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In NYC's Trump Stronghold, Some Neighborhoods Go Strongly Blue

STATEN ISLAND — Though Staten Island voted overwhelmingly for President-Elect Donald Trump, the borough's North Shore was staunchly with her.

Trump took the island with 57 percent of the vote — 95,612 to her 67,561. But in the North Shore, the former Secretary of State got 64 percent of the vote, according to preliminary numbers from the Board of Election.

"It's a Trump kind of town for some people, but at the same time there are neighborhoods that are overwhelmingly supportive of Hillary Clinton," said Michael Arvanites, president of the North Shore Democratic Club.

"I think we do get written off as, 'Oh, they’re all Republican' and that's simply not true, especially in the North Shore," said Arvanites. 

"It's a very ethnically and racially diverse, culturally aware active portion of the city and the world."

Residents in neighborhoods like Stapleton — where Clinton got 80 percent of the vote — said painting Staten Islanders as only supporting Trump doesn't account for the diversity in the borough.


"What's unfair to me is, obviously you look at the maps of the borough, you can just look at the bottom line, you can say it's a Republican borough," said Tom Shcherbenko, a Stapleton resident who voted for Clinton.

"There are neighborhoods, especially on the North Shore, where finding an actual Trump supporter would be a task."

In Assembly District 61 — which comprises most of the North Shore — Clinton had 25,055 votes compared to Trump's 12,310.

Her strongest showings were in sections of Mariner's Harbor and St. George, where she got 91.9 percent and 90.6 percent of the vote respectively.

Despite Clinton's strong showing on the North Shore, Trump still won the majority of votes in the borough by a higher percentage than President Barack Obama did in 2012 and Sen. John McCain did in 2008, according to the Staten Island Advance.

South Shore communities had strong support for Trump, with election districts in Rossville and Tottenville giving him 80 to 81 percent of the vote.

"I think the people have woken up and realized that we're going on the wrong path and they wanted a change," John Antoniello, chairman of the Republican Party of Staten Island, previously told DNAinfo New York.

"They wanted somebody outside, who wasn’t a politician, and they chose Trump."

Shcherbenko, a district leader of the Democratic Committee of Richmond County and former Bernie Sanders delegate, said borough voters have a history of crossing party lines and voting more independently than the rest of the city. Trump did well with Russian immigrants who moved here.

Arvanites — who said Staten Island's demographics make it a "microcosm" of the country — said Trump tapped into a lot of angry, previously inactive voters to get the win.

He warned that if the next president doesn't come through on his promises to "Make America Great Again," he might only serve one term.

"Staten Islanders, they are independent and they will turn on a candidate that fails," he said.

But the Trump win has some Staten Islanders telling Shcherbenko they're considering moving out of the borough because of his strong support.

"The sad thing is people are saying 'I want to leave now,' because they're looking at neighbors and saying they don’t belong," he said.



STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The North Shore Democratic Club held its annual awards dinner on Thursday, during which Eli Arout, a NYC Taxi and Limousine Commissioner and Staten Island native, was given the Democrat of the Year Award.

The event, dubbed the Anthony Gaeta PAC Dinner, was held at Li Greci's Staaten on Forest Avenue.

State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn), Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-North Shore) and Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile attended.

In addition to Arout, the 54th annual dinner and awards night honored: the St. Adalbert's School and Principal Diane Hesterhagen; Sadia Malik and the Pakistani Civic Association of Staten Island; and the Middle Class Action project for their contributions to Staten Island.



The North Shore Democratic Club of Staten Island had its regular May Meeting at the newly renovated Afternoon's Restaurant located at 415 Forest Avenue. Members heard from Vice Chair John Sollazzo about the prospective candidates for District Attorney that interviewed at County HQ earlier that evening.

The next meeting will be at Afternoon's Restaurant on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 7:30pm. The club will hear from Richard Flanagan, college of Staten Island Political Science Chair and author of Staten Island: A Conservative bastion in a Liberal City.



Lou Liedy steps down as president of the North Shore Democratic Club

As he exits, Staten Island Democrats are in far better shape than when he began

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- North Shore Democratic Club president Lou Liedy has stepped down following 12 years at the helm.

"It was time for some new blood, some new leadership," said Liedy, who shepherded the club through some of the party's darkest years on Staten Island, and exits with the Dems on the definite upswing.

Liedy hopes that the Democratic surge in New York state and across the country leads to greater interest in the club. He fondly recalled how the North Shore Dems would regularly draw 100 or more people to meetings at the Columbian Lyceum during the good old days.

"But it's not as big a thing for people to come out to club meetings anymore," said Liedy, who plans to remain an active member of the group. "I hope that changes."

The new club president is Mike Arvanites, a former staffer for Congressman-elect Mike McMahon and who now toils for Council Speaker Chris Quinn.

"Things are looking up," Arvanites said of the Democrats' fortunes. "I'm excited to be working with the North Shore Dems. This is really the party's base on Staten Island."

Arvanites hopes to recruit more club members, and said the group should have a Web site up and running early in 2009.

While the club will be focusing on the upcoming race for McMahon's soon-to-be-vacant North Shore City Council seat, Arvanites said he also has an eye on next year's citywide races.

With plenty of Democratic votes to be found in the other four boroughs, Dem candidates tended to take the Island for granted in years past, but the borough's clout has been steadily increasingly.

"The North Shore Dems will be a stop on the campaign trail for any citywide Democrat," Arvanites predicted.



McMahon won D.A.'s race with strong North Shore support

November 04, 2015 at 3:04 PM, updated November 06, 2015 at 6:35 AM


Election Day 2015: McMahon wins district attorney raceListen to excerpts from Michael McMahon's acceptance speech. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)


CITY HALL -- Democrat Michael McMahon won the district attorney's race with strong support on Staten Island's liberal-leaning North Shore.  

While most of Republican Joan Illuzzi's voters were in the South Shore, the borough's conservative stronghold, McMahon still found a significant number of backers there. 

McMahon defeated Illuzzi with 54.9 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election night results from the city's Board of Elections. Illuzzi had 44.9 percent. 

The unofficial tally includes 38,520 votes with 97.5 percent of scanners reported. Official results are expected next week when absentee and military ballots can be counted. 

McMahon got 21,144 votes and 17,296 were cast for Illuzzi. Just 80 were for write-in candidates. 


Most of the election's votes were cast on the North Shore.  

Each candidate won a majority in two of Staten Island's four Assembly Districts. 

McMahon got 8,657 votes in Assembly District 61, representing 75.9 of the votes cast there. Illuzzi lost the North Shore district with 2,754 votes. 

Illuzzi got 61.5 percent of votes in Assembly District 62, with 6,323 tallied there. McMahon still managed to get 3,955 votes in the South Shore district. 

Assembly District 63, representing the portions of the West Shore and Mid-Island, saw 5,532 votes for McMahon and 4,066 for Illuzzi. She lost with just 42.4 percent. 

There were 4,153 votes for Illuzzi in Assembly District 64. McMahon had just 41.9 percent of the vote in that East Shore district with 3,000 cast. 


McMahon got 18,732 votes on the Democratic Party line and 2,412 as an Independence Party candidate.

Illuzzi got 12,963 votes on the Republican line and another 379 as a Reform Party candidate. Another 3,954 votes were cast for her on the Conservative Party line. 


Army Vet Max Rose wounded in Aghanistan in 2013, beat the odds in defeating Donovan in a district that covers Staten Island and Brooklyn

  • NY's 11th Congressional District was Trump Country in the last national election and the president remains popular in much of that area

  • The Democratic Rose stuck to nonpartisan issues such as the need to rebuild infrastructure and find a way to deal with opioid addiction

Army veteran Max Rose, a moderate Democrat, defeated U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan on Tuesday, unseating the only Republican member of New York City's congressional delegation.

Rose, who was wounded in Afghanistan in 2013, beat the odds in defeating Donovan in a district that covers Staten Island and a small part of Brooklyn. New York's 11th Congressional District was Trump Country in the last national election and the president remains popular in much of suburban Staten Island.

A jubilant Rose thanked supporters, at one point letting out an enthusiastic expletive as he praised their fundraising and canvassing efforts.

"We were never in this to win an election," Rose said. "We were in this to change politics irrevocably in this country." Unlike other Democratic candidates in liberal New York, Rose, a former health care executive who is just 31, didn't make President Donald Trump's leadership a central issue of his campaign.

Charles Fall wins Democratic primary for North Shore Assembly

Fall, an ex-City Hall aide, campaigned heavily on improving transportation options, increasing funding for city schools and ending cash bail.

Fall's transportation plan includes support for a "broad" congestion pricing proposal, an overhaul of the local bus network, creating Bus Rapid Transit on the North Shore and supporting two-way tolling on the Verrazano Bridge.

On health care, Fall said that he would support a single-payer health care system, a statewide individual mandate, state-based public option, and the banning of short-term association health plans.

Fall had the support of the Staten Island Democratic Party, the New York State Reform Party and the New York state Supreme Court Officers Association; the Civil Service Employees Association Local 1000 -- which represents 300,000 state and local government employees -- and the Muslim Democratic Club of New York.

Fall, a 29-year-old chief of staff to the city Park Department's Staten Island commissioner, told a crowded room at Romance Bar and Restaurant in Mariners Harbor that his campaign was focused on the North Shore community.


 campaign has been about our home. It's been about our community. It's been about the North Shore. New leadership and new ideas are long overdue in Albany, and thanks to the passion of the people in this room and across our great community, the time for those changes has come," said Fall. "We started a conversation on the North Shore about the direction in which we want to go.
Fall continued, "We're saying no more to corrupt politics. No more to back room deals. We need results not rhetoric. I am committed to delivering for the community that has given me so much."
Fall will be the first Muslim and African-American from Staten Island to hold the state seat.


Staten Island Students Join March For Our Lives




With the commencement of a new decade, the North Shore Democratic Club continues to be cognizant of the work that lies ahead for the party. As the presidential race looms in, we must be mindful of local challenges facing our borough elected officials – beginning with ensuring the re-election of Congressman Max Rose, NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick, NYS Senator Diane Savino, and NYS Assemblyman Charles Fall. The work does not stop there—we must also work together to take back the East Shore Assembly seat, for which we have a great candidate. Let’s make 2020 a year to remember!


If you are interested in getting involved with a specific Democratic campaign on Staten Island, feel free to email us at president@northshoredems.org, and we will connect you with a representative from the campaigns.


Upcoming North Shore Democratic Club Meetings:

At our Tuesday, January 28th meeting at Jody’s Club Forest, we will be joined by Fitim Shabani, who serves as the Staten Island Borough Advocate for the Office of the NYC Public Advocate. Mr. Shabani will discuss the workings of the Public Advocate’s office, and his role as an activist in our borough.


Our February meeting, we have partnered with the Democratic Organization of Richmond County, Staten Island Democratic Association, and the Young Democrats to host a forum where presidential delegates for the NY-11 congressional district will provide valuable information for their respective campaigns. The meeting will be held on Monday, February 24th at the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 726 Union Hall, located at 3948 Amboy Road.    As a reminder, our March 24th, April 28th, May 26th, and June 25th meetings will be held at Jody’s Club Forest at 7:00pm. For our April 28th meeting, we will host a watch party for the results from the New York Presidential primary.

Upcoming Events:


  •       On February 7th, at 7:30pm, the North Shore Democratic Club will co-host a Democratic Presidential Debate Watch Party at O’Henry’s Publick House located at 10 Minthorne Street

  •       On March 1st, 2020, at 11:00am, NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Richmond County District

Attorney Michael McMahon, NYS Supreme Court Judge Michael Brennan, Dr. Craig Cambell, and the           Honorable Kenneth Mitchell will host the annual Councilman Jay O‘Donovan St. Patrick’s Day Top O’ the Mornin’ Breakfast at Jody’s Club Forest.

  • On March 12th, at 7:30pm, NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick will host a fundraiser at Jody’s

  • Save the date! Join us on Thursday, May 21, 2020, at 7:30pm, for the North Shore Democratic Club of Staten Island Inc.’s 59th Annual Awards Dinner, which will take place at the Staaten. We will announce our event honorees towards the end of February—stay tuned!

Club dues are due for 2020 and remain $10. Your membership will include the newsletters, discounts, and tickets to a few events, information on the Democratic Party of Richmond County. Please fill out the form below and mail it back to us with your 2020 dues.


We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming meetings and events, and continuing our fight to create a more inclusive and Democratic Party!




                                                                                                                                                                Bianca Rajpersaud