Adam’s Comments To NAACP’s Peekskill Chapter Protest & Dialogue

Adam's Comments To NAACP’s Peekskill Chapter Protest & Dialogue

250 years after the unrealized promise of the Declaration of Independence;

150 years after the end of slavery, “its badges,” and the amendments we passed in a failed attempt to move past our nation’s original sin;

50 years after MLK awoke our consciousness and moral imagination by helping all Americans see the “sweltering heat” of racial injustice:

We see today as clearly as ever that we have so much further to go to realize the unmet vision of our constitution.

Thank you to Peekskill’s NAACP Chapter for convening a thoughtful and uplifting protest and constructive dialog today. I was honored to participate.

Full Transcript of Comments:

It’s been clear for too long. We’ve been hearing, Oh, you know, it was just a a mistake. Oh, it was a panic. Oh, somebody was running one way and somebody made the wrong split second decision. I think we saw with George Floyd, I think we saw with Ahmaud Arbary. I think we saw with Mr. Cooper who narrowly escaped the same thing in central park last week, that these are not mistakes, that we have a culture.
We’ve talked, as Martin said, it’s been how many years? 150 years since the end of slavery, and we used to talk, I learned in law school about the badges of slavery and the 13th amendment and the 14th Amendment and the constitutional changes that we made in the law that never reached the people that we never got justice, that the union troops left the South, and another hundred years went by until 1970 for black folks to be able to vote and  exercise their rights in half of this country.
And so today here we are and we need to say, and we see here, we all unite and we understand that injustice anywhere injustice to a black man in Minnesota is a threat to justice everywhere. It’s a threat to a white person in Peekskill. It’s a threat to everyone everywhere. Here we are. We’re standing and we’re saying together that we’re not going to tolerate that and we’re going to call out what it is.
When we see a man looking like he could have been on his iPhone or sipping a cup of coffee, extinguish the light of another person underneath his knee, not even bat an eyelash. Three of his colleagues sworn to uphold the constitution and do justice and protect our people looking around like it’s a nice day.
That can’t happen. Yeah, so I’m proud that we’ve said today we’re not going to tolerate that, that we are going to say we are mad and we’re not going to take it anymore, but we’re going to do it in a constructive way. We’re going to get together and we’re going to call on our law enforcement to charge that man with murder.
There’s some young folks I’ve met in my campaign. I haven’t met all of you. You know what you’re all doing here is exactly what we needed to be doing because nothing’s going to change if we just say, stay from the outside and say, we don’t like this. We don’t like this. That’s the first step, but it’s not the last step.
We know we’re going to have justice when we have people like my mentor and my hero, Lawrence Middleton, when I was a prosecutor in the US Attorney’s office who prosecuted the police who beat Rodney King, that’s my mentor and my hero, a black man who grew up in the South under the the sweltering injustice as they say, racism in Norfolk, Virginia.
You went to Los Angeles, and he prosecuted the officers who beat Rodney King, and he made a difference. He became a lawyer and he stood for justice and he said, justice counts for everybody in this country. Justice doesn’t count just for one race or one group of people.
It counts for everybody. And that was who my boss was, and that’s who I learned from. And I have so much hope that there are people here today that can follow in his footsteps and lead us to the country that we deserve. And the promise, the unmet promises of the Constitution is that Joe Biden said last week, you know, for a lot of time in America, you’ve never lived up to the promise of our founders and our
Let’s be honest, by the way, a lot of them didn’t mean it when they said it.
Thomas Jefferson didn’t mean it when he said, all men are created equal. He meant his kind of men were created equal. But now here we are and we’re ready to redeem that promise of and make those words mean something and that’s why we’re all here together today. So thank you very much.
Let’s make our constitution mean something here. Mean justice, mean freedom, mean equal opportunity for everybody in this country. Thank you.

Drew Claxton, Former Deputy Mayor Of Peekskill And Rika Levin, Deputy Mayor Of The Village Of Ossining, Endorse Schleifer For Congress

Today, Drew Claxton, former Deputy Mayor of Peekskill, along with Ossining Deputy Mayor Rika Levin announced their support for Adam Schleifer for Congress in the primary for New York’s 17th Congressional District. 

“There are a lot of good, strong candidates running for this seat and I think any number of them would be good in Congress. That said, I have been impressed with the intensity Adam Schleifer brings to the issues, particularly on combating climate change and leading with science,” said Claxton. “His approach to politics, one that leads with collaboration and civility, would be refreshing in this political climate. I am proud to support him for Congress.”

Claxton, elected in 2001, was the first Democrat to hold elected office in Peekskill after 20 years of total GOP control of city government, dating back to George Pataki’s mayoralty in 1981. She then went on to serve 16 years on the common council, retiring as Deputy Mayor at the end of 2017. She now serves as the Chairperson of the Peekskill Democratic City Committee. She has been a champion of environmental justice issues for northern Westchester.

“We are fortunate to have a great number of highly qualified candidates in the race. I believe, however, that Adam Schleifer presents the best opportunity to have a fiercely independent member of Congress who puts the needs of this district before all else,” said Levin. “His legal background and experiences in New York, and on a national scale, will serve us well in Congress. I know he will aggressively deliver for diverse communities like Ossining and Peekskill. I’ve watched him participate in candidate panels and provide thoughtful and deeply considered policy answers, and I have watched him bring an energy to the table that will bring the change that we need in Washington. As a lifelong Democrat, I am proud to endorse him for Congress.” 

Levin has been an Ossining Village Trustee since 2015 and currently serves as Deputy Mayor. She immigrated to the United States when she was seven years old and she and her family have been active members in the Ossining community for more than 26 years. She has spent more than 25 years in management, new product development, diversity management and marketing and currently serves as the Managing Director at a nonprofit in Westchester. As a Trustee and Deputy Mayor of Ossining, she has focused on improving village technology, developing fair and safe housing for residents, and pushing economic and environmental initiatives. 

“I am so honored to have the support of Drew Claxton and Rika Levin.  Drew and Rika both epitomize the highest ideals of public service and leadership in some of the most diverse communities in New York’s 17th Congressional District,” said Schleifer. “They are both well respected for the grit, vision, and leadership they have brought as elected and party leaders in their communities and delivering for their constituents in Peekskill and Ossining.  They are an inspiration and guide to me as I continue my work to empower others and ensure everyone gets the opportunity to pursue their own American Dream.”

The endorsements of Claxton and Levin demonstrate increasing momentum for the Schleifer campaign, which recently released the first television advertisement to air in the race to succeed Congressperson Nita Lowey. Earlier this month, Schleifer announced the opening of a Peekskill office, in addition to an office in White Plains. It is the only campaign to have opened an office in the northern part of the district. The Schleifer Campaign anticipates the opening of its Rockland Office as soon as public-health circumstances allow. And in January, Schleifer’s campaign announced that it had more than $1 million in cash on hand, significantly outpacing opponents. 

A former-Assistant United States Attorney, Schleifer prosecuted major federal crimes including fraud, illegal gun possession, environmental crimes, sexual violence and intimidation, child pornography, and in the process took deadly and dangerous assault weapons and narcotic opioids of the streets.

Prior to serving in the Justice Department, Adam served as a Special Associate Counsel for the New York State Department of Financial Services, where he helped lead consumer-protection enforcement efforts against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders who were targeting minorities, veterans, and low-income New Yorkers, and took on fraud and abuse in the health insurance and financial markets. Schleifer’s successful efforts to root out unfair practices in New York and nationwide contributed to fairness, transparency, and efficiency in New York’s banking and insurance markets.

Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

Our First TV Ad

We are airing our first television ad today, and I couldn’t be more proud of the message we’re sending.

I talk about my brother, David, who has special needs, and the way our family journey with him has inspired me to empower others and ensure everyone gets a fair opportunity to pursue their American Dream.

Check out our very first television ad and contribute $5 today to stand with us and help me continue to protect and empower others.

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day.  I hope we soon see a day when the question, “are you a feminist,” is as odd (and its answer as obvious) as the question, “are you a humanist”; when a “yes” answer to both will be so clear that the questions are confusing.

We will know that day has arrived when we see a woman as the President of the United States, and when it’s unthinkable to elect anyone who boasts “grabbing” women by their genitals; when heroes like Malala Yousafzai aren’t shot merely for insisting upon every child’s right to an education; when all women reap the same reward as men do for the same work; and when a woman’s reproductive privacy and freedom isn’t under assault.

As a federal prosecutor, I worked to advance this cause by taking on crimes of sexual violence and exploitation, and by standing up for victims of those crimes.  And throughout a career as a public servant, I have been blessed to work with and under women who served as partners, mentors, and exemplars of dedicated excellence in public service.  These women inspire me, as do the talented, driven, inspirational women in my own family, including my wife, Nicole; my mother, Harriet; and my Aunt and Sister-in-Law, both of whom have dedicated their careers as OB-GYNs to the cause of women’s reproductive health and informed choice. 

Guided by these role models, and with your support, I look forward to continuing the cause for equality and women’s rights in Congress. To further mark today, let’s also take in the words of Rachel Carson, who did as much as anyone to inspire the environmental movement, which we need now more than ever:

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for . . . destruction.” 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, those of us who, in Primo Levi’s beautiful words, now live “safe [i]n . . . warm houses,”(1) are called to commemorate and reflect upon that great tragedy whose abatement began exactly 75 years ago today.

As Levi observed, “we are often asked … whether Auschwitz will return: whether … other slaughters will take place, unilateral, systematic, mechanized, willed, at a governmental level, perpetrated upon innocent and defenseless populations and legitimized by the doctrine of contempt.” The answer Levi offered in 1986, remains true today: “These factors can occur again and are already recurring in various parts of the world.”

So on this 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, that temple of inhumanity and murder, let us recommit ourselves to permanent vigilance against the doctrines of deranged hate and acts of violence perpetrated by the strongest against the weakest.

As many of you know, my grandparents were Holocaust survivors who came to America as refugees seeking safety, equality, and a fair opportunity to pursue the American Dream. Their story of bravery, hope, and perseverance inspires everything that I do. And in the face of the recent, troubling omens of anti-Semitic and other hate that we’ve seen, their example continues to affirm my commitment to bringing more light and warmth into the world.

Wherever we see deranged doctrines of hate weaponized — whether in chemical attacks in Syria; internment of a million or more Uyghurs in China; or violent acts of domestic terrorism perpetrated against the Jewish community in Monsey, Brooklyn, New Jersey, and elsewhere — we must honor the memory of the Holocaust and its victims by standing up to that hate and working to repair this broken world.

Thank you for joining me on this journey,



Watch Our New Campaign Video

I’ve been talking a lot these past few months about my commitment to protecting every person’s opportunity to pursue their unique version of the American Dream. Today, I want to share more with you about my life and the people who inspired and continue to inspire me in that commitment.

Please WATCH AND SHARE our first campaign video, which tells some of that story, and explains the core of our shared commitment to repairing the world.

In this video, you will meet three of my inspirations: my grandfather, Rubin Partel, a Holocaust survivor who risked his life to save others and rebuilt a life and a family in this great country; my mother, Harriet Schleifer, who has fought tirelessly to make sure everyone gets a fair shake; and my brother, David Schleifer, a very special young man with special needs who taught me how to be an advocate from the age of five. You’ll see how their courage and determination has been a constant inspiration in my life.

From their example, I learned to stand up for others, taking on predatory payday and subprime auto lenders as a consumer-protection regulator for the New York State Department of Financial Services and then taking down bullies, fraudsters, and cheats as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. In both roles, I was honored to stand up for the vulnerable and ensure that every person gets their fair opportunity to pursue their dreams.

From the threats of gun violence and the recent shadow of antisemitic hate and domestic terror; to the planetary danger of climate change; to the need to ensure that everyone has access to quality affordable healthcare; to the erosion of our institutions wrought by the Bully and Fraudster-in-Chief in the White House, we have our work cut out for us. My family’s example, along with my pragmatic, creative, bipartisan work on both the state and federal level imbue me with the faith that we can meet these challenges and repair the world.

That is the legacy of Congresswoman Nita Lowey. That is the opportunity we hope to protect and expand on behalf of the hardworking people of Westchester and Rockland. And that is the message we’re hoping you’ll help us share.

We hope you watch our story today and encourage others to follow, connect, and contribute.

I’m so grateful to have you with me on this journey,


Impeaching the Fraudster in Chief

As a former federal prosecutor and a New York State consumer-protection regulator, I devoted myself to taking on bullies, fraudsters, and cheats, who thought the rules didn’t apply to them. I did this because I believe that no one should be permitted to stand in the way of anyone’s right to fulfill their potential and pursue their unique version of the American Dream.

I know crime and corruption when I see it, and I am proud to see our representatives stand up to the Fraudster in Chief in the White House.

Our Founding Fathers understood that if “men were angels, no government would be necessary.” But “the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”  

One of those “auxiliary precautions” was the power and duty of impeachment. Our Constitution vested in the House of Representatives the power and duty to impeach “Officers of the United States” who betray the public trust and misuse the power of their office in corrupt pursuit of personal gain.

By impeaching President Donald Trump last night, the House of Representatives satisfied its solemn obligation. Perhaps no one in our Country’s history has tried so hard as President Trump to corrupt our constitutional republic. His efforts to condition congressional aid to Ukraine upon Ukraine’s investigation of President Trump’s political rival is but one impeachable example of his craven corruption.

While I hope that the Senate now rises to their constitutional duty to conduct a fair trial, I know we cannot rest and rely upon that hope. We need leaders in Congress who will continue to stand up to bullies, fraudsters, and cheats.I hope you will join me in that effort and contribute today.


Adam P. Schleifer

America’s Promise

Tuesday was a very sad day. We had yet another reminder that hate knows no borders, and that antisemitism, domestic terrorism, and gun violence threaten from all corners. Two assailants, at least one of which was affiliated with a recognized antisemitic hate group, gunned down six innocent people in a Kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey. Brave police officers risked their lives to stop the cowardly perpetrators of this hateful act of terror, and one heroic officer, Detective Joe Seals, a 15-year law enforcement veteran and a father of five, gave his life.

My grandparents survived the Holocaust. Their parents, siblings, grandparents were murdered for the crime of being Jewish. America took them in. We cannot backslide on America’s promise. We must keep our lamp lifted to the oppressed, and shine our light on the darkest corners of hate that attempt to encroach upon our freedom and the free exercise of our faith. We must continue our vigilance against antisemitism and antisemitic violence, along with all other hate and forms of domestic terror.

I fought hard as a federal prosecutor to protect Americans from the scourge of gun-related and other forms of violence and oppression, and I will do the same in Congress.

Thank you,

Adam P. Schleifer