September 2008
Agenda for Action!


ENDORSED Democratic Primary Candidates 2008




State Senate












Ellen Young*
Grace Meng



Cesar Trunzo
Brian Foley
Jimmy Dahroug

1st Civil Court

Devin Cohen
Roger Adler


Gregory Meeks*
Rubin Mills


Marlene Tapper
Michael Den Dekker





Ed Towns*
Kevin Powell


Inez Barron**
Earl Williams


Shirley Huntley
Allan Jennings Jr.

Surrogate Court




Sheldon Silver*
Paul Newell
Luke Henry



    Nora Anderson
    Milton Tingling
    John Reddy






Toby Ann Stavisky*
Robert Schwartz

 Civil Court




Adriano Espaillat*
Miguel Martinez


Kevin Parker*
Kendall Stewart
Sincha Felder

Michael Katz
Nancy Bannon


Steve Harrison
Michael McMahon



Michael Benjamin*
Sigfredo Gonzalez


Marty Connor*
Daniel Squadron

Bronx  Civil Court






Ephraim Gonzalez*
Pedro Espada, Jr.

Elizabeth Taylor
Maria Matos






Joe Rohrbach
Rick Dollinger





Endorsed in bold






A Recipe for Change in Which We Can Believe

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 is the big day when we can officially begin the process of changing Albany and Washington, DC, both of which do not address either our needs or our dreams!  There are four tasks which lie ahead – between now and year’s end which will change the political climate in our nation, state and, yes, New York City.

First, we must nominate progressive candidates to challenge incumbent Republicans and do-nothing or tired Democrats up and down the line – both in Albany and Washington, DC.  Secondly, we must then elect these progressive candidates in November and take control of the New York State Senate for the first time in thirty years.

Third, we must craft an agenda for change which addresses the basic issues of health care, education, campaign finance reform, the environment, affordable housing, redistricting, etc. which have been too long ignored or half-heartedly confronted. 

And, fourth and finally, we must put that agenda into action, passing and implementing legislation as well as designing other programs and policies which recognize, respect and protect basic rights of all citizens in New York.

With these goals in mind, New York City ADA endorses:

1.  Stephen Harrison who opposes Michael McMahon  in the 13th Congressional District (CD). Harrison garnered 46% of the vote against Republican Vito Fossella in 2006; He is the progressive in this contest, opposing the war in Iraq and the death penalty while supporting same sex marriage. McMahon declined invitations to run in the past and is currently seeking the Conservative Party endorsement as well;

2.  Kevin Powell who opposes Ed Towns in the 10th CD.  Powell is a young activist, writer and lecturer who briefly opposed Towns in 2006, withdrawing to work with Katrina survivors in New Orleans. Well known and widely respected in the Brooklyn District, he challenges Towns as out of touch with this minority community. Towns has been a Congressman for 26 years whose ADA rating is consistently lowest among NY Democratic Congresspersons;

3.  Paul Newell who opposes Sheldon Silver, the Speaker of the NYS Assembly, the second post powerful post in state government after the Governor, in the 64th AD. Newell, a community activist with deep roots in the community pledges to support congestion pricing and affordable housing. Silver refuses to reveal his outside income and continues the closed-door political deal-making so characteristic of the past decades;

4. Daniel Squadron who opposes Marty Connor in the 25th SD, believing that Squadron’s 11 point plan for reforming the Senate coupled with his promise to work full-time at the job lends additional power to his progressive credentials. Connor has juggled his Senate job with his law practice over 30 years and fits nicely into the Albany mold of incumbency  as a former minority Senate leader.

We have listed all of the contested seats in this year’s primary.  NYCADA does not make endorsements in judicial races. However, some are particularly noteworthy this year and we have included them for your information. 

National ADA’s PAC will provide financial support for our endorsed candidates in the House of Representatives. The NYC ADA PAC will give funds to our nominees in the State Senate and Assembly.

We urge our members to pursue an action program to elect these candidates in Round 1 of our program to achieve basicpolitical change.  Call the candidate and volunteer to phonebank!  Host a house party or similar event.  Make a personalcontribution, especially since our endorsees have limited financial resources for the most part. Finally, VOTE on Election Day and take five neighbors with you to the polls.  Turn-out is traditionally low in primaries. Thus, your vote is magnified many times over and may well make the difference in electing a progressive to public office.  It’s up to each and all of us to make a difference.

Barack Obama for President!

Obama for President!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  National ADA convention delegates unanimously endorsed  Barack Obama on June 14th, 2008.  Delegates welcomed enthusiastically Obama’s call for fundamental change.  They embraced many of his positions – our positions – on education, the environment, the minimum wage and a host of other issues – either rejected or overlooked by Republicans. 

John McCain’s lifetime ADA voting record is 14.05%.  Barack Obama’s lifetime ADA voting record is 97.5%.  In words and deeds, Obama has earned our support.  Some specific positions follow:


War in Iraq




“The best way to protect our security…is to  immediately begin to remove our combat troops.”
        September 12, 2007


“Make it a hundred…that would be fine with me.” To a questioner who asked if he supported …keeping troops in Iraq for 50 years.

Obama voted for withdrawal of our troops in ‘05, ‘06 & ‘07.  McCain voted no all times.


The Economy

“(The social) compact says that if you work hard, your work will be rewarded.  That everybody has an opportunity to make a decent living.  That social contract is starting to crumble.”

“(During the Bush administration) we have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment & low inflation & a lot of good things have happened.”

In 2005 and 2006  Obama voted to increase the minimum wage.  McCain voted against it.

Budget and Taxes

We (should) stop giving tax breaks to companies moving to Mexico & China…and start putting those tax breaks into companies investing in the United States.”  Oct 12, 2004

“We need to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.”
     February 3, 2008


Obama voted for the Estate Tax & Minimum Wage Bill of 2006.  McCain against. Also, in ‘06. Obama voted for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program & McCain voted against it.

Veterans Affairs

“Keeping faith with those who serve must always be a core American value…Because America’s commit-ment to its service men & women must never end.”

I’m a consistent supporter of educational benefits for the men & women of the military.”

In 2006 and 2007 Obama supported 5 bills to provide additional medical and educational support for veterans.  McCain voted against all of these acts.

The Environment

“we can be scientifically certain that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return”

“to address the issue of climate change, and nuclear power is a very big part of that.”

Obama voted for the Clean Energy Act of 1907. Alternative Energy Subsidies &  for funding for Low Income Home Energy, and EPA’s Clean Air Mercury Rule.  McCain voted for the Clean Air Mercury Rule and against funding for Low Income Home Energy.  He was absent for the other two votes.

Reproductive Rights

“A woman’s ability to decide how many children to have & when is one of the most fundamental rights we possess.”

“I do not support Roe vs. Wade.  It should be overturned.” 

Obama supported Obama voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion ban of 2007 and against defunding Grants to Family Planning Clinics.  McCain for both of these bills.  

Social Security &

“We… have an obligation to protect Social Security & ensure that it’s a safety net the American people can count on today, tomorrow & forever.

“Social Security is a disgrace.”

On eight votes involving Social Security or Medicaid funding for the disabled or other groups or to allow negotiations with drug makers to lower drug prices, Obama voted right and McCain voted wrong.

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