Letter to the Editor: Democratic Process in Peekskill

From the moment the local Democratic Party found they were facing a primary, instead of embracing the democratic process they have denounced it and insisted that parties make the decisions not the people. The recent public letter to the Progress4Peekskill grassroots slate from the PDCC Chair clearly demonstrates this position of politics over good governance.

Democracy is defined as “government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” The PDCC seems to think that the “supreme power” is vested in the party and they will decide who will run and how it will be done.

I believe in “government of the people, by the people, for the people” so I offer this challenge to the PDCC Chair and membership:

Regardless of who is on the ballot after the primary the PDCC commits to the citizenry of Peekskill that it will work with the representatives chosen by the people to create a strong, vibrant governance of informed collaboration, transparent process, and committed communication and together elevate the voices of our diverse City, illuminating the concerns and issues of our neighbors and collectively address them.

Eileen M Sullivan


  1. Ms Sullivan seems to be confused about the “democratic process”. At this stage candidates for office are collecting signatures to be named as valid candidates. In July the people will vote and decide which candidates will be listed on the Democratic Party line.

    The Peekskill Democrats have named their candidates and are collecting signatures. There was no involvement of the general public in naming them. The Progress4Peekskill movement also named their slate without involvement of the general public. They too are collecting signatures.

    I don’t believe either slate can be faulted for “not following the democratic process”. Neither Ms McKenzie nor Ms Agudelo has so far participated in any popular elections to be named as candidates. We will decide in July which slate will represent the Democratic Party.

    In addition, any citizen, including Ms Sullivan is free to declare her candidacy for office and start collecting signatures. This IS the democratic process…

    1. You are correct on this. With all the bluster and talk of being “transparent”, the P4P slate was chosen behind closed doors, in secret with only a handful of “invited” participants to decide on the candidates. In fact all 4 were invited as was the general public through advertisements (including Spanish language) in this and other publications and social media to participate in The Peekskill City Democratic Committee (PDCC) nominating process.

      NONE of those opposing the PDCC chose to participate in that public process.

      In fact one of them was actually a member of the PDCC nominating committee at one point. Instead of the nominating committee interviews, they all showed up for a general meeting in late January of the PDCC, made their case before the PDCC’s public and transparent forum (Eileen Sullivan was there) and all 4 lost to Vivian McKenzie, Rob Scott, Ramon Fernandez and Dwight Douglas.

      In the P4P world, no Black person from Peekskill made it on to their slate….Where’s the “progress” in that????!!

      Let’s see what Democratic Primary voters think of them. Voting starts with early voting on June 12 and ends with Primary Day on June 22. I support our Deputy Mayor Vivian McKenzie for Mayor and her team, endorsed by the Peekskill City Democratic Committee.

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