Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue

Three Parks Endorses Scott Stringer
for NYC Mayor

President's Report

State Committee Report

Ongoing: Endorsement Votes and Elections. What You
Need to Know

We Need Invest in Our New York+Plus
for a Fair and Robust
Economic Recovery 

Feb. 10 Endorsement Vote for
Candidates for Judges and
Judicial Delegates

For the latest official information from NYC
on the coronavirus, click here
or text COVID to 692-692

Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 8:00 pm

Candidates for
Judges and Judicial Delegates
Candidate profiles appear at the end of this newsletter.

More information for eligible voters can be found here.

Join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

Click here

Or paste this link into your browser:

If you are asked for a PASSCODE, enter:
You may also join by using your phone to dial in.

Meeting ID: 891 6653 8813
7:45--8:00 pm: Log On / Dial in
8:00 pm: Call to Order
Speakers: Candidates for Judge and Judicial Delegate
Questions and Answers
Three Parks Endorses Scott Stringer for NYC Mayor
Three Parks members have voted to endorse Comptroller Scott Stringer for NYC Mayor. The vote follows the most recent Club meeting on January 27, when nine mayoral candidates addressed the Club via Zoom. In early March, Club members will begin petitioning to get all of our endorsed candidates (see the full list later in this newsletter) on the ballot for the June 22 primary. Thanks to all of the Club members who have participated in this endorsement process.
See the mayoral endorsement voting results here.
See the video of all the candidates' presentations to the Club on January 27 here.
By Lorraine Zamora

It has been a very busy season for Three Parks. Since November we have endorsed Daniel Marks Cohen for Council District 7, District Leaders Cynthia Doty and Bob Botfeld, Brian Benjamin for Comptroller, Mark Levine for Manhattan Borough President, Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate, Gale Brewer for Council District 6, Alvin Bragg for District Attorney and most recently, Scott Stringer for Mayor of NYC, following a Zoom meeting that attracted over 200 club members and friends.

Next up on the endorsement calendar is Wednesday, February 10, at 8:00 pm, when Three Parks will select Judges and Judicial Delegate candidates. Bios for Judicial Delegates are posted later in this newsletter and on our web site, www.threeparksdems.org.

Don't Miss Out!
Renew Your Three Parks Membership Now for 2021
  • Renew online by clicking here.
  • Renew by mail by printing out and returning the 2021 membership form at the end of this newsletter.
State Committee Report
By Daniel Marks Cohen

Freezing out there! Hope everyone is staying warm. Things have started to heat up in the lame duck session of the City Council. With less than a year before the Big Turnover in city government, the Council just released a proposed series of bills aimed at reforming police conduct. Many of them would make a meaningful difference on how our city is governed and the police are managed. 

There are a dozen bills, and they fall into three buckets: reforming police misconduct, transferring some responsibilities away from police to other agencies, and data collection. The first and last categories are self-explanatory; the middle one, transfer of responsibilities, is critical here and frequently overlooked. The NYPD, as well as police across the country, have been engaged in “mission creep” for a long time – sometimes it is thrust upon them, sometimes the responsibilities are just assumed. Law enforcement should focus on public safety, and not on issuing press credentials, or managing schoolchildren, or investigating car collisions.

Petitioning Starts March 2
Petitioning, that recurring process during which we collect voters' signatures in order to get our endorsed candidates on the ballot, will begin this year on March 2 and run for the rest of the month. Normally, this activity takes place on our neighborhood sidewalks, but because of COVID, this year petitioning will have to be different. As of now, various changes have been proposed, but they have not yet received final approval from the Governor. If you plan to volunteer to help with this year's petitioning, stay tuned for more details.
Deadline to Switch Party Enrollment Is Feb. 14. Not a registered Democrat but want to vote in the June Democratic primary? If so, the deadline to switch your party affiliation is February 14. You can use the regular voter registration form to switch your party affiliation. Download the form at the BOE website vote.nyc. A change of enrollment received by the BOE not later than Feb. 14 will be effective immediately.
Ongoing: Endorsement Votes and Elections. What You Need
to Know
Three Parks Independent Democrats has been holding endorsement votes for Mayor, Comptroller, City Council, and other offices that are up for election in 2021. In March we will also hold an election for the 2021 Three Parks Board of Directors.

Candidates for each office have been invited to speak at our regular club meetings, now held via Zoom. Before each meeting, candidates have been asked to submit a brief profile. At the Zoom meeting, each candidate has then made brief remarks and taken questions. Eligible voters have been voting electronically during a set time period following the club meeting.

So far, Three Parks has voted to endorse the following candidates for the June 22 primary:

  • Scott Stringer: Mayor
  • Gale Brewer: City Council Member, District 6
  • Jumaane Williams: Public Advocate
  • Brian Benjamin: Comptroller
  • Mark Levine: Manhattan Borough President
  • Daniel Marks Cohen: City Council Member, District 7
  • Alvin Bragg: Manhattan District Attorney
  • Cynthia Doty: Female District Leader
  • Bob Botfeld: Male District Leader
Remaining Endorsement / Election Schedule
Schedule of Candidates / Offices
February 10
March 10
Judges, Judicial Delegates
Three Parks Board
NOTE: More information for eligible voters can be found here.
Make Sure You Are Eligible to Vote!

In order to vote to endorse candidates and for the Board and officers, you must be a member of Three Parks Independent Democrats. In addition, you must have met the dues payment and meeting attendance requirements listed on the Rules page of the Endorsement Center on the Three Parks website here.

The list of club members eligible to vote following the February 10 meeting can be found here If you have met the dues and attendance requirements but your name is not on the list, contact the club's Membership Director Theresa Canter by clicking here.
We Need Invest in Our New York+Plus for a Fair and Robust Economic Recovery 
 By Wendy Diller

Everyone in NY is aware of the budget crises we are facing at the state and city levels. How these will be resolved is the next big battle of 2021 and will influence our upcoming NYC elections. 

The current management of NY’s budget seems obscure. Certainly, we all see the problems in our neighborhoods, but we haven’t seen big cuts in government services that are aligned with the projected size of the deficits. That’s because Governor Cuomo and the state’s political leadership have been waiting for a partial bailout from the federal government – and while that looks like it is coming in some form, it won’t be enough. State gimmicks to quietly delay payments to some service organizations lead to further mistrust. Governor Cuomo’s lackluster economic proposals in his state of the union speeches last month didn’t help.

One solution is to reform the NYS tax system to make it more equitable, one of the biggest challenges facing our state. In addition to being an economic issue, it’s a cultural and values issue as well—after all, how we fund our government is a statement of what we want it to be. 

As a step in this direction we as a club should consider supporting the Invest in Our New York campaign. 

Feb. 10 Endorsement Vote for Candidates for Judges and Judicial Delegates

Following the February 10 club meeting, Three Parks members will vote to endorse candidates for judges and judicial delegates. If you are eligible to vote, you will receive your ballot by email on the evening of February 10. You will have until the evening of Sunday, February 14 to cast your vote.

Refresher: Duties of Judicial Delegates
Judicial delegates select the Democratic nominee for open New York County Supreme Court judgeships. Delegates must be available to attend the Judicial Nominating Convention, which is held one evening, most likely in August (the 2021 date has not yet been set). At the convention the delegates cast votes, by Assembly District, to determine which judicial candidates will appear as the party’s nominees on the general election ballot in November. Delegates are also expected to meet the judicial candidates prior to the Convention. There are also Supreme Court Judicial Forums and receptions held by the candidates where delegates can meet the judges running for NYS Supreme Court.

Candidate Profiles
Robert Bardin has been an active member of the Three Parks Club since 1988, when he first helped with the storefront effort to elect Michael Dukakis as President. Since then he has continued his efforts, volunteering as Club treasurer for a number of years and as a Board member, too. In the past few years he has also served as a Judicial Delegate, and he would welcome the chance to do that again if elected. He thanks you for your consideration and, hopefully, your vote!

Sam Bartos has been an active litigation lawyer since 2010 and has lived in Manhattan Valley for over 25 years. Before switching to the law he was a concert pianist and teacher, as well as a freelance editor for major New York publishing houses. Since being admitted to the bar he has served on numerous bar association committees, including the City Bar Committee on Courts of Superior Jurisdiction, the New York County Lawyers Federal Courts Committee, of which he was secretary for five years, and the NYCLA Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practice, which he co-chaired for three. He is proud to have served the last two years as an alternate delegate in our justly famous judicial selection process, which emphasizes qualifications, the highest legal principles, and the independence of judges as they examine facts impartially in their search for the truth. 

Alan Flacks is an experienced delegate to the judicial Nominating Convention, having served many times. He is conversant with the procedures, and delegates seek his guidance. He is committed to the merit screening panel process, which he helped to establish. After each convention, he writes a report of the proceedings for club members and other interested people. A long-time TPID member and Democratic County Committee member, Alan has also served as the Club’s corresponding secretary and membership secretary. His community and civic activities include his block association, the 24th Pct. Community Council, the NAACP, and the St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Community Advisory Board.

Elaine Hazzard has resided on the Upper West Side for 25 years. She is a licensed NY attorney, has appeared at trials and hearings in Federal and State courts, and is admitted to the bars of four states and to the U.S. Supreme Court. Elaine has been a court-appointed arbitrator and taught law to undergraduates and graduate students. She has been a Judicial Delegate and Alternate since 2019. Elaine seeks to choose more excellent judges to safeguard our threatened democracy. She will seek strong, independent judges who stand against injustice and organized crime and who stand up for the rights of individuals.

Audrey Isaacs has been a very active Alternate Judicial Delegate for the past 9 years.  
When not quarantined due to Corona virus, she goes to the courtroom of each judge seeking elevation to Supreme Court Justice in an effort to see him/her presiding in judicial proceedings.  She creates charts comparing qualifications of candidates for elevation.  Between 1975 and 2000, as an attorney in private practice specializing in litigation, she appeared for clients in state and federal courts, and city, state and federal agencies.  
Between 1996 and 2008 she was an Administrative Law Judge. In 2008 she was promoted to supervise an administrative courthouse with seven Administrative Judges. 

Elizabeth Kellner is a 45-year resident of Manhattan Valley and club member. She is a retired attorney. She practiced civil litigation in New York and oversaw cases in other jurisdictions for her employer. A former Three Parks Board member and officer, she has been a Judicial Delegate and County Committee member many times. She continues to follow the state courts where her husband and his firm have an active litigation practice. As Board Chair of a nonprofit health care agency with clinics in a dozen low-income neighborhoods, she has been closely involved in Covid-related crisis management decisions affecting budget, staff and patient safety and overall operations. 

Josh Pepper is an attorney in private practice representing plaintiffs in civil-rights cases. Before moving to private practice, he spent many years in law practice for the state, including stints as an Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel to the NYS Office of Mental Health. Josh is also a longtime club member and was president in 2007.

Alfred Placeres, Esq. has been a Manhattan Valley resident since the 1950s and a Three Parks member since the 1980s. He holds a B.A. from Fordham University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He was formerly a staff attorney for Harlem Legal Services and maintained a law office at 2710 Broadway from 1982 to 2015. He is a former Board Member of Community Board 7, a former President of the NYS Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, a former Board Member of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the former Chair, Immigration Law Committee, of the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the author of "Como Conseguir Los Papeles" (Seven Stories Press). Civic Awards include Mayor Bloomberg's Small Business Advocate Award, the NYS Comptroller H. Carl McCall Civic Service Award, and the Greater NY Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advocate Award. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer proclaimed July 15, 2019, Alfred Placeres Appreciation Day.

Stephanie Tegnazian has been a TPID member for over 25 years and involved in the judiciary selection process since Lloyd McAuley began the interview forums. She has visited Housing Court, Court of Claims, Family Court, Civil Court, Supreme Court, and Appellate Court to better understand how judges do their jobs. Stephanie has worked on campaigns for Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Robert Jackson, and Congresspersons Max Rose (Staten Island) and Jess King (PA). Last year she became involved with NY VOTES, a statewide grassroots advocacy group dedicated to guiding lawmakers in Albany on what needs to be changed in our NYS voting laws. She feels highly qualified to be a judicial representative and represent TPID in this highly important process.

Deborah Thomas has lived on the Upper West Side (Manhattan Valley) for 35 years, has been a lifelong Democrat, and has served on the NY County Committee since 2006 and as a Judicial Delegate in 2020.  She is a former Board Member and current club member of Three Parks Independent Democrats since 2004, and has been active with TPID doing petitioning, tabling, phone banking for candidates, working at the Obama and Hillary storefronts in 2008, 2012 and 2016, tabling for Biden in 2020, and fighting for health care reform and saving Social Security.  Being an animal lover, she volunteers as a Cat Adoption Counselor at the NYC Animal Care Center (City shelter), and is a dedicated advocate for animal welfare issues. Outside of politics, she is an opera singer and a retired music and theater teacher in the NYC Public Schools, where she co-wrote curriculum for the “ESL through the Arts” program, which uses the Arts to help English Language Learners gain a greater command of the English language. 
 Upcoming Meetings
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 8:00 PM
Three Parks Club Meeting
Endorsement Vote for Judges and Judicial Delegates

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 8:00 PM
Three Parks Board Meeting
Wednesday, Mar. 10, 8:00 PM
Three Parks Club Meeting
Election of Three Parks Board

Wednesday, Mar. 24, 8:00 PM
Three Parks Board Meeting
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors of the articles and are not necessarily representative of Three Parks.
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