• Update on Monroe County Family Court

    If you haven’t seen it already, we hope you will take the time to watch a recent segment on WXXI Need to Know on our Family Court candidates, Zuleika Shepard and Fatimat Reid, and the work of our MCDC Judicial Screening Committee to reaffirm our commitment to running highly qualified and diverse judicial candidates. If you are interested in getting more involved in these campaigns, you can sign up HERE.

    Thank you!

    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman

  • From the MCDC Chairwoman: Help Us Flip the New York State Senate

    Monroe County Democrats are proud to support the efforts to secure a true Democratic Majority in the New York State Senate, and next week we have the potential to make history. We need to elect Shelley Mayer to the New York State Senate in the April 24th Special Election so we can to flip the chamber from #RedToBlue, deliver a Democratic trifecta to New York, and make Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins our first-ever female Majority Leader! After taking the Majority, we then will turn our focus to sending Upstate Democrats like Jen Lunsford (Democratic Candidate for the 55th State Senate District right here in Rochester!) to bring our voices to the new Senate Majority.

    To get there, Shelley’s campaign has begun building the largest Get Out the Vote program our state has ever seen. That means having volunteers from all over our state and country reach out to voters from now until Election Day. So far, the campaign’s 3,000 volunteers have knocked on 65,000 doors, made 100,000 phone calls, and talked to 25,000 voters. Now it’s time to get those voters out.

    SIGN UP HERE to help us elect Shelley Mayer and flip the New York State Senate by joining our GOTV virtual phonebank. MCDC will be hosting phone banks from Sunday, April 22nd to Tuesday, April 24th. Each call is a potential vote that can help win this election and make New York a truly Blue State. **Volunteers will need to bring a laptop or tablet if possible for these phone banks. Please let us know if you need accommodations when you sign up!**

    Thank you!

    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman

  • Join Us for an Event with Comptroller DiNapoli!

    We have accomplished many things together over the past few years. And your continued financial support for the operations of MCDC has allowed us to provide a strong foundation for local campaigns and organizing across this County. This year we are excited to be leading the charge to send phenomenal candidates like Zuleika Shepard and Fatimat Reid to Monroe County Family CourtJen Lunsford as an Upstate NY member to the new Democratic Majority in the New York State Senate, and to keep the 25th Congressional District Blue.

    We hope you will join us on Thursday, April 26th for our MCDC Spring Soriee event with Special Guest NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli at the Wintergarden by Monroe’s (One Bausch and Lomb Place). Details are below. For further questions on table sponsorships or to RSVP you can contact our Director of Operations Henrietta Herriott at henrietta@monroedemocrats.com. Thank you.

     

    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman

    Monroe County Democratic Committee
    1150 University Ave., Bldg. 5
    585-232-2410
    Rochester NY 14607 United States
  • Meet Jen Lunsford at Edibles Tonight!

    I hope you will join me in stopping by Edibles at 704 University Avenueto meet and support Jen Lunsford, our Democratic candidate for the 55th State Senate district. 

    Jen recently received a “Gun Sense Candidate” rating from the Rochester Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. This would make sense, considering her opponent Republican State Senator Rich Funke recently voted against a bill to ensure that domestic violence offenders do not have access to firearms(S8121)Jen Lunsford is running to be an Upstate member of the new Democratic majority in the State Senate.

    As a working mom burdened by the cost of daycare and student loans, Jen knows all too well how stressful it can be for families to make ends meet. The Republican-controlled State Senate has too long stood in the way of real reforms that can help make our community better, safer and more prosperous. As a woman, mother of a small child, lawyer, activist, and a millennial, Jen will be a strong, passionate and enthusiastic voice for progressive reform in Albany. You can learn more about Jen on her website www.VoteJenLunsford.com; or you could always stop by and say hello 🙂

     

     

    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman

    Monroe County Democratic Committee
    1150 University Ave., Bldg. 5
    585-232-2410
    Rochester NY 14607 United States

  • Breaking the Mold on Family Court

    We are extremely proud and excited to share in the kick-off of our Family Court candidate’s press conference this morning. Below is a copy of the press release we wanted to share with you. We hope you learn more about our candidates and their historic campaigns and support them. You can sign up HERE to volunteer to and stay in touch on their campaigns. Thank you!

     

    Fatimat Reid and Zuleika Shapard Announce Their Candidacy for Monroe County Family Court Judges

     

    April 9th, 2018 (Rochester, NY) – MCDC Chairwoman Jamie Romeo, along with other Democratic Leaders and community members, proudly announced the historic candidacies of Ms. Zuleika Z. Shepard, Esq. and Ms. Fatimat O. Reid, Esq. for Monroe County Family Court today. Running for two open seats on Family Court, if elected these women will be the first women of color to be elected to Family Court.

                Zuleika Shepard is an experienced trial attorney, currently serves as a Deputy County Attorney for the Monroe County Law Department on behalf of assignors in paternity and child support cases in Family Court.  Prior to that, Ms. Shepard served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted hundreds of domestic violence cases and thousands of misdemeanor and violation cases throughout Monroe County. Ms. Shepard also served as Staff Attorney for the Capital District Women’s Bar Association: The Legal Project, where she represented women in domestic violence cases in Supreme Court, helping them to obtain divorces from batterers, and in Family Court, representing them in child custody and support, and family offense cases.  Over the course of her career, Ms. Shepard has litigated approximately 320 criminal, civil, or family court trials or hearings, 270 of which ended in a decision or verdict, and 15 of which were jury trials.

    “I am running to bring a much- needed perspective to the bench. I can relate to many of the litigants and children who appear in Family Court. I was raised in a single parent home in the city of Rochester. My family lived “paycheck to paycheck.” I have sat in the same city school classrooms and walked the same neighborhoods as many of the children. I can understand the struggles that many of the urban youth face and I want to be able to show them that they can make it.” Zuleika Shepard stated.

    Fatimat Reid is a seasoned litigator, transactional attorney, and administrator who presently serves as Chief of Staff of the Rochester City School District.  Before being promoted to Chief of Staff, Ms. Reid worked as an Associate Counsel in the Rochester City School District’s Department of Law, managing the district’s contracts and litigation.  Ms. Reid previously served as a Municipal Attorney for the City of Rochester Corporation Counsel’s Office, overseeing the City’s contracts and litigation.  Ms. Reid began her career as a litigation associate in private practice, working at the firms of Davidson Fink LLP and Wolpoff & Abrahamson LLP.  Fatimat Reid received the 2013 “Top Counsel Award” from the Daily Record, the 2017 “Top Women in Law Award” from the Daily Record and the 2017 “40 Under 40” Award from the Rochester Business Journal.  She was recognized in February 2018 as a “Woman to Watch” by the Democrat and Chronicle.

    “I am motivated by the Nigerian proverb “Ìlú tí a bá rè là ḿbá pé (Do not leave your people behind),” says Fatimat Reid. “While I was born in New York, I was raised in Nigeria and immigrated back to the United States at the age of ten, where I became the subject of a Family Court custody action and spent time in foster care. I had limited English proficiency and no exposure to American culture. I have a firsthand understanding of how frightening and frustrating the Family Court process can be for children and families, especially those who are particularly vulnerable due to poverty or their minority or immigrant status. We need judges on the bench who can bring their first-hand experiences into the courtroom to ensure that each child that comes before that court will have confidence that their best interests are taken in every decision.

    It has been over thirty years since a candidate of color was elected to any Monroe County judgeship, whether for Family Court, County Court, or State Supreme Court.  MCDC is focused on making the higher courts of Monroe County more reflective of the litigants and general community served by those courts because diversity is a core tenet of New York’s Court System, and critical to the fair administration of justice.  Diversity is also a core tenet of MCDC.  When elected, Ms. Shepard and Ms. Reid will be the first African American women ever to serve on Monroe County Family Court.  Both Ms. Shepard and Ms. Reid have been rated “highly qualified” by MCDC’s Judicial Selection and Screening Committee.

     

    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman

    Monroe County Democratic Committee
    1150 University Ave., Bldg. 5
    585-232-2410
    Rochester NY 14607 United States
  • From the MCDC Chairwoman: The New, New York State Senate

    Today you may have heard the news that the two factions of Democrats in the New York State Senate announcing their reconciliation. For years, a small group of Democratic State Senators have aligned with the Republican Conference, allowing them to maintain control over the upper chamber and what proposals can come to a vote. It has also allowed the Republicans to maintain significant power at the negotiating table over significant policies, like the State Budget.

    So what does that mean for us in Upstate New York? Ten years ago, the State Senate districts were redrawn to slice up Monroe County into 6 different senate districts. Only one (the 56th District, currently held by Sen. Joe Robach, a Republican) is completely within Monroe County. The remaining 5 include one or more of our neighboring counties. This has weakened our representation in the State Senate. Of the 6 State Senators that represent us, 2 live within our county. Three of those remaining (including one who represents a portion of the City of Rochester in the 61st District Michael Ranzenhofer, a Republican) live in counties that do not even border Monroe.

    So what does that mean for us? These districts were gerrymandered intentionally to make them difficult to run in against their Republican incumbents. However, over the past decade, something important has happened. More and more voters are becoming engaged with their political systems and more and more voters are enrolling in the Democratic Party. About 40.6% of all registered voters in Monroe County are currently registered Democrats.

    Today’s announcement means there will be a new majority in the State Senate, and we need to support and recruit local candidates to add and strengthen that majority.

    That’s why I hope you will come out to support our Democratic Challenger to Sen. Rich Funke in the 55th Senate District Jen Lunsford next week at her event on April 9, 2018, 5:30-7:30 PM at Edibles Restaurant & Bar, 704 University Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

    Today’s front page of the D&C highlighted recent legislation that will allow authorities to remove firearms from domestic abusers. This would look, to most, like a common-sense piece of legislation that was supported by our local Democratic State delegation, also co-sponsored by Majority Leader Joe Morelle, and passed both houses with overwhelming support. But Senator Rich Funke voted against this bill.

    I’ll repeat, Senator Rich Funke (who received a 93% rating from the NRA in 2016) voted against a bill that ensures that domestic violence offenders do not have access to firearms.

    So I hope to see you on Monday, April 9th to come and meet Jen. Ask her questions, find out where she stands on the issues and how she will be able to bring the voice of Upstate New Yorkers to the new majority in the State Senate. Clearly, our current representatives have not been voting in our interest.

    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman