Task Force on Gender Discrimination & Representation
Under Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the Brooklyn Democratic Party is committed to transparency and inclusivity for all. The old, antiquated party rules only allowed males and females to serve on the county committee. We expanded voting rights for every Democrat who wants to run for office, and that very much includes nonbinary, gender fluid, genderqueer, or transgender Brooklynites.
The 19-person task force focuses on eliminating discrimination and improving representation of women and TGNCNB (transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary) individuals. The task force studies gender equality and party rules; making recommendations to the executive committee (who vote on the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s rules and reforms).
Recent reforms: On December 30th, 2020, the Brooklyn Democratic Party executive committee, with recommendations from the Task Force, voted unanimously to approve historic changes that repealed a gender binary requirement that allowed only men and women to run for party office in Brooklyn. The Party’s rule change now allows TGNCNB (transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary) individuals to openly serve on the county committee.
The Brooklyn Democratic Party voted to approve a task force recommendation to give TGNCNB county committee members full voting rights as interim office holders. (The prior, outdated party rules didn’t adequately account for a person’s gender identity, and only allowed members to vote as male or female.)
“As a new county chair my first priority is to expand voting rights and the ability for all to participate in our democracy and run for office, and that very much includes individuals in Brooklyn regardless of identification as binary – male or female, nonbinary, gender fluid, genderqueer, or transgender,” says Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Party Chair.
Task force members:
Aaron D. Maslow – Chair of the Gender Task Force on Gender Discrimination and Representation, election lawyer, and Secretary for the Brooklyn Democratic Party
- Jared Arader, President, LAMBDA Independent Democrats of Brooklyn
- T.S. Candii, transgender activist
- Darma V. Diaz, Former State Committee Member, 54th Assembly District, and Democratic candidate for City Council, Nov. 4th General Election
- Lisa Fane, Feminist, LGBTQ, former board member of LAMBDA Independent Democrats of Brooklyn and Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats
- Jennifer Faucher, Labor union activist and consultant; retired from the New York State Insurance Fund as a Certified Safety Consultant; represented 6000 members as Regional Vice President of the NYS Public Employees Federation AFL-CIO; past rules committee member and delegate at Democratic National Conventions; member, Arab American Institute. Appointed 8/13/20.
- Edu Hermelyn, District Leader, 43rd Assembly District
- Samuel (Samy) N. Olivares, District Leader, 54th Assembly District
- Julio Pena III, District Leader, 51st Assembly District
- Jesse Pierce, District Leader, 52nd Assembly District
- Josue Pierre, District Leader, 42nd Assembly District
- Annette Robinson, State Committee Member, 56th Assembly District
- Douglas Schneider, State Committee Member, 44th Assembly District
- Josh Skaller, State Committee Member, 52nd Assembly District
- Nancy Tong, State Committee Member, 47th Assembly District
- Jason L. Walker, Non-binary senior coordinator for Health Global Access Project, helping to lead their strategy for building and organizing the grassroots movement for universal HIV treatment access; served three years as HIV/AIDS policy coordinator for VOCAL-NY. Appointed 8/13/20.
- Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn (ex-officio), Kings County Dem Chair, Assemblywoman (42nd AD)
TASK FORCE – LATEST NEWS
New York Daily News: Brooklyn Democrats move closer to gender equity
Brooklyn Democrats took a big step toward political gender equity Tuesday, approving a recommendation to give transgender county committee members full voting rights as interim office holders. The move comes three months after lawmakers assembled a task force to study gender equality to make sure women and transgender New Yorkers aren’t left out of the political process.
NY Post: Brooklyn Democratic leader pushes for rule allowing non-binary members to serve
The chairwoman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party wants to change party rules to allow Democrats who identify as non-binary to serve in the county committee’s elected leadership positions. Party leader and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn noted that under current party rules, elected committee posts must equally split between men and women.
New York Daily News: Brooklyn task force to tackle gender identity in political election law
A Brooklyn lawmaker has assembled a task force to study gender equality to make sure women and transgender New Yorkers aren’t left out of the political process. Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn said current election laws don’t adequately account for a person’s gender identity, and that the rules need to be studied to ensure equal representation.