• 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.”

  • Monroe Democrats Name New Political Director

    I am excited to announce a new member of our staff here at the Monroe County Democratic Committee (MCDC), Amorette Miller, who comes to us with extensive organizing and labor experience and who will serve as our Political Director.  She’s worked on numerous local campaigns as well as negotiated fair labor contracts on behalf of the City of Rochester. I know Amorette to be a person of great integrity and character with a penchant for community networking.

    Miller last served as the City of Rochester’s Manager of Labor Relations. She’s a Rochester native, but she started her political career in New York City as a Political Action Organizer for the Transport Workers Union Local 100, AFL-CIO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Upon her return to Rochester she served as the Chief of Staff of the Rochester and Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

    As the Political Director, Miller will coordinate campaign efforts for designated democratic candidates. Miller is a graduate of SUNY Brockport with her Master’s in Public Administration and she is a resident of Monroe County.

    Many of our local leaders are recognizing Amorette for taking on this opportunity.

    “I am so very pleased to learn that Amorette Miller will bring her vast organizing skills and experience to help Democrats win elections here in the Rochester area,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren.  “I look forward to working with Amorette and congratulate her in this new role.”

    “We’re happy that the Monroe County Democratic Committee has appointed Amorette Miller to serve as their Political Director. She is extremely confident and capable with deep ties to the community. Her personal connection to key leaders throughout the county will serve the committee well,” said Dan Maloney, President of Rochester and Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

    I hope you will join me in welcoming Amorette to Team MCDC today. You can contact her directly at amorette@monroedemocrats.com.

  • Vote in the September State and Local Primary on Thursday, Sept. 13

    Vote in the New York state and local primary on Thursday, September 13 from noon to 9 p.m.

    There’s a great Web site you can use to find out if you are registered to vote, where you vote, the candidates for which you will be voting, to change your voting information (e.g., change your address if you’ve moved), and to request an absentee ballot. Here’s the link: https://www.monroecounty.gov/etc/voter/

    Who is on the Ballot in the Upcoming State and Local Primary?

    At the state level, there is a two-way primary for the Democratic nomination for the office of Governor. The candidates (in alphabetical order) are the incumbent, Andrew Cuomo, and Cynthia Nixon.

    There is also four-way primary for Attorney General. The candidates are Leecia Eve, Tish James, Sean Patrick Maloney, and Zephyr Teachout.

    At the local level, primary candidates will vary depending on where you live. You can use the https://www.monroecounty.gov/etc/voter/ link to see who’s on your ballot.

    Where can I get Information about the Candidates?

    Most candidates have Web sites where you can learn more about them. Do an Internet search using the candidate’s name to find their Web site.

    In addition, a number of non-partisan groups offer candidate information. Examples are:
    • The League of Women Voters – New York state: http://lwvny.org/
    • The League of Women Voters (Rochester chapter): http://www.lwv-rma.org/
    • Ballotpedia, an encyclopedia of American politics and elections: http://www.ballotpedia.org/

  • Candidate Profile: Jen Lunsford for NY State Senate

    Jen Lunsford is a lawyer, a mom, and a community volunteer running for the New York State Senate against Rich Funke in the 55th District.  Jen is 36 years old and resides in Penfield with her husband, Scott, a Pittsford native, and their two-year old son.  After graduating from Boston University School of Law in 2009, Jen moved to Rochester to begin her legal career.  Since then, she has worked to protect the interests of sick and disabled people through her work as an attorney, and to advocate for children as a volunteer with the Center for Youth.  Jen believes that public service works best when it actually serves the public.  She has pledged to hold regular public forums and open office hours throughout her district once she is elected.

    “Elected office is a customer service job. Too many elected officials forget who they work for and shut themselves off to opinions that differ from their own.  When you are given the privilege of serving your community you owe it to those you represent to hear them out, even if they didn’t vote for you or donate to your campaign.  When you are elected to office, you should represent everyone, even those who disagree with you.  Something I have learned over the course of my legal career, where I meet people from all walks of life, is that we are far more the same than we are different.  We all want the same things– quality schools, good healthcare, safe communities and good job opportunities for ourselves and our families– we just sometimes disagree about how to get there.”

     

     

  • The Story Must Be Told: Wage Disparity in the U.S.A. Affects All Women, but Latina Workers See the Widest Gap

    The Chief Executive Officers of companies in the United States earn salaries counted in the millions of dollars. Let’s take for example Robert A. Iger from Disney who receives compensation of $36.3 million per year, Indra Nooyi from PepsiCo with 31.1 million, or Jeffrey Bewkes from Time Warner, with $32.6 million a year. What do you think is the hourly wage of someone who makes $36.3 million a year? If you do a simple calculation you will discover that Mr. Iger (Disney) makes approximately $17,307 and some odd cents an hour!

    The salaries received by the heads of these well-known companies are so large, that it is hard for the average reader, man or woman worker, to visualize what the amounts represent as someone’s “take home pay.” Even more difficult would be to calculate the impact such salary would have on the ability of the average American to own a home, afford quality health insurance, or pay for college for their children without seeing them drag an enormous debt after graduation.  In the United States, Latinas and Black women workers suffer the biggest pay gaps among workers.  As a result, it is difficult for women workers in general and Latinas in particular to achieve for their families the basic components of the American Dream, even at modest levels. Pay equity is a central democratic principle supported by the rank and file, as well as by the leadership in our Democratic Party, and voters expect and deserve no less.

    Granted, we are not trying to present a false side-by-side equivalence here.  American CEOs deal with the enormity of their workplaces, commanding thousands of top and middle management personnel and millions of production workers around the country. They answer to millions of consumers and stockholders whom their companies serve. It is very important work these CEOs do. Now let’s consider, for the sake of contrast, the numbers contained in the salaries of the mentioned heads of companies, and the numbers that define the salaries of other important American workers. The salaries of hourly paid working women must be calculated within America’s economic reality, as well.   Latina workers undeniably contribute to the strength of the national economy by playing vital roles in the country’s workforce.

    In the United States Latina and Black women workers stand at the end of the line in terms of compensation for work done. The National Partnership of Women and Families published a statistical fact sheet in April 2018, illustrating the average women’s wage gap as evidence of the persistent gender wage gap, that continues to affect women and their families in the country.  Women workers of Latino/Hispanic heritage are impacted more. The numbers show that they are paid just 54 cents for every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men. Meanwhile, “overall, women employed full time, year-round are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men employed full time.”

    The fact sheet also cites a publication by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Breadwinner Mothers by Race/Ethnicity and State, stating that “more than half of Latina mothers are key breadwinners for their families” and their homes “rely heavily on their wages to make ends meet and get ahead.”

    In simpler terms, The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) documents, once again, the discriminatory wage gap. The report titled, Black and Hispanic Woman Paid Substantially Less than White Men (Gould, E., Schieder, J. March, 2017) points at a wage disparity that resulted in Black women taking home $7.63  less an hour than their white male counterparts and Latinas/Hispanic women taking $8.90 less an hour than non-Latino white workers.  The purpose of citing these reports is not to reignite the old “battle between the sexes” nor to insert a discussion about race in the middle of an economic argument. Both race and gender are topics for legitimate discussions at another time. Undoubtedly, we stand in solidarity with all men and women workers, whether white, African American, Native American, Asian, or Latino/Hispanic, all deserving pay equity for equal work performed. At the same time, there is a need to speak up to educate about and repudiate this biased wage gap affecting Latina/Hispanic working women.

    Members of professional unions, like our local Rochester Teachers Association (RTA), the statewide New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), and the United Auto Workers (my family & I included) are appropriately represented by organizations dedicated to supporting and advancing pay equity for all its affiliates. Sadly, this is not the case for far too many Latino women and women in general who work for businesses and corporations across the country. Exhibit “A” is the iconic Lilly Ledbetter, who as a supervisor for Goodyear Tires and in Alabama (1979-1998) fought wage discrimination, upon discovering she was paid less than her counterpart male co-worker while performing similar kinds of work. After a series of setbacks, her fight resulted in the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009.

    But the fight is not over. A most alarming reason is that Latinas in the workforce see a wage gap regardless of their educational level.  For example, a full time, year-round average female worker without a high school diploma, made 60 cents for every dollar earned by a non-Hispanic, man. In the case of Latinas with a bachelor’s degree, they earned 66.3 cents for every dollar earned by a white non-Latino male counterpart. Merely six cents more.

    A series of dates are scheduled nationally to observe “Equal Pay Days” in 2018.  It is time to participate actively in promoting these observances and advancing the cause. How? By calling our elected officials at the municipal, county, and state levels to ask of them their vocal and legislative support for such an important economic and social issue.   Women and men in our lives, let’s spread the word!

     

  • Download Your Proxy Form for the Upcoming Special Election for Congress Here

    Here is the form to use for the proxy vote if you are unable to attend the Nominating Convention for the Special Election for the 25th Congressional District of the Monroe County Democratic Committee to be held on Monday, August 27th, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.

    ==> click here.

    This form can also be found on the 2018 Candidates page.

  • 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.

     

  • Brittaney Wells Named MCDC Executive Director

    The Monroe County Democratic Committee (MCDC) announced the appointment of Executive Vice Chair Brittaney Wells as its Executive Director. Wells began her new role on Monday, August 6, at MCDC headquarters.

    “Brittaney Wells has been a campaign and party organizer at every level,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “Brittaney’s ability to organize grassroots campaigning comes from her vast experience working on presidential, mayoral and other campaigns at all levels and in every capacity. As we seek to fully embrace our party’s diversity and positive, progressive platform and to draw on those assets as strengths in upcoming elections, I am excited to have Brittaney Wells helping to lead our local party to victory.”

    “I am delighted to welcome Brittaney to MCDC and know that her passion, dedication, and extensive campaign experience will serve her well in this new role,” said New York State Assembly Majority Leader and congressional candidate Joe Morelle. “The entire Democratic party will benefit from the addition of Brittaney’s leadership and new ideas. I look forward to working with her to continue to advance our shared values and move our party forward.”

    Wells has most recently served as the Director of the City of Rochester’s Office of Community Wealth Building. She also successfully led Mayor Warren’s primary and general election campaigns last year as Campaign Manager. Additionally, Wells has significant experience working in leadership roles for the Rochester City Council, the New York State Assembly, and congressional and United States presidential campaigns.

    As Executive Director, Wells will help lead MCDC’s efforts by focusing on candidate recruitment and support, fundraising, and other relevant work to elect Democrats at all levels of government throughout Monroe County. Ms. Wells is a graduate of SUNY Brockport, a lifelong Monroe County resident, and resides in the city of Rochester.

  • Vote in the Democratic Primary for Federal Offices on June 26

    If you are a registered Democrat, then you are eligible to vote in the upcoming primary on Tuesday, June 26. Polls are open from noon to 9 p.m. We will be voting for the person we would like to represent us in the general election in November for the United States Congress, replacing Louise Slaughter.  That race is the only one on the ballot. It’s important that we turn out for the primary on the 26th. Let’s let our voices be heard and serve notice that we are a force to be reckoned with in November.

    Voter registration for the June 26th primary has closed, but you can apply by mail for an absentee ballot until Tuesday, June 19, and you can apply in person for an absentee ballot until Monday, June 25.

    Not sure if you’re registered, want to find out where your polling place is, or want to see a sample ballot, then use this Web site to check:

    https://www.monroecounty.gov/etc/voter

    Just fill in the required information, and you will see your polling place and a tab to view your ballot.

    The only race on the June ballot is the primary for the Democratic candidate for the general election in November for U.S. Congress. The primary election for state and local offices is September 13.

    The candidates and their Web sites (listed in alphabetical order) are:

    Rachel Barnhart                http://rachel2018.com

    Adam McFadden             https://www.mcfaddenforcongress.com

    Joseph Morelle                 https://www.votemorelle.com

    Robin Wilt                           https://www.wiltforcongress.com

    For more information about the candidates, you can visit their Web sites; visit the Web site of the League of Women Voters (they offer information about each of the candidates, as supplied by the candidates themselves) at https://lwvny.civicengine.com ; or check local news for information.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 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