By the time you read this, we may well know the result of the Special Election for the City Council. But if you think there will be a respite from politics, guess again. The big election this year will be the Primary on June 22. The winner has already started running for re-election and potential opponents are already gearing up. They will start collecting signatures to get on the ballot in less than three weeks.

The Presidential and Congressional elections are more important for US-Israel relations and the overall direction of the country. But this year’s elections for Mayor, Public Advocate, City Comptroller, Queens Borough President, and City Council will have far more impact on the quality of life in our communities. It is the Mayor and the City Council who will make the decisions on defunding the police and funding for our community institutions. The reality is that New York City is heavily Democratic. The winners of the Democratic Primaries will win the General Election in November. The only way for us to have a voice in who will represent us in City Hall is to vote in the Democratic Primary. Voting in the Democratic Primary does not require you to vote for the Democratic candidate in the General Election. The only way in which we can advance our principles is by voting in the Democratic Primary.

If you are already a registered voter but are not enrolled to vote in the Democratic Primary, your change in enrollment must arrive at the Board of Elections before February 14. To check your registration status, go to nycvotersearch.com. If you have a valid driver license or identification card from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, you can change your enrollment online at voterreg.dmv.ny.gov/motorvoter. You can change your enrollment by mail by downloading the application and following the instructions at vote.nyc/page/register-vote.

This year’s elections will take on added importance. New York is ground zero in the effort by the anti-Semitic extreme left to take over the Democratic Party as a first step towards winning control of the country. They have scored significant gains in recent years as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman unseated two pro-Israel stalwarts, Joe Crowley and Eliot Engel, in Congressional primaries. They have also won several lower profile contests. This year, the forces aligned with Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are launching an all-out effort and are backing candidates in our neighborhoods. We must fight back.

No matter which party we support in our hearts, all of us have a responsibility to prevent the Sanders-AOC wing of the Democratic Party from gaining control. No one should be sitting on the sidelines when the future of our community is at stake. The only way to have a voice in that future is by being enrolled to vote in the Democratic Primary. Don’t delay. Do it now.


Manny Behar is the former Executive Director of the Queens Jewish Community Council and was a senior aide to several public officials. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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