Brooklyn Heights (Assembly District 52) ReImagines Brooklyn Politics

A group of civic-minded residents of Brooklyn Heights and nearby neighborhoods (Assembly District 52) met on Monday, October 29, to imagine the future of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. The group included several members of New Kings Democrats and other political clubs, District Leader Josh Skaller, and a few participants who were just beginning to explore local politics. As at all Vision Workshops, once participants had introduced themselves they filled out a questionnaire with broad questions about values and actions they expect from leaders and citizens. They then paired up with someone they didn’t know to discuss their answers, and then shared the results of those discussions with the whole group, as Vision facilitators recorded their observations on easel pads at the front of the room.

Participants mentioned Inclusion, Integrity, and Accountability most in their discussion of values that should guide elected officials. They next discussed elected officials that represent these values. National figures Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders have been mentioned in every Vision Workshop thus far, but these participants also mentioned local elected officials State Senator Liz Kreueger, Councilman Antonio Reynoso, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and former Assemblyman Jim Brennan.

After a detailed discussion of what makes a good citizen (in the broadest sense of the word) and how leaders should collaborate with their constituents, participants addressed the core question of what the Brooklyn Democratic Party should look like ten years from now—their vision for the future. The rich conversation touched on fairer tax policy, easier voting, more civic participation, accountability, term limits, and ways to make the party articulate and support progressive values.

Asked to summarize the workshop, one participant said “This is how things should be...better, and more democratic.” With a lower-case “d”.

Vision Project