Unity Dems backs another winner with Suozzi victory


The Unity Democratic Club announced this week it had contributed to the groundswell of support for Tom Suozzi for the open congressional District 3 seat vacated by the ouster of George Santos.

Suozzi, who held the seat before, won a hard-fought special election against Republican Mazi Pilip on Feb. 13.

Appreciating the significance of a Suozzi victory in flipping a Republican House seat, the club, including State Committee Member Morgan Evers and candidate Aaron Stayman and District Leaders Abigail Martin and Ramdat Singh, engaged in two rounds of door-knocking, as well as letter-writing.

In late 2023, the Unity Democrats turned their attention to a challenging race in Dutchess County that would determine the first new district attorney in 40 years. The club embraced Anthony Parisi’s dedication to transparency and canvassed in honor of his focus on intelligence-driven policing and prosecution of hate crimes and violent crimes.

“There is something special about this club,” said member Lisa Amowitz at a gathering after Parisi’s victory. “It has great follow-through and winning results.”

In late 2022, the Unity Dems partnered with Bend the Arc on two rounds of canvassing for former Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan in his Congressional bid in the Hudson Valley. A veteran dedicated to working families, defending women’s right to healthcare, and community protection, Ryan defeated former NYS Assembly Member Colin Schmitt.

“I’m proud of the cohesive culture we’ve created that has led to successful efforts at mobilization,” said Club President Betsey Knapp. “Our members are focused both on hyperlocal issues and the welfare of New York State. And where we go, victories follow.”

— Gary Larkin

Mayor Adams sues
social media platforms

The Adams Administration announced a lawsuit to hold five social media platforms accountable for fueling nationwide youth mental health crisis. Those platforms include TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube.

“Over the past decade, we have seen just how addictive and overwhelming the online world can be, exposing our children to a non-stop stream of harmful content and fueling our national youth mental health crisis,” Mayor Eric Adams said Feb. 14. “Today, we’re taking bold action on behalf of millions of New Yorkers to hold these companies accountable for their role in this crisis, and we’re building on our work to address this public health hazard. This lawsuit and action plan are part of a larger reckoning that will shape the lives of our young people, our city, and our society for years to come.”

Adams joins hundreds of school districts across the country in filing the litigation that would force tech giants to change how they operate and get back costs from addressing the public health threat. According to a press release from the administration, the city spends more than $100 million a year on youth mental health programs and services.

The lawsuit alleges that the five companies intentionally design their platform to purposefully manipulate and addict children and teens to their applications. Specifically by using algorithms to generate feeds that encourage compulsive use, using mechanics akin to gambling in the design of apps and manipulating users through reciprocity, the suit says.

“We are experiencing a severe mental health crisis in our nation that is fueled in part by the addictive nature of social media on our youth,” said Borough President Vanessa Gibson.

— Eric Harvey

Espaillat named champ for children

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat was named one of the 120 Champions and Defenders of Children for 2023 by First Focus Campaign for Children. The list included 40 senators and 80 representatives who stepped forward to make “the best interests of children” a top priority.

“I am delighted to be named a Champion for Children by First Focus Campaign for Children, which works to put children at the center of our country’s legislative priorities,” said Espaillat in a press release. “Time and again, research has proven that investing in our children makes them — and our nation — healthy, strong, and productive. I will continue to put kids first at every opportunity.”

According to Espaillat’s press release the First Focus Campaign for Children’s 2023 Legislative Scorecard ranks members of Congress according to votes and bill sponsorships taken during the first session of the 118th Congress, particularly ones that prioritize the well-being of children in the U.S.

Other New York State officials who received the designation included U.S. Reps. Jamaal Bowman (NY’s 16), Yvette Clarke (NY’s 9), Grace Meng (NY’s 6), Nydia Velázquez (NY’s 10) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

— Eric Harvey

Unity Democratic Club, Tom Suozzi, Morgan Evers, Abigail Martin, Ramdat Singh, Aaron Stayman, Mayor Eric Adams, social media, lawsuit, Adriano Espaillat, children