NewYork’s Socialist Politicians 1: Richard Gottfried

New York State is awash with socialist and Marxist politicians. The New York legislature and the NYC City Council is full of pro-communist and socialist elected officials, mostly Democrats, who do their level best to keep the state deep blue and retard social and economic progress at every opportunity.

Dick Gottfried
Dick Gottfried

One of the most obvious is Richard Gottfried, who represents  Assembly District 75, covering Chelsea, Clinton, Murray Hill, Midtown and part of the Lincoln Center area in Manhattan.

Gottried is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, Cornell University (BA, 1968) and Columbia Law School (JD, 1973). He is a lawyer, but does not maintain a private practice. He works full time as a legislator, and in my opinion, as a Communist Party USA supporter.

Gottfied is responsible for a raft of socialist legislation, mainly in the health area, but he was also behind the Gender Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity (transgender); and the bill to legalize the use of medical marijuana.

He previously served as Deputy Majority Leader; Assistant Majority Leader; Chair of the Assembly Committees on Codes (covering the criminal justice system), and Children and Families; and Chair of the Assembly task forces on the Homeless, Campaign Finance Reform, and Crime Victims.

Gottfried’s ties to the Communist Party go at least back to his High School days, when he did a term paper on the history of the  Communist Party paper, the Daily Worker, for a journalism class. He came to the Party office in New York to do research, where he was introduced to then party leader, the legendary Gus Hall.

On May 7, 1994, the New York State Communist Party held a fundraising banquet to honor three Party activists: Ted Bassett, Rose Kryzak and Mary Gale.

New York District Chair John Bachtell MC’d the event. Party leader Gus Hall was Keynote speaker while Maria Ramos introduced the honorees. Dorothy Burnham reminisced about her work with Bassett. Etta Glaser spoke of helping to organize the 1963 March on Washington with Ted Bassett.

Kryzak became a Party organizer in 1940. Esther Brall, who worked with Kryzak for years, recalled her work as Chair of the New York Committee to Aid the Families of Smith Act Victims.

Richard Gottfried, Chairman of the New York Assembly Committee on Health sent a letter congratulating Gale and Kryzak on their “many years of tireless effort” they had given to “the fight for peace and social justice… Your energy, spirit, commitment and cheer” had spurred “countless others in many struggles and helped win important victories.”

On May 31, 1998, the People’s Weekly World held a Paul Robeson birth centennial celebration in New York at the Henry Winston Auditorium.

Attendees included:

  • Judith LeBlanc, Communist Party
  • Gus Hall, who talked of meeting Robeson annually to collect his dues and renew his party membership
  • John Bachtell, Chairman of the New York district of the Party

Richard Gottfried presented a resolution from the New York State assembly honoring Robeson. Democrat David Paterson introduced the resolution in the State Senate. Republican John Marchi and Democrats Richard Gottfried and Roger Green, introduced it in the State Assembly.

On November 4, 1999, Gottfried presented State Assembly citations to four honorees: Iris Baez, Ron Daniels, Elizabeth Hall and Bobbie Rabinowitz, at the People’s Weekly World 75th anniversary celebrations at the Party’s Henry Winston Unity Auditorium in New York.

Said Gottfried:

What means so much about the PWW is there are an awful lot of people who ought to understand more than they do about the struggle we are involved in.They don’t understand the fight against corporate power and the fight for the people is the same fight, whether you talk about education, housing, or healthcare.”

On October 22, 2000, the People’s Weekly World held its 4th annual celebration luncheon in New York at the Henry Winston Auditorium.

Awardees were:

Ernesto Jofre, President of UNITE Local 169
International Longshoreman’s Association, Local 1814
Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence

Speakers included City Council members Bill Perkins and Christine Quinn, Assembly member Richard Gottfried, State Senator Tom Duane, Larry Moskowitz of the Communist Party and Working Families Party and Elena Mora for the Communist Party.

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel sent greetings and State Senator Eric Schneiderman sent a letter of commendation to the honorees.

Richard Gottfried made a personal endorsement of the People’s World, June 2, 2007, on page 2 of the publication.


On March 23, 2007, “people jammed in to sit on folding chairs or stand shoulder-to-shoulder and listen to speakers tell of the Party’s contributions to American labor and democratic rights.” The crowd studied display cases full of photos, buttons, leaflets and letters from the 2,000 boxes of archives donated by the Communist Party to New York University’s Tamiment Library, which specializes in left and labor history.

The presence of dozens of party and Young Communist League members in the crowd indicated that the Communist Party continues to be an important and growing part of the American political scene.

Speakers included: Committees of Correspondence leader Leslie Cagan, Rutgers University professor and Party member Norman Markowitz, New York State Sen. Bill Perkins, Communist Party Executive Vice Chair Jarvis Tyner, University of Houston professor and Party supporter Gerald Horne, People’s World Editor Teresa Albano and Richard Gottfried – who spoke humorously of representing a district that includes Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood where the Communist Party has its offices.

“Is Estelle Katz here?” Gottfried asked, looking for the well-known Chelsea retiree and Communist “peace” activist. “My district may be the most unique in the nation where the ‘red-baitees’ out-number the ‘red-baiters.’”

When Katz, a member of both the Communist Party and the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, died in November 2012, fellow club member Gottfried said this of her:

“Estelle Katz worked with the confidence of someone who fervently believed there is a strong current in history towards social justice,”… “She once said to me, ‘If you’re a Marxist, you can never be a pessimist.’ It was inspiring to have her among my constituents. I miss her.

This information has been brought to you by KeyWiki, a New Zealand hosted, online encyclopedia of the U.S. left.

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Trevor Loudon is the author of “Barack Obama and the Enemies Within,” an oft referenced work that blew the lid off the President’s extensive Marxist background. He is also the Editor of this blog and of, an online encyclopedia exposing the covert side of U.S. politics.


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