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FRESH MEADOWS, QUEENS, NY — Continuing the recent wave of grassroots unrest with the New York State Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference (I.D.C.), top elected officials, community leaders, activists and constituents came together at a community town hall hosted by Empire State Indivisible. NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Sen. Liz Krueger, and Sen. Leroy Comrie shared the stage during a panel discussion that also featured Maria Bautista of Alliance for Quality Education, Patrick Jordan of New York State Young Democrats, and Ivan Contreras of community group Woodside on the Move.
“Indivisible is having an incredible impact on the body politic in our state,” said Stringer. Speaking of the I.D.C., he reminded the audience that “incredibly important city bills go to Albany and die in the state Senate, when they don’t have to, because these Democrats are making side deals with the real estate industry. It is happening every day, and it has to end.”
There has been an increased local awareness of the I.D.C. this month. A proposed reunification deal between the I.D.C. and the mainline Senate Democrats backfired against Governor Andrew Cuomo after his top deputies mishandled their messaging and a potential rally that included grassroots groups like Empire State Indivisible. Groups seized on the opportunity to remind constituents about the importance of activism on the state level with President Trump in Washington. “Every time that we need to pass legislation in order to protect tenant’s rights, we cannot do it. That’s what’s happening in Albany,” said Contreras.
“The blue wave of progress is coming,” said Letitia James, “and it’s really a notice to those that are standing in the way. I urge all of you in this room to join with me as we rise up against this coalition that further empowers Republicans.”
Speaking of Senator Avella, who has been an I.D.C. member since 2014, Sen. Comrie said, “He’s not a Queens person. There’s not one Queens resident that I’ve talked to that doesn’t want to make things better for the entire community. This is not Tony Avella.”
During 2017, Empire State Indivisible helped coordinate town halls in other I.D.C. members districts throughout New York City. The group quickly realized that Indivisible tactics are an effective way to hold elected officials accountable on both the federal and state levels.
The members of Empire State Indivisible use the tactics of the Indivisible Guide to defend New York against the Trump administration, and those in our state government that enable its harmful policies. Our steadfast nature, together with our enterprising New York spirit, make our grassroots group one-of-a-kind.