What is a State Committee member and who are your District Leaders? We Spoke with Senator Kevin Parker to find out!
On Tuesday, June 28, most New Yorkers will be watching the primaries for Governor, Lt. Governor, and the 150 Assembly primaries taking place that day.
However, in the 58th Assembly District, there is another key vote happening for the State Committee. State Committee, or District Leaders, are party positions that decide and advocate for key issues around who runs for what office, which issues are on the Democratic party platform in Kings County, and other party structure issues that have a broad impact on Brooklyn politics.
We sat down with State Senator Kevin Parker, who faces his own Senate primary in August, to find out why he is running for District Leader, what a District Leader does, and who is running on the same slate as him for next Tuesday’s election in the 58th Assembly District.
BE: You have served in the Senate for nearly 20 years, but this is your first time running District Leader? Why is that?
KP: Well, in speaking with the Kings County Democratic Party leadership, and what I see happening politically in Brooklyn, I thought the time was right to get back to my roots and make sure our party is on a good path with strong leadership.
BE: What does a State Committee Member, or District Leader, actually do?
KP: Firstly, State Committee Members are often referred to as District Leaders. They are elected, unpaid leaders of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. There are 42 District Leaders across the county of Brooklyn and they work with the Kings County Democratic Party Chair and the members of the County Committee to decide on key party issues and structure.
BE: What are some key issues you want to address in your role as District Leader?
KP: I want the Democratic Party in Brooklyn, and across New York and this country, to be a party of strong ideals and structure, but a party also willing to make the needed reforms to reflect our party members. Sometimes this involves accountability, but it is really about having the right structure.
BE: Is being a District Leader all about politics, candidates and campaigns?
KP: No it actually isn’t! Part of our jobs is staffing poll sites, and working with the Board of Elections to ensure the voting process happens as seamlessly as possible.
BE: This job sounds like a lot of hard, process driven work. Is that true?
KP: There are some exciting things too. District Leaders take part in State party activities, we get to help decide which folks would be good candidates for different judgeships, which are very important and often little discussed positions. So there is a little excitement there.
BE: So you are running on a slate with Esther Debbie Louis, correct? Who is she and are you guys feeling confident of a victory on Tuesday?
KP: Debbie is an amazing person, and such a great leader in our community. She’s passionate about building a better Democratic Party here in Brooklyn, and wants a better and more fair Brooklyn for everyone. People know me in this district, and we are confident we will be on the winning side come Tuesday.
BE: Thanks for your time and good luck on Tuesday!
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