State Senator Marisol Alcantara.

Several groups that are opposing a group of breakaway Democrats plan to meet with State Senator Marisol Alcantara, who represents part of the Upper West Side, on Friday and try to convince her to leave the breakaway group. They’ll meet with her on Friday and protest outside her office from 11 a.m. to noon at 5030 Broadway between 213th and 214th Street.

Alcantara is part of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Senators who identify as Democrats but who have thrown their support to the Republicans who control the state Senate, despite having fewer total elected members. The Republican leadership has quashed bills that would expand abortion protections, and insure rights for transgender people, among other bills that the Democratic-controlled assembly passed. As New Yorkers have gotten newly energized in combating President Trump’s policies, they’ve zeroed in on the IDC as an impediment to a more progressive New York.

The IDC’s opponents say that Alcantara and her 7 peers are complicit because they back the Republicans. The 13 groups opposing the IDC, including “Indivisible We Stand—UWS”, explained their position in an email to us:

“By refusing to conference with the rest of the Democrats, the IDC along with Senator Simcha Felder of Brooklyn, who also ran as a Democrat and also conferences with Republicans—has handed control of the Senate to Republicans. In exchange, they get campaign funding and special positions of power and leverage.

The IDC claims to be progressive but actually prevents Democratic legislation from making it to the floor of the Senate, or else actively votes against it. Were it not for the IDC and Felder, New York might now have:

—The money Albany owes to NYC public schools
—Single-payer healthcare
—State-level action on climate change

among many other much-needed policy changes.”

A local City Council candidate, Mel Wymore, has also weighed in against the IDC after the Republicans let a bill called GENDA that protects transgender people die in committee. Wymore, who is transgender, wrote in a statement that “The members of the IDC have allowed an agenda of bigotry, regression, and elitism to persist in New York, inflicting real damage and leaving us wide open to Donald Trump.”

Alcantara’s office told us that she supports GENDA, as do the other members of the IDC, and noted that one of the mainline Democrats voted against it, so the IDC is not to blame. (Opponents say that no matter what the IDC supports, they helped kill the bill by allowing Republicans to control which bills get a vote.)

Will Alcantara reconsider her support for the IDC after meeting with the opponents on Friday? Her office sent the following statement.

“The Senator is always available to meet with her constituents and will stand by her record of achieving results for the 31st Senate District, These include a $10 million immigrant defense fund to protect our immigrant communities from the Trump administration’s policies.”

Robert Jackson, a former councilman who lost to Alcantara last year, has formed a Senate Campaign Committee, with the expectation he will challenge her in 2018.

NEWS | 19 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      I think the reason we have a Republican in the White House is because the Democrats are obsessed with issues like transgender toilets and supporting people who are in this country illegally.

      • sg says:

        I agree whole heartedly…the left’s taking so much for granted results in skewed priorities.

    2. Irena says:

      Actually, we have a Republican in the White House because so many people are so desperate and fearful that they believe ANYTHING a proven liar tells them. And because rich folks are looking for another rich person to keep protecting their $$$$.

      Oh, and because these same folks keep believing that immigrants are stealing jobs from them. Right: poorly paid farm workers, construction workers, restaurant kitchen employees, right. Really desirable jobs.

      And because people are not willing to educate themselves about issues and stop believing whatever they want to hear.

      Let’s hope all those folks in the recent polls who say they would vote for Trump again are happy with what is happening and will continue to happen when “their guy” doesn’t deliver because everything is “more complicated.”

      And let’s hope that we don’t all end up living through a war with North Korea and the guy who runs it who is just as egotistical as the guy in the WH whose more worried about his ego than the welfare of the country.

      • the other bob says:

        Many of the jobs you mentioned are poorly paid for the very reason that employers can get people who are illegally in this country to work for less than minimum wage.
        Construction and restaurant jobs might be crappy jobs to you but they aren’t crappy jobs to most people. If the employment laws were enforced, the pay on those jobs would go up to a reasonable level.

      • sg says:

        Nonsense…I voted for President Trump and while he wasn’t my first choice, I have been very happy with his actions so far.

        • Jess says:

          SG: What actions have made you happy? Honest question.

        • Independent says:

          Hmm… as someone who also voted for the President but who is rather far from being able to describe myself as being “very happy with his actions so far”, I suspect that much of what sg likes in them may be precisely what I don’t. That said, I do not regret my vote as (a) I see no reason to think the alternative, on the whole, would have been any better and (b) I realized that DJT was a wild card all along and made a conscious decision to choose such uncertainty over the alternative. I also take some solace in Jeff Sessions and Neal Gorsuch, although I remain wary concerning how the latter will ultimately turn-out.

          • Beth says:

            This is the third time in just 24 hours I’ve read/heard yet another irrational excuse for voting for Trump. The alternative would not have been better? Really!?!?!? Hillary Clinton is a smart person who actually thinks about public policy. Donald Trump is an unprincipled, unfocused idiot. Was it really that difficult to vote for a woman to be President? Thanks for caring about the future of our country!!

            • Uws says:

              Not smart enough to beat Donald trump.

              Your reasons to not vote for trump are just as lame (if not more) than their reasons to vote for him.

            • Independent says:

              1.) I need no “excuse” for how I voted and was not offering any.

              2.) “Was it really that difficult to vote for a woman to be President?”

              {rolls eyes, sighs}

              I’m sure if you looked hard enough, you would be able to find one or two individuals for whom the fact that Hillary Rodham-Clinton is a woman was a decisive factor in their not voting for her. To suggest that such individuals represent anything more than a vanishingly tiny fringe of the many million Americans who chose not to vote for Hillary is beyond preposterous and obnoxiously offensive.

              On the very same ballot that I voted for President DJT at the top of, I also voted for at least two women (plus at least one more as a write-in). Plenty of other women, as well, were among the conservative and Republican candidates who, in states across the country, were on the ballot in November’s elections. Same for any number of past elections. More than a few of said women were elected and even those who were not nonetheless received many votes from conservative, right-wing and Republican men (as well as women).

              3.) “Thanks for caring about the future of our country!!”

              I continue to believe that an H. Rodham-Clinton Presidency would have been detrimental to the country. I do not, however, presume to impute indifference (or worse) to anyone who holds an opposing view.

              4.) “Hillary Clinton is a smart person who actually thinks about public policy.”

              Well, yes. Intelligence and interest in/ occupation with matters of public policy are, however,
              (a) far from the only two criteria to consider when choosing whether to vote for a candidate, and,
              (b) (As per your next sentence) separate and distinct from being principled or possessing personal integrity or moral credibility.

              5.) “Donald Trump is an unprincipled, unfocused idiot.”

              You won’t find me arguing that the President is an exemplar of principle or personal integrity. But “unfocused idiot“? How many mere “unfocused idiot[s]” have achieved the level of success that the President, whatever else may be said about him, clearly has achieved over his lifetime thus far? (Sure, it may fall short of what he brags of but the level of objective success that the President has manifestly achieved is still sufficiently remarkable that my point remains.)

    3. Tibbeth says:

      I am a constituent of Alcantara’s who voted for her because she was listed as a Democrat and I was unaware (my fault, no homework!) of her real background and behavior. I will not vote for her again and furthermore will make it my business to alert and work to make sure that as many like-minded constituents know of her betrayal. We cannot afford to have Republicans in charge of anything. I will encourage all to actively oppose her and support her opponent.

      • Jay says:

        Have you looked at her voting record lately? She’s certainly no Republican..

        I’m guessing you are just repeating talking-points without looking at the facts.

      • dtillyer says:

        I did the same thing. That’s my shame, but, but, but, we don’t have an actual Democrate to vote for.

    4. Ross Basch says:

      The IDC survives because the Governor wants it to. It provides him with cover, excusing his failure to achieve the goals of the mainstream Democratic members of the Assembly.

    5. Gretchen says:

      I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if she were getting dark money from who knows what or where… or illegal paybacks like some of her predecessors who crossed the aisle and stabbed Dems in the back. Maybe an investigation?

    6. katherine says:

      You can’t judge her based on her voting record. That’s how she counters criticism — but it’s dishonest. She talks a great game and I’m sure she votes the “progressive” way on everything that comes to the floor. However, the IDC (of which she is a part) collaborates with Republicans to keep a lot of bills from coming to the floor. So no voting record exists on these items.

    7. Leslie Day says:

      Democrats value human rights. We elected you as a democrat. Please do not be part of the IDC.

    8. Bruce Bernstein says:

      Alcantara can be considered a moderate Republican. No matter how she votes on other issues, she voted with the Republicans in the one vote that really matters: which Party will organize the State Senate. THe IDC support of the Republicans gives them veto power over all legislation in the state.

      any other votes she takes are simply for political cover.

      it is appalling that the Democrats WON the statewide election for control of the State Senate — they won more seats — and yet, thanks to the IDC and a so-called “independent Democrat” from Brooklyn named Simcha Felder, the Republicans continue to control the State Senate. And as noted above, the Governor is not being helpful.

      One commenter above said he/she voted for Alcantara and regretted it, but then blamed it on herself, because she did not do the “research.” In fact, Alcantara very cleverly and dishonestly covered up in all her campaign literature that she planned to caucus with the IDC.

      however, i do partly blame it on her opponents, including Robert Jackson — a very progressive guy with an outstanding political track record — for not exposing what a phony she is. It was well known within “insider” circles that she was getting big campaign money from the IDC and had pledged to caucus with them. but her opponents did not use this as an issue in any of their mailings.