Grassroots activists behind campaigns for NY progressives including the Independent Democratic Conference slayers, Carlos Menchaca, Christine Pellegrino, Cynthia Nixon, and more, join forces to create Lefty Strategies LLC
New York, NY: Wednesday evening over 100 grassroots activists, members of the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Westchester Democratic County Committees, elected officials and candidates for office gathered to celebrate the launch of Lefty Strategies LLC at Black Door in Chelsea.
Following blacklists by the national Democratic Congressional and Senate Campaign Committees against consultants who work with candidates challenging incumbent Democrats, Lefty was formed to advise progressive candidates and campaigns, train the diverse campaign staff of the future, and help build a sustainable infrastructure for the left in New York.
Lefty partner Mia Pearlman told the audience, “When I saw that national DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos implemented a blacklist against any consultant who worked with a Democratic primary challenger, I was outraged. It is clearly anti-democratic to use the power of the Democratic Party to suppress certain Democrats from running, and something had to be done in response. The left must make sure that all voices are heard in the Democratic Party, and that primaries are free from the undue influence of party bosses and machines. Together, we can create that! ”
Lefty was formed by three grassroots activists, Claudia Galicia, Mia Pearlman, and Dominique Shuminova. All three are veterans of campaigns for NY progressives including the IDC slayers, Carlos Menchaca, Christine Pellegrino, Cynthia Nixon, Nomiki Konst, and others, as well as important legislative and participatory budgeting campaigns. Lefty partner Dominique Shuminova said, “I went from campaign staffer to a consultant so I could help more progressive, first-time, female, non-traditional and minority candidates get their message to voters. We started Lefty to connect grassroots campaigns to grassroots talent and tactics. We must never stop mentoring the next generation, the next crop of diverse, creative, unconventional talent. Organizing ourselves out of a job is the whole point!”
Katharine Walsh, candidate for NYS Assembly – AD 51 told the crowd, “I am so excited for what Lefty is doing to help candidates like me run for office. I’m thrilled for Mia, Claudia and Dominique, and to be working with Lefty.” Lefty partner Claudia Galicia added, “Today is a new day for the left in NY, where a new door is open for immigrants and people of color who want to run for office and reach the American dream representing their communities! We aren’t afraid of working with grassroots candidates.”
Support among the attendees for Lefty’s goals was overwhelming. "Last year, we saw how grassroots campaigns and candidates played a critical role in establishing a Democratic Majority in the State Senate that has embraced progressive values and enacted true reforms in housing, criminal justice and a slew of other issues that are critical for New Yorkers," said NY State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "Congratulations to Lefty Strategies for launching a consulting firm aimed at continuing these successes and fostering civic participation at every level in an effort to keep New York moving forward."
Bronx housing justice activist and community organizer Samelys Lopez said, “I’m here tonight because I believe in Claudia, in Mia, in Dominique and in Lefty Strategies, and in what they are trying to accomplish in terms of making sure that we envision what political representation can look like.”
The crowd was especially inspired by Lefty’s goal to use their experience from post-2016 insurgent campaigns to help progressive Democrats win. Stu Osnow, who has been a partner at Prime New York for over 30 years said, “Speaking to the women who started Lefty Strategies, I believe they are onto something. They bring youth, energy and new technology to the business of politics. They see things differently. They honor public service.”