I am beyond humbled to have received the endorsement of New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers in our campaign for change in Lower Manhattan. Education has been under siege for way too long. This is one of those issues where there's a clear-cut right and wrong, and too many politicians have been doing the wrong thing for decades.
Please join us over the next 17 days as we bring our campaign for quality schools to Lower Manhattan voters. Sign up to volunteer at http://www.newellnyc.org/volunteer, or come by our office at 260 East Broadway, Suite 2 anytime.
Last Saturday, on 79th Street in Queens, a compassionate and beloved Imam, Maulama Akonjee, was walking home from Saturday prayers with his friend Thara Uddin. Both were respected members of their community in Queens. Imam Akonjee was to leave in ten days for the wedding of his son in Bangladesh. At 1:55PM, a lone gunman came up and shot the two friends point-blank in the back of the head, killing them both
Yesterday, Jews marked the holiday of Tisha b’Av, a day of reflection and mourning for countless times throughout history that Jews were the targets of hatred and violence. So many horrible events are marked by this day, the destruction of the Second Temple all the way up through Krystallnacht, the “night of broken glass” in which Nazi-orchestrated mobs of Germans beat up Jews, dragged them from their homes and businesses, broke windows and set Jewish buildings on fire.
When the Holocaust ended in 1945, we declared as a people and as a world, “never again.” The world has broken this promise many times: in the Sudan, in Yugoslavia, in the USSR and in China, just to name the most prominent examples. Politicians in those countries sought power by scapegoating ethnic and religious minorities. They incited violence, which turned into mass slaughter.
Too often, the inciters got off scot-free. Slobodan Milosevic never admitted wrongdoing for the soldiers and civilians killed on his watch; he died awaiting trial. His accomplices mostly survived, and several of them recently endorsed Donald Trump for president. It sounds like a sick joke. But these are the times we live in.
In our city last Saturday, two lives were taken by a political force that feeds off these same dark angels of human nature. Who pulled the trigger is, of course, important. But when politicians incite violence, when hatred is approved and encouraged at the top, the violence becomes inevitable.
As we remember Tisha b’Av, I urgently call on my fellow Jews, all Christians, Hindus, Muslims and those of other faiths and no faith, to recognize that in the threat we now face, the particulars of who is targeted do not matter. When we forget that we said never again, it happens again. What happens to our neighbor today happens to us tomorrow.
Humanity is under direct, immediate attack. It is on all of us to push back hard when our elected officials forget the lessons of the times we’ve seen this before.
The killing of two of our brothers last night is a loud alarm that we all need to hear and respond to. To all of my Muslims neighbors in Lower Manhattan, and throughout NYC and this country: please know that we are with you, and we stand ready to offer whatever support and assistance you need. We see where this is going and, while we cannot feel your personal pain and loss, we know it too well.
Voting is a hard-won right and a responsibility. It is very important that all Americans exercise this right, allowing our political structure to function as intended, and each of our individual voices to be heard. For the 47 million Americans with criminal records, however, it may be risky to rely on voter registration forms to determine whether they may register to vote.
As so eloquently put by the American Civil Liberties Union –
“The variety and complexity of these disfranchisement policies has led to considerable confusion and misapplication of the laws, effectively barring countless eligible Americans from the ballot box. Research has shown that many people with past criminal records mistakenly believe they are ineligible to vote, a problem compounded by the prevalence of similar confusion among elections officials, who often dispense incorrect eligibility information to potential voters.
This confusion is exacerbated by voter registration forms that, in too many states, fail to properly communicate state disfranchisement policy. In the absence of clear eligibility guidelines, many Americans, unsure if they are permitted to vote, will choose not to register for fear of registering improperly (itself a crime); others are left vulnerable to improper registration. The result is the practical - or de facto - disfranchisement of countless eligible voters, and the possibility that ineligible voters will mistakenly register.”
New Yorkers who have served their time in our criminal justice system have the right to vote - and their voices must be heard. The deadline to register for the September 13th Primary is August 19th, don't miss out.
It's an honor to report that our campaign for change - here and in Albany - has earned the support of three leading progressive change groups in the past few weeks.
CLICK HERE to join them in supporting the movement before our last big filing deadline Monday!
Citizen Action of New York (CANY) is a hugely effective grassroots advocacy group that gives voice to the voiceless on so many of our core issues, such as housing, campaign finance reform, and healthcare for all.
“We are proud to throw our support behind Paul Newell for the Assembly,” said Citizen Action of New York Secretary, Margaret Segall. “As a lifelong New Yorker, Paul understands the struggles of working class families and has been a strong advocate for housing justice. One of the biggest issues that New Yorkers face is affordable housing, and we are excited to support a candidate who understands this and is ready to fight on our behalf.”
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is the nation's oldest independent liberal political organization, founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, labor leaders Walter Reuther and David Dubinsky, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and former Vice President Hubert Humphrey. ADA has long been the gold standard supporting progressive candidates, and I am proud to be endorsed by their NYC Chapter.
Mayday.us is a leading government-reform group working to get big money out of politics, founded by reform champion Lawrence Lessig. Mayday has been leading the charge to overturn Citizens United and pass real campaign finance reform federally and in all 50 states. They've highlighted us as one of their 10 top priority campaigns nationwide in 2016, alongside great progressive champions like Zephyr Teachout.
Both Mayday and CANY have come into our office this past week with members, putting boots on the ground because this is a fight they know we must win. They join Rosie Mendez, Zephyr Teachout, Mark Green, Ruth Messinger, the Stonewall Democrats, Downtown Independent Democrats, CoDA, and other stalwarts of reform in NYC and statewide in recognizing the historic opportunity this race represents.
Get involved now, as we head into the final six weeks of a hard-fought primary! We need to get the message out with mail, phone calls, and more, and the deadline is MONDAY to raise another $10,000 to do it.
When you send me to Albany, I will NEVER back down from the tough fights. These groups have worked with me on crucial campaigns for the betterment and well-being of working New Yorkers, and they know that to be true. I'm honored to carry their banner, and I would so appreciate your help so we can get out the message.
Like many of you, I was somewhere between sobered and horrified watching Donald Trump and the ecstatic reception he got from the Republican Party. After trotting out nervous-looking token minorities and name-checking historically oppressed constituencies, then making a laughable claim to Bernie Sanders's supporters, he unrolled a platform for America that can only, and clearly, be described as fascism.Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 19th, 2016
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Reddy, Communications Director
Newell Clear Front-Runner in AD-65; Taps into "mandate for change"
Earns most endorsements, gathers most signatures, has most money
Lifelong Lower Manhattanite Paul Newell has emerged as front-runner in the six-way race to succeed ousted speaker Sheldon Silver as Lower Manhattan's Assemblyperson, with eight weeks remaining until the September 13th Democratic primary. By filing the most petition signatures with an all-volunteer operation and reporting the most money raised, in the same week as rolling out endorsements from Councilmembers Rosie Mendez, Mark Levine and Ben Kallos, the campaign is cementing a narrative of broad and deep support from across Lower Manhattan.
In a field that started with eight candidates and has narrowed to six, Newell, who in 2008 was endorsed by the New York Times, Daily News, and New York Post as a first-time candidate against then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has the most money and collected the most signatures. According to Newell's filing, he has raised $92,046.55 from over 300 contributors, and has over $95,000 cash on hand, the most of any candidate. He averaged a markedly lower contribution size by investing heavily in a grassroots fundraising operation.
Newell's average contribution was less than $270; in the field overall, his opponents took fewer checks from larger donors and averaged over $500 per contribution. Newell will thus both be able to expand and go back to this small-donor network throughout the next eight weeks, because his larger network will be able to contribute similar amounts without hitting contribution limits.
Unlike his self-funding opponents, who between them and their families contributed an average of $24,233.33 per campaign, Newell’s family contributed only $601 this period, demonstrating his ability to mobilize support without relying on family and patronage networks. The “incumbent,” Alice Cancel, filed a “no-activity report,” indicating that she has neither raised nor spent any funds at all on her campaign since becoming interim Assembly Member. Cancel’s previous report showed only $2,100 on-hand.
The campaign's good fundraising news was preceded earlier in the week by high-profile endorsements from activist representatives, including that of his own Council Member Rosie Mendez. Newell's campaign also filed over 5,500 petition signatures with the Board of Elections – the most by far of any candidate. The signatures were collected by over 100 volunteer witnesses. Other candidates in the 65th relied heavily on paid canvass operations but failed to surpass Newell's numbers.
Newell has been endorsed by in-district elected officials Council Member Rosie Mendez and former State Senator Fred Ohrenstein, as well as Mark Green, Ruth Messinger, Zephyr Teachout, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, Labor leader Ed Ott, as well as the Downtown Independent Democrats, the Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), the Stonewall Democrats, CWA Locals 1101 & 1180, the New York Professional Nurses’ Union, OPEIU Local 153, Zephyr Teachout, Ruth Messinger, Mark Green, Ed Ott, and dozens of local and statewide progressive leaders.
In the coming weeks, the campaign has events planned across the district, ensuring constituents have many opportunities to meet Paul and learn more about his priorities as a reform candidate. The campaign continues to recruit volunteers and raise money district-wide, and will soon be rolling out endorsement videos from both politicos and community members illustrating why the cause of reform in Albany is so urgent.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14th, 2016
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Reddy, 347-860-4526, firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Members Mendez, Kallos, Levine Endorse Paul Newell in AD65 Primary
Newell achieves decisive momentum; also reports 5,500+ signatures filed, funds raised from hundreds of donors
New York City Council Members Rosie Mendez, Ben Kallos, and Mark Levine today endorsed Paul Newell in the race to replace ousted speaker Sheldon Silver as Assembly member from Lower Manhattan. The group expressed enthusiasm for their political role as activist representatives, and reiterated the need to have such representation city-wide. The Newell Campaign recently filed over 5,500 petition signatures with the Board of Elections, collected by over 100 volunteers, demonstrating a broad grassroots effort. They also reported having raised funds for the campaign’s first reporting period from hundreds of donors, achieving key momentum in a seven-way race.
Council Member Rosie Mendez is a Democrat representing District 2 in Manhattan, representing part of the 65th Assembly District, including much of the Lower East Side, and is chair of the Council’s LGBT Caucus. She is known for her strong advocacy to improve the daily lives of New Yorkers, and to maintain the character and diversity of the communities in her district. Mendez said, “Paul has worked tirelessly to assist tenants in private and public housing by preventing evictions and fighting against unwarranted rent increases. He was at the forefront of a six-year effort to extend rent regulation to thousands of “421-g” apartments in Lower Manhattan. During Superstorm Sandy, I worked alongside Paul to bring basic necessities such as food, water, blankets and medical care to our neighbors who were stranded in high-rise buildings. And there's only one person in this race who had the temerity to run for this seat against then-Assembly member Sheldon Silver. That person is Paul Newell. For all these reasons and more, I am proud to support Paul."
CM Ben Kallos is a Democrat representing District 5 in Manhattan. He is known for his active role in the fight against corruption in state government. Kallos said, “Reform is overdue in Albany, and Paul Newell will be the partner the city needs to make it happen. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Paul on countless reform issues, and he has always been there for his community.”
CM Mark Levine is a Democrat representing District 7 in Manhattan. He is a progressive leader on housing, education, economic justice, transportation, and environmentalism. Levine said, "Paul is one of those rare community advocates who walks the walk ten times out of ten. He's in electoral politics because he's of his community, not because it's his turn or because he's ambitious. In talking with my friends in Lower Manhattan, their recognition of his work is near-universal. I'm weighing in on this race because we share an agenda, but also because the people of every neighborhood in this City deserve an advocate-representative who knows them and who fights for all of them. I'm proud to serve my neighborhood in that capacity in my Council District, and for Lower Manhattan, that person is Paul Newell.”
The three CMs join the Downtown Independent Democrats, Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), the Stonewall Democrats, CWA Locals 1101 & 1180, the New York Professional Nurses’ Union, Zephyr Teachout, Ruth Messinger, Mark Green, Ed Ott, and dozens of local and statewide progressive leaders in endorsing Paul Newell.
A lifelong resident of Lower Manhattan, Newell is a progressive community organizer and Democratic District Leader since 2009, committed to working for affordable housing, quality schools, livable streets, and an honest government in Albany. In 2008, Newell launched a campaign for New York State Assembly against incumbent Sheldon Silver, on the basis of fighting corruption in our state government. In the course of that campaign, he was endorsed by The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Americans for Democratic Action, BlogPAC, Gawker Media and more.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20th, 2016
Contact: Josh Hyman, 518-495-1324, email@example.com
504 Democratic Club Endorses Paul Newell
The 504 Democratic Club, the political voice of New York’s disability rights community, has announced their endorsement of Paul Newell for Assembly in the 65th Assembly District.
They join the the Downtown Independent Democrats, Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), the Stonewall Democrats, CWA Locals 1180 & 1101, NY Professional Nurses Union, Zephyr Teachout, Council member Mark Levine, Former Public Advocate Mark Green, Former Borough President Ruth Messinger, Labor Activist Ed Ott, and dozens of local and statewide progressive leaders in endorsing Paul Newell.
Newell, a Democratic District Leader and Community Organizer in the Lower East Side said, “I am absolutely grateful to be endorsed by the 504 Democratic Club. Their continued contribution to the advancement and support of our disabled community is remarkable. I look forward to continuing to work with them to combat the issues faced by our disabled New Yorkers.”
Michael Schweinsburg, Vice President of the 504 Democratic club, said, "The members of the 504 Democratic Club have noted and appreciated Paul’s constant efforts in ensuring accessibility to services and programs for all, including the disabled. His work on the Taxis for All campaign, in combination with his fight against hospital closures, illustrate his clear understanding of the needs of his constituents, and ultimately point to Paul being a staunch advocate for the disabled and, to our minds, the clear best choice for the Assembly seat."
The 504 Democratic club, named in honor of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, advocates for equal accessibility for disabled New Yorkers. Specifically, the club provides leadership for community activities including the Disability Independence Day March, the annual Disability Budget and Policy Agenda, and the Disabilities Network of New York City. Additionally, they played a crucial role in the Taxis for All campaign, which is bringing wheelchair-accessible taxis to New York City.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15th, 2016
Contact: Josh Hyman, 518-495-1324, firstname.lastname@example.org
NY Professional Nurses Union endorses Paul Newell for Assembly
The New York Professional Nurses Union has announced their endorsement of Paul Newell for Assembly in the 65th Assembly District this morning. The endorsement come as the legislature is debating the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, a key public health measure which would guarantee adequate levels of care for NY patients. Newell strongly supports the bill.
They join Ruth Messinger, Mark Green, Zephyr Teachout, Council member Mark Levine, the Downtown Independent Democrats, Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), the Stonewall Democrats, CWA Locals 1101 & 1180, and dozens of local and statewide progressive leaders in endorsing Paul Newell.
Newell, a Democratic District Leader and Community Organizer in the Lower East Side said, “I am absolutely honored to be endorsed by the New York Professional Nurses Union. NYPNU’s members are among New York’s hardest working and most dedicated professionals. In the Assembly, I’ll continue to work with them to fight against hospital closures and see passage of Safe Staffing legislation. Quite simply, Safe Staffing saves lives. I thank the Assembly for passing this bill, and call on the New York State Senate to do the same this session. Lower Manhattan patients deserve no less.”
NYPNU released a statement saying, “The New York Professional Nurses Union announces its endorsement and strong support for Paul Newell for State Assembly. He founded the Coalition for a New Village Hospital and is playing a leadership role with the community to fight the newly announced closure of Beth Israel.”
The New York Professional Nurses Union is a union for nurses, run by nurses. Originally founded by the nurses of Lenox Hill Hospital, they have expanded to include the nurses at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and throat hospital, as well as Case Managers, Nurse Practitioners, Lactation Specialists, and Per-Diems. Their successful history includes being the first nurses’ union in the United States to include specific nurse-patient rations in the collective bargaining agreement that the hospital must adhere to, as well as clear and concise language prohibiting mandatory overtime.
New York City Council Member Mark Levine has announced his endorsement of Paul Newell for Assembly in the 65th Assembly District this morning.
He joins the Downtown Independent Democrats, Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), the Stonewall Democrats, Zephyr Teachout, CWA Locals 1101 & 1180, and dozens of local and statewide progressive leaders in endorsing Paul Newell.
Council Member Mark Levine is a Democrat representing District 7 in Manhattan. He is a progressive leader on housing, education, economic justice, transportation, and environmentalism. As the Chair of the City Council’s Parks Committee, Levine has been a leader in expanding access to scarce open space.
Levine said, "Paul is one of those rare community advocates who walks the walk ten times out of ten. He's in electoral politics because he's of his community, not because it's his turn or because he's ambitious. In talking with my friends in Lower Manhattan, their recognition of his work is near-universal. I'm weighing in on this race because we share an agenda, but also because the people of every neighborhood in this City deserve an advocate-representative who knows them and who fights for all of them. I'm proud to serve my neighborhood in that capacity in my Council District, and for Lower Manhattan, that person is Paul Newell.”
Newell, a Democratic District Leader and Community Organizer in the Lower East Side said, “It is such an honor to be endorsed by my longtime friend and colleague in advocacy, Mark Levine. Mark is a leader through and through, on issues that matter to our district and citywide - housing, green space, education and more. Mark's district is a hybrid of beautifully diverse communities, like ours in Lower Manhattan, in which he has leveraged coalition- and community-building to advance a community-based agenda. He has done so effectively, inclusively and, rightfully, to broad acclaim. I admire him and his work, and it will be an honor to work with Mark to make this city a more open, progressive and effective place to be, as his partner in state government.”