Squadron Gets Downtown Independent Democrats

Last night, Dan Squadron won the endorsement of the Downtown Independent Democrats, one of the major clubs in the district.

That’s a blow to his opponent, incumbent State Senator Marty Connor (especially since the club voted to endorse other local incumbents seeking reelection: Jerry Nadler and Sheldon Silver).

In a brief chat this morning, Squadron said he was honored by the endorsement; he added that he thinks it is “a real vote of the real membership who have had a real engagement in the community.”

Part of Squadron’s campaign for the club’s endorsement was a letter he sent to each of the members. Squadron wrote:

My opponent has made much of the fact that I do not have his years; but when it comes to the present culture of Albany, where with each year comes an erosion of idealism and independence, I’m happy to be inexperienced. I’m running with a belief that with real hope, with a willingness to take risks and stand up strongly on issues of importance, we can do more for our neighborhoods.

Here’s the full text:

Dear DID Member,

I know how active you are in the community and as a member of the Downtown Independent Democrats. As a candidate to represent Lower Manhattan in the State Senate, I wanted to write and share with you my vision for the office I seek.

I am running because I believe that we must expect more from Albany. If we do, the potential of our state government to make a difference – to deliver meaningful results and save our neighborhoods – is truly incredible. Today, as our city transforms before our eyes, a transformation that brings with it great challenges, we need a change: we must demand more and expect better, now more than ever.

We need change because the culture in Albany – on both sides of the aisle – elevates self-preservation over bold solutions to deal with vanishing affordability, overcrowded public schools, sagging infrastructure and irresponsible development.

We need to expect more because when it comes to the most important neighborhood issues, all too often it feels like no one in government notices.
We need to demand better because on issues big and small, we cannot turn to our elected representatives as a source of hope and fount of creative solutions.

Though it was not always this way, today the culture of Albany is broken at its core – a business-as-usual malaise that extends from the halls of the legislature to gatherings in our neighborhoods. It is a culture that I believe does terrible damage to our communities, our city and our state.

My opponent has made much of the fact that I do not have his years; but when it comes to the present culture of Albany, where with each year comes an erosion of idealism and independence, I’m happy to be inexperienced. I’m running with a belief that with real hope, with a willingness to take risks and stand up strongly on issues of importance, we can do more for our neighborhoods.

In an earlier letter, I sent along some of my policy positions – on nightlife, the importance of getting enough seats in our public schools, and a better construction plan at Ground Zero. If you’re interested in reading more, please call me at 646-472-5712 or visit http://www.danielsquadron.org. Developing new ideas to solve tough public policy problems is what we need in Albany. It’s what I’ve done working for Senator Chuck Schumer, fighting to pass the Transportation Bond Act, and rolling up my sleeves to try and make a dent in the public school bureaucracy.

But it is also important during this Democratic Primary, while we discuss specific issues and policy differences, that they not obscure the fundamental distinction in this race:

I believe that today’s business as usual is wholly unacceptable. My vision for change requires changing Albany at its core. It involves rethinking how we deal with public schools and community growth. It involves re-imagining transportation and re-prioritizing the environment. It involves recommitting to affordable housing – by saving what we have and creating dramatically more.

And yes, it involves the belief that to have any hope of improving state government, re-election of legislators must not be an entitlement, but a privilege earned from the voters at home.

If I am elected, I hope you will hold me to this standard.

I will stand up for our core principles – not just in backrooms or on candidate questionnaires, but every day. I am sure you will reach out to me on important issues –but you should also expect me to reach out to you. I will affirmatively sit down with community groups and community leaders, and together we will agree on shared priorities and a strategy to effect change. Together, we will fight in every way we can – in public and private; alone and together; downtown and upstate. That is the type of representation I hope to bring to this district.

And if you do honor me with your trust, if you take the leap of faith required in supporting my candidacy and I then disappoint or disappear, do not fall back on loyalty or accept the status quo. If you elect me and I do not do the job I should, then please – vote me out.

Because that is the kind of accountability that our state, our city, and our neighborhoods deserve and require.

I hope you will give me the chance. I would be honored to earn your support.

Thank you so much.

Best,
Daniel

Squadron Gets Downtown Independent Democrats