WXXI AM News

democratic party

Republican commentator Charlie Sykes wants President Trump to be defeated in the 2020 election. Here’s the problem: writing for Politico, Sykes writes that Democrats are finding ways to botch this opportunity. He offers his list of ways that Democrats can blow the election. But what do Democrats think?

Our packed panel discusses the many views within the political left – from the calls for a “safe candidate” like Joe Biden, to the calls for bold reforms offered by candidates like Elizabeth Warren. In studio:

A group of newly elected Democrats joined protesters in Nancy Pelosi's office last week, staging a sit-in to call for more serious climate policy. Critics called this a case of the left attacking itself; supporters argue that Democratic leadership has failed to produce climate policy strong enough to make necessary changes.

We discuss tactics and policy with a panel that includes:

We sit down with local democratic activists, elected officials, and challengers to discuss the results of Tuesday’s election. Democrats didn’t see the massive blue wave they had hoped for across the nation, but they did take control of the House for the first time since 2010, and gains were made on local levels.

How significant were those national and local gains for the party, and what does it mean for its future? Our guests discuss those questions and more.

The Washington Post writes that Democrats typically campaign on raising taxes for millionaires, or the wealthiest Americans. But when they finally gain power, they don't follow through. That's the case in New Jersey, where state Democrats pushed a millionaire's tax for years, only to back down once they controlled the statehouse.

Our panel discusses what this means for a party that has long claimed to care about income inequality and wage disparity, and has promised to fund health care and social supports with millionaire's taxes. Our guests:

  • Karen Vitale, co-chair of the Rochester Democratic Socialists of America
  • Douglass Jay, writer for Balloon Juice
  • Adrian Hale, activist, veteran, and manager of strategic initiatives for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

A recent Reuters/Ipsos national poll shows the Democratic Party is losing support among millennials. The results of the poll, published last month, also show that millennials increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy. That doesn’t necessarily translate into votes, but it has democratic strategists concerned as they head into election season.

We talk with local millennials about their political affiliations, how those affiliations may have changed, and how they feel about the party system. In studio:

  • Alex Hipolito, legislative assistant to Assemblymember Harry Bronson
  • Carolyn Hoffman, political strategist
  • Nick Nevinger, actor
  • Jessica Fleming, human services professional

Oprah mania swept the Democratic Party in the past week -- but not everyone feels the same way about it. Some polling indicates that if Oprah Winfrey jumped into the presidential race, she'd instantly lead the field. Is she the answer for the American left, and for voters desperate to beat Donald Trump in 2020?

We discuss it, and we examine how longtime party workers feel about how Democrats should be building for the next elections. Our guests:

  • Beatriz LeBron, leader of the 25th Legislative District of the Monroe County Democratic Party, and newly appointed member of the Rochester City School Board
  • Anthony Plonczynski-Figueroa, leader of the 21st Legislative District of the Monroe County Democratic Party, and co-founder of La Cumbre, Latinos United for Progress 
  • Yversha Roman, leader of the 26th Legislative District of the Monroe County Democratic Party, and member of Women Elect 
  • Jamie Romeo, chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee

The failure of the American Health Care Act showed a sharp disconnect between the White House and the working class. Various polls showed the AHCA with anything from 17 to 30 percent approval, and it earned dismal marks from the conservative working class, too. But a number of liberal writers say that Democrats are missing an opportunity to learn from this episode. They argue that Democrats are obsessed with Russia, while Trump voters are concerned about health coverage and jobs.

So what can be done to win over the support of Trump voters, and what can we learn from the AHCA flop? Our guests:

We're examining the fractures in the local Democratic Party. For years, there's been discussion, both publicly and privately, about the battles in the party, and the lack of unity. At committee meetings last week, the frustrations bubbled over, resulting in a public letter condemning city councilman Adam McFadden for, among other things, race-based comments. But McFadden says the letter was filled with lies, and offers more examples of the under-handed behavior that has hurt the party. So can the Democrats heal?

Our guests:

  • Adam McFadden, Rochester City Councilman
  • Beatriz Lebron, leader of the 25th legislative district
  • Joe Rittler, communications director for Rachel Barnhart's campaign
  • Dawn Richardson, 25th legislative district committee member

Last week we sat down with Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo; now we sit down with two of the leading Democrats from the Monroe County Legislature.

Cindy Kaleh and Jim Sheppard discuss a range of issues related to county business: the budget; the recent hiring of a new leader for COMIDA; and more.

Senator Bernie Sanders says that Democrats must listen to what voters want, and Sanders says the answer is not "Republican light." He wants a strong set of populist policies going forward.

Our panel of voters who supported Sanders in the primary explain some of the concerns they have with the Democratic Party, and how it might respond to the recent election losses. Our guests:

  • Joe Guest, Sanders supporter who voted for Jill Stein
  • Jason Peck, visiting assistant professor at the University of Rochester
  • Kevin Sweeney, former Sanders delegate

Pages