By Clifford Michel | The City

The Brooklyn Democratic Party is severing its progressive youth arm following a year of clashes over everything from which candidates to endorse to calls to punish Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn, who took over as chair of the Kings County Democratic County Committee in January 2020, chalked up the cutting of ties with the Brooklyn Young Democrats to a paperwork snafu.

But the leaders of the political organization, which has been around for about a decade, aren’t buying it.

“Attempting to cancel BYD’s charter and silence young people from Brownsville to Brownstone Brooklyn is a divisive and retaliatory course of action that will have a harsh impact on the strength of our party here in Kings County and beyond,” the group’s president, Christina Das, said in a statement.

The split, which comes as crucial citywide elections approach, could be a major blow to a group that has shown the promise of power through its organizing muscle. 

The Brooklyn Young Democrats knocked on about 2,000 doors for State Sen. Zellnor Myrie in 2018, when he beat incumbent Jesse Hamilton in central Brooklyn.

The group also canvassed heavily for Democrats in southern Brooklyn swing districts, for ex-Rep. Max Rose and State Sen. Andrew Gounardes.

The Young Democrats voted to censure Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the midst of his twin scandals over sexual harassment allegations and his handling of nursing home deaths. Bichotte-Hermelyn, meanwhile, joined 20 Albany lawmakers in a letter urging that state Attorney General Letitia James be allowed to complete the investigation she’s overseeing before any action is taken. 

It’s one of many pointed differences between the two organizations over the past year. Continue reading

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