Dead woman among New Yorkers has applied for positions in the Brooklyn Democratic Party – New York Daily News

Alfreda Davis, housing activist and lifelong resident of Brooklyn, died following complications from brain surgery on November 1, 2020.

So it came as a shock to his family members to learn last week that on December 1, 2020 – a month after Davis’ death – a district leader in Coney Island filled out an official application applying for the late matriarch for a seat. in Brooklyn. Democratic Party County Committee.

“I don’t know how or why her name was used that way,” Davis’ granddaughter Cheyenne McGregor told the Daily News on Friday after being told of the 2020 order. “I find it disturbing.”

The inclusion of Davis’ name on the form, submitted by Dionne Brown-Jordan, district leader of the South Brooklyn Assembly’s 46th District, is believed to be part of a ploy by the neighborhood’s Democratic Party leadership to wield outsized power over the party’s internal operations. piling up its committee with unwitting individuals, according to critics.

Brown-Jordan’s form, which was obtained by The News and not previously released, also included the names of at least three other Brooklyn residents who said in interviews that they were never told of their appointments to the committee.

Among them was Caroline Mickelsen, a 92-year-old retired actress who lives in Bay Ridge.

“I don’t know why it is. I shouldn’t be there at all. They didn’t tell me about it,” Mickelsen said, noting that she was once involved with the Brooklyn Democratic Party but hasn’t acted in years due to her advanced age.

In Davis’ case, McGregor said the party honored his late grandmother in a Zoom call in December 2020 to commemorate her life and work in housing activism — meaning they were aware she was no longer alive.

“It’s weird, of course,” she said.

The revelations about Brown-Jordan’s 2020 presentation come on the heels of a report by news organization The City finding that the Brooklyn Democratic Party has submitted petitions to the Council of Elections to fill committee seats that included the names of at least 20 individuals. who said they had been nominated without their consent. These petitions were circulated on behalf of Brown-Jordan and Michael Silverman, his fellow male district leader.

In addition to serving as district leader, Brown-Jordan is assistant treasurer for the Brooklyn Democratic Party. She filled out the 2020 form to fill dozens of seats on the party committee, which comprises about 4,000 unpaid individuals tasked with voting on party rules and choosing candidates for some local elections.

Brown-Jordan, who is challenging Brooklyn Representative Mathylde Frontus in this year’s Democratic primary, did not return requests for comment last week. Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, who leads the party and serves with Brown-Jordan on its executive committee, did not return a request for comment through a spokesperson.

In the case of Brown-Jordan’s 2020 presentation, the list of candidates she presented was approved by the party during that year’s full county committee meeting on December 23, according to a press release at the time.

As a result, despite her death, Davis was used as a “prosecutor,” meaning she automatically cast the same votes as Brown-Jordan to pass other party seats and adopt five new amendments to the party’s rules during the meeting, a source said. with knowledge of said the matter.

McGregor was horrified that his dead grandmother was being used as a prosecutor.

“She deserved better in life and she certainly deserves nothing but peace and honor in her rest,” she said.

The automatic proxy process has been extended to all members who were not present at the December 2020 virtual meeting under an emergency rule enacted due to the COVID pandemic.

Mickelsen, a 92-year-old Bay Ridge resident, said she also did not attend the meeting, where she was likely used as a prosecutor. The other two involuntary committee nominees who spoke to The News, Noah Weston and Bill Engfer, said they were also not present as they did not even know they were being nominated.

Tony Melone, a county committee member since 2018 and communications director for the New Kings Democrats, an insurgent group within the Brooklyn Democratic Party, said it appears party leaders are using the proxy system to “fraudulently” expand their influence. .

“They can use that to leverage votes,” Melone said. “It seems the party leadership is more interested in collecting votes by proxy so they can decide what happens rather than engaging with party members who actually want to participate.”

A 2021 ruling by one of New York’s top courts in an unrelated case suggests that using unconscious people for political purposes without their consent, if done deliberately, could break the law.

The decision in Ariola v. May, handed down by the Appellate Division of the 2nd Department of the state’s Supreme Court, threw out petitions from several New York City political candidates because it found they “were permeated with fraud.” The list included names of people “who never affirmatively agreed to be listed on it.”

Weston, a Brooklyn-based community activist affiliated with the New Kings Democrats, said it was especially ironic that Brown-Jordan included her name in his 2020 application because he is mounting a challenge against her in this year’s primary election for district leadership.

“The party machine is shamefully corrupt and comically incompetent,” he said.

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