An attempt by Queens County Democratic Party leadership to endorse the 2020 presidential bid of former Vice President Joe Biden failed on Monday after a coalition of activists backing a number of other candidates in the national primary made their displeasure with the move known by protest.
The scheme to endorse Biden's bid was reportedly led by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), who is the leader of the county party. The party is staying neutral in the race for now.
"Greg Meeks tried to get the Queens machine to back Biden for president, but couldn't," tweeted The Intercept's D.C. Bureau Chief Ryan Grim. "New day for the county party."
Queens-based activist Moumita Ahmed, co-founder of the New Reformers, a Queens-based PAC that works to infuse the Democratic Party with small-"d" democracy, was at the meeting Monday morning. She said on Twitter that the effort to stop the Biden endorsement was due to the lack of a "transparent endorsement process" that brought together supporters of the primary bids of Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as well as businessman Andrew Yang.
"Good job folks!" Ahmed said. "This is what democracy looks like."
Today a coalition of @ewarren and @BernieSanders grassroots activist foiled the @Queens_Dems plan to endorse Joe Biden without a transparent endorsement process. Now our party is staying neutral. Good job folks! This is what democracy looks like.— Moumita Ahmed (@disruptionary) December 30, 2019
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New Reformers and Queens County Committee for All called for demonstrations at the meeting after hearing that the party would attempt to endorse Biden without a transparent process. There was no agenda for the meeting, leading the group to question the behavior of the county party.
"The very fact that not even the party's District Leaders are certain of the agenda of what is ostensibly their own meeting is just the latest instance of the Queens Democratic Party's current dysfunction and inability to operate in a transparent, accountable, and democratic fashion," New Reformers said in a statement.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE— NewReformers (@ReformersNew) December 30, 2019
Contact: Moumita Ahmed (@disruptionary)
NEW REFORMERS STATEMENT ON QUEENS DISTRICT LEADERS MEETING ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2019
For a Fair Process, @Queens_Dems Must Not Endorse in Primaries
(1 of 27) pic.twitter.com/oW9t0YOW6y
The demonstrators stood out in the cold to protest the move, calling for a more inclusive process.
Thanking @QCC4ALL, @ReformersNew, District Leader candidates and all others who braved the weather to let our voices be heard in the name of transparency. #LetQNSdecide @carlstubbs @disruptionary @Noula @vgsalsa pic.twitter.com/Kc7afekaMA— Jon McFarlane (@JonMcfarlane) December 30, 2019
Meeks told Queens Daily Eagle managing editor David Brand after the meeting that the party will endorse a candidate at a later date, possibly on February 6.