Democratic Party slogans were plastered across colorful buttons and banners at the American Youth Hostel, where dozens of neighborhood Democrats gathered to celebrate the recent Election Day successes on Wednesday night.
Members of Three Parks Independent Democrats and the Broadway Democrats are eager to get back to work in the coming months, but they spent most of their November meeting praising their efforts made in the months leading up to the election.
“This victory was about you,” Daniele Gerard, Three Parks’ president, said to members.
Robert Jackson, who represents parts of Morningside Heights, West Harlem, and Upper Manhattan on the City Council, stopped by to thank members for their work.
“The ground troops—and that’s what all of us are here—did what we had to do,” he said.
Members held voter registration drives in New York City, sold buttons and bumper stickers, educated New Yorkers about pivotal local races, manned phone banks, and traveled to Pennsylvania and Ohio, key swing states, to increase voter turnout.
“This is grassroots politics at its very best,” member Jock Davenport said.
Wilhelmina Perry, a member of Three Parks, helped community members register to vote at the organization’s table nearly every day.
“I knew this was going to be a tough election,” she said. “Everyone came and got to work.”
Although the Democratic party landed major wins on Election Day—including the United States presidency and senate majority as well as local New York State offices—Three Parks’ efforts to elect Mark Murphy to the 11th District congressional seat, representing Brooklyn and Staten Island, were unsuccessful.
Despite the disappointing loss, Three Parks’ membership director Lynn Max, who spearheaded the efforts, said she is ready to get back to work in 2013 city elections.
“We just roll along on issues as well as in the campaigns,” she said.
While the organization is focusing on both the 2013 city elections and the 2014 midterm elections, some of its more immediate initiatives include banning fracking, a method of harvesting gas that environmentalists and many local politicians dispute due to its harmful effects on the environment, and protecting Social Security rights.
“We have a long battle ahead of us,” Gerard said.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Gerard announced that their petition on Social Security rights had garnered more than 950 signatures. On Thursday, members called Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office to voice their disapproval of his fracking policies.
The organization’s members said they hope that their continued work will help the Democratic party, both nationally and locally, achieve its goals.
Cynthia Doty, a district leader for Three Parks, said, “I debated which button to wear tonight, but I think ‘Forward’ was the right one.”