6:30 PM18:30

July 2019 Board of Governors Meeting


  1. Presentation by YAFFED (Young Advocates for Fair Education) .

  2. Discussion with Melissa Sklarz regarding her position with the Democratic Party versus the progressive agenda of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and our efforts to elect progressive members of the LGBTQ community to public office.

  3. Presentation on Ballot Measures proposed by 2019 Charter Revision Commission with Jimmy Vacca and possible additional speaker.

  4. Presentation on recent events in Venezuela and Iran with Leslie Cagan

  5. Recap of Queens DA race, Judicial Delegate Campaign and campaigns of other endorsed candidates.

  6. Discussion about 2020 Presidential and 2021 Citywide / Borough-wide Elections.

  7. Preparation for 2020 NYS Primaries. 

  8. Treasurer’s Report.

  9. New Business.

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4:30 PM16:30

February 2019 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes


a) New York County-Wide Civil Court Judge
- Ashlee Crawford
- Robert Rosenthal

b) 3rd District - New York County – Civil Court Judge
• Eric Shumacher
• Anna Lewis
• E. Grace Park

c) 4th District – New York County – Civil Court Judge
• Lynne Fischman Uniman

d) District Leader – 66th Assembly District Part A
• Arthur Schwartz

e) Queens District Attorney
• Jose Nieves
• Rory Lancman
• Tiffany L. Caban
• Mina Malik
• Melinda Katz


a) New York County-Wide Civil Court Judge
Ashlee Crawford – unanimous
Robert Rosenthal – unanimous

b) 3rd District – New York County – Civil Court Judge
E. Grace Park 62%; Eric Shumacher 23%; abstain 15% *

c) 4th District – New York County – Civil Court Judge
Lynne Fischman Uniman - unanimous

d) District Leader – 66th Assembly District Part A
Arthur Schwartz – unanimous

e) Queens District Attorney
• After discussion and a straw poll, the club voted to postpone an endorsement vote till our next meeting


Treasurer reported on the assets and liabilities and revenues and expenditures of the JOLDC and its PAC


The Board unanimously voted to add Sheila Rule to the JOLDC Board of Governors


• It was reported the JOLDC will have 2 candidates each for Delegate and Alternate for the Judicial Convention on a slate with three other area Democratic Clubs in the 66th Assembly District. Thanks given to Jim Owles board members David Ziffer and Katherine Slawinsky making this happen.
• We will be running an entire slate in the 75th Assembly District

VI. The club’s webmaster, Daniel Ravelo, has agreed to assist the president in learning how to use Mail Champ, organize mailing lists and emailing lists and create updated graphics for club notices and to oversee our social media.

* Subsequent to our endorsement meeting Grace Park withdrew from running in this particular race and thus the club has a non-endorsement in this district.

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7:20 PM19:20

September 2018 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

Meeting was called to order at 7:20 pm

  1. Mailings are ready to go out – approximately 3,000 pieces in each of 5 State Senate Districts (in support of candidates running against IDC member incumbents). 5,000 pieces went out promoting the club’s Judicial Slate.

  2. Volunteers were sought for campaigning for club endorsed candidates for Primary day, Thursday, September 13th. Lisa is coordinating the volunteers.

  3. Board Officers Danny Roskoff and Ali Najmi presented an initial draft of proposed amendments to the JOLD Club Constitution. It was noted that the Club does not have By-Laws and Constitution thus includes a description of Board governance. It was also noted that some of the amendments were modeled on Village Independent Democrat Clubs’s Constitution. The draft will be distributed to Officers for their ideas and review before a recommendation is made to the Club members.


Executive Session

The Officers went into Executive session at 8:15pm

  1. Chris Marchitello was unanimously elected Interim Vice President. She joins Paul Smith-Leonard as Vice Chair.

  2. Martin Sigal was unanimously elected Outreach Coordinator (upon the departure of Charles Bayor from that position)

  3. The Officers voted to eliminate the Special Project Coordinator positions. 61% in favor, 39% opposed.

  4. The Officers voted unanimously to create 2 Officer positions for Policy Advisor.

  5. The Officers voted unanimously for Councilmembers Ritchie Torres and Daniel Dromm to the Officer positions of Policy Advisor


The meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm

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6:45 PM18:45

August 2018 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

Meeting started at 6:45 pm

Candidates Interviewed

  • Guillermo Ali Perez – 71st Assembly District

  • Robert Kesten – 40th State Senate District

  • Peter Herckham – 40th State Senate District

  • Carmen de la Roza – 72nd Assembly District

  • John Liu – 11th State Senate District


Candidates Endorsed

  • 11th State Senate District – John Liu (Unanimous)

  • 29th Assembly District – Alicia L. Hyndman (Unanimous)

  • 40th State Senate District – Tabled (61% to table, 39% opposed to tabling)

  • 72nd Assembly District – No Endorsement (72% for no endorsement, 28% in favor of Carmen de la Roza)


Motion to Rescind Endorsement in Attorney General Race

After discussion from 4 speakers in favor of rescinding the endorsement of Letitia James and 4 speakers opposed to rescinding the endorsement a motion was made and seconded to rescind the endorsement. Paper ballets were distributed and counted.

64% of votes were in favor of rescinding the endorsement, 36% were opposed to rescinding the endorsement.

The motion required a 2/3rds vote (66%) to be approved and thus failed.

Discussion Items

  • City Councilmember Richard Torres discussed several issues including the need to lobby NYS to repeal vacancy decontrol, the required priority to prevent gang violence (following a recent death in the Bronx) and changes in Bronx politics

  • City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal discussed several issues including the need to increase staffing at the Special Victims Division of the NYPD

  • Hawk Newsome from Black Lives Matter (BLM) discussed the actions taken by BLM for the anniversary of the Charlottesville white supremacy march and violence. BLM marched from NYC to Washington DC with a message of Love and promoted their “Rejuvenation” project including donating food and assisting in rebuilding in various cities they stopped along their route from NYC to Washington DC. Newsom acknowledged the participation of the Jim Owles club and that Club President Allen Roskoff spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial representing the club. He also encouraged Club members to have a presence on August 17th at 9:30 at 100 Centre Street, Part B to support him in his trial regarding a recent instance of police violence against him.

  • Christine Marinoni from the Cynthia Nixon for Governor Campaign (Club Endorsed Candidate) urged club members to be involved in Cynthia Nixon’s campaign. There was some discussion regarding the campaign’s difficulty communicating with to the club, as well as appreciation expressed for the candidate’s highlighting of Progressive issues.

  • Jenna Goldsobel from the Ross Barkan for 22nd State Senate District (Club Endorsed Candidate) urged club members to volunteer in their campaign.

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10:00 AM10:00

June 2018 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

Candidates Interviewed

  • Joyce Briscoe – 16th Congressional District

  • Shah Ally – Civil Court, Manhattan 4

  • Jeff Lewis – representing NYS Lt. Governor Kathleen Hochul

  • Letitia A. James – NYS Attorney General

  • Jumaane Williams – Lt. Governor

  • Leecia Eve – NYS Attorney General

  • Zephyr Teachout – NYS Attorney General

  • Tom DiNapoli – NYS Comptroller

  • Alphonso David – representing NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo

  • Councilmember Carlos Menchaca – representing Cynthia Nixon

  • Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte – 42nd Assembly District

  • Josh Pierre – 42nd Assembly District Leader

  • Assemblymember Matthew Titone– Surrogate Court, Staten Island

  • Catalina Cruz – 39th Assembly District

  • Melissa Sklarz – 30th Assembly District

  • Assemblymember Robert J Rodriquez -68th Assembly District


Candidates Endorsed

  • 16th Congressional District – Joyce Briscoe (unanimous)

  • Civil Court, Manhattan 4 – Shah Ally (unanimous)

  • NYS Comptroller – Thomas DiNapoli (unanimous)

  • 42nd Assembly District – Rodnese Bichotte (unanimous)

  • 39th Assembly District – Catalina Cruz (unanimous)

  • Josh Pier – 42nd Assembly District Leader (unanimous)

  • 30th Assembly District – Melissa Sklarz (83% in favor, 17% abstain)

  • 68th Assembly District – Robert J. Rodriguez (unanimous)

  • 39th Assembly District – Catalina Cruz (80% in favor, 6% for Ari Espinal, 12% abstention)

  • NYS Governor – Cynthia Nixon (66% in favor, 29% for Governor Andrew Cuomo, 5% no endorsement)

  • NYS Lt. Governor – Jumaane Williams (75% in favor, 20% for Katherine Hochul, 5% no endorsement)

  • NYS Comptroller – Thomas DiNapoli (95% in favor, 5% no endorsement)

  • NYS Attorney General – Letitia James (52% in favor, Teacher Teachout 35%, 5% for Leecia Eve, 8% for Sean Patrick Maloney)

  • Staten Island Surrogate Court – Matthew Titone (93% in favor, 7% abstention)


Meeting Adjourned 5:10pm

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6:00 PM18:00

May 2018 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

Candidates Interviewed:

  • Hilary Gingold– 9th Judicial District, Civil Court

  • Kathleen C. Waterman – 9th Judicial District, Civil Court

  • Robert Rosenthal – 2nd Judicial District, Civil Court

  • Nicholas Moyne – 6th Judicial District

  • Victor Pichardo – 86th Assembly District

  • Jazmine Robinson – 11th Congressional District

  • Ariel David Chesler – Civil Court New York County

  • Wendy C. Li – 2nd Judicial District, Civil Court

  • Omar Vaid – 11th Congressional District

  • Max Rose – 11th Congressional District

  • Ilana J. Marcus – 5th Judicial District, Civil Court


Candidates Endorsed:

  • 9th Judicial District, Civil Court – Hilary Gingold - Unanimous

  • 9th Judicial District, Civil Court – Katherine Waterman - Unanimous

  • 2nd Judicial District, Civil Court -Robert Rosenthal 60%, Wendy C. Li – 40%

  • 6th Judicial District, Civil Court Nicholas Moyne - Unanimous

  • 86th Assembly District – Victor Pichardo 93%, Abstain 7%

  • 11th Congressional District – Max Rose 60%, Omar Vaid, 33%, Michael Devito – 7%

  • New York County Civil Court – Ariel Chessler - Unanimous

  • 5th Judicial District, Civil Court – Ilana J. Marcus - Unanimous


The Club adjourned at 10:15pm

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10:00 AM10:00

April 2018 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

I. Candidates Interviewed

  • James Felton Keith – (former candidate) 13th Congressional District

  • Adriano Espaillat – 13th Congressional District

  • Robert Carroll – 44th Assembly District

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – 14th Congressional District

  • Joseph Crowley – 14th Congressional District

  • Jazmine Robinson – 23rd State Senate District

  • Carolyn Maloney – 12th Congressional District

  • Hakeem Jeffries – 8th Congressional District

  • Sander Hicks – 12th Congressional District

  • Adem Bunkeddecko – 9th Congressional District

II. Candidates Endorsed

  • 44th Assembly District – Robert Carroll (unanimous)

  • 13th Congressional District – Adriano Espaillat (82% in favor, 18% abstain)

  • 34th State Senate District - Reconsideration of No Endorsement (33% in favor, 42% Opposed, 25% abstention)

  • 23rd State Senate District – Jazmine Robinson (unanimous)

  • 12th Congressional District – Carolyn Maloney (unanimous)

  • 14th Congressional District – Joseph Crowley (80% in favor) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (20% in favor)

  • 8th Congressional District – Hakeem Jeffries (unanimous)

  • 9th Congressional District – Adem Bunkeddecko (80% in favor, 20% abstain)

III. Board of Governor Addition:

America Oliva and Bjorn Thorstad were added to the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club Board of Governors

IV. Campaigning for Brian Flynn

Allen encouraged everyone to join campaign on May 5 and 6 for Brian Flynn (club endorsed candidate for Congress 19th Congressional District)

V. Discussion of Night Life 

Allen indicated continued discussions at Manhattan Community Board #2 regarding Tom Connor’s reappointment to the SLA Committee. He also indicated the club leadership will be meeting with the new Night Life Mayor, Ariel Palitz, and will plan an event with her regarding nightlife issues.


The Club adjourned at 5:25pm

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1:30 PM13:30

March 2018 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

I. Candidates Interviewed
• Gustavo Rivera – 33rd State Senate District
• Jose Serrano – 15th Congressional District
• Nydia Velasquez – 7th Congressional District
• Jessica Ramos – 13th State Senate District

II. Candidates Endorsed
• Gustavo Rivera – 33rd State Senate District – Unanimous
• Jose Serrano – 15th Congressional District – Unanimous
• Thomas Suozzi – 3rd Congressional District – 91% in favor, 9% abstain - Endorsed in Absentia
• Nydia Velasquez – 7th Congressional District – Unanimous
• Jessica Ramos – 13th State Senate District - Unanimous

III. Electing Club Vice President – Neil Reilly is stepping aside as Vice President. Allen nominated Paul Smith-Leonard as Vice President. Elected Unanimously. Neil will remain an officer as Special Projects Coordinator.

Jim Owles Annual Gay Pride Fund Raiser will be held on June 4th. James Duff and Phillip Keane are among the Honorees.

The Club adjourned at 5:25pm

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10:00 AM10:00

March 2018 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

I. Candidate Interviews
        • Jerald Nadler (10th Congressional District)
        • Liz Krueger (28th State Senate District)
        • Jose Serrano (29th State Senate District)
        • Brad Hoylman (27th State Senate District)
        • Robert Jackson (31st State Senate District)
        • Zellnor Myrie (20th State Senate District)
        • Louis Supulveda (32nd State Senate District)
        • Joanne Simon (52nd Assembly District)
        • Alessandra Biaggi (34th State Senate District)

II. Board members Paul Smith-Leonard, Allen Roskoff, Dan Roskoff and Christian Campbell met with 19th Congressional District candidates and recommended endorsement of Brian Flynn. Brian Flynn was endorsed.   

III. Candidate Endorsements
        • Gerald Nadler (10th Congressional District) - Unanimous
        • Liz Krueger (28th State Senate District) - Unanimous
        • Jose Serrano (29th State Senate District) - Unanimous
        • Brad Hoylman (27th State Senate District) - Unanimous
        • Robert Jackson (31st State Senate District) - Unanimous
        • Zellnor Myrie (20th State Senate District) - Unanimous
        • Joanne Simon (52nd Assembly District) - Unanimous
        • Louis Supulveda (32nd Assembly District) -No Endorsement
        • David Weprin (24th Assembly District) – Unanimous- Endorsed in Absentia
        • Brian Flynn (19th Congressional District) – 90% in favor, 10% abstain

IV. Board of Governors: Unanimous vote to add Barbara Reuther to the Board of Governors

V. Discussion of transfer of Manhattan CB2 member Tom Connor from the SLA Committee to Senior Committee. Tom Connor, a Board of Governor member, described the verbal harassment he experienced from the Manhattan CB2 SLA Committee Chair and his subsequent unrequested transfer, by board president Teri Cude, from the SLA Committee to the Senior Issues Committee.  Allen indicated that several other SLA Committee members also witnessed the harassment and intimidation. Tom, Allen and other Board of Governor members also discussed CB2’s frequent actions against night-life activities. Allen recommended that we seek to create a video (or documentary, if feasible) about CB2’s anti-night life activities and indicated, with Board’s concurrence, that the organization would take a variety of actions to protest CB2s anti-night life stances.  

VI. Anti-Gun Violence March, March 24th: Allen encouraged everyone to be a part of the Club’s contingent in the Anti-Gun march.

VII. Kate Waterman spoke about upcoming potential Judicial selection processes and thanked the Board of Governors for its previous support of her Judicial candidacy

 VIII. Election of Connor Lamb: Allen and Dan Roskoff and board member Kathleen Chalfant and her husband travelled to Pittsburg to campaign for Connor Lamb. Allen and Dan also encouraged future club trips to campaign for progressive candidates.

IX. New York State Black and Hispanic Caucus Allen attended New York State Black and Hispanic Caucus, representing the club.

  X. Discussion of Civilian Complaint Review Board: Ydarian Castillo from the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) spoke about the CCRB’s role and the process for filing a case. She indicated that their recommendations related to police disciplinary actions can be overruled by the Police Commissioner, who has ultimately makes the decision. She indicated that the CCRB was seeking to increase public understanding and utilization of the CCRB.

XI. June 4th Jim Owles Club Fundraiser will be at a midtown restaurant –

The meeting was adjourned at 4:45pm

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7:00 PM19:00

October 2017 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

Candles for Clemency Update: There was discussion on actions to advocate for releasing aging people in prison and the current status of Judith Clark and Roz Smith.

  1. Protest Parole Board: Volunteers Discussion of doing an action the home of Tina Stanford (NYS Parole Commission Chairwoman) on November 11, 2017 to protest the Parole Board’s lack of action

  2. Terry W. Gipson (NYS Senate 41st District) spoke to the Board about his intention to run for Governor. He stated he has been a long time local activist in Rhinebeck and Dutchess County before being elected in 2012. He discussed several areas of disagreement with the Governor, including voting reform, strict campaign finance reform, criminal justice reform (with an emphasis on providing additional education for prisoners), and the need for a progressive bail system. He indicated he placed a high priority to elect democrats in Local and County offices, in addition to the State Senate. Proudest accomplishments – his active involvement in supporting the Dream Act and Gun Control.
    He felt he could win the election since there is typically less than 700,000 people voting in Governor primaries and he could focus on getting out activists in an anti-establishment atmosphere

  3. Sonia Ossorio (President NYS NOW) discussed the current priorities of NYS NOW including anti Trump actions and sexual assault in the prison system. She discussed concerns about Manhattan DA’s office, including their not pursuing an investigation of Trump or not prosecuting Harvey Weinstein in sexual harassment cases. She was pleased to join with Jim Owles to picket the Laurie Sattler’s invocation. She also indicated she would work with Jim Owles in supporting Margaret Chin and would visit Judith Clark with Allen and Tony

  4. No-IDC NY update – Aries Dela Cruz discussed challenges to IDC members. He said they intended to raise $10,000 a month during next few months (and greater closer to the primaries) to raise a total of $1 million. He also indicated they will be phone banking by volunteers to do voter ID.

  5. General Election, Discussion on club helping candidate Margaret Chin’s bid for re-election to City Council and concern over Chris Marte’s willingness to accept Independence Party line.

  6. Primary Recap - Most club supported candidates won including Margaret Chin, Keith Powers, Carlina Rivera, Helen Rosenthal, Carlos Menchaca, Justin Brennan, Adrienne Adams, Eric Gonzalez, Tommy Torres and Deborah Rose . However, club’s endorsed candidate’s Robert Rodriquez and Helen Hynes lost their City Council bids.

  7. Congressional Candidates: Club President Allen Roskoff, Paul Leonard, Christian Campbell and America Campbell will interview Congressional candidates to bring endorsement recommendation back to club.

  8. December 5 Fundraiser – will likely be at Mark Green’s apartment, Betty Buckley and Mike C. Manning will be honored.

  9. Treasurer’s Report Club has $35,000 in active account. Allen thanks Barry Weinberg for his work as Treasurer.

  10. Web Site: Website to be updated with changes in format.

  11. City Council ratings – Club discussed this years ratings of City Council members. Motion approved for Dan Roskoff to take on task.

  12. Next Meeting November 15th

 Meeting Adjourned 11pm

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10:00 AM10:00

June 2017 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

Candidate Interviews:

City Council District 25: Daniel Dromm
Endorsed 100%

City Council District 17: Helen Hines
Endorsed 92%
Abstain    8%

Judicial: Brooklyn Wide

Connie Mallafre-Melendez
Endorsed 100%

Patria Frias-Colon
Endorsed 82%
Abstain 18%

Judicial Manhattan: 12th Judicial District
Jim Clynes
Endorsed 100%

District Leader: Village
Keen Berger
Endorsed 82%
Abstain     18%

Club business

Discussion of club participation in Resist activities and Gay Pride events.
Preparation for June 5th Fundraiser
Need for volunteers to carry judicial Delegate Petitions and petitions for endorsed candidates citywide
Preparation for Washington DC. protest, rally and march weekend of June 25th
Approval of expenses of president assisting in Georgia Race for Congress Jon Ossoff representing the club.
Approval of expenses of club President and members Neil Reilly and Aries Cruz representing the club at Washington DC protest, march and rally.

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10:00 AM10:00

May 2017 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

Candidate Interviews:

Robert Rodriguez: City Council District 8
Liz Crowley – City Council District 30
Ronnie Cho – City Council District 2
Donavon Richards – City Council District 31- Rockaways
Victor Jordan – City Council District 41
Cyrus Vance – Manhattan District Attorney
Kathleen Waterman – 5th District Court
Richard Tsai – Civil Court Judge, New York County
Leslie Stroth – 5th District Court
Corey Provost – City Council 41st District
Phaedra  Perry – Civil Court Judge New York County


Mayor: Bill DeBlasio
Comptroller: Scott Stringer
Public Advocate: Leticia James
Manhattan Borough President: Gail Brewer
Manhattan District Attorney – Cyrus Vance

City Council and Judicial

City Council District 1: Margeret Chin
Margeret Chin – 73%;
Chris Marte -      27%

City Council District 2: Carlina Rivera
Carlina Rivera – 100%

City Council District 3: Corey Johnson
Corey Johnson – 92%
Abstain -     8%

City Council District 8: Robert Rodriguez-
Endorsed  82%
Abstain  18%

City Council District 31: Donovon Richards
Endorsed  100%

Civil Court Judges Manhattan
Waterman vs. Stroth, Postpone Endorsement – 64%
Endorse Richard Tsai and Phaedra  Perry –


Club business

Club Visibility
The Board discussed new T-Shirt designs and printing and potential additional visibility products including rolling papers and back bags. It was felt it was important to have some visibility products available for people for the June 11 Washington DC March.

Candles for Clemency – Judith Clark
Judith will be filing an appeal of the denial of parole and will then file an Article 78. Allen reported that he may be planning a trip for NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Leticia James to visit Judith. The club discussed an action to support Judith’s efforts – a protest in front of the home of Tina Stanford, the head of the Parole Board in NYS – on August 19th to Buffalo. Several Board members including Cathy, Tony, Danny, Lisa, Aires, and Jay expressed interest in attending.

Fund raiser Update
Update on awardees and program for June 5th Fundraiser

New Business
Discussion of events surrounding the RESIST movement.

Meeting Adjourned – 5pm

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10:15 AM10:15

March 2017 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

The Following City Council Candidates Appeared before the Club:

13th City Council District – Bronx: Marjorie Valazquez
18th City Council District – Bronx: Elvin Garcia
18th City Council District – Bronx: Amanda Farias
13th City Council District – Bronx: John Doyle
14th City Council District – Bronx: Justin Sanchez
14th City Council District – Bronx: Randy Abreu

All Agreed they will not support anyone who is a member of the IDC or doesn’t commit to not becoming a member of the Independant Democratic Conference for election

Treasurer’s Report (Barry Weinberg):

The Treasurer reported that the Club has transferred from Citibank to Amalgamated Bank in large part because Amalgamated Bank has more familiarity with Club accounts.

Make the Road – (Daniel Altschuler, Managing Director)
Daniel discussed Make the Road’s 20 year history of providing educational (over 5,000 people each year); legal and survival services (over 10,000/year) and community organizing (from amongst it 20,000 members). Since the Presidential campaign, it has also increased its efforts to both assist and organizing undocumented residents, advising them of their rights and ensuring continued advocacy.  He indicated they are currently the largest organization offering both services and organizing to the immigrant community.  They were one of the leading forces in several large protests in NYC. In addition to this 501©3 nonprofit agency, Make the Road also has a political 501©4 arm that will be involved in supporting candidates who will assist immigrant communities.

Daniel indicated that ICE’s increased enforcement thus far has been focused on going to people’s homes and bringing people into court to deport them, rather than community wide efforts. However, he indicated Make the Road is preparing people in the event such community sweeps occur.

He also asked for the Jim Owles Club to work with Make the Road in supporting the New York State Liberty Act, which would limit the cooperation between Local Law Enforcement and Federal Immigration enforcement and limit the information that local law enforcement can collect that might be used by Federal enforcement. The bill is currently stalled given the likely difficulty in passing it in the Senate and the Governor’s silence on the proposal. He also raised concern that while the Governor’s proposal to provide legal assistance to any undocumented person who requires it is laudable, the budget does not provide the funding for additional attorneys to operationalize that commitment.   

Upcoming Club Event:
Several upcoming events were discussed and members were encouraged to attend – these include a March 18 Birthday Party for City Councilmember Laurie A Cumbo; the March 19,  Gay City Press Annual Fundraiser (Honoring Club President Allen Roskoff and other Community Leaders); and the June 11 Gay Pride March in DC.

Transpact (Mel Wymore, Executive Director) and United Through Action

Mel discussed the current crisis for Transgender Community, including the President’s recent Executive Order rescinding the policy of requiring states and local governments to permit bathroom use based on individual gender identity. The Executive Order and recent rhetoric coming from Republicans has also led to an increase in hate crimes against transgender people. Mel also provided an update on the effort to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) at the state level. He indicated that while it has passed in the Assembly, it has not passed the Senate. He also indicated that while several IDC members have supported the proposal, their support has not translated into the Republican/IDC majority to moving the legislation.
Mel also invited Jim Owles members to attend the United Through Action meeting this Thursday (March 9th) at 6pm.
Wrongful Conviction (podcast), Innocence Project, Legal Action Center (Jason Flom):
Jason discussed his long history of assisting wrongfully convicted people to get released. He discussed a current client, Jon-Adrian Velazquez, who was wrongfully convicted of the 1997 murder of an NYPD officer. He mentioned that DNA evidence exonerating Mr. Velazquez, the major witness’s recanting of their testimony, a Dateline report indicating the faulty evidence against Mr. Velazquez, and an active campaign by Blind-Justice.org has not moved District Attorney Vance to reopen the case. There was discussion about additional actions that could be taken, including identifying a candidate to run against the District Attorney to raise this issue or picketing in front of the District Attorney’s home. The Club and Jason discussed maintaining communication about Mr. Velasquez and other cases.  

NoIDCNY.org (Professor Susan Kang)

Professor Kang discussed the recent formation and growth of her organization. Over 500 people have joined the facebook page and their continued actions against State Senators Jose Peralto and Jesse Hamilton.  In addition events to publically challenge and embarrass IDC members, NOIDCNY.org is seeking to recruiting candidates to run against 8 IDC members in 2018.  There was discussion about continued cooperation between NoIDCNY.org and the Jim Owles Club.

Manhattan County Leader Keith Wright –
Discussed recent Democratic County Club activities,, including its handling of the Doris Ling Cohen re-nomination, his being County Leader and Working for Government Affairs for Davidoff, Hutcher & Citron LLP Law Firm,  challenging the Trump Administration, and judicial selection reform.  

Ali Najmi  (Treasurer and Co-Founder Muslim Democratic Club) Reported increased involvement and activity since Trump Executive Orders that impacted the Muslim community. He also discussed two issues that are of interest to the Muslim community – The first is a proposal supported by his club that would change an existing TLC rule that any taxi driver lose their jobs upon an arrest, with a several month wait for reinstatement even if they are not guilty. Given the high percentage of Muslim taxi drivers, the Muslim Democratic Club would like to see the policy changed. proposed TLC rule change to not have taxi drivers immediately lose their job upon arrest. The second issue is to seek the reversal of a recent NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) rule change to require minimum 30% foreign language speakers before requiring a senior center to have translation services. Jim Owle Club members offered to assist in any actions on these issues.

Arthur Schwartz – (New York Progressive Action Network) will be having a town hall regarding the Closing of Beth Israel Hospital. He requested Jim Owles Club be a co-sponsor, which was approved unanimously.  Also requested Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club become an affiliate of the New York Progressive Action Network, which was also approved unanimously.

Branden Hayward was introduced as a new member.

Dan Roskoff Reported on the results of the Club’s City Council Report Card – based on 18 votes in the City Council. There was some concern that several members had lower scores because of absences rather than because of their specific votes. It was noted that the report would include the specific votes and if they were absent. There was also discussion about the press release that might accompany the Report Card to increase visibility.

Two motions approved by unanimous vote:
Jim Owles Club to be a co-sponsor of the Town Hall regarding the Closing of Beth Isreal Hospital
Jim Owles Club to be listed as an affiliate of the New York Progressive Action Network

Meeting adjourned at 4:55pm 

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7:03 PM19:03

October 2016 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

President Report: Jim Owles: Five pieces of literature were printed and distributed in 4 out of 5 boroughs. During the General Election, the Club also plans to send out mailing in support of Tom Suozzi, and participate in mailings for Dan Quart, Hillary Clinton, Caroline Maloney. During the last two months, the website has been upgraded and updated. Tom Suozzi, who the club endorsed, will speak at next fundraiser, as will actor Dennis O’Hare. Jeff Hurrant has been added to Board of Governors, as Officer of Social Media. The Club is moving forward on full state required compliance, which is likely to cost $10,000/year.

Members also discussed the success of the campaign for Doris Ling Cohen and the involvement of the Club in that effort. Specific appreciation was expressed for the efforts of Board member Dan Roskoff, who acted as the Campaign Manager for Doris Ling Cohen.

In addition to the above report, there was discussion on need to add new Board of Governor members and for increased participation on Fundraising.


Democratic Nominee for the 65th Assembly District Yuh-Line Niou introduced herself to the club. Discussion focused on government transparency, campaign finance reform, resiliency for lower Manhattan, environmental justice and economic inequality.

District Leader, 66 Part A, Arthur Schwartz also spoke on his efforts to turn the activism and movement for Progressive causes fostered in Bernie Sanders campaign into a new statewide organization, likely named Progressive Action Network New York.

State Committee member Ben Yee discussed his recent election to the Executive Board of the State Committee, the merging of the Reform and Progressive Caucuses at the State Committee and the State Committee opposition to the Dakota Pipeline.

Judge Emily Jane Goodman Other Club Business

indicated that there were 9 spots on the ballot for the 2016 selection for Judiciary – 5 incumbents and 4 vacancies. She expressed concern that Doris Ling Cohan not being recommended by the panel as an incumbent violated important protocol that has been in place to ensure Judicial independence. She recommended outreach for organizations to join the Panel, training for Panel members and required disclosure of potential Conflicts of Interest by Panel members to remedy this problem. She also recommended incumbent right of appeal if not appointed and a required 75% vote by the Panel be required to not re-nominate incumbent.


The Club endorsed Yuh-Line Niou for 65th Assembly, 100% in favor

Other Club Business

The Club is proposing to do a report card on the City Council members based on votes and other factors. There is expected to be further discussion before the report card grading system is finalized.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm

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7:30 PM19:30

September 2016 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes


1) T- Shirt Sales – Allen showed several clemency themed T-shirts for sale 

2) Based on the club’s previous support for Doris Lin-Cohan, the club has taken a public strong stand against the recent reporting out of a selection panel  that did not find her qualified. On behalf of the Club, Club President Alan Roskoff has also has spoken against several irregularities and conflicts of interest that likely impacted that decision and joined with several Council people and other advocates and officials in a press conference highlighting the quality of Justice Lin-Cohan’s decisions, including her landmark decision in favor of same-sex marriage.   

Justice Lin-Cohan described some of her major Judicial decisions and desents and her priorities on the Court. 

There was substantial discussion on strategies to ensure the recommendation of the panel is overturned:

  1. Next steps discussed include fund raising and an event for delegates in advance of their vote. Other members also discussed strategies for press relations. Members were encouraged to attend forums that discussed Judicial candidates to highlight Justice Lin-Cohan’s record and to condemn the process that lead to the Panel’s recommendation;

  2. There was also discussion of Long term solutions and reforms to the Manhattan Democratic Party’s selection process including recommendations to include an Appeal process for incumbent Judges not recommended and requirements that the Panel review a fuller set of records before making a decision.

Members discussed the appearance of conflict of interest and partiality in the Manhattan Democrat County Committee’s selection of co-chair for their judicial panel.

Discussion continued over the unsuitability of Lori Satler as candidate for State Supreme Court and her unprofessional and sexist court room behavior.  

3) Discussion with members of Candles for Clemency regarding ongoing strategy in regard to moving forward in our efforts to securing clemency for as many people as possible and the specific strategy in regards to Judith Clark. Co-Chair of Candles for Clemency Tony Hoffmann co-chaired this part of the meeting.

4) Discussion of creating a yearly rating report card of the New York City Council to be put together by Dan Roskoff

5) Treasurers report – Barry Weinberg, the new Club/PAC treasurer met with bookkeeper and compliance consultants and is working on streamlining the club’s financial processes and ensuring the club meets reporting and record keeping requirements.  He also reported that the club and PAC have approximately $37,000 in the bank, though a portion of that will be needed to pay outstanding invoices and monthly fees for the club bookkeeping and compliance consultants.  

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50pm    

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7:30 PM19:30

August 2016 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

The meeting began at 7:30pm

Presentation and discussion on Candles for Clemency rally and Vigil on September 17th.

Presentation, Discussion and Photo Taking regarding Right To Know legislation languishing in the City Council and Council. Decision made by club president Allen Roskoff to return Gay Pride award presented by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito due to her preventing Right To Know legislation from coming to a vote and compromising bill behind the back of legislation's sponsors.

Fourth Round of Endorsements of Candidates for September 13th Primary

The following candidates attended and were interviewed (in order of interview):

Roy Paul – candidate for Assembly 33rd District (Queens)

Jaime Williams – candidate for 59th Assembly District (Brooklyn)

Adrienne Adams – candidate for State Senate 10th (Queens)

Nantasha Williams - (interviewed by phone), candidate for 33rd Assembly District (Queens)

Inez Dickens – candidate for 70th Assembly District (Manhattan)

Ben Yee – candidate for Democratic State Committee (for 66th Assembly District) (Manhattan)


President of United States– Hillary Rodham Clinton – 82% in favor, 18% for no endorsement
33rd Assembly District - Nantasha Williams – 82% in favor, 18% abstained
59th Assembly Candidate, Jaime Williams – 91% in favor of no endorsement, 9% in favor
10th State Senate – Adrienne E. Adams - 100% in favor
70th Assembly - Inez Dickens – 91% in favor, 9% abstain
14th District State Senate - Leroy Comrie Jr. - 100%
39th Assembly District - Francisco Moya - 100%
Democratic State Committee – 66th Assembly District – Ben Yee - 100% in favor

14th District US Congress Joe Crowley - 82% in favor, 18% for no endorsement

* Non Endorsements
Supreme Court (and Re-Election to Civil Court) Manhattan- Lori Sattler Not Qualified, Lacks Progressive Values, Abortion Shamed Mother in Child Custody Case and Lack of Professional Judicial Temperament
Congress- Yvette Clark-Overriding concern was her refusal to endorse Candles for Clemency


Other Club Business - Barry Weinberg, voted to be Club Treasurer at the July meeting, will assume that role likely by the end of August.

Next Jim Owles Meeting September 7th at 7:30 preceded by Candles for Clemency meeting at 6:00 pm

Meeting was Adjourned at 9:50pm

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1:14 PM13:14

April 2016 Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting was called to order at 1:14pm

Recent Board Activities
During the last couple of months the Club has done additional outreach and voter registration and done mailings for several of its endorsees. The Club also continued activities in the Bernie Sanders campaign, including the Board President speaking at the rally at the Ethical Society.

Candidate forum - 66th Assembly District
Both candidates for the 66th Assembly District attended, gave presentations and took questions from Club members.

Deborah Glick, The incumbent discussed her activities in the Assembly including her eight years as Chair, Higher Education committee and the leadership she has provided as the first gay and lesbian elected official in NY State. One of only 3 women in Senate.
She discussed her legislative activities, including being the lead sponsor on the campus sexual assault bill, bill to increase installation of more red light and speed cameras, opposing Airbnb, and expanding school zones. She discussed other legislation she was active ins upporting including the Marriage Equality Act and Non-Discrimination bills.
She also discussed her local accomplishments including getting a $2.5 million allocation for the Hudson River Park, and her advocacy for the Elizabeth Street Garden and signing on the lawsuit against NYU's expansion plan.

She indicated she supported the Speaker Silver after he was indicted because of his support for her legislative and other proposals. She also indicated that she supported Governor Cuomo because of his support for Marriage Equality, minimum wage increase and gun control, but appreciated the campaign that Zephyr Teachout, whom the Club supported, ran and her ability to move the party to the left.

Arthur Schwartz discussed his long-term involvement with the Club, including putting the Club President on the top of the ballet for delegate for Bernie and his involvement with the club and with candidates the club endorsed, including Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Zephyr Teachout. He indicated his decision to run against Deborah related to her support for Speak Sheldon Silver, despite strong evidence of corruption.

He indicated strong supports for 8 year term limit for State Legislators and for publicly funded elections, early and weekend voting, same day registration. He indicated in the Assembly he would propose Free CUNY and SUNY tuition and creating a public option for Health insurance.

He discussed his long-term involvement in the community including defending the tenants in Fulton Houses in court, fighting against the sale of the St. Vincent's site to the Rudin's and (after the sale) fighting for a replacement Hospital in the area.

He indicated that while he expected to be a full tie legislator, he also wanted to keep doing his law practice.

Elected Official Reports

Congressmember Jose Serrano Sr. discussed his votes making him statistically the most liberal member of Congress. He discussed his long term support for vote rights, treating Puerto Rico fairly, and fighting for the poort and for the LGTB community. He discussed the Presidential race and his intention to fight against everything likely Republican nominee Donald Trump stands for.


66th Assembly District - 81% in support of Arthur Schwartz and 19% for Deborah Glick

15th Congressional District – Jose Serrano (unanimous)

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10:00 AM10:00

2016 Primary Candidate Interviews

Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 10:19 AM.

Candidates Interviewed, in Order of Appearance

  • Nydia Velasquez, 7th Congressional District, Incumbent

  • Arthur Schwartz, 66th Assembly District, Candidate

    • While the incumbent Deborah Glick did not attend, several Board members expressed support for her, discussing her leadership role on women's issues, and her willingness to challenge Speaker Heastie. They indicated she was effective in fighting developers seeking to open the waterfront to development.

    • After discussion, the Board voted to table a vote for Assembly endorsement until after a scheduled debate on Thursday, April 6.

  • Tom Suozzi, 3rd Congressional District, Candidate

  • Carolyn Maloney, 12th Congressional District, Incumbent

  • Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President

    • Though not up for re-election, also discussed supporting Candles for Clemency and her willingness to visit Judith Clark in prison, noting she has been to Bedford Hills prison several times. She endorsed increased hiring for local police. She defended reappointing long-term community board members indicating their experience increased the Community Board's effectiveness. She discussed her support for Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning, but opposition to the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA), indicating that ZQA enables the creation of buildings out of context with communities.

Members were encouraged to attend fundraisers this weekend for Council Member Laurie Cumbo and the Queens Democratic Club.

Club President Allen Roskoff reported that the Campaign Finance Control Board had reviewed the club's financial records going back to 2005 and found no issues. There was discussion regarding the new requirements for political club PAC's mandating more intense record keeping.

  • Keith Wright, 13th Congressional District, Candidate

  • Jose Serrano, 29th State Senate District, Incumbent

  • Jo Anne Simon, 52nd Assembly District, Incumbent

  • Peter Linder, 12th Congressional District, Candidate

  • Catherine Assante, 36th State Senate District, Candidate

  • Clyde Williams, 13th Congressional District, Candidate

  • Dan Quart, 73rd Assembly District, Incumbent

  • Adriano Espaillat, 13th Congressional District, Candidate

  • Gustavo Rivera, 33rd State Senate District, Incumbent


  • 3rd Congressional District: Tom Suozzi, Unanimous

  • 7th Congressional District: Nydia Velasquez, Unanimous

  • 12th Congressional District: Carolyn Maloney, Unanimous

  • 13th Congressional District: Keith Wright, Unanimous

  • 29th State Senate District: Jose M. Serano, Unanimous

  • 52nd Assembly District: Jo Anne Simon, 80% in favor, 20% abstention

  • 73rd Assembly District: Dan Quart, Unanimous

  • 33rd Senate District: Gustavo Rivera, Unanimous

The meeting was adjourned at 6:15pm

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