Friday, June 18, 2010
The OFA and Brooklyn Politics
Let's not get carried away here. Last night's Bushwick United Democratic Club meeting (at Vito Lopez's Bushwick clubhouse) was a big step forward for the Brooklyn Young Democrats which has been trying to get chartered for the past couple of years after dwindling membership. Lopez's involvement bringing Obama For America New York director Melissa DeRosa to Bushwick for a meet-and-greet is less a tie-in between Kings County and OFA and more of a boost for a fledgling young democrats organization that is trying to get off the ground by working within the County's structure.
OFA is willing to meet with pretty much anybody. They've even been to Bushwick before, as Councilwoman Diana Reyna invited them to talk about organizing for health care reform before the bill eventually passed Congress.
The story here regarding The Bushwick United Democratic Club is more about political rookie Andy Marte's emergence as a neighborhood leader. The Georgetown senior and Lopez favorite is back in Williamsburg this summer working to bulk up his organizing and policy skills and he's probably going to be given some added responsibilities in Lopez's office.
The other interesting story is that Lopez is trying to develop the Brooklyn Young Democrats as a counterweight to the New Kings Democrats, though its unclear whether the New York State Young Democrats of America would prefer some degree of autonomy in Kings County (I'm not betting on it as many vocal YDA leaders have state assembly races of their own to worry about in Queens).
Ultimately, I don't see OFA playing a big role in Kings County elections this summer (read: District Leader and County Committee) particularly since New Kings Democrats actually started out of Matt Cowherd, Rachel Lauter and Lincoln Restler's efforts to get Obama elected in Brooklyn while the County organization was solidly pro-Hillary Clinton. Andy (or anyone else), want to write in and tell me why I might be wrong?