The New York Progressive Action Network (NYPAN) has vowed to challenge the Democratic National Committee for representation, after recent elections in New York indicated significant support for the progressive agenda.
Thirty three percent of New York Democrats voted for grassroots candidate Zephyr Teachout for Governor of New York in the 2014 state local primary election versus Andrew Cuomo. Meanwhile, 42% of New Yorkers voted for Vermont State Senator Bernie Sanders in the presidential primaries last April.
However, not one of the twenty five New York State representatives to the Democratic National Committee are progressives, says Arthur Schwartz, the Democratic District Leader for Greenwich Village.
Schwartz is on the board of NYPAN, a state-wide coalition of 25 progressive groups which was formed from the ashes of the Bernie Sanders campaign.
“Our board voted unanimously…to demand that no less than 42% of the state executive committee and DNC representatives from New York be drawn from supporters of Bernie Sanders,” Schwartz says. ‘We created NYPAN not only to take on and expose Donald Trump’s program, I am also convinced that the leadership of the Democratic Party, which in the electoral arena stands as Donald Trump’s opposition needs to give way to new leadership and a new perspective,” he adds.
Donna Brazile is currently interim chair of the DNC following the resignation last year of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other members after they sabotaged the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders.
“This organization grows out the Bernie Sanders campaign, but it is not controlled by that campaign or Bernie Sanders and we welcome people who have supported Hilary Clinton and the Green Party, socialists and democrats, people who believe the power structure that controls and leads the Democratic Party must pack its bags,” Schultz says.
NYPAN consists of 25 grassroots groups around New York State and is run by chapters and members rather than by any central leadership. The group is inviting other entities, community groups, political clubs and independent groups to join.