New York was the home territory for two major Presidential contenders in 2008: Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. It's no coincidence that the city is rife with political activity - it's the headquarters for numerous national news sources, and it's also home to the single Zip code with the highest level of political donations to both major parties. The breadth of NYC events available to someone interested in politics means that it's easy to sample lots of different ideologies - and maybe learn a thing or two.
The Barack Obama Meetup is one of the many NYC events that bring together hundreds Obama supporters to talk about the Senator's plans and policies, and to share grassroots campaigning strategies. Of all of the NYC events dedicated to Democratic party politics, this is one of the most active.
For a view a bit out of the mainstream, the Henry George School of Social Science offers NYC events that revolve around the economic teachings of Henry George, who called for a single tax on the value of land. A movement that has brought together socialists, anarchists, and radical capitalists, the Georgist political movement has remained alive (and lively!) in the city where Henry George himself once ran for mayor. The NYC events hosted by the school include introductory and advanced lectures on economics from a Georgist perspective.
On the other side of the mainstream, the Junto is a unique NYC Event. Hosted by veteran trader Victor Neiderhoffer, it's a wide-ranging discussion forum covering investments, economics, and politics, all viewed from the perspective of Objectivism. Although Junto is an NYC event, it's named after Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia gathering of the same name.
The radical bookstore Bluestockings hosts numerous anarchism-themed gatherings. Unlike stereotypical anarchists, the visitors to Bluestockings' NYC Events are likely to be well-versed in Proudhon rather than punk rock. Events range from discussions about the lessons from world travel, to instructions on activism, as well as numerous movie and book events.
The feminist group NOW hosted their national conference in New York last July. Although feminism is a social rather than political movement, it's a movement with broad political implications. NYC events like this showcase the city's intellectual diversity - Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani were counting on its votes in the 2008 general election, and each hosted NYC events to galvanize supporters. Since the city is home to preeminent magazines literary/political on the right and left - from The New Yorker to The National Review - NYC events have always shown that regardless of their beliefs, residents of this cosmopolitan locale can find the perfect venue to express their views.