Please join the FFDC for our annual meeting, at which we will elect officers for 2017 and discuss upcoming events and opportunities for activism.

Below you'll find statements from our candidates.

FFDC Annual Meeting

Candidate Statements




Gabriel Panek

Gabriel Panek is the club's corresponding secretary, a position which he has held since the club's founding in 2014. He is in his third year of law school at NYU, after which he will be working at a private law firm in the city. His political experience includes one year as a union organizer for CIR/SEIU, and various campaign positions including deputy field director for now-State Senator Gustavo Rivera. He is very excited to run for president of the FFDC because of the crucial importance of local political activism, now more than ever before.


Abraham Salcedo

              Abraham currently serves on the Executive Board of the Four Freedoms Democratic Club. He is former Vice-President of FFDC, a member from inception and an active member of the community. An attorney and CPA, Abraham is a New York County Committee member as well as a member of Community Board 8, co-chairing its Environment & Sanitation and Street Life Committees.  Abraham received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from NYU, and J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.




David Menegon

My vision for the club is to spread Democratic ideas through activism, education and collaboration with other organizations, to voters and policy makers at all levels of government, and assist new members to take an active role in local Governance.

Community service has always defined my character, and I have held leadership positions in more than 20 community and no-profit originations advocating for seniors, children and veterans.

I know the issues in the community as a member of Community Board 8, and the importance of engaging local community groups, and associations, to develop consensus and recommendations to City Agencies


Frank Wilkinson

              Frank Wilkinson, a Philadelphia native, was graduated from The Haverford School and Princeton University. He had a career as a book editor before writing his 1981 bestselling novel Bygones. In the mid-80s he got involved in politics, became president of the East Side Democratic Club, and served for 16 years as that club's district leader until 2013. A judicial delegate for 20 years, he considers himself partly responsible for the high quality of Manhattan judges, both Civil and Supreme.



Corresponding Secretary


Jerry Ferguson

I am a founding FFDC member and Baker Hostetler partner committed to progressive politics on a local level. My legal expertise is Internet and social media law. This past year, I have managed the club's Twitter account, which now has more than 330 followers; our account regularly retweets and is retweeted by FFDC members. Social media can create a more engaged community of FFDC members and move our progressive agenda forward. As Corresponding Secretary, I shall expand FFDC’s social media presence to better advance the goals and strategies that FFDC members identified at our November 2016 meeting.


Ben Wetzler

Though I’ve only been a member of the Four Freedoms Democratic Club for a few months, I’m grateful for how welcoming the club has been and look forward to the opportunity to give back by serving as Corresponding Secretary. As Secretary, I will work to build our relationships with the other clubs in Manhattan and coordinate efforts to engage Democratic voters who, as I was not too long ago, have little connection to traditional judicial politics but are looking for opportunities to get involved in grassroots political organizing. I’d be honored to serve and hope I’ll have your support.


Recording Secretary


Teresa Malyshev

I've been an active member of the FFDC since its inception, serving on the executive board for three years, most recently as recording secretary. I have been involved in local, state and national politics for many years - canvassing, petitioning, phone banking and protesting. I see FFDC as a resource to move a progressive agenda forward. As recording secretary, I will ensure that all members are informed to become more involved to preserve our progressive agenda and the democratic process




Saul Nadel

Saul has been an active member of the Four Freedoms Democratic Club for the past three years and has served as Treasurer for the past year. Before becoming an Accountant, he was involved with numerous political campaigns and became familiar with campaign finance. As membership continues to grow, Saul will continue to bring leadership to the position and ensure financial stability of the club. Saul received his BA in Philosophy, Politics and Law from Binghamton University, his MBA in Accounting from Baruch College, and is a licensed CPA in the state of New York.


Members-at-Large (6)


Posie DiSesa

A founding member of FFDC, twice on the Executive Board, I am member of CB8’s Housing Committee, working with Gayle Brewer’s office.

I have phone banked, knocked doors, advised/wrote communications programs, campaigned, petitioned, organized house parties and fundraisers.  I speak/meet with politicians when I disagree with their positions.

With a growing membership and several election wins, it is time for members to become more involved in the democratic process and draw the community in.  We should be an activist club, a dynamic resource, by establishing programs/coordinating with other organizations, to ensure our values and principles survive.


Lynne Feibelmann

Lynne Feibelmann is a founding member of the FFDC. She served on the Club's E-board as a Member at Large for 2016, and has petitioned for endorsed candidates since the Club's inception. Lynne was elected a Judicial Delegate in the 2016 Primary and has been a member of the Democratic New York County Committee since 2013.  As an Upper East Side resident for the last ten years, she is committed to building a strong presence for the Club.  Lynne is a senior paralegal for an international law firm, and holds a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University and a master's degree from Boston University.


Sheila Fine

Sheila Fine has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Lexington Democratic Club and the Lenox Hill Democratic Club, where she served as a Vice President for two years. She has been extremely active in the Democratic Party for years, campaigning for local and national candidates, petitioning, and phone banking. She joined the Four Freedoms Democratic Club in 2016 and currently serves a member of the County Committee.


Arlene Kayatt

I'm Arlene Kayatt and am asking for your support for my candidacy as a Member-at-Large. I've lived on the UES over 40 years and have been active in local politics. Prior to becoming an attorney, I was an Assistant Professor of Business at Queensborough Community College, and an editor and reporter for Our Town newspaper. I presently write a column for the paper. As a Member-at-Large, I will participate in club endeavors/activities and in the big job Four Freedoms and other Democratic Clubs have in the next four long years. I work hard. I show up.


Greg Krakower

I have been a political activist in Yorkville since 2003. I’m a policy wonk dedicated to better schools (my son’s at PS158), affordable health care (I authored a NYS insurance discrimination law) and progressive policies. Currently I’m an anti-corruption attorney.

I’ve served as the Senior Advisor & Counselor to A.G. Schneiderman; a policy advisor to Andrew Cuomo, Mark Green; and Director of the NY Senate Democrats’ Policy Group. I have worked on several political campaigns.

I helped form the FFDC and am proud of its leadership and success!  As a board member I’ll advocate for progressive positions, policy forums, (short) meetings, and a better Yorkville.


Matt Lombardi

           My name is Matthew Lombardi.  I have been a member of FFDC for two years.  I am currently serving as a Member-At-Large.  I am also a practicing attorney.

           I see the FFDC as an agent of change in these difficult political times.  Advocacy of progressive issues on the state and local level where the national government will not act, fighting to protect the gains made during the Obama administration; these are all things the FFDC can do.

I ask for your vote for Member-At-Large so I can help the FFDC achieve these goals.  Thank you.


Betsy Mayer

[statement not provided]


Bob Menna

              I have been a community and political activist for many years.

As a staunch believer in democracy, I have contributed to the election of many officials who work hard to support good government.

I was a member of CB6 and organizer/president of the Manhattan East Community Association. Recently, I was president of the LHDC. Currently I am fighting the MTS, advocating for parks, and for affordable housing.

I seek to have a leadership role in the FFDC because it is a progressive club with goals which are consistent with my passion for a better community and good government.


Peggy O'Reilly

I am Peggy O'Reilly and I have been active in Democratic clubs for the last three years, among them, the Lenox Hill Democratic Club and the East Side Democratic Club. Everyone will tell you that I'm a very hard worker. I'd like to be a hard worker for Four Freedoms Democratic Club. I'm an experienced public relations and media relations professional. I can bring a great deal of expertise and passion to our club.


Elana Schwartz

              Elana Schwartz is currently the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for U.S. Congressman Joseph Crowley. She has worked on Capitol Hill for several other high-ranking New York elected officials and has been involved in several campaigns. Involved with the Four Freedoms Democratic Club since it's inception, she has also had experience working with other Demcoratic Clubs (prior to moving to the Upper East Side), interacting with local elected officials and fundraising.  She holds an MPA from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Affairs and a BA in political science from George Washington University.


John Wagner

John Wagner wants to continue facilitating forums for the club to learn about & discuss important local, state, and national issues (e.g., aid-in-dying legislation, reproductive rights, homelessness, environment, taxes, subsidies for private/religious-schools, etc.).  He wants the club to a take positions on issues as well as candidates.   He wants the club to be open, transparent, and progressive voice that is responsive to member interests.  He is a professor of Neuroscience at Weill Medical College, a representative of the IHEU to the UN’s committee on the Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Chair of the Secular Coalition for New York.


Lee Wiggins

A founding member of FFDC, I have been a lifelong volunteer and activist for progressive Democratic candidates and issues.  I have petitioned, phone banked, knocked on doors, campaigned, and attended rallies and marches, including the Million Women March in DC on January 21 and other recent anti-Trump rallies.

I strongly believe that the FFDC has an important role to play in combatting the Trump/Republican agenda.  The challenges we're facing are enormous and we need to rally our community to action and work with others if we're going to stand against a President who is against everything we believe in.


Esther Yang

I am running for members at large. I am life long Democrat and a huge supporter of Four Freedoms Democratic Club since the very first beginning.  I have  collected thousand of signatures for Four Freedoms Democratic Club and I am currently a Judicial Delegate for FFDC. I am a Core Energetics Psychotherapist, Second Degree Black Belt in Karate, and a Yoga teacher. I have been featured in numerous print publications, and television and radio programs. I often speaks about mind-body medicine to corporate and hospital groups, including Cornell Medical School and Gilda's Club. I am also the author of "Love Yourself, the Heck With Everyone Else". I am a team player and I will work hard for FFDC. I am humbled to receive your support.

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