• Monroe Democrats Celebrate Election Day Victories

    “This has been a big night for Democrats here in Rochester, Monroe County, across New York State, and America,” said Brittaney Wells, Chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee.  “Voters came out in droves to support sensible, hard-working Democratic candidates across the board, and we have started the ball rolling to take back our county next year and our country in two years.  The Democratic Party will move ahead after this election to offer voters candidates who will stand up for their values in next year’s local elections and beyond.  Today we gave voters a choice between policies, candidates, and government that believe America’s best days are ahead, and that our country, and the communities that make it up, are strongest when we celebrate and embrace the diversity that defines us.”

    Joe Morelle led the ticket for local Democrats with his resounding victory for the Congressional seat long held by Louise Slaughter.  Democrats also won local contests throughout Rochester and Monroe County and had strong showings for Governor Cuomo, Letitia James, Tom DiNapoli, state assembly, and other state-wide candidates.

    “Tonight local Democrats delivered, and I am grateful to Monroe County voters for their support of our party and its candidates,” said Chairwoman Wells.

  • Brittaney Wells is Elected Chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Party

    Brittaney Wells accepted the nomination to become Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party after receiving an overwhelming vote by city and town Democratic committee members at their meeting on October 3, 2018. Wells is the first African-American to hold this position locally.  

    In her acceptance, she said Monroe County Democrats must embrace a spirit of unity in order take full advantage of the opportunity Democrats have next year “to win the County’s Executive’s race.” “Tonight I accept your nomination and I am humbled by the trust you placed in me,” Wells said, adding that, “I want our efforts, this year and the next, to be a warning to the Republicans here, in Albany, and in Washington. Starting this year, the focus for the party is to win a congressional seat, the legislative and judicial races, and more.”

    Wells defined the Democratic principles that have guided her from early on as a member and officer of the Democratic Party and thanked party leaders who were present, including Mayor Lovely A. Warren, Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, Assemblyman David Gantt, County Clerk Adam Bello, and Sheriff Todd Baxter.  She stated that her agenda is to continue building bridges and said that in the past there was the impression of intra-party differences.  “This is a new day in the Monroe County Democratic Committee,” she said.

    Wells recalled the values that attracted her to vote and become a member of the Democratic Party.  “Whether it is respect for diversity, equal rights, immigration rights, health care access, LGBTQ protection, environmental protection, economic development and more, as Democrats, standing up to Republicans and defeating their
    dangerous policies is our job,” she said.

    In her closing remarks, Wells honored President John F. Kennedy by paraphrasing his answer to the question of what it is to be liberal: “If by a Democrat they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties – someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a Democrat, then I’m proud to say I’m a Democrat.”

  • Congressional Challenger Nate McMurray Speaks Out against Rep. Chris Collins

    North Tonawanda native and Grand Island Town Supervisor, Nate McMurray, is running for congress in the 27th Congressional District, a deep red district currently represented by Republican Congressman Chris Collins.  Upon first hearing of the Congressman’s indictments for insider trading, Mr. McMurray thought it best to stay quiet until the dust settled. Then he heard Rep. Collins’ statement Wednesday evening, Aug. 8, denying any wrongdoing and Mr. McMurray knew he needed to say something. The opportunity to do so came the next morning at the New York State United Teachers building in downtown Rochester. Surrounded by campaign workers, elected officials, and the media, Mr. McMurray pledged to speak out against the corruption in Washington, DC. and give his constituency a congressman they could be proud of.

    “It’s time for him [Rep. Collins]to go,” McMurray stated. “It’s time for new leadership. We’re not talking about progressive versus Republican. Left versus right. We’re talking about right versus wrong. This is an argument about who is honest and dishonest. Who is going to serve our community and represent our community.”

    “We have this idea right now that America is so divided; I bet your dinner table is divided. We have people in all different parties, and ideas, and beliefs. This idea that those people are over here and we’re over there; that might be good for talk radio but it’s not good for America. And that’s not the type of leader I’m going to be. I’m going to represent all of NY27.”

    When asked if he thought a Democrat could win in this district he nodded and said,”We’re going to win. But this would be a win not just for Democrats. This would be a win for NY27.”

    If you are interested in getting involved or donating you can do so at Mr. McMurray’s campaign website, votemcmurray.com.

     

  • Candidate Profile: Fatimat Reid for Family Court Judge

    The American Dream is alive and well in Fatimat Reid, a candidate for Monroe County Family Court Judge, who is a prime representative of this ideal. Her unique life story began in the state of New York, where she was born. As a child, her family moved to Nigeria, where she was raised during an important period of her life. She returned to the United States and then, at the age of ten, she became the subject of a Family Court custody action and spent time in foster care. These experiences give her a special perspective on Family Court. “I understand, from first-hand experience how frightening and frustrating court proceedings can be for children and all involved, particularly for those stricken by poverty and those with immigrant identity status.”

    Not only does Ms. Reid bring significant personal experience to the judicial bench from the perspective of a child involved in a family court case, she also brings extensive professional experience. Reid has established herself in the legal community as an attorney who has broad legal experience having served private practice as well as government entities. She currently serves as Chief of Staff for the Rochester City School District (RCSD). At RCSD she supports the school district’s mission of providing quality education while promoting wellness for all children and their families in the community. Ms. Reid commented, “I am honored to work in conjunction with educators and families serving the needs of all students”

    A passion for and knowledge of the law completes an impressive professional profile for Ms. Reid. She graduated from the University at Buffalo Law School and is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association, the Rochester Black Bar Association and the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys. She began her legal career as an attorney with the law firm of Davidson Fink LLP and with Wolpoff and Abramson. Most recently, she has served as a City of Rochester Municipal Attorney and as an Associate Counsel for the Rochester City School District.

    Her campaign’s Web site lists and describes numerous awards and important recognitions that Fatimat Reid has received from the community and from professional organizations in Monroe County.

    When asked her perspective about current situations, such as the treatment many children and adolescents are experiencing at the U.S. southern border and other cases involving child abuse in Monroe County, she said that she will “adhere to and apply the law as it relates to each case that arrives in front of her with fairness and expediency.” In doing so, she always prioritizes “the well-being of children.”

    Reid also referenced the principles contained in the United Nations Declaration of Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN in 1989 and brought into force in September of 1990. That universal proclamation establishes the rights of the child with the goal that each child “may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his/her own good and for the good of society the rights to freedoms.” This document enshrines universal principles of justice that call “upon parents, men and women as individuals, voluntary organizations, local authorities and governments to recognize these rights and to strive for their observance,” concluded the judicial candidate for Family Court in Monroe County.

    Experience, fairness, and knowledge of the law: Fatimat Reid has it all!

  • Candidate Profile: Zuleika Shepard for Family Court Judge

    It has become a Democratic mantra to say, “ this is the year of the woman,” mainly due to the significant number of female candidates around the country who have decided to throw their hats in the ring and run for public office at all levels of government .  Whether for local, town, city, county or state office, women are answering the call of the nation for public service.  Monroe county is no exception.

    Today we are proud to put the spotlight on Zuleika Shepard, a Monroe County Democratic Committee nominee for Family Court judge.

    As a Rochester native, Ms. Shepard is one of our hometown candidates running for the important county Family Court judicial bench, bringing with her firsthand knowledge of the community she seeks to represent. That background, combined with her training and professional experience, make her an exceptionally well-qualified candidate for the position as Family Court judge.

    Ms. Shepard  currently works as Deputy County Attorney in the Monroe County Law Department in the Family Court Unit.  Here, her passion for the law, safety and order, as these relate to all families of Monroe County, is witnessed in action in Shepard’s daily work, which includes numerous appearances in Family Court. Prior to that, she was an Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County. She has also operated her own private practice, and she was  Staff Attorney for the Capital District Women’s Bar Association Legal Project in Albany, repesenting women in domestic violence cases in Family Court concentrating on custody, visitation, and child support cases.

    She acknowledges the historic nature of her candidacy for a judicial position in Monroe County,  where an African American woman has never been elected to a family court judgeship. She knows she brings uniqueness and a diversity of perspectives to the bench.  She has observed how “ families, regardless of income levels, ethnicity , cultural, religious or social backgrounds  aspire to enjoy  a safe , happy life, and they wish to offer their members, to the best of their abilities, a supportive community in which to develop  and thrive, safeguarded  by equal treatment under the law.”  Zuleika Shepard pledges that the principle of applying the law to the facts “will continue to guide my work as Monroe County Family Court Judge – as it always has – if I am so honored with the people’s vote this November.”

    Colleagues, incumbent  leaders, citizens, neighbors of all political stripes, as well as new prospective voters who come in contact with and meet Zuleika Shepard, are immediately drawn to the story of this hometown woman.  This professional lawyer is also a karate champion and a black belt instructor who has served her community as a mentor of young  women 13-18 years of age.  From her adolescent years as a Wilson Magnet High School student in the Rochester City School District, to her  time at Ithaca College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude,  through her distinguished completion of a J.D. at Hofstra University Law School (2007), Zuleika Shepard has exhibited qualities that are foundational  for those who aspire to serve on a judicial bench – empathy for others, patience,  professional and personal ethics, the ability to communicate, forebearance under demanding circumstances, and extensive knowledge of the law.

    Monroe County voters, we present to you Zukeika Shepard for the position of family Court Judge.  Judge for yourself!

  • There’s Still Time! Join us with Comptroller DiNapoli

    There is still time to reserve your ticket for Thursday’s event with the NYS Comptroller. If you are an MCDC Committee member or volunteer, make sure to contact us to reserve your spot. If you’d like to become a recurring sponsor of MCDC (and reserve a ticket) you can find more information to sign up HERE.

    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

  • 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
  • Remembering Louise

    Yesterday Louise’s office released more detailed information on her funeral services, which is below. MCDC operations will be closed on Wednesday, March 21st at 1 pm, Thursday, March 22nd at 3 pm and all day Friday, March 23rd. 

    Thank you for your consideration during this difficult time. We will be open for normal business hours on Monday, March 26th at 9 am.

    Announcement on Funeral Arrangements Honoring Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

    WASHINGTON, DC – The office of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today released details of the funeral arrangements honoring the congresswoman, who passed away early Friday morning surrounded by family at George Washington University Hospital.

    The Slaughter family will receive members of the community during calling hours on Wednesday, March 21st from 2pm-7pm ET and Thursday, March 22nd from 4pm-8pm ET at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services (3325 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY 14623). Press will not be allowed to enter the funeral home but can be positioned outside the facility as appropriate. For directions or to submit an email message of condolence, please visit http://millerfuneralandcremationservices.com/.

    The funeral service celebrating the life of the congresswoman will be held on Friday, March 23rd beginning at 11am ET at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre (the corner of Main and Gibbs Streets, Rochester, NY, 14604). The service will be open to the public as seating allows. For information on parking, click here.

    In lieu of flowers, the Slaughter family requests the public consider a memorial contribution to The Louise & Bob Slaughter Foundation. The new foundation will support the causes and communities that were important to the late congresswoman and her husband. Donations can be mailed to The Louise & Bob Slaughter Foundation at 14 Manor Hill Drive, Fairport, NY 14450.

    Slaughter was predeceased by her husband of 57 years, Robert “Bob” Slaughter, Jr. She is survived by her three daughters, Megan (Richard) Secatore, Amy Slaughter, and Emily Robin (Michael) Minerva, seven grandchildren, Lauren and Daniel (Erin) Secatore, Emma and Jackson Clark, and Mason, Linus, and Ione Minerva, and one great-grandchild, Henry Secatore.

    Slaughter’s full biography is available here and her most recent portrait is available here. For additional details about the congresswoman’s accomplishments, click here.

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    Jamie Romeo
    MCDC Chairwoman

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