Critical Politics

Do not worry about these brief essays for editing. None of them have been.

The analysis of public response to the Great Recession of 2008 reveals similar errors compounded in the Pandemic of 2020.  The failure to produce a system change from the private and public realms regarding these two instances is evident and a little frightening. Now is the time for writers to demand improvements in critical thinking from every mountaintop.  It was not until political interference was exposed in the POTUS45 DOJ investigations that the possibility of a similar financial manipulation occurred.

Financial service companies, insurance agencies, and families went underwater on bad loans and poor judgment. Thousands of people have become sick and face financial disaster. A high percentage of the most vulnerable to infections have died. Fire, flood, drought, and a rising sea is encircling cities all over the world. Ending what is beginning to look like the tragic cycle of change requires a summary of the public response to correcting the “money” problem. Money, faith in trade, and its use for the oblivious accumulation of goods are the root cause of this trouble. The use of it dominates the argument and the conversation. It is accurate but a distraction to the purpose of consequence. More plainly, my super wealthy grandparents just said, you cannot take it with you, and we (all of us) should only get a leg-up on confidence with a dose of tenacity.

In 2008, the American business community won the case – use federal funds and reestablish aggregate demand, sustain liquidity for global trade, and keep employment up, but income marginal in a high percentage of households. Attack tax rates, government interference, and expose public incompetence. Continue to reduce and weaken mechanisms for public oversight of private financial practices. These are highly persuasive claims and strategic practices from the business community. They draw values such as individual freedom and independence that took over two centuries to establish a Republic built on a foundation of slavery.

The struggle for the freedom of all people remains unexamined. Civil rights, social justice, equity, and a basic “leg-up” is falsely claimed as a strain and a distraction. Despite the depth of the 2008 and 2020 global economic tragedies, several questions go unaddressed disproportionality.  Why wasn’t it disproportionate when eight percent of the households in a Georgia county were slaves? That isn’t the issue today, but The Report has comparable questions.

Why does the world function as if the acquisition of equity is the only means of power? Where are their attempts to succeed with alternatives? The vote seems a possibility. Yet, the dividing lines tell us to separate the ability to meet human needs in the private marketplace from those found essential to the validity of a public realm.

Only one modern American hero has a national day of remembrance for the courage it took to lead his challenge in the public realm. His agony became ours, and his name was Martin Luther King. He was murdered in 1968 by something much bigger and more heinous than the racism of his era.

King’s anguish for justice held the U.S. Constitution to account first, but this did not extinguish his view on the economics of politics. He believed the solution was not in a “thesis of communism or an antithesis of capitalism.”  His demand was for synthesis based on two facts. An economic system built on slavery and imprisonment will not change the rules. Change must, therefore, come from changing something else.

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective – the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed matter: the guaranteed income…” MLK

Where do We Go from Here? 1967

The economic crisis of 2008 and the health and financial crisis of 2020 has one word that tends to stop any discussion of change dead in its tracks.  That word is “debt.”  Less understood is the concept of equity as it is a thing larger than cash.  An accountant will tell you that “equity” combines your assets and liabilities. One of the first pre-eminent sources of it in the United States is homeownership. With the help of government mortgage guarantees, it is the prime asset held by most Americans. Still, confidence and trust in each household is the one thing that makes the liability expressed by a mortgage possible. Thus, the question. If it is confidence, where are the approaches to building it anmog those to which it is denied.

Recently the idea of retaining that trust and confidence was expressed by none other than the American Enterprise Institute in a map of the United States they tweeted to the world. The map illustrated the relative GDP of individual American States with other countries globally so that people would be more confident – to trust the system.  I would call your attention to Wisconsin before you read the next paragraph.

Source: here

In response to the pandemic, Europe understands the “system exchange” relationship between public and private equity.  I have one example of why Wisconsin should have no difficulty changing their health care system if they were like Denmark.  The Denmark government stepped forward to continue paying wages even when they were not working.  People kept their jobs with their employers.  Denmark retained some business and family income and stopped the COVID-19 virus from spreading efficiently. The policy maintained the cultural status quo of the nation’s steady anticipation of ending the crisis. Denmark’s business activity restarted with as little cost and disruption.    

System Change

I have a request in closing this bit of critical thinking about the need to produce a system change first with the idea that this would allow the rules to change. The first is to ask you to conduct a brief exercise, followed by taking the concept outlined above further in some way and sharing it with this blog – a link would do.

The habits of the mind that contribute to critical thinking involve the following types of thought.  The first one should be on the word critical. In health, the word describes a “short-term” condition. Here is a quick exercise.  Run through the following ten words in ten seconds, asking.  

What is?

  1. contextual perspective
  2. confidence
  3. imagination
  4. elasticity
  5. inquisitiveness
  1. intellectual integrity
  2. intuition
  3. open-mindedness
  4. perseverance
  5. reflection

If you had a rapid response to each one of them, know three things 1) you have some or all the skills listed below, and 2) if it took even a bit longer than ten seconds, more work on “critical” thinking is essential and 3) they are just words — you can pick your own ten if you choose.

  1. analyzing
    1. break the whole into parts to discover practical relationships
    2. list the parts piece by piece
    3. sort the things into things
  2. applying criteria
    1. judge using well-known rules
    2. apply personal, professional, and social standards
    3. compare and assess the means
  3. discriminating
    1. recognize differences and similarities
    2. rank things together or separate in groups
    3. differentiate categories or decern status
  4. information seeking
    1. evidence
    2. facts
    3. sources
  5. logical reasoning
    1. inference stated
    2. conclusions made
    3. basis of evidence
  6. predicting if that then this
    1. envision events
    2. plan futures
    3. determine possible consequences
  7. transforming knowledge
    1. changing conditions
    2. converting function
    3. alter concepts

Pick Your Own

Critical thinking can be brief, momentary, temporary, short-lived, impermanent, cursory, fleeting, passing, fugitive, flying, and like lightning.  It can also be transitory, transient, temporary, brief, fading, quick, and meteoric. Not being curious enough is a problem — inquisitiveness exercises human intuition. It helps a person run inference, seek integrity, and demand contextual change.  Therefore, differentiating the language as becoming more demanding, or obscure, improves hearing.

Just after the election of POTUS45, one message kept getting repeated about the need to produce change at the local level that moved to the city, county, and state governments.  Only then would a change have a chance for federal legislation or be recognized as a new cultural norm. The example given most often was the demand to make laws governing marriage far more inclusive.  The changes began locally but rapidly across the United States.  The rules change issues regarding women’s rights and voting rights. All are noted here because few of them go unchallenged, and all of them require leadership demanding a civil discourse and faith in the law. The following table or chart is one of the easy-to-read summaries of the process.

To solve problems adequately or ask more satisfying questions. The Report uses the following chart to create a change.


Supreme Dark Money

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) gets into the impact of “dark money” on the Supreme Court. His introduction on 13 October is here or below, and important to see before you watch his 14 October follow-up here or below. Attention to the facts is why I am a Democrat.

13 October 2020

14 October 2020

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham scheduled a committee vote for 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, the morning of the last day of hearings.

Barrett’s nomination is expected to be brought up for a vote at that meeting and then delayed for a week, per committee rules to 22 October 2020.

Club Democrats

Take a look at all of the “political clubs” in Brooklyn.  Rarely are these outfits exposed as nonviable components of local leadership, and when they are it seems to matter little. Those who have a detailed understanding of the inner workings, tips, and tricks of a Board of Elections system needs to be understood by the ordinary person in much greater detail.

The Report

Congress Member for Life

There are nineteen political clubs in Brooklyn that attempt to decide what issues candidates can speak to with credibility. For the candidate, they will examine records of accomplishment of their opponent and coach on the hot buttons of the day (i.e., health care costs, immigration, DACA).

The political clubs and their candidates are the up-from-the-grassroots owners of a process that makes the top-down discussion of congress members, senators, and judges come alive as constitutional actors. It is in these settings where ordinary people determine who runs and how. The analysis continues by district and office from local to federal that allows participants to compare incumbents to a challenger. But why are incumbents 98% successful in defeating possible challengers. Why is AOC the outlier? The answer is made obvious below. Review with the knowledge that there are over 300,000 registered voters in this CD9! The focus of our analysis is on the one percent. Ironic.

Why did the founders make representatives every two years if we get them for life? I have a “legacy” representative in Congress with a “D” rating. So The Report supported an alternative candidate (Adem). His candidacy sought the office for two congressional election cycles. He almost won the first time, got the “club” attention, and got crushed the second time. Is an incumbent representative the best option of the clubs? Yes. Why then do primary elections become chock full of opposing candidates. Does it seem obvious that diluting the field with multiple unknowns is used to assure the status quo?

Why Does the Democratic Party Sustain Incumbency as a Priority? Is the System Broken?
JUNE Primary 2018 and 2020 – In Brooklyn, a Primary Win is a Win in November.

Democratic Primary June 2018: Fundraising efforts increased to get out the vote after this close

Yvette Clarke*14,80451.9%
Adem Bunkeddeko13,72948.1%
Four Candidates Assures IncumbencyVOTESPERCENT
Yvette Clarke (Incumbent)37,10662.3%
Adem Bunkeddeko10,64717.9%
Chaim Deutsch5,6229.4%
Isiah James5,5769.4%
100.00% of precincts reporting (532?/?532) (source)

Once the choice of candidates for a political office or a judicial appointment is complete and aimed at the next election cycle, the value of local issues in the form of votes is exposed. An incumbency win is therefore easily recognized as a big money win on the issues and far less so on the issues affecting people’s lives. What do you think about 50% of every dollar you pay in federal taxes is paid to the military people, but the medical and science people have to fight for scraps in the battle for the other half? Are the big-money interests dangerous? Are they looking out for you?

A candidate does not have to be rich to be a leader, but improving the grassroots knowledge of the problems of wealth, power and government is a starting point of high value on every question related to the quality of public life. The cash from a PAC and other significant funding sources compare directly with vote capture and the percentage of contribution from ordinary citizens and public matching remains a token.

The capacity of civic engagement to get results is being pushed toward, well-known as well as unexpected breaking points. The big paying interests only have one interest in mind — to keep the government as a predictable entity, not an honest one, or fair or even one that cares. With this level of power, it is not possible to see a difference between the availability of cake and day-old bread. That is the terror of it.

Election Districts

I am interested in working for elected leaders by organizing election districts closest to polling places. I’ve moved the d-base driven map to a “view only” link. If you are interested in becoming a strategic partner, using a digital toy (graphic below) let me know. If any of you have political skills let me know and read about the idea below.

Doing more in connection to the political people that have power over billions of dollars for NYC and NYS means getting more people to pick their number ED polling place. If you would like full access to this data, get back to me. (Contact)

All you have to do is request a link to enlarge this map, locate where you live, identify the name and location of the polling sites near your home. Vote and get out the vote, because at this point we need real change.

Again: locate where you live, identify the name and location of all the polling sites near your home just in case you feel like organizing more people especially if you are interested in a little canvassing party near where you live or work.

Use this Poll Site finder for a quick look at where you would vote based on your address and if there is an early voting location in the future. Ranked Choice is also in our future.

Brooklyn voters are electing new representatives to the United States Congress – they will be fighters, free of corporate domination and responsive to our needs in housing, health, and community economic development. Vote in the 2020 primary, and we will have a chance and all of our networks will fold into the other. There will be strength and resilience.

Recommend a candidate for any office. (State Board of Elections Deadlines)

Comment below and I’ll ask you to help by sharing your thoughts, stake out some election districts and put a person in The United States Congress that can do more than ride high percentages of incumbency into office based on our complacency.

Volunteer Here for the Ninth Congressional District

  1. Find Election Districts you can work and get your data.
  2. Go to the City Data Map HERE if the one above is difficult to use.
  3. Share that information using the form below and work the district for voters.
  4. Build a canvassing plan with us. Your polling place, and key nearby locations
  5. Find and motivate more people. The average in EDs is around 800 Dems.
  6. Get voters out on Primary Day. That is the election.
  7. Get voters to vote Tuesday, November 3, 2020 for the win back the Presidency!
  8. Develop a schedule to convince voters to vote —
  9. You can examine data from your census tract(s) (HERE)

Please drop us a line. Thanks to all who have already. I plan on working the Election Districts around the Erasmus H.S. and the transit stations (B & Q) from Church Avenue south through to the Cortelyou Station. Just waiting for someone to lead.

If you would like to see some AOC type energy for our part of New York – volunteer!!

9th Congressional Data

The Ninth Congressional data is very revealing and worthy of spending the time to understand it by size, shape, and its many places as defined by our representative to Congress.

CD9 & Stress

Exploring the following group of analysts will produce one of the more fascinating introductions to key indicators of economic stress. Have a good long look at the work of the EIG. It will give you an RTC. Put your zip code in the search box and for the Ninth Congressional District, insert NY-9 in the map below.
In NYC, opportunities to become involved in innovation for economic recovery could be the Ninth Congressional District. Find people who have read Section Subchapter Z— Opportunity Zones in the Tax Reform Act.  (pdf is HERE)  Only 25% of CTs (defined as low-income can be nominated by the State.  NYC has several of these ‘zones’ from previous designations.  (EIG explanation).   If anyone has any insight into this EIG outfit, please share.

The Ninth CD is the only one that is all in Brooklyn

go ahead drop me a line or comment below:


“Everything happens all at once, so thank your stars that the people who try to watch everything come in groups. You will find fifteen of them below, representing a diversity of views and experience in American political thought.

The divergence rate is disturbing, but more scientists’ gem of a tightly edited tweet than politicians can make a difference.  The question is when. I recommend conducting a personal monthly summary of just one or two of these groups. Then, weave tweets into your science and democracy fabric to see any treads of principle emerge.”


Watchdog People

The watchdog people live lives of great trepidation, review the most recent concerns, and summarize the “whistles.”

Housing Rights People

The foundation of an equitable society is housing in communities capable of nurturing everyone. Quality housing is a right.

Protect the Vote People

The right to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State. It is the law, and political leaders in many states are breaking it.

Social Policy People

The unknown principle of action adopted by governments and corporations is to avoid scrutiny of all kinds. These outfits focus on what works. Housing is often a central theme.

Business Integrity People

The number of businesses that will steal or cheat is growing. The business integrity people are out there to find them to make one point. Laws to protect exist, funds to enforce do not.

Think Tank People

A reasonable combination of the policymakers can be viewed as conservative or progressive. Here the facts are friendly.

Women’s Liberation People

Some of the most effective advocates for equality in the nation.

Science Facts People

The facts are friendly, the main argument thereafter is proof.

Accountability People

There is no end to the trouble caused when the developers of all things material ignore the basics. They hide their mistakes. The “whistleblower folks” help to dig them out.

Consumer Protection People

Imagine if a thing you bought is dangerous. How do you know? Right, you don’t. These are the people who pay attention to this stuff.

Tax Accountability People

The tax account people in this section document socialism for the rich. Be warned, and these tweets can alter your sense of fairness in the way capital is treated.

Local Political People

Finding effective local political organizations often requires a look at some national network people building local networks.

Economic Justice People

People who correct past wrongs give us a good definition of justice with equity. The opposite of wealth is not poverty. It is an injustice.

Random Tweet O-Ramas

Close to the ground testers for what works in your world. Rough list and growing.

Fact-Checking People

“If I said it was a fact, I meant it was my opinion of the fact.” A favorite line from a New York Mayor. These are the best of the doublespeak people.

Please Recommend a New Group or an addition (here).

These moderately overlapping institutions are summarized for what they think is important in a monthly summary posted at the end of 2019; another will be done as 2021 comes to a close on the pandemic.

This project began with the START list. Have a look, if you are hoping to find other organizations.

Sander’s Agenda

America is an urban nation and while Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president is a shock to the Democratic establishment’s old suburban guard, they might be able to absorb his policies. The reasons for this are also political. He is authentic, likable, and persuasive. He is also trustworthy, 223,000 donors sent him $5.9 million within the first 24 hours of his 2020 presidential campaign.

Mayor Bernie Sanders made Burlington America’s first city pilot community-trust housing; today, the trust manages 2,800 permanently price-controlled homes. As mayor, he recognized this city’s capacity for a quality urban debate on social justice, education, and health care issues.  Cities have universities, hospitals, and a network of nurturing activist organizations capable of building progressive municipal policies. Sanders is not a radical, and he has basic common sense about how Americans can thrive by engaging urban resources through collective access.

The urban answer is well known and ever since the design of the ramparts of a feudal wall, to Henri Lefebvre’s “Right to the City” observations in 1968, to the Rockefeller Foundation’s “Century of the City – no time to lose” in 2008 (Neil Pierce and Curtis Johnson). The facts are in; they are solid and improve monthly. What is not available is a political pathway and the quality of persuasion needed to implement well-known understandable solutions. Yet, all we have now is a need to be hopeful in the way David Harvey describes.

“The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.”

David Harvey (Sept.–Oct. 2008) “The right to the city”. New Left Review.II (53): 23–40.

Having “no time to lose” has become the first communication problem to solve. It is torturous. As framed by conservatives, American national politics appear to fear government “takings” and seem to promote anger with the ineptitude of government giving to the undeserving. Most of it is aimed at the so-called American heartland, while most of the American population in metropolitan areas is accessible only through a single means of transportation. On the other hand, their dense urban centers offer a broad base of cultural and educational institutions and real experience with diversity. The urban center is consistently renewable and, in that, the freedom to exercise power.

Arguments about urban resources are electoral college problems of disproportion. This aside, will Sander’s have a 2020 urban agenda? Not exactly, but his agenda benefits working poor households, puts watchdogs on bankers and brokers, supports public universities, hospitals, and doctors in parts of the nation that offer the lowest per capita energy use. These are all top value factors that help cities and metropolitan regions.

Medicare for All is a material good because working to encourage people’s health is better than a sick society. Federal minimum wage at $15 (or a living income) also helps to assure healthy communities. The proposal to increase the tax on billionaires to 77% is about pushing for more income equality. His focus on Wall Street abuses such as stock repurchases under the tax act passed in 1/2018 is a fight against increased inequality. 


Advancing free public college tuition for students in households earning less than $125K is another step in producing an opportunity for equality.  His actions on climate change are similar or equal to the Green New Deal proposals. An example is to increase funding for urban transport systems by 250%. A fully developed country is one where the wealthy, the middle class, and the ordinary worker use mass transportation. Encouraging alternatives to personal vehicle transit is a step toward a stable urban core.

Indivisible Brooklyn

The idea of a CD Nine Indivisible faded into Indivisible Brooklyn (IB). Despite the failure to build a CD by CD network, IB has remained keenly interested in Federal, State, and City races using the following resources serving Brooklyn voters. They are interested in putting people on the street, getting them out organizing, and into the voting booths of election districts throughout Brooklyn.

26 June Summary

Same old Congress, and same old story for District 9

Democratic Primary

Yvette Clarke*14,80451.9%
Adem Bunkeddeko13,72948.1%

28,533 votes, 99% reporting (528 of 532 precincts) The last four put her at 53%. What is that?

* Incumbent

Was this tight margin a wake-up for Yvette Clarke? Yes, she doubled her campaign funds in 2019. Will she enjoy the expense of another challenge in 2020?  Apparently, Adem’s job was difficult, and it remains so. He is as smart as AOC but never says anything so strong from the progressive left that can set your hair on fire the way she can.

Adem is a highly qualified male with the smarts to do the job of a congress member, but that does not defeat an incumbent. In a decade hopefully dedicated to the empowerment of women, this is his most difficult communication problem.  A massive call-out on Clarke’s record that is on the surface reasonably good strategy but requires extensive analysis in a debate covering the obscurity of Congress. If the point shuts down everyone’s brain, there is no point.

First, Clarke’s failures are clear – she has not “brought home bacon,” injected substantial funding into anti-displacement organizations, or protected constituents (especially Haitians) and others from the threat of deportation. These failures will be the legacy of her next two years.  Why? Clarke, her staff, and her utility (gas, elec. trav. corp.) PACs have never written legislation that could get out of committee or put money in District 9 favoring working families facing relentless increases in the cost of living, led by the crisis in housing affordability.

The second lesson is in knowing that in 2018 less than 30,000 votes occurred among more than 300,000 registered Democrats in a District with nearly 800,000 residents. This means one thing, the Congressmember’s staff will continue to ignore “off-list” letters and phone calls and continue to vote with a leadership that has demonstrated an ability to fail nationally until 2018 slapped them in the face. Too little too late, said the little blue state as it looked into the dark, cold eyes of the Senate.

Lastly, our one NYC candidate right out of the Bernie Sanders camp is worthy of further analysis.  She won the 14th District using solid community organizing skills, not political organizing expertise.  It was geographically organized by election district (See District Nine example). In my opinion, I believe the reliance on a Crown Heights base was the failure of the challenger’s strategy in the Ninth District.  A look at the whole district would have produced two the four thousand more votes.  Ocasio-Cortez won with straightforward organizing throughout the entire district.

One person working on getting the vote out in nearly every district (mostly Bronx) was all Alexandria needed in a non-presidential election year. In her district, the threat to the people there was as tangible as it is in CD9 for the threatened people of the Caribbean, but she got that message out.  This is a  huge deal. Crowley was a boss-machine player among Democrats. (Time Mag Story) It was her organizing performance that produced a substantial margin for victory.  Something Democrats seem to forget.

If the pressure for real leadership is to occur one for a challenger, a person will be needed in every ED by June 2020.  See District Nine example

The Big News Maker was: U.S. House District 14

Democratic Primary

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez15,89757.5%
Joseph Crowley*11,76142.5%

27,658 votes, 98% reporting (440 of 449 precincts)

* Incumbent

The rest of 26 June’s pathetic primary voting turnout can be reviewed here

Election Districts

Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, says the world is getting better, and from a “regression to the mean” point of view, he is probably right. His book got lots of attention from Bill Gates (his blog) in January 2018. The difficulty with the super-wealthy is their compulsion for optimism despite the preponderance of outlier data. The source for the outlook that everyone else has, the other 99%, is local and highly specific. Averages do not apply. They are voter-irrelevant.

Americans who are poor and low- and moderate-income are struggling but “OK” using “averages,” but this does not alter the perception of unfair conditions that build gaps in people’s experience. Poor safety and the inadequate nutrition of “food desert” neighborhoods are real experiences. The constant media reminder of a vast wealth gap is easy to accept as that gap is easy to define but difficult to eliminate.  All it takes is a good job with a future, a loan for a business or home, fair rent, and good schools for the kids, and affordable higher education. Why does it seem too many people are teetering on the brink of losing these basics? These are public priority investments in people for no other reason than this – they are the ones who are here right now.

There is one more factor in the media experience. When asked how many things could happen to make you better off or wealthier, people will come up with a few choices, ask about things that can make you less well-off or poorer, the list would be longer, much longer. The majority of negative words for emotions in the English vocabulary are well documented. Despite improving quality of life and access to knowledge are correct as an “average,” the result in the big picture describes how the world is getting safely unfair.  That is a problem for a democracy. Steven Pinker puts it this way:

“Americans today have difficulty imagining, valuing or even believing in the promise of incremental system change, which leads to a greater appetite for revolutionary, smash-the-machine change.”

Steven Pinker

The first rule of a good political change remains “all politics is local.” There are 300,000 registered democrats in CD9, about 30,000 voted in 2018. Yes, that’s right, 1%. Prior national votes were massive and with good reason, but the real lesson is the separation of power. Voters give it freely to the top by wealthy districts and mindlessly in the two-year election cycles of Congress.

Interviews with people and data on the Election Districts (ED) surrounding the two Dem candidates for the United States Congress may provide added insight. Where is the appetite for a smash-the-machine change?  A detailed look at Election Districts will help answer that question — top on the list of things to understand why the DNC will not support challengers to incumbent officeholders.  The short answer is money in politics.

The following is drawn from the Board of Elections – DATA NYC  Additional sources are available from the Board of Elections – DATA NYS.  All the pdf documents are here. The numbers change routinely and look like the following from these sites.


Election District Map

The brightness of NYC from space isn’t just electric. Thousands of Election Districts in York City represent the illumination we can get from the vote. The following discussion will focus on twelve of these districts in CD9 for voters and examine voting participation. 

There are several reservations regarding the sanctity of the vote, especially in a blue city that makes NY a blue state. Challenging our sense of trust in our local electoral system is equivalent to an assault on the Democratic Party’s integrity.


In round numbers, voter registration data published April 2016 by the New York State Board of Elections says the Ninth Congressional district has 276,000 registered Democrats, 24,000, Republicans and a smattering of Greens, Working Family, Independents, and so on for a total of 365,000 voters, after ” a correction” it went to 326,000. Excellent, the population of CD9 is about 740,000 (See Data). The issues facing the NYC Board of Elections have already caused some stir regarding the need to purge the roles (117,000 in Brooklyn) and its illegality. There is much to understand here for 2018 and as 2020 approaches, but hey, blue city, blue state, right?


In Brooklyn, there are two fronts, the collective efforts of the New Kings Democrats and an examination of one of the greatest, first tier, conflict reducing devices in history – the vote. The right of suffrage is as simple as walking to your neighborhood poll and as complicated as the legislation and litigation surrounding the Fifteenth Amendment – right to vote (background). More on the efforts of the New Kings as needed.  The first task is to take a good look at voting in the blueness of the Ninth Congressional District by ED.

The office address for Adem is 247 Troy Avenue (between Lincoln and St. Johns) Brooklyn, NY 11213.  Six EDs surrounding this office have a total of 5700 registered Democrats. The office address for Yvette is 222 Lenox Road (between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues) Brooklyn, NY 11226.  Six EDs surrounding this office have a total of 4100 registered Democrats. The local office locations of a long-standing representative of Brooklyn (Yvette) and a 2018 challenger (Adem) are available for analysis by Election District (ED).

Counting Votes and Why ADEM Lost.

In round numbers, the total votes in the EDs around Adem’s office can be seen in the 43rd – City Council race held Nov. 11, 2017. The total number of votes was 1,650 with a participation rate of 28%. The Democrat (Cumbo) pulled 1,290, the Republican drew 40, and the more progressive candidate pulled 320.

The total votes in the EDs around Yvette’s office can be seen in the 40th – City Council race held Nov. 11, 2017. The total number of votes was 2,800, with a participation rate of 68%. The Democrat (Eugene) pulled 1,260, the challenger (Cumberland) losing in the Primary pulled 500 via the Reform Party. The Conservative Party challenger (Kelly) pulled 60 votes. In this case, Cunningham was the more progressive candidate. It did not matter.

The number of registered voters and votes cast shows a participation rate through two-year election cycles. The ED locations for each candidate will compare with census tracts for demographic analysis in ten-year periods. This data reflects issues based on people’s experience within walking distance of their Congressional Candidate’s offices.  Adem’s office is in Census Tract 363 (CT) and has 5,161 residents based on the 2010 census.  A review  of census data for the CD will be found here: CD9 in Detail

  • How do the issues outlined by the candidate fit with the experience of residents?
  • What are the relationship between federal services and local capacity to resolve specific issues?

Election Districts

Bunkeddeko vs. Clarke

Should Clarke have lost June 26, 2018? Yes, but she won.

Is Clarke’s record of deep blue co-sponsorship for the Democratic Party leadership enough? That was my question. In 2018 Washington D.C., the Congress, Senate, and the Executive Branch are all Republican, and we of New York’s democratically blue urban world has been seriously challenged.  We need fighters that will force compromise.  Yes? After all, Ocasio-Cortez unseats Crowley in NY-14 shocker that same year. So, yes.

The 9th Congressional District is “Safe Democratic.”

Vote April 28, 2020

Safe means the best voters can hope for is a primary election that will make us smarter as residents. For the lack of reform in national campaign finance, the first thing to follow before any issue is the money. The Clarke money trail (here) for comparison to Bunkeddeko (here) is described below.

First, in 2018 Clarke had a spending trail at just under a half-million, while Bunkeddeko was just over $100,000. The money trail will be worth watching in 2020.  For the first campaign, Clarke’s fundraising was similar to that of Bunkeddiko’s, which means it could have been a good race on housing issues, but no debate. The 2020 strategy for wining is different — Clarke has bills all over the place promising the impossible and bird-dogging her opponent. For the 2020 Race and an election in April 2020, most of the money was raised in 2019, and the following is how it has been reported. For more detail, use the (here) links above to look for yourself. In round numbers, it goes as follows:

From April 2019 to the end of the year, Adem reported $244,000, of which $223,000 were individual contributions. Contrast that with Clarke. From January 2019 to the end of the year, $577,000 was raised, of which $438,000 were “committee contributions.” What are they? Corporations and PACs. Just hit the link above and have a look. The money comes from Wisconsin, Virginia, DC, Georgia, California — many are agents that want something from Congress but very little for the people of CD 9 or Brooklyn.

Regarding the 2018 election year, the average income of a Congressmember is $1million, but the salary is just $178,000? It became very clear that money is an issue but it isn’t money in the way the voters think of it, because we are in the world of retail-politics

  • Can close to 10,000 fifty-dollar donations get a challenger funded this year, and will that help to make the 2020 debate interesting in the deep blue of the 9th Congressional District? Sounds impossible.
  • Should it be even bluer, more progressive, and politically creative with people’s rights to resist and change the current state of political affairs? The answer is yes, and it is now.

Why is this Confrontation Essential?

The 9th is a working-class, truth to power district.
Most members of House of Representatives are millionaires. Not our candidates. A reps salary is $174,000. Clarke reports a net worth of only $105,000 in 2012, an update to 2020 will be exciting for comparison to Bunkeddeko. In the most recent fundraising quarter, Politico reported Adem raised roughly $121,000 — not far behind Clarke’s $164,000. It wasn’t enough. Nevertheless, with the same odds this year – Adem’s non-political, thankful approach and a track record of ordinary smarts, once again I like his chances.

The 9th is an “issue-condensing” district.
The 9th is the only NYC district that is only in Brooklyn. It is the least gerrymandered district in all of New York City, and its lines are drawn less for Red/Blue reasons than to assure voters can produce representatives in Congress that looks like NYC (Draft of Issues in slides). I plan to update these afterwords only because it’s what I do.

The 9th is a district of neighborhoods with mutual interest networks.
To some, CD 9 has the shape of Lady Liberty’s torch; to others, it might be more like a wine glass as it narrows from Crown Heights into Flatbush, Ditmas Park Sheepshead Bay (See map). Continuing to establish this network that moves our needs and interests to the forefront is what politics should be all about. Old school maybe, but better than empty promises.

The 9th is a vote-workable district.
An analysis of the 9th CD’s demography is easy to conduct. It can be analyzed into individual census tracts with election district connections to initiate listening during a canvass. A small network of walkers during the spring with clipboards, V-registration, and interview forms, and the PR Literature has two entire train station networks to work to get listeners. (Statistics pdf draft) Next, a look at the vote-rich districts and the challenges each represents. Half of the election districts and polling sites are covered with people at train stations (See Election Districts). You will find a picture of a Google map with polling sites and train stations for organizing purposes and instructions on how to participate.

The 9th can produce progressive reform narratives worthy of national attention.
The 2018 election was not only about Democrats beating Republicans, and it was about pushing Democrats to get our house in order.  Movements such as Indivisible on the national front have serious concerns regarding the future of the Democracy. (Issues) We are a beautifully diverse district, right down the middle of Brooklyn — from Crown Heights to Bensonhurst, we are the world. OK, so there are some toward the tail end with whom we might disagree. That is where we should be with something positive to say about how these voters feel.

The 9th is a district that can enjoy dialogue and a useful home-based narrative.
The 9th CD has the people and experience that know how to produce mutual benefits, share struggles, and enjoy victories with a deep breath of confidence. There are two reasons. First, this is a debate between Democrats and a few conservatives. It can only elevate the quality of the game. Second, pushing Brooklyn Democrats to get their democratic houses in order will be improved because of this challenge. (See New Kings Dems). A possible benefit might include help in city council races affecting portions of the 9th CD.

Focus on Congressional District 9 in Brooklyn.  Other outfits will play the idea of canceling the POTUS45 show in one term.  As it turns out paying attention to what is in our own backyards is more interesting.  Indivisible Brooklyn has survived.  The plan is to develop a Federal, State and local participant strategy.  This is the local plan and focused on the Ninth and its starts with election districts.  Have a look at the CD9 Map.  See the District Map below and take action.

Brooklyn is a nice solid blue, but if you have an interest in keeping NY State that way, call your friends upstate and say: Change only happens when you get into the fight, so get involved with the state party in New York. Here’s how:  Another reform leadership group is New Kings Democrats.  Have a look.

The democracy is in trouble when you hear the term “Crisis”

Meanwhile, voters living in CD9 are gathering to evaluate their power and ability to conduct rapid communication and event planning.  Anti-corruption groups (example here) have developed strategies to end the corruption of money in local, state and federal politics. A longer term project (here) is an effort to evaluate the entire NY Congressional Delegation. The New York delegation has yet to fail, but the National Democratic Party has in many ways, lost its way.

The Ninth Power

Adem Bunkeddeko is a young professional, a Harvard grad and a first-generation American of Ugandan parents.  Like most of us, he knows that long-standing Brooklyn Democrats such as Rep. Yvette Clarke, have not done enough to promote affordable housing in the Ninth Congressional District.  It is not her fault, this has been a major DNC problem from the top all the way down.

To inject drive and courage into the life of a Congressperson you need a mandate.  Below the mandate for change was set by just 30,522 voters in the attempt to inject drive.   There are about 240,000 registered voters in the Ninth Congressional District of which almost 180,000 are registered as Democrats.  Just 16,200 people decided the future of 800,000 people in the Ninth.

Yvette Clarke (incumbent)16,20253
Adem Bunkeddeko14,35047

Again: 16,200 people decided the future of 800,000 people in the Ninth.

Adem lost on 26 June 2018, but I have a feeling 2020 is on his list of things to do.  Perhaps he will study housing and immigration issues more carefully as these are loose-loose issues for the Ninth to date.

Behind the power of the vote is the task of combining our skills of research and analysis on issues confronting the well-being of the Ninth Congressional District.  See CD9 in Detail for the start of our analysis.

With research and analysis, quality change is brought home.  The Ninth will serve as an example of what New York City is destined to be – a place for all people to build community.  A brief summary of who we are as a district will be found throughout this site and summarized here.  Our diversity is our strength unless we are divided.  The district lines will change after 2020 but not the organization that examines its social and economic content.

The indivisibility of the entire New York Delegation is super important in the decade ahead. Political representatives are stronger together, but they are easily divided.   We are gathering friends here to examine the issues of one nation, indivisible.

Think of this exercise as the Trivago of politics. The plan is to find the people who are building systems that will help focus NYC (blue) and with the lessons regarding Congressional behavior learned in 2018 and beyond. The map below will also be found under the menu: “CD9 in Detail.

?Election DistrictsPowered by Socrata

“When there is no trail, the memory your first step will carry you.”