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, email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
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.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 1, 2016
CONTACT: Josh Hyman, 518-495-1324, firstname.lastname@example.org
See this release online at: http://newellnyc.nationbuilder.com/D.I.D.-endorses-newell
Downtown Independent Democrats Endorse Paul Newell for Assembly
Lower Manhattan's premier reform Democratic club resoundingly endorsed Paul Newell for State Assembly in the 65th Assembly District last night.
In the past 10 days, Newell has been endorsed by the Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), the Stonewall Democrats, and now the Downtown Independent Democrats. They join Zephyr Teachout, Former Public Advocate Mark Green, Former Borough President Ruth Messinger, CWA Locals 1101 & 1180, and dozens of local and statewide progressive leaders in endorsing Paul Newell.
The club's endorsement was closely watched as to who will carry the reform mantle in the election to succeed Sheldon Silver. Newell is seen as having the strongest reform credentials, having challenged Silver in 2008 and consistently advocating for cleaner government in Albany. In that race, Newell was endorsed by the New York Times, the Daily News, and the New York Post.
Newell, a Democratic District Leader and Community Organizer in the Lower East Side said "The D.I.D. has been standing for community representation and ethical government for 45 years. I am proud to carry that banner in this election and will be prouder still to do so in Albany"
D.I.D. President Jeanne Wilcke said "D.I.D. members have seen Newell's long service to our neighborhood and his fearless advocacy for reform. The vote was not a rejection of any candidate, but a firm support for Paul Newell."
The Downtown Independent Democrats is Lower Manhattan’s largest progressive Democratic organization. Founded in 1971, the club is committed to open, transparent reform procedure, supports progressive government and issues and helps elect honest and intelligent Democratic public officials. The club's district covers one of the largest areas of any club in Manhattan. Neighborhoods represented include Battery Park City, the Financial District, TriBeCa, SoHo, West SoHo, NoHo, the South Village, Washington Square Village, Silver Towers, parts of the Lower East Side and the East Village, as well as Governors, Ellis and Liberty Islands.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sunday, May 22nd, 2016
CONTACT: Josh Hyman, 518-495-1324
PAUL NEWELL ANNOUNCES FOR ASSEMBLY
EIGHT YEARS AFTER FIRST RUN, AIMS TO WIN IN SILVER’S OLD SEAT
Flanked by supporters from Chinatown, Grand Street, Loisida and elsewhere, Paul Newell, Democratic District Leader for the 65th Assembly District, announced his second run for State Assembly, focusing heavily on the opportunity Lower Manhattan now had to tell its own story and fight for its most urgent priorities. Newell famously challenged then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in 2008, coming in second place and scoring the endorsement of all three major New York City newspapers. Newell ran for Democratic District Leader the following year, winning 67% of the vote, and has served continuously as District Leader since.
Newell unveiled a populist and unifying theme to his campaign. He tied in his years of community advocacy in the face of hospital closures, rent deregulation, and Superstorm Sandy with the activist tradition of Downtown Manhattan. He was surrounded by supporters, many drawn from that activist community, and several spoke to his qualifications as the most earnest, thoughtful and hard- working candidate in a crowded field. They spoke of him as the clear choice for his long-standing and authentic advocacy, and his proven ability to get things done across the district.
Carolyn English, a 45-year resident of Paul’s building, the Masaryk Towers, said, “One day after Paul moved into our building, the Masaryk Towers, Superstorm Sandy hit. Paul and I wound up coordinating the emergency response for the community. He wasted no time, bringing hard work, humility and organizational skills to a community he'd barely come to know, but already adopted as his. It's no wonder to me that Paul has attracted a small army of friends and followers over the years. He represents exactly the kind of service- first, community-first ethos you want in a representative."
Alex Li, a 27-year-old immigrant and longtime Chinatown resident, originally from Fujian Province, China, said, “I’ve known Paul for over a decade now, initially as my supervisor when I interned at Ubuntu Education Fund, then as a candidate in 2008 and throughout our history as close friends. Paul has been a constant teacher, a supporter and an ally to me and I know he will bring the same open- mindedness, fairness and dedication with him to Albany so that he can continue to fight on behalf of this community. I am proud to call Paul Newell both a friend and a mentor, and I could not ask for a better person to represent me in Albany.”
Lower Manhattan tenant leader Joel Roodman expressed gratitude for Newell’s central role in the fight to prevent 421g units from being exempted from rent-control regulations: “Paul has worked tirelessly as an advocate for me and thousands of other tenants fighting for rent stabilized housing so desperately needed to continue to build a vibrant financial district.”
Newell himself focused on the great activist tradition of the district, emphasizing primarily housing, transportation, and support for the working and middle class. He said, “This district is an amazing place, with an amazing story that was first written before America existed and is now ours to pass on. We are not passive people in Lower Manhattan. It's not who we are. We stand up, we organize and we demand what we need - not by trading favors with the well-heeled and well-connected, but by standing up for our communities and our inherent dignity as people. When I ran for this office 2008, I did it, among other reasons, because so much of what we love about Lower Manhattan was threatened by displacement. When three men sit in a secret room and write laws for 20 million New Yorkers, you can guarantee it is not us making the decisions. The culture of corruption and failure in Albany must end. The costs of corruption are not a few million dollars in bribes, or someone’s son’s no-show job. The costs of corruption are higher rents, higher taxes, overcrowded classrooms, and crumbling subways.
“In this race, we see all sorts of machines and interests poking their fingers in, because this part of the world is valuable real estate, and powerful people want to control our story. But this story is ours. We're used to adversity. But what we'll never get used to or accept is that story being taken away from us. This is a neighborhood of the working and middle class, a place of opportunity, and so it will remain. Never give up, and this time next year, for the first time in decades, we will control our story and how it's told from Battery Park, all the way to Albany. And because we tell our story, it will go on, and be here again to tell when our children live and work in this great place we call home.”
Masaryk Towers Resident Carolyn English Speaks at the Newell Campaign KickoffRead more