At the upcoming County Committee meeting on December 23, there will be a vote on the leadership that governs the Brooklyn Democratic Party.
The following candidates are committed to making the party more democratic and transparent so it can take action to support everyday Brooklynites:
Name: Samantha Johnson (She/Her/They)
Bio: As a Fort Greene NYCHA resident I know what it feels like to live without basic needs like heat and hot water, I’ve watched politicians make deals to sell off public housing, and promote voter suppression by rebranding language to gatekeep positions for maintaining power.
As a former Community Center Director, I’ve fought for access to making sure NYCHA Residents have accessible voting locations that are ADA-compliant and participated in many Student voter registration days. My experience in knowing what it feels like to fight for access, transparency and accountability has been the very fiber of my work in my community.
As a current County Committee Member, my desire to be Committee Chair is to expand the education of what County Committee is about and create access for community members who are dedicated, and are interested in investing in change and divesting from politics that are based on fear.
As our new District Leaders begin to take a bold stance with robust ideas against “Progressive” politicians who continue to dismiss our efforts for change, they will need an equally bold and robust Committee Chair and board to continue to hold space for growth not only for the County party but for our communities as well.
Name: Eric Kun
Position: Vice Chair
Bio: In the eight years that I've served on County Committee, I have yet to attend a meeting that is inclusive of all Brooklyn, that provides proxy transparency, that follows meeting rules, and above all, that holds the Kings County Democratic Party leadership accountable.
I envision a future where County Committee officers can influence the County Committee membership, District Leaders, party leadership, and other electeds to reform and transform the party. Writing policy changes and organizing the members of County Committee should be the focus of the officers, while creating a way to continually share our work with County Committee.
Name: Aaron Ouyang (He/Him)
Bio: I am currently in my second cycle on County Committee, living in Boerum Hill. Since being on it, it is hard not to notice the unrealized potential being untapped by leaving the County Committee effectively unorganized. Having these officer positions filled by members interested in serving is a step forward in having a viable county-level organization.
Name: Janice E. Henderson (She/Her)
Position: Assistant Treasurer
Bio: From my first County Committee Meeting in September 2018, I was appalled at how the meeting was run. There didn't seem to be any organization. Plus, the meeting was more than three hours. If there was an agenda, it was hard to tell. The proxy voting process needs to be changed so that voting is above-board and transparent.
I am running to help bring order and transparency to the County Committee; to give power back to the County Committee Executive Committee outside of the Brooklyn Democratic Party's Chair; to make the County Committee a viable, well-run organization.
Name: Derek Gaskill (He/Him)
Bio: I am an eight-year resident of Assembly District 53 who recently began organizing with Lambda Independent Democrats. I previously worked in nightlife and small independent venues, and now work as an urban planner and non-profit housing developer. I look forward to creating a County Committee that is inclusive, accessible, and transparent.
Name: Naomi Rabeeya (She/Her)
Position: First Assistant Secretary
Bio: I am a Midwood resident, and a founder and executive committee member of South Central Brooklyn United for Progress. I was first elected to County Committee two years ago, and I would like a party that is small-d democratic, representative, and transparent. The more positive proposals we can bring voice to and enact, the better the party will be.
Name: Akel Williams
Position: Sergeant at Arms
Bio: My name is Akel Williams and I have resided in Crown Heights for over 20 years. I work full-time in the education sector and part-time in the aviation industry. I was also the founder/lead organizer for Brooklyn United for Biden & Harris. As a member of NKD and BYD, and being a newly elected County Committee Member, I have experienced firsthand the way in which some in our county party leadership are willing to disenfranchise the will of the masses.
I am motivated to do whatever I can to help steer the party in a different direction and my ultimate objective as part of a progressive and reform-minded slate of officer candidates is to help reflect the voices of my neighbors and community, and to actively help push party leadership towards transparency and accountability in every way possible.
I believe it is imperative for individuals with a progressive agenda to fill as many roles as possible within the party to foster a Brooklyn Democratic Party that is sincerely inclusive for all and not exclusive to some. Thank you for your time, and I humbly ask for your vote for Sergeant-at-Arms. Thank you.