Seven years after its formation, the Independent Democratic Conference has been dissolved and its members—including state Sens. Tony Avella and Jose Peralta—have returned to the Democratic Party’s fold.
For years, mainline Democrats have argued that the IDC prevented the party from holding a majority in the State Senate, while IDC members countered that they voted alongside Republicans to give themselves a seat at the table and, therefore, bring home resources to their communities.
Now that they have rejoined, the excuses should come to a halt. Yes, the Democrats must win two special elections on April 24 and bring back Brooklyn’s Simcha Felder, who caucuses with the Republicans, to have a majority in the Senate. But in the meantime, the two sides of the party must work together to deliver on the promises they have made to their constituents. For too long, politicians at the city, state and federal level have played the blame game.
Keep LeFrak’s Polling Site Open
LeFrak City residents are again being strung along by the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) in their battle to retain a polling site at the apartment development.
This week, LeFrak residents joined lawyers, elected officials and various advocacy groups at City Hall to call on the city to keep the polling site open. In 2016, the BOE closed the community’s polling site, forcing residents—a majority of whom are seniors—to travel up to a mile to vote.
A year later, New York’s Supreme Court sided with the residents, but now the BOE has filed a brief with the court’s Appellate Division to appeal the order.
LeFrak City residents are rightfully angry, arguing that the city is engaging in voter suppression of one of the largest concentrations of black, Latino and senior minorities in the five boroughs.
In the Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter, a justice wrote that the BOE’s original decision to close the polling site was “irrational, arbitrary and capricious.” We agree with the residents and community leaders who are calling on the city to withdraw its appeal effort to close the polling site. Every resident in New York City—especially seniors who might have difficulty making long treks—should be given easy access to voting.