Become an Insider!
August 31st, 2006

The “party machine” is often portrayed as a force in competition with the people’s will. But, when functioning properly, political parties can allow widespread participation on a grassroots level. Members of the county committees are elected directly by their neighbors and usually represent just a few blocks.

The trouble is, nobody has been running for these seats. As Grassroots Initiative pointed out in their report(pdf format) last year, 50 percent of the 15,000 county committee seats in the two major parties in New York are vacant.

Furthermore, 98 percent of those occupied seats are filled by candidates who ran unopposed – they needed merely to fill out the paperwork to be elected.

To reinforce the importance of party committees, Grassroots notes the political prominence of the religious right, whom a Congressional Quarterly report found to control a vast number of Republican committee seats nationwide.

This year, Grassroots attempted to help any willing candidate in the city run for seats in the two major parties. Their Web site acts as a campaign clearing house, and they trained candidates in the elections process.

And now, with petitioning season officially over, they are assisting candidates with write-in campaigns.

For more info on committee seats, try contacting Grassroots Initiative or your party:

Parties With Secured Ballot Status:

Bronx Independence
Brooklyn GOP

Brooklyn Independence
Manhattan GOP

Manhattan Indepedence
NYS Conservatives
NYS Democrats

NYS Independence

NYS Working Families Party
Staten Island GOP
Staten Island Independenc

Other Parties:

Bronx Greens
Brooklyn Greens
Manhattan Libertarians

NYS Greens
NYS Liberal Party
NYS Libertarians
Socialist Workers Party
Queens Libertarians
By on August 31, 2006, 8:08 am
In category: Eye on Albany | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Become an Insider!”

  1. Jason Gooljar Says:
    September 2nd, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    This is a great idea. I would love it if more people were interested in becoming district leaders, ward leaders, or state committee people. As a member of a grassroots group Democracy For Westchester we often stress the importance of being a district leader in one of the town, village, or city Democratic committees that are in Westchester County, NY.

  2. Gotham Gazette - The Wonkster » Blog Archive » Party Crashers Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    […] wasn’t a difficult task, given how many seats are vacant: Of the 6,200 county seats available in the Brooklyn Democratic Party, 3,800 were vacant before the […]

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