Brooklyn Boro

Activists’ Journal: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dems Club in Heights endorses District Leader

June 6, 2022 Special to the Brooklyn Eagle
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Sabrina Gates, a longtime Brooklynite and community and political activist, and a former City Council candidate, is running for District Leader in Brooklyn’s Assembly District 52 (Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Boerum Hill and DUMBO).

Sabrina Rezzy, is a political activist and strategist, and president of The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Democratic Club — a diverse, Brooklyn-based Democratic political club dedicated to electing and empowering women, and increasing civic engagement.

Sterlin is the Senior Director of Policy and Government Affairs for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the RBG Club’s Treasurer.

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Sabrina Gates (left) and James Christopher (right), RBG Democratic Club’s Vice President of Communications and Editorial Manager at Sacks Communications.


The District Leader is a volunteer position and there are 42 seats up for election in the hotly-contested races for June 23rd primary.

District Leaders (DLs) are a key part of the Brooklyn Democratic Party — the largest Democratic county party in the nation and a key voting bloc for upcoming congressional and gubernatorial races.

The DL races have garnered large attention because they decide the Democratic Party Chair for Brooklyn. DLs also select judicial candidates for Brooklyn, among other functions.

Gates lamented low voter turnout for the Mayoral election, and wants to “bring out more voters, register more voters and to organize our Assembly district so that we can serve as a model for the larger Democratic Party of Brooklyn.”

Gates vowed to advocate for issues to Assembly District 52, “we have a lot of work to do about gun violence, abortion rights, and climate change. There’s so much to be done and I think we have the potential to harness that good energy toward that end.”

(Early voting begins on June 18th. Election Day is June 28th.)

Sabrina Rezzy addressed guests and spoke passionately about why Sabrina Gates is “the ideal District Leader.”

If elected, Gates would be the first Black woman elected as District 52 Leader. During her talk, Gates offered “WE have to be the change that we want to see…it’s our energy that’s going to move things forward. People always say ‘the party, their party, Democrats are not doing this [or that].’ Well, I’m a Democrat and it’s my party. It’s your party. And it is what we decide to make it. And we have to take that and move the needle forward. Not just for ourselves, not just for our blocks and our neighbors and our families, but everybody to make this country a better place. Because we see it’s just a very troublesome situation we’re in right now.”

From left to right: Kimberly Castro-Oliver (student); Sam Attaguile (a Pro-Choice activist); Kristen Blush (feminist photographer best renowned for published works of Democratic women), and Vladimir Sterlin.

Kim Oliver, Sam Attaguile, Kristen Blush, and Vladimir Sterlin, listen as Sabrina Gates speaks about her candidacy for District Leader.

Kyana Beckles (left) and Ciatta Zinna (right).

Beckles is the Co-Founder of the Black The Black Government Contracting Club. The group “is a social enterprise aiming to increase the amount of Black enterprises that do business with the government across the United States.”

Kyana Beckles.

Kyana Beckles enjoyed lively conversation among the guests. She has an infectious laugh that she deployed freely and frequently throughout the evening.

Kyana Beckles (left) and Ciatta Zinna (right).

Kyana Beckles and Ciatta Zinna pose in front of a DIY step and repeat. Ciatta is a close, long-time friend of Sabrina Gates. They met while both attending Georgetown University.

On Sabrina’s candidacy, Citta encouraged everyone in attendance to vote for Ms. Gates and spread the word. “Ever since our college days, she’s been organizing and getting people together and really being about uniting people over different areas of life. I know she’s going to continue to do it.”

An accomplished photographer, Kristen Blush takes a snapshot of Ciatta Zinna (left) and Sabrina Rezzy (right) with an iPhone. Blush is a successful Commercial photographer widely known for her exuberant images of Hillary Clinton. Blush said Sabrina Gates is “a phenomenal black woman who will completely transform the Assembly District. ‘Elect More Black Women’ is not just a hashtag.”

Sabrina Gates (left), Kristen Blush (center), and Sabrina Rezzy (right).


Notoya Steadman (left) chats with Sabrina Rezzy (right).

Notoya Steadman chats with Rezzy who introduced her to Gates. Notoya volunteered with the campaign and assisted with petitioning efforts to get Gates on the ballot. “I want to make sure that [Sabrina] reaches the pinnacle of where she SHOULD be, that she’s making those changes that do actually matter. Whether that’s bringing a new perspective to people who may not take the advantage of exploring what’s different from them. So I do support Sabrina Gates in that I want to make sure that she knows she has my support in that.”

Sabrina Rezzy poses with the namesake of her civic-minded RBG Club.

Rezzy is holding the last formula portrait taken of the “Notorious RBG” residing in the Chambers, taken by Kristen Blush on October 29, 2019, for the Clinton House Museum in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Notoya Steadman.

Notoya Steadman, a civil servant, like Vladimir Sterlin, got to know Sabrina Gates through campaign petitioning efforts. “What I enjoyed about Sabrina Gates’ position is that she was disrupting an area and a market that wasn’t familiar with African American women and what they can project and what they can bring to the area. So, I love that and I want to support that and I want to make sure that she has my support as a Black woman, and as a Black mother, and just as someone who just wants to make changes in the community.”

From left to right: James Christopher (left), Sam Attaguile (second from left), Vladimir Sterlin (center), Kyana Beckles (background right), and Kristen Blush (foreground right).

As the evening wound down, guests relaxed and enjoyed the company of a surprise guest, a French bulldog named Penny.

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