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March 2005

504 News and Views

Come to our Membership Meetings on March 17 and March 24

The 504 Democratic Club will be holding two membership meetings this month for the purpose of hearing candidates for city-wide and Manhattan borough-wide office and to nominate candidates for President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer and 15 members at large.

On Thursday, March 17, we will be hearing candidates for Manhattan Borough President, Manhattan District Attorney, Manhattan Surrogate, and holding first nominations for Club office. Nine of the ten candidates for Manhattan Borough President have been scheduled to appear.

On Thursday, March 24, we will be hearing candidates for Mayor, Public Advocate and (perhaps) Comptroller and hold second nominations for Club Office. We have received commitments from all four of the Democratic Mayoral candidates to participate.

Both meetings will be held at Technical Careers Institute, 320 West 31st Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, and across West 31st Street from the main NYC Post Office). Refreshments will be served.

Please join us for these two important meetings.


Save the Date: Sunday, May 15
504's Annual Dinner!

The annual dinner of the 504 Democratic Club has been scheduled for Sunday, May 15 at Evergreen Shanghai Restaurant, 10 East 38th Street (between Fifth and Madison Avenues.) A full Chinese banquet will be served. We are in the process of getting commitments from our distinguished honorees. More details to follow.

504 Democratic Club web site:
504 Democratic Club list serv:


Election Report: Gains made in State Senate

504 Democratic Club President Marvin Wasserman joined a group headed by 504 Executive Committee Member (and Democratic State Committeewoman) Sylvia Friedman and her Gramercy-Stuyvesant Independent Democrats to campaign for the Kerry-Edwards ticket in Broward County, Florida on two separate occasions. Marvin had the opportunity to connect with activists from our community and to assist one voter, a wheelchair user, to get to the polls to cast his ballot (his first in more than 20 years) for the Kerry-Edwards ticket.

Although the Kerry-Edwards ticket (as well as our community) lost the election, we did make some gains locally. We particularly were in support of Democratic Candidates in an effort to secure an eventual Democratic Majority in the State Senate, and to make Democratic Leader David Paterson, the pride of our community, the Majority Leader.

One particular target was Senator Olga Mendez, who switched affiliation from Democrat to Republican after many years in the Senate. 504 Conducted a two day voter registration drive on Roosevelt Island in this Manhattan/Bronx district, registering 100 new voters, and sent a mailing to voters in the two long term rehabilitation facilities on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards ticket and Mendez's Democratic opponent, Council Member Jose Serrano. Additionally, we had an election day operation at these facilities. Serrano was able to retake this seat for the Democrats by a substantial margin.

We were thrilled that our endorsed candidate, Assemblyman Jeff Klein, captured another Senate seat in a Bronx/Westchester district, which was vacated by the Republican incumbent after being convicted of a felony. Klein's opponent in both the Primary and the General Election was another Democratic Assemblyman who had pledged to vote with the Republican Majority. Along with another victory by a Democratic candidate gainst another Democrat-turned-Republican incumbent in the Syracuse area, we had a net gain of three seats.

Our endorsed candidate, Diane Savino, was elected to another seat in a Staten Island/Brooklyn district, which had been vacated by a Democratic incumbent. Another one of our candidates, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, after a prolonged count, lost a breathtakingly close election in a Westchester district to a member of the Republican Senate leadership. We look forward to her emerging victorious in two years.

We are also pleased that George Latimer was elected to the Assembly in a Westchester district. Latimer, who was the Westchester Democratic Chair, forced the incumbent, who lost the Democratic Primary two years ago and had been re-elected as a Republican and Conservative candidate, out of the race. 504 also endorsed Latimer, who is visually impaired, and we expect outstanding leadership from him in the future.


Our Web Site is Now Up and Running!

Thanks to our webmaster, Douglas Pucci, our web site,, is now up and running. You are invited to check it out. We are also interested in additional content, particularly photographs of past Club activities. For further information, call (212) 254-9254 or e-mail us.

For those of you who are on-line and able to receive e-mail, we again note that the Club also has a list serv: If you wish to have up to date information on the Club's activities, as well as fast breaking events in the disability community and the Democratic Party, you are encouraged to join.


Do You want to serve on our Executive Committee?

We will be holding nominations for Club office and our Executive Committee at Large at our March 17th and March 24th Membership meetings (see the front page of this issue for information).

We encourage everyone who wishes to serve to step forward.

Executive Committee meetings are generally held on the second Monday of the month at Renwick Gardens on the East Side of Manhattan. We meet all year around, including summers, snow, rain, sleet, etc.

Newsletters only give you the briefest hint of some of the activities the Club is routinely engaged in. You get a much better impression by joining our list serv or checking out our web site.

If you can serve and are unable to come to our membership meetings, call Marvin at (212) 254-9254 to express your interest.


Lewis Goldstein elected Bronx Dem V.C.

504 Executive Committee member Lewis Goldstein was elected Vice Chair of the Bronx County Democratic Committee. In this capacity, he is serving as liaison to the lesbian, gay, transgender and disability communities. He was also elected to the Executive Committee of the State Democratic Committee.

Also serving on our Executive Committee is newly designated Democratic State Committeeman Micah Kellner, State Committeewoman Sylvia Friedman (who is taking a leave of absence to run our dinner), and Jo Anne Simon, who is both District Leader and State Committeewoman from her northern Brooklyn district.



The 54 million Americans with Disabilities, their friends and families are a sleeping giant just beginning to emerge as a major force on the political scene. Since 1983 the 504 Democratic Club has been the political voice of persons with disabilities in NYC. You can support us on our long march to equality by joining, becoming involved, and participating in our decision-making process. 504 Dems is the first Democratic Club in the country focusing on disability rights! If you are not a Life Member, you need to submit your dues for 2005.

I want to join the 504 Democratic Club!
--Enclosed are my dues for 2005--
__$5 (unemployed)  __$10 (regular)  __$25 (sponsor)  __$100 (Life)
To: Marty Sesmer, Treasurer, 332 East 29th St., #5A, NY NY 10016

504 Democratic Club
c/o Marty Sesmer
332 East 29th Street, #5A
New York, NY 10016