BY BROOKLYN EAGLE STAFF
BOROUGHWIDE — A storied Brooklyn Democratic club is continuing to branch out beyond politics to sponsor community service projects aimed at improving the quality of life of local residents.
TJ Cares, an outgrowth of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, was formed by club member Mitch Partnow less than a year ago and has already made its mark, according to organizers.
The fledgling organization has held three well-attended community service events, including a senior citizens barbecue, a food drive and a Valentine’s Day party for residents of Mercy Home.
“The community needs to know that we are here for more than petitions and voting,” Partnow told the Brooklyn Eagle.
The first event Partnow and TJ Cares hosted was a senior citizen barbecue, followed by one of the largest food drives in the history of the 59th Assembly District (Canarsie, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Georgetown), the district the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club serves. The food items were distributed to local families in need through the Canarsie Lions Club.
On Feb. 16, TJ Cares hosted a Valentine’s party for the clients of the Mercy Home. The party took place at the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club’s headquarters, where more than 100 Mercy Home residents were treated to a live DJ, dancing, a Chinese food buffet and chocolate desserts.
TJ Cares teamed up with the JASA Senior Center, whose members purchased and presented hats, gloves and scarves to the guests from Mercy Home.
The Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club is the home club of longtime community leader Sue Ann Partnow, as well as Frank Seddio, who served for some eight years as the Brooklyn Democratic Party chairperson. Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District, was recently elected to succeed Seddio as the party’s leader.
TJ Cares bridges the gap between the community and politics by letting constituents know that the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club is more than just a political club, according to Mitch Partnow, who has been an active member of the club for more than 17 years, still decades away from equaling the tenure of his mother, Sue Ann.
“The Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club has been an integral part of this community for over 64 years. The club has a rich history of community activism, multi-generational service, and I don’t want it to be overlooked,” he said.
TJ Cares takes the community-minded spirit that has always existed in the club and moves it forward, he added.
“As a third-generation Jeffersonian, I understand that these neighborhoods in south Brooklyn have a suburban feel to them and are very close knit. I feel I have a unique understanding of the needs of the residents of this area because I grew up in and still live in Bergen Beach with my wife and daughter,” Partnow said.
TJ Cares plans to sponsor more community service projects.