this Tuesday!

A message from Amy Miller:
In order to get all of Paul's voters to the polls, we need each one of you to sign up for at least THREE SHIFTS from now through the end of the day on Sept 13! To add times or make changes, contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 561-635-3560.

SPECIAL EVENT, with food, drink and fun!
>ALL DAY FRIDAY 9/9: Stickering and printing party at 260 East Broadway!

Now – Tuesday, September 13 when the polls close

Campaign Office at 260 East Broadway (unless given other instructions)
260 E Broadway Suite 2
New York, NY 10002
For detailed directions, see this page at Paul Newell’s campaign website: http://www.newellnyc.org/directions_to_campaign_office

Message from DFNYC:
There are several fine candidates running in the primary for the lower Manhattan Assembly seat. Paul has an outstanding record as an affordable housing advocate and activist. Like Zephyr, Paul is one of our long-time members, and the type of progressive champion we need in Albany. Many of our progressive allies, including Citizen Action, have formally endorsed Paul Newell, and DFNYC leadership is proud to support him as well.

(3) The Presidential Primary: Thoughts from a Howard Dean-inspired Group

The presidential primary was a hard-fought race. Being a New York progressive organization, we have many members that are Bernie people and many that are Hillary people and were supporting her from the beginning. Democracy for America strongly supported Bernie and many of us joined with local DFAers across the country to support him.

Hillary Clinton won the nomination, DFA is supporting her, and we are supporting her as well. DFNYC will be helping to promote swing state voter outreach in the coming months.

To all our Bernie fans, which includes people in DFNYC leadership: We went through this before. DFNYC came out of Howard Dean's campaign. In 2004, we were angry and upset when he lost the nomination. Gov. Dean campaigned for Kerry and urged us to do the same. We found different ways to support John Kerry and fight against the policies of the Bush Administration. A huge number of us went to swing states for Kerry, some stayed and helped local candidates for state Senate, and others worked on issues and voter registration.
We are confident that we can put this grassroots energy into this election season and continue to fight for our progressive values.

(4) Canvassing Bus Rides with KeepPABlue
~ RSVP now for Sept. 17th and/or 24th: http://www.keeppablue.com/

A wonderful opportunity to help win the presidential race AND take back Congress!

A message from KeepPABlue:

Every week from mid-September to Election Day, Democrats from New York will work with our neighbors in the KeyStone State to build support for Hillary Clinton for President; Katie McGinty for the U.S. Senate, and Rick Daugherty for Congress (15th CD).

We’ll go door to door, house to house, and community to community to register and poll voters and encourage them to support Democrats. We’ve made similar efforts in past elections with great success. But it's never been more important than it is now.


Volunteers will travel by bus from New York City to Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and neighborhoods in Philadelphia every Saturday: September 17 and 24;October 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29; November 5; and election day, November 8.

Buses will begin boarding at Union Square at 8:30 am and depart at 9 am. Return buses will leave Pennsylvania at 5:30 pm. The trips are about 90 miles, or two hours or so, from New York City. Traffic permitting, we'll be back at Union Square by 8 pm. ADA buses will be available with advance notices.

Sign up right now for Sept. 17th & 24th: http://www.keeppablue.com/

DFNYC supports Brad Hoylman


On July 18, 2016, DFNYC Executive Director Bobby Cohen and Political Director Rhonda Patillo joined Greater NYC for Change in honoring our friend, the great progressive State Senator Brad Hoylman.  Brad represents the 27th District, which includes the West Village, and we have worked with him for years.  He spoke eloquently about the issues and put forward an agenda that focuses on providing fairness and justice for all members of our community.  Senator Hoylman's priorities include reforming campaign finance laws, making the state tax system more progressive, fighting discrimination against the LGBT community, helping to provide safe and affordable housing for low and middle income families in New York City, and getting NYC its share of state and federal education dollars.

Brad is one of our favorite elected officials and DFNYC looks forward to helping him work to achieve these goals.


Brad Hoylman




Sad News: Dean Volunteer Emily Pearlman has Passed Away


We are sad to report that Emily Pearlman passed away over Thanksgiving weekend. Emily was a tireless Upper West Side political activist. Several members of DFNYC have known her since her involvement in the grassroots campaign for Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2003 & 2004. After the Dean campaign, Emily was one of the smart, energetic progressives who helped get DFNYC off the ground by educating us on the issues and characters in local politics in New York City. She was funny, not afraid to speak her mind, and talented - she ran a business in which she made beautiful pottery!


Both the NY Times and the Big Apple Coffee Party have more about her life:


Big Apple Coffee Party:



NY Times:


DFNYC Endorsement Voting Process

DFNYC Endorsement Voting - Rules

Ballot: Click here.

2014 Eligibility: You are eligible to vote in our 2014 endorsements if you have been to at least two DFNYC events between Nov. 17th, 2011 and our most recent event, the August 12th 10 year celebration on West 17th Street. If you are not sure if you've been to two events, please vote. We will determine your eligibility later.

DFNYC Endorsement Voting - The Election Process

In elections before July 2012, we used paper ballots. We found this process to be difficult to organize and overly cumbersome for voters.  After getting member feedback, we decided to switch to online voting, and maintain the principle of anonymity by having DFAers in other states count the ballots.  Here is the step-by-step process for how we conduct elections.

1. DFNYC leaders create a ballot in our Survey Monkey account, the "Survey Monkey Ballot Account".  This is a completely separate account from our account where we sometimes have candidates entering their questionnaire responses.

2. DFNYC Leaders design the ballot. There is discussion among DFNYC leadership about what races to put on the ballot, what candidates should be listed in each race, the ability to have write-in candidates, and the threshold for endorsement. Final decisions are made after asking DFNYC members for their feedback in our newsletter as to races that should be included for endorsement voting, endorsement threshold, and other factors.

3. Several DFNYC leaders "test" the ballot by entering a vote that would not count. After this testing, we make any necessary changes. After the testing, we delete all the test ballots.

4. When the ballot is finalized, DFNYC Leaders give the username and password to the Survey Monkey Ballot Account to our out-of-state vote counters.  One of them promptly changes the password, so that DFNYC leaders will not have access to the account during the voting period, and gives the password to the other vote counter.

5. The announcement that voting is open goes out in a DFNYC email newsletter. We also promote it on Facebook and Twitter. Members of the leadership also make good faith efforts to promote individually to active members. 

6. Determination of Eligibility & Anonymous Voting:

At the end of the voting period, the vote counters download all of the ballots (survey responses) to a spreadsheet and give us just the voter identity information (only those spreadsheet columns) so that we can determine eligibility. In other words, the vote counters delete all the columns with the actual votes, and just give us the columns with the identity info such as name and contact info, similar to the envelop that holds an absentee ballot in NY election law.

7. We check event sign-in sheets and then tell the vote counters what voters are not eligible. The vote counters delete those rows (Ballots and voter info) from the spreadsheet. Each of the two vote counters will have the raw file and each will make the deletions independently from each other. 

In some elections, DFNYC leadership may request - about 24-48 hours before the end of voting, a preliminary list of people who have voted so that we can begin checking eligibility and do GOTV for eligible members that have not voted. 

8. The day after voting ends, the vote counters separately calculate the number of votes for each candidate. 

9. The vote counters compare numbers and must each figure out how to get to the correct total for each race.  Then they inform DFNYC leadership. 

10. Then the vote counters go into the Survey Monkey Ballot Account and deleted all of the ballots (survey responses).  When that is completed, they give control of the account (password) back to DFNYC leadership. A review of Survey Monkey policy indicates that it is not possible to retrieve deleted survey responses. 

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.