Mill Basin

Promises of a 2024 ‘blue wave’ at the Thomas Jefferson Democratic gala

November 20, 2023 Wayne Daren Schneiderman
Honorees at the gala
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MILL BASIN — Several Brooklyn Democratic heavy hitters were out in full force on Sunday, playing to a room of more than 400, at the annual Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club Champagne Buffet Brunch, held at the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin.

The purpose was to honor three individuals that support Democratic ideals — Daniel Ortiz, who received the Man of the Year award; Jovia Radix, who won for Woman of the Year; and Hon. Alan Maisel, the recipient of the Bernie Catcher Memorial Award — an award for those that have given a lifetime of service in government.

From left: Hon. Alan Maisel and Senate Majority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer. Photo by Arthur DaGaeta

However, the event was steadfastly overshadowed by talk of a “blue wave” and overcoming political obstacles through Democratic unity. This was echoed by several of the speakers in attendance.

“It’s a tough and challenging time right now, and we have a big task ahead of us next year,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. “We can’t take anything for granted. We have to make sure that there will be a blue wave in New York City, New York State and across the country. But let it start right here in Brooklyn!”

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Ingrid Lewis-Martin, chief advisor to Mayor Eric Adams, pointed out that “Brooklyn is in a battle, a war,” adding that as Democrats there are morals and values and principles that one should never ever forget.

From left: Frank Seddio, executive committee member and district leader; New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; and Hon. Alan Maisel. Photo by Arthur DaGaeta

“We have to stick together,” Lewis-Martin continued. “This is a time when Democrats have to become unified as never before. The year ahead will be very telling.”

Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, said that “it all starts here in Brooklyn. So let’s make our nation Blue; we’ve got to push.”

Next up was Senate Majority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer, who spoke of some “really bad people that want to take over this country, ruin democracy, divide us, espouse bigotry against minorities and help the wealthy — who don’t need any help.”

From left: Ingrid Lewis-Martin, chief advisor to Mayor Eric Adams; and Frank Seddio, executive committee member and district leader. Photo by Arthur DaGaeta

“They could take over in 2024,” Schumer said, “and we need to fight them. We need to take back democracy and help the people who need help.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand pointed out that “next year, unlike any other year politically, will be different.”

And New York Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James, one of the day’s final speakers and perhaps the most animated and fiery of all the orators, referred to none other than Donald Trump in her comments — though she never mentioned him by name.

“He can continue to call me names; he can continue to hurl insults at me,” James said. “But I look at him and actually feel sorry for the man, because he doesn’t know love and compassion. He is a sick individual. America is great, and we will not allow him to destroy our country, not now and not ever!”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo by Arthur DaGaeta

The Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club has existed for more than 55 years and is open to any and all individuals seeking to improve the quality of life for all residents. It is one of the most active political organizations in New York City, representing Mill Basin, Flatlands, Bergen Beach, Georgetown, Marine Park, Mill Island, Bayview and the Glenwood Houses. It is a home to community activists and elected officials who have a shared interest in the success and flourishment of the aforementioned areas of Southern Brooklyn.

“This is the longest-running Democratic club in the state of New York — and still the most powerful,” Frank Seddio, executive committee member and district leader told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The best thing about us is that we lead the way — we show the others how to do it right. And I’m proud to say that I am a member here for over 50 years.”

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