The Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, held its first annual convention, October 1979 in New York at the District 199, Martin Luther King, Jr. Labor Center. A panel on politics and social change was led by Norman Adler, director of political action, D.C. local AFSCME, New York State Senator Olga Mendez and Helen Polonsky, chairman of the New Democratic Coalition. The panelists discussed the pros and cons of whether the Democratic Party was a "viable vehicle for progressive action in New York City."
Communist Party USA members Elena Mora and Gabe Falsetta wrote a report for the People' s World, of November 19 2004 "Many positives in N.Y. elections," commenting on the gains made by "progressive" candidates.
- The big gains were at the state level. State Senate seats were won by some progressive Democrats:
- In the 28th district, José M. Serrano, New York City councilman, defeated Olga Mendez, a former Democrat turned Republican. The WFP, Jobs with Justice, and other grassroots organizations had hammered Mendez on the minimum wage bill, which her Republican colleagues had held up for four years. .
- Daily World October 23, 1979, page 4
- PW, Many positives in N.Y. elections, by: Elena Mora and Gabe Falsetta November 19 2004