Our Commitments

Adopted by New Reformers on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

[Relation to Elected Officials / Office] As a condition of receiving support from New Reformers, a candidate for party office must affirm both of the following statuses:

  • The candidate is neither currently an elected public official in Queens nor an immediate relative (parent, grandparent, spouse or other partner, siblings or other descendants) of a current elected official in Queens.

  • The candidate is not currently employed by an elected public official in Queens.

    • If a NR-supported candidate wins party office and then begins employment by an elected public official in Queens, they will not receive NR’s support for re-election to party office unless they cease such employment.

  • Commit to serving a full term.

    • In affirmation of the view that party office should not be pursued primarily as an expedient “stepping stone” to public office, a NR-supported candidate will serve at least one full term of party office before running for elective public office.

As a condition of receiving support from New Reformers, and for the sake of enhancing transparency and participatory democracy within the Democratic Party, a candidate for party office must agree to perform all of the following actions:

Improve participatory democracy by increasing the number of people engaging in local Democratic Party politics:

  • Engage fellow local Democrats to be not only active voters but active members of one’s local Democratic Party who influence and build the local party’s platform and culture. Examples of such engagement include the following:
     

    • Registering new voters in the candidate’s area.

    • Helping get out the vote (GOTV) for both primary and general elections.

    • Recruiting local Democrats to join the candidate’s local Democratic club.

    • Recruiting local Democrats, particularly young Democrats, to seek poll worker positions.

    • Recruiting local Democrats to run for County Committee, District Leader, Judicial Delegate, and State Committee.
       

  • Before deciding to run for more than one party office, try to recruit others instead.

    • Before deciding to run simultaneously for more than one party office, a NR-supported candidate must have made a serious attempt to recruit others to run for that additional party office.
       

  • Continue organizing after the election.

    • After the election, win or lose, the NR-supported candidate will help recruit other individuals to run for volunteer party offices (County Committee, District Leader, State Committee, and/or Judicial Delegate), especially in one’s own district.
       

  • ​Once elected, help organize candidate forums for Democratic races within one’s own district or surrounding area.

    • ​Once elected, a NR-supported candidate will support engaging the Democratic electorate and growing the number of active, participatory voters in the district by helping to organize candidate forums for in-district races in which there is a Democratic primary. With regard to their own race, a NR-supported incumbent will commit to participating in any candidate forum for their Democratic primary. To the extent possible, a NR-supported incumbent will organize these forums in a manner that respects the ideological diversity of the district.

Address structural inequities by increasing the diversity of the people who are actively engaged and leading the Democratic Party:

  • Before deciding to run, consider who else has already decided to run or is considering running.

    • Before running for any party office, a candidate who is supported by New Reformers (“NR-supported candidate”) must have seriously considered whether to support another person with similar values for that same office. This policy is intended in particular to apply to any candidate who is white and/or cisgender male, especially if there is another candidate, whether declared or prospective, who holds similar values and is a member of one or more politically marginalized communities, including women, BIPOC, or queer people.
       

  • Commit to respecting ideological diversity.

    • In recognition of the fact that each person has a unique conception of what constitute the limits of acceptable belief and action, and in affirmation of the view that no individual can disagree with or criticize the beliefs or actions of another with absolute moral certainty, a NR-supported candidate will campaign – and, if elected, then govern – in a manner that deeply respects ideological diversity. To this end, the NR-supported candidate will neither punish nor exclude from meaningful participation individuals merely on the basis of holding differing views on matters of public policy. If elected to party office, the NR-supported candidate will not refrain from inviting anyone to meetings of district-wide relevance solely on the basis of ideological difference, nor will the NR-supported candidate refrain from recommending the appointment of anyone either to a vacant County Committee office or to any other party office solely on the basis of ideological difference.
       

  • Share information regularly with, and equitably among, in-district voters and the NR community.

    • While campaigning – and, if elected, also while governing – a NR-supported candidate will share updates on the work that the candidate is doing, as well as other information that the candidate thinks is relevant to in-district voters, on a regular basis and in an equitable manner among in-district voters. In addition, we strongly encourage candidates to expand the geographic scope of their educational outreach to voters in the broader region of the borough (e.g., Central Queens). To the extent practicable, the NR-supported candidate will also share such civic and political information regularly with other NR-supported candidates, with priority given to any other NR-supported candidates in one’s own districts.
       

  • Encourage women, BIPOC, and queer people to participate in electoral activities and pursue leadership roles.

    • In recognition of the fact that women, BIPOC, and queer people face structural barriers to engaging in a sustained pursuit of political leadership roles, a NR-supported candidate will (1) seek to identify individuals who are not typically found in electoral spaces but might be interested in participating in electoral activities; (2) encourage such individuals who are interested in electoral activities to consider pursuing political leadership roles, including a future run for the very party office for which the NR-supported candidate is running; and (3) if the candidate is a white cisgendered individual running in a majority-minority district, strongly consider withdrawing one’s future candidacy for party office in order to make space for such an individual to run for party office instead, provided that such individual shares the NR-supported candidate’s values.

Improve practices of fair play and good governance within the Democratic Party:

  • Advocate a consecutive term limit of 10 years for both all party offices and all party leadership roles in the Democratic Party in each county.

    • A NR-supported candidate will advocate changing the party’s rules so that no incumbent party office holder may serve in that office for more than 10 years consecutively. For District Leaders and State Committee members, this limit would therefore consist of no more than five 2-year terms; for Judicial Delegates, this limit would consist of no more than ten 1-year terms.

    • A NR-supported candidate will advocate changing the party’s rules so that no incumbent party leader may serve in that leadership role for more than 10 years consecutively. A “party leadership role” includes any of the officers of the County Committee and any of the officers of the Executive Committee. (In the Queens Democratic Party, these party leadership roles are found in Article V, Section 1 and Article X, Section 1, respectively.
       

  • Advocate no party endorsement in Democratic primaries.

    • A NR-supported candidate will advocate that no Democratic Party endorse any one particular Democratic Party candidate over another in any Democratic primary.
       

  • Advocate that party leadership roles be solely filled by residents currently living in Queens County.

    • A NR-supported candidate will advocate that party leadership roles be held by those who have been residents of the county in question for at least 1 year prior to their selection, whether by election or appointment, to their party leadership roles.
       

  • Do not challenge the designating petitions of opposing candidates.

    • General rule: No member of a NR-supported candidate’s campaign will initiate a challenge to another candidate’s access to get on the ballot. Specifically, no member of a NR-supported candidate’s campaign will object to the designating petition submitted by any other candidate competing for the same office. Similarly, no NR-supported candidate will take any measures to recruit, or otherwise cooperate with, another individual to serve as an objector to the designating petition of any other candidate competing for the same office.

    • Exception: If a NR-supported candidate knows that another candidate competing for the same office is helping to cause an objection to the NR-supported candidate’s designating petition to be filed, then a member of the NR-supported candidate’s campaign may file an objection to the other candidate’s designating petition.
       

  • Give credit to whom it is due, especially when due to women, BIPOC, and queer people.

    • When work that benefits a NR-supported candidate is performed by someone other than the candidate, the candidate will acknowledge the work of the individual who deserves credit for that work. 

    • In addition, when any work benefiting a NR-supported candidate is performed jointly by both the candidate and another individual, the candidate will share credit for that work with others. 

    • Lastly, a NR-supported candidate will make especially diligent efforts to acknowledge any contributions of individuals from one or more marginalized communities – including women, BIPOC, or queer people.

Strong Recommendations:

  • The candidate will accept contributions only from individuals, not from entities.

    • Exception: The candidate may accept contributions, whether cash or in-kind, from PACs or other political committees (such as New Reformers) that are not controlled by any for-profit entity.
       

  • Open a campaign committee and bank account.

    • The candidate will open a campaign committee – either as an individual candidate or together with other candidates as part of a slate’s multi-candidate committee – as well as a corresponding campaign bank account, in order to account for campaign donations, in-kind contributions, and expenditures and to otherwise comply with New York State campaign finance rules.
       

  • Pledge to support the set of party governance reforms described in QCC4All's April 2019 Open Letter to Chairperson Meeks.

It is our belief that the Democratic Party should be a democratic, transparent, inclusive, accountable and an accessible organization whose purpose is to:

  • Set the agenda for the Democratic Party 

  • Fill vacancies to public office and nominate judicial candidates through a robust selection process

  • Continue to grow the voter base to ensure the continued success of the Democratic Party

  • Empower grassroots Democrats to participate in the political process and learn about candidates and local party efforts

  • Foster a new generation of leaders so that the party reflects the needs of Democratic voters

  • Ensure Democrats continue to win elections!