by Carolina Pichardo | DNAInfo.com/June 8, 2017
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Following the age-old tradition of grassroots school fundraisers, more than a dozen Uptown parents this week set up a “symbolic” bake sale and lemonade stand to raise the $55 million they said is owed to local schools in state funding.
District 6 families displayed crumb cake to represent the “crumbs” being funneled down to the area's schools, and they specifically criticized State Senator Marisol Alcantara for not doing more to help.
Parents — from schools like Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), J.H. 52, P.S. 132 Juan Pablo Duarte — organized the event Tuesday in front of the Castle Bridge School with the support of Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), a nonprofit that has been fighting more than a decade for the state to make good on a court settlement to fully fund public schools.Read more
Even though Republicans now control only a minority of seats in New York’s state Senate, they’ve long ruled the chamber and for ages, they’ve stymied countless progressive priorities, including a recent bill that would protect immigrants by turning New York into a “sanctuary state.” But how is this possible in such a blue state? Well, ever since 2011, the GOP has been propped up by an eight-member band of renegade Democrats called the Independent Democratic Conference, which has, in exchange for plum committee chairmanships, blithely handed power to Republicans and screwed over actual Democrats.
Finally, we say: No more. Anger at the IDC has been white-hot since Election Day, when newly engaged New Yorkers began looking for ways to oppose Donald Trump and found a bunch of Democrats willingly aiding and abetting the GOP right in their own backyard—as the Daily News helpfully summarized in the spread you see at the top of this post. These grassroots activists have been showing up in force at town halls to protest the IDC’s shameless thirst for power at any price and pointedly demand that these wayward Democrats return to the fold.Read more
In an email to supporters declaring that we must “fight to uplift our community and not settle for crumbs from the IDC,” former City Council leader Robert Jackson announced that he officially filed his candidacy for State Senator, 31st District to defeat Marisol Alcantara and the Independent Democratic Conference (“IDC”). In 2016, Alcantara won by narrowly edging out both Jackson and Micah Lasher, an ex-aide to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Jackson announced that Lasher will be supporting him in this campaign.
“I officially filed my campaign for State Senate to defeat the IDC and make our voices heard,” said Robert Jackson. “I am running to build a real Democratic State Senate majority that finally fully funds our public schools, protects tenants from being thrown out of their homes and strengthens our loophole ridden rent laws, passes badly needed ethics reforms, election reforms and real criminal justice reforms and makes Andrea Stewart-Cousins the first woman Senate Majority Leader, breaking up the so-called “three men in a room.” We need to open doors of opportunity, not slam them shut.Read more
by Kenneth Lovett
ALBANY — The race may be more than a year away, but former City Councilman Robert Jackson is already getting support from an old foe for his planned primary challenge against freshman breakaway Democratic state Sen. Marisol Alcantara.
Micah Lasher, the former chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and a onetime aide to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said he will forgo a second shot at the Upper Manhattan Senate seat and back Jackson's 2018 bid to oust Alcantara in 2018.
Lasher, who finished second to Alcantara in a tight, four-way 2016 primary, said he will campaign and raise money for Jackson, who finished third, just 533 ballots behind the winner. Alcantara was backed by the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, which now has eight members and is aligned in a leadership coalition with the GOP.
"It's incredibly important that we have Democrats in the Senate that we can count on to stand up for progressive values," Lasher said. "Robert Jackson exemplifies that and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure he wins the primary next September."Read more
By Robert Jackson, former City Councilmember
As we mark just one month of the Trump Presidency, a month in which we experienced a constant assault on our values, progress and decency, it is almost unbelievable to think that we all heard people right before the election saying that “there wasn’t much difference between who we elect” or “I’m concerned about her emails.”
In just one month, we’ve witnessed the appointment of a Secretary of Education who has no experience in or connection to public schools, and in fact has worked to abandon neighborhood public schools. We’ve had the confirmation of an Environmental Protection Administrator who doesn’t believe in climate change and thinks too much – not too little -- is being done to protect the water we drink and air we breathe. And we’ve heard President Trump continually attacking immigrants, women, the LGBT community, and the press.Read more
By David NirRead more
Former New York City Councilman Robert Jackson has formed a state Senate campaign committee to raise money for an imminent campaign against freshman state Sen. Marisol Alcantara, state Board of Elections records show.
In 2016, Alcantara narrowly edged out both Jackson and Micah Lasher, an ex-aide to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is unlikely to run again, according to sources.
A two-way race in 2018 in the Upper Manhattan district could benefit Jackson, who could pick up what were Lasher votes on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a neighborhood where some activists are upset that Alcantara is part of the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference, which has again aligned with Senate Republicans.Read more
Congressman Jerrold Nadler last night slammed the State Senate’s eight-member Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway faction that has maintained a power-arrangement with the Republican caucus since 2011—and suggested that voters seek “electoral retributions” against the one IDC affiliate whose district overlaps with his.
The liberal Democrat took a constituent questions about the splinter cell at a town hall on the Upper West Side, even as he acknowledged the event was supposed to focus on policy rather than politics. He asserted the group must somehow be obligated to rejoin the larger Democratic deputation.
“I will stretch the rules a little: the IDC—the Independent Democratic Conference—I think, is one of the worst things that’s come along in a long, a long time,” he said to applause. “I think it’s a terrible, it’s a terrible thing and we have to get rid of it.”Read more
110 demonstrators marched in front of and across the street from state Senator Marisol Alcantara's office Friday afternoon, the latest in a series of demonstrations targeting Democrats who are aligned with the Independent Democratic Conference.
Chanting slogans such as "Marisol has sold her soul" and "No fake Democrats, take the New York Senate back," and holding signs that read "Sen. Alcantara We Need You" and "Alcantara Complicite", the crowd of protesters handed out flyers to passersby and marched in a small circle outside of Alcantara's district office in Inwood. The group was large enough that some of them had to move across the street, in front of Isham Park, in order to provide room for other people using the sidewalk.Read more
By Carolina Pichardo | December 27, 2016 11:52am
INWOOD — Senator-Elect Marisol Alcantara should think again before joining the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) — an independent conference that tips power in Albany to the Republicans — when she steps into Adriano Espaillat's old seat next year, the losing candidates for her seat urge.
Former Councilman Robert Jackson and Micah Lasher — who both lost to Alcantara in the primaries with 32.43 percent of the vote to Lasher’s 30.19 percent and Jackson’s 29.72 percent — wrote a letter to Alcantara urging her to caucus with the State Senate Democrats instead.
But the freshly minted senator appears determined to join the group.