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Your newly elected Shelter Island Democratic Committee (SIDC) can't wait to get started this ​September. Share your feedback on how to best represent you and what’s important TO YOU.

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In Person

Tuesday 7/16 5-7 pm

All Seasons Catering

23 N Ferry Rd, Shelter ​Island, NY 11964

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Shelter Island Democrats

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Who we are

Greg Toner

Shelter Island Democratic Committee (Current)

Bill Mastro (Mastrogiacomo)

Shelter Island Democratic Committee (Former)

Cat Brigham

Vice-Chair, Shelter Island Democratic Committee (Current)

Mark Mobius

Liz Hanley

Treasurer, Shelter Island Democratic Committee (Current)

Kathy Gooding

Barrie Silver

Shelter Island Democratic Committee (Current)

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Flip CD1 BLUE & help Democrats regain the House majority!

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Let’s Keep Fred Thiele’s Seat BLUE

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Democracy or Bust
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Election 2024

Kickoff Party

Sunday • May 26 • 3-6 pm

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Thank you for joining us!

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Meet the extraordinary candidates:

John Avlon

Tommy John Schiavoni

Sarah Anker

Gordon Gooding

With Special Guests:

Fred Thiele

Catherine Kent

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Hosted at the Home of Paige Morehead

Our Platform

Democratic Process

The Committee should follow a democratic process for all decisions. Candidates and decisions should be voted on and decided by a simple majority. Leadership should respect the outcome of votes and not make decisions outside the committee. Most critically: all candidates should be interviewed, vetted, and voted on by the whole Committee. Once a vote has been called the Committee should be 100% committed to supporting their decision.

The Committee represents ALL Democrats on Shelter Island- the Committee should support candidates chosen by voters. Committee members are welcome and encouraged to have their point of view. When representing SIDC, Committee members should support the consensus/vote of the Committee and the choices of SI Democratic voters. Disagreements, which are inevitable and part of the process, should be handled with mutual respect and maturity.

Currently: *In the most recent cycle: A candidate for the Town board seat was designated (put onto a petition) by the current chair with no vote or conversation with the committee. At the same time a candidate seeking endorsement was not given the opportunity for a full committee vote to gain this endorsement.

*Expressions (by the chair) in public spaces, including newspaper letters and advertisements, have expressed personal viewpoints instead of a voted position of the Committee.

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Forward-looking and Open

The Committee should work proactively to develop and support prospective candidates- striving to make the process accessible to more people. The Committee should closely follow local, County, State, and National issues to more robustly support potential and current candidates.

The Committee should have open meetings for registered Democrats to be involved in the process and give input at least once a quarter. Current and potential candidates should be encouraged to participate.

All party business including financials, petitioning, County processes, etc, should be shared with the Committee and Democratic voters as requested.

Currently: *There is no plan for candidate development and multiple suggestions / potential frameworks have been dismissed by the current chair.

*No meetings are open to ALL registered Democrats. Interested parties are told not to attend and in the previous Fall election cycle, access has been refused to candidates to SIDC meetings.

Fiscal Responsibility

The Committee should be responsible for accurately reporting income and expenses so that there is a clean record for donors (current and potential) and avoid legal trouble with the NY Board of Elections.

Currently: SIDC lost access to funds or their bank account as a result of setting up bank accounts improperly- the County is involved to help them resolve this. Fall 2023 donations had to be returned because they were improperly received. The Suffolk County office is covering the cost of an accountant to fix approximately ten years of incorrect filings- with thousands of dollars in donations unreported to the Board of Elections. There is no sign of embezzlement or fraud- just gross negligence.

Our Platform

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Letters to the Editor

Restoring Democracy in the Democratic Committee

(Published 3/14/2024) Shelter Island Reporter

Currently, there is a contest regarding who will serve on the Shelter Island Democratic Committee (SIDC). We include current or prior members of the SIDC and we have strived to navigate the challenges that led to this contest. Why do we need change now?

There were issues in reviewing candidates for the fifth town board seat. Burt Waife was added unilaterally by the Chair to the SIDC petition without consultation or a vote from the Committee. Further, the Chair ignored and dismissed the request of Gordon Gooding to meet with and be considered .

Additionally, candidates for the Committee were added who only recently registered as Democrats. This lack of appropriate governance undermines the integrity of the process and, more significantly, the trust of the voters.

Further, a history of Treasury mismanagement was identified by the new treasurer . The SIDC's bank account access was revoked due to improper account setup. Additionally donations were received improperly leading to the return of Fall 2023 donations. An accountant is now tasked with rectifying a decade's worth of incorrect filings. Although no malfeasance is suspected, the lack of adequate oversight raises questions about governance and transparency.

It is evident that a transformation is overdue. Embracing democracy means embracing the messiness that comes with it, including discussions and compromises.

Our Proposed Reforms

1. Democratic Principles: All decisions, including candidate selection, should be subjected to a vote within the committee. The committee should represent all Democrats on Shelter Island.

2. Transparency and Inclusivity: The committee must proactively support potential candidates, conduct open meetings for registered Democrats, and share party business details with transparency.

3. Financial Integrity: Maintaining clear and accurate financial records is paramount to avoid legal entanglements and ensure accountability.

We welcome your support for a more transparent, forward-looking, and professionally-run SIDC.

Cat Brigham – Vice-Chair SIDC

Liz Hanley- Treasurer SIDC

Greg Toner- SIDC

Barrie Silver- SIDC

Bill Mastro (Mastrogiacomo)- (former) SIDC

Kathy Gooding

Mark Mobius


(Published 3/28/2024) Shelter Island Reporter

To the Editor: In your editorial of March 21, 2024, you are attempting to rewrite history.

Why were there primary challenges in 2023? Gerry Siller announced he was not running. The Democratic Chair intended to let Amber Brach-Williams run unopposed. Just as in 2021, the Republican Committee did not run anyone against Gerry, and the Democratic Committee did not run anyone against Amber. Is that what you call democracy, or is that party bosses making deals behind closed doors? And after the 2023 primary — the Democratic Chair did not recognize the winning candidates. Is that Shelter Island’s form of democracy?

Have you forgotten how unhappy everyone was with the previous Town Board and its inability to listen to the public? You wrote editorials about it. People wanted to have a voice. A Better Island for All (ABIFA) attracted both Democrats and Republicans — we fundraised for three candidates. We attracted the same money that went to the Democratic party in the past as well as some that would have gone to the Republican party. ABIFA campaign contributions were carefully monitored and accurately reported according to strict guidelines — can you say the same about the other groups?

You can’t check the Democrats’ history because the finances have been mishandled for the last 10 years and they had to return 2023 fundraiser donations. Did you analyze the fundraising of the Republican Committee — including the individual candidates’ accounts?

Who are you to say what the “organized” groups believe? The groups I see out there are very vocal — they say what they mean, and you have no right to infer anything else. No one is “battling the Comprehensive Plan Committee” — people are asking meaningful questions — we need to get it right —the plan is our future.

Your biases are very evident.


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Disturbing Aspects

(Published 3/28/2024) Shelter Island Reporter

To the Editor: It was disappointing to read the editorial in the last issue of the Reporter. Regardless of intent, the editorial unfortunately continued the destructive and divisive “Us vs. Them” narrative when we should be encouraging respectful, honest disagreements and dialogue, and avoiding false implications.

As regards the “civil war” in the Democratic Party, it is simple. There are seven of us seeking one of the eight positions on the Democratic Committee. Four of the so called “rebels” are current members of the Committee and one other (myself) is a recent former member. We are running to restore transparent and appropriate democratic governance where all voices are heard and considered.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the editorial is the implication, via discussion and positioning, that the “rebels” “whether they openly say it or not” are opposed to affordable housing.

Please! We all strongly support affordable housing, and three of us “rebels,” including myself, serve on the Community Housing Board and have been staunch public supporters. Additionally, you would be hard pressed to find a stronger advocate who has done more to move the needle on community housing than “rebel” Liz Hanley.

Related false implications also apply to A Better Island for All (ABIA) — first that ABIA is opposed to affordable housing (absolutely false) and that the split in the Democratic Party was spurred by ABIA. Although the “rebels” share many of the aspirations of ABIA and were not happy with the way ABIA was treated by the Democratic Commit-tee chair, we are not acting as ABIA.

ABIA was not part of the decision to proceed with our challenge. Our challenge is rooted in process and governance, and we invite anyone to come discuss this with us at our meet and greet on March 30.


Letters to the Editor

Democrats Call for Support

(Published 4/18/2024) Shelter Island Reporter

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to our March 30 event. We are fired up about launching our local Democratic Committee forward and starting a new chapter.

We also wanted to answer some of the frequent questions we’ve been receiving: What is the Democratic Committee? And why have we not seen elections before for these positions? Great questions! The local Democratic Committee is charged to recruit and support Democratic candidates all the way up the ballot and to represent and organize local Democrats.

The Committee is composed of two members who represent each of Shelter Island’s four Election Districts (roughly four quarters of the Island).

These are elected positions, chosen by Democratic voters in each Election District. That’s how most Committees are elected. If there are not multiple candidates, the standing chair can simply appoint people to these positions.

So, the reason you haven’t seen elections for the Committee positions is that no one has challenged the chair’s selections before. In many other communities, running for the Democratic committee is a regular part of the election cycle.

This year there is so much at stake and we need a proactive committee leading the way. Our sights are set on preparing for the upcoming local season and seeking exceptional candidates for the Town Board vacancies next cycle. Additionally, we are working hard this fall to rally Democrats to send our candidates to Washington and Albany.

Stay tuned for more information on our Memorial Day Event — save the date for May 26 from 3 to 6 p.m. And feel free to contact us with any questions through

Cat Brigham — Vice Chair SIDC ED2; Liz Hanley — Treasurer SIDC ED3; Greg Toner — SIDC ED1; Barrie Silver — SIDC ED4; Bill Mastro (Mastrogiacomo) — (former) SIDC ED1; Kathy Gooding — ED3; Mark Mobius — ED2.


About the Candidates

Bill Mastro

William Mastrogiacomo

Election District 1

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My name is Bill Mastro (William Mastrogiacomo on your election ballot) and I am running to serve on the Shelter Island Democratic Committee from Election District 1. I am a former member of the Committee who left because of issues regarding how the Committee was being run. As a recently retired attorney, who for much of my career, served as General Counsel to a very large not-for-profit health care related organization, I am well versed in and understand the importance of good-faith appropriate process and governance. It is time for the Democratic Committee to be truly democratic and to be open to a range of opinions and ideas to be discussed and vetted. We need to be inclusive and transparent, to help address the issues and challenges facing the Island that we all love. Although retired, I continue to serve on a number of not-for-profit Boards and Committees.

I am a full-time resident of Shelter Island, with a home in Hay Beach. I first came to Shelter Island during high school for a retreat at St. Gabriel’s. I returned to the Island over ten years ago on a cycling event and not long after purchased our home. I strongly believe that it is important, if not imperative, to be involved in one’s community and to volunteer one’s service. In that regard, I currently serve as a member of the Community Housing Board and am the President of the Hay Beach Property Owners Association.

I am thrilled to be a part of an extremely talented and committed group that seeks to implement a real “Big Tent” and to bring open governance to the Democratic Committee - to engage and respect everyone from younger Democrats, to families, to retirees. We need everyone. We also need to find answers to affordable housing while we protect our environment, especially our delicate aquifer. As a member of the Democratic Committee, I will seek out candidates that reflect these values and concerns and that will work to maintain the special essence that is Shelter Island

I have been a member of the Shelter Island Democratic Committee since 2017 and have been living full-time on the island since 2016. I live in Hay Beach with my wife Linda in a house we built in 2001. Other activities on the island include being a member of the Water Advisory Committee (WAC) and the Water Quality Improvement Board )WQI).

Prior to moving to the island, we lived in Piermont on the Hudson, where I was a member of that village’s Democratic Committee.

My personal goal as committee member has been first to ensure all interested residents in our party are aware of available Town government positions, to examine applicant’s background and goals, and finally to help party candidates win their elections. In recent election cycles, all too frequently, we have been unable to establish a full slate of candidates. I am not satisfied that the current committee leadership is willing to make changes to our procedures to find and support qualified candidates.

The energy and commitment from the newer members of the current committee has convinced me that new management is needed, and to support their efforts throw my hat into the ring once again to be a member of the Shelter Island Democratic Committee.

Greg Toner

Election District 1

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Catherine Brigham

Election District 2

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My name is Catherine Brigham. I was born and raised on Shelter Island. I have had the privilege of being the art teacher on Shelter Island for the last five years. I joined the Democratic committee about two years ago and around the same time became the vice chair. I have always volunteered in the community serving on boards and it's giving me insight into the impact of grassroots engagement and what a difference one person can make. Shelter Island is a unique place, but many of the issues we face are a reflection of the rest of the country.

The two most pressing issues I see are affordable housing and infrastructure. Residents who have been here and are invested in the island have to move away because there's not an affordable option and we need immediate action. Selfishly it's also very hard to engage a young Democratic base when they're not sure that they're actually gonna be able to afford to stick around. my focus on the Democratic committee is community involvement advocating for progressive policies and nurturing, emerging leaders. When I joined the democratic committee, I had a lot of questions and the answers were very much a part of this tribal knowledge that was handed down.

My goal is to make it easier for people to access and understand how to participate in government at all levels. Moving forward, I envision the Democratic committee to be inclusive, transparent and community centered. I think the cornerstone of any successful organization is prepared means that everyone on the committee understands all portions of the work we do, and that no one person is key to everything working. I know that if I am doing my job on the committee successfully, the next person can step in without friction and continue the work of the Democratic committee.

I’m Mark Mobius and I’m running to represent democrats in election district 2, which covers the southeast corner of Shelter Island. I grew up on the Island and graduated from SIHS. I spent the following 20 years studying and working in other places until I was able to return here in 2010. I’m an ecologist and outdoor enthusiast and, among other things, I teach natural history and outdoor living skills to kids.

I’ve resided in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, and Bolivia, but have always thought Shelter Island is the greatest place to live. I hope to help ensure that it stays that way so that my son shares the same sentiment when he’s my age.

I believe you never know where a good idea is going to come from, so it is important to hear and consider input from diverse viewpoints. I think the political process works best when approached with respect for and civility toward all involved, even those with whom you disagree.

The Island issues of greatest concern to me are likely important to you as well: affordable housing, the Island’s natural resources, the viability of local businesses, and our overall quality of life. My goal is to help the Democratic committee identify and support excellent candidates for public service roles that have a positive impact on these issues.

Mark Mobius

Election District 2

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Kathy Gooding

Election District 3

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I am running for the Democratic Committee because I want to help build a better organization that upholds and promotes the values of inclusivity and helps nurture future leaders within the community. My background as a former Assistant Superintendent of Schools, college professor, business owner and my involvement in various committees demonstrates my ability to interact positively with the public and manage groups towards common goals.

My work with the Taylor’s Island Preservation and Management Committee, as a Trustee for Shelter Island on the Suffolk County Parks Commissions and my work with the Shelter Island Historical Society demonstrates my commitment to this community. I am well-organized, focused and basically know how to get things done, which is essential for coordinating campaigns, volunteers and executing strategic plans within the Democratic Committee. I believe the major issues facing our community include protection of our aquifer, preserving our natural resources and prioritizing community needs, specifically, our local housing initiatives.

I'm Liz Hanley and I'm running to represent Democrats in ED3 here on Shelter Island. Responsible, hardworking and innovative, I bring a career in finance and organization building. A third generation Islander, I attended elementary school here and then moved away, becoming a summer resident until finally moving back full time a few years ago with my husband and three teens.

I've dedicated myself to improving the lives of year round Island residents, especially families. I've focused on housing which is the most pressing issue I see, currently chairing the Community Housing Board. I’m especially proud to have spearheaded bringing in $3.5 million dollars to our residents to build ADUs for year round housing and founding the PAC that lobbied successfully for Prop #3 (.5% transfer tax to fund affordable housing) in all 4 East End towns.

The Shelter Island Democratic Committee stands at the crossroads. I'm running for the opportunity to help us change course- to include and represent ALL Democrats, from our young families to our retirees in an active and professionally run organization. We are stronger together.

Elizabeth Hanley

Election District 3

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Barrie Silver

Election District 4

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My name is Barrie Silver and I am running for a seat on the Shelter Island Democratic Committee for the Fourth Election District.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn (go Dodgers!) N.Y. My parents were both teachers who believed passionately in democracy, unionism, equal opportunity and all the tenets that describe Democrats. I have inherited that passion.

I attended Erasmus Hall High School, NYU University College of Arts and Science, NYU graduate School of Public Administration and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I have been a Probation Officer, a Fulbright Adviser and for many years the Chief Records Manager of the New York State Unified Court System.

I retired in 2000 and spent the next several years navigating the post 911 chaotic landscape (we lived across the street from ground zero) and then nursing my husband who became ill as a result of that event.

When I moved to Shelter Island permanently ten years ago I discovered a place very different from the one in which I had bought my house 45 years before. In addition to all the wonderful things I had always experienced I also found a changing community.. changed expectations, attitudes and behaviors. There are so many new challenges ahead and that is why I am hoping for a place on a new Democratic committee, one that is more inclusive, more responsive and more engaged. I believe I have the intelligence and integrity to help meet these challenges successfully.

Contact Us: (631) 678-8021