Green Party of Onondaga County to Hold Platform Hearing
Syracuse, NY - The Green Party is inviting the public to a platform hearing on issues facing Syracuse and Onondaga County. People are invited to give testimony or just listen. The event is scheduled for Sunday, April 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. or until all who want to speak have spoken. It will be at the Westcott Community Center, 826 Euclid Avenue, upstairs multi-use room.
“We want people to tell us what they think we must do to address the problems and use the opportunities we face. Any issue is up for discussion, from schools, jobs, crime, drug policy, and policing to infrastructure, sidewalk snow removal, housing, transportation, energy, and, of course, taxes,” said Barbara Humphrey, the Chair of the county Green Party.
The Green Party of Onondaga County will use the testimony to help finalize its 2015 policy planks, which will be considered at its May 17th convention to designate candidates and adopt a platform. To schedule time for prepared testimony or to send in written testimony, the Greens ask people to contact them at email@example.com, 315-474-7055, or P.O. Box 562, Syracuse NY 13205.
RSVP at: http://syracusegreens.nationbuilder.com/2015_platform_hearing
To view the draft platform please visit https://www.dropbox.com/s/2j3dlednavh5hh8/2015-OCGP-Platform%20DRAFT.pdf?dl=0
Saturday, May 16, 10am - 5pm. More Info Coming Soon. RSVP at: http://syracusegreens.nationbuilder.com/_it_s_in_our_hands_cny_green_campaign_school
Sunday, May 17, 5pm-7pm, More Info Coming Soon.
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party's gubernatorial candidate in 2014, said today that the state budget just adopted is an austerity budget that assaults public schools, students, and teachers, underfunds needed social and environmental programs, and fails on ethics. He also criticized the failure to raise the minimum wage or pass the Dream Act.
“The state budget adopted in the wee hours of April Fool's Day is no joke,” Hawkins said. “In Cuomo's fifth straight austerity budget, hedge funds and yacht owners win and public education, ethics, and urgent social and environmental needs lose.”
Hawkins said the Green Party will be working with allies during the remainder of the legislative session to win policy reforms that were proposed as part of the budget but dropped, including raising the state minimum wage and allowing local governments to set higher than state minimum wages, the Dream Act, criminal justice reforms, and public campaign financing. Hawkins said the Greens will also work to defeat bills for tuition tax credits.
Hawkins thanked NYSUT, the statewide teachers union federation, for its call on lawmakers to vote down the ethics and education budget bill for its terrible policies on teacher evaluations, tenure and merit pay based on high-stakes testing and its destruction of local control in its state receivership plan for struggling schools.
“The NYSUT call took courage. Unfortunately, too few lawmakers heeded their call. But the call was still right thing to do because it made clear what the fight will be about going forward,” Hawkins said.
“Every struggling school threatened by the state with receivership is in a poor community. Real education reform would include broader social reform that attacks poverty, segregation, and under-resourcing of schools in poor, segregated communities,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins also said the Green Party supports NYSUT's call for parents to opt out of high-stakes testing. Hawkins' running mate for Lt. Governor, Brian Jones, contributed a chapter on “Standardized Testing and Students of Color” to a just published book promoting the opt out movement called More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing, edited by Jesse Hagopian with a preface by Dianne Ravitch.
“Cuomo's war on public education is provoking mass civil disobedience by disgusted teachers, parents and students in the growing opt out movement. It is fast becoming even bigger than the anti-fracking movement,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said, “The new tenure rules effectively end due process for teachers. They practically render the anti-tenure lawsuit by Campbell Brown moot. The Governor and lawmakers should have fully and equitably funded public schools in order to render moot other lawsuits by the small cities, the NYC Parents Union, and Schenectady charging the state with discrimination based on race and class in its school aid.”
“It is bad economic and social policy to continue underfunding public schools, child care, public transportation, public housing, and environmental programs with another austerity budget that limits growth in the budget to 2 percent when state revenues are up 4 percent,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins noted that while the proposed property tax circuit breaker for renters and homeowners was dropped, a tax break for yachts was added. “This is a rich man's budget once again,” Hawkins said. “Instead of progressive tax reform – more progressive income tax brackets, retaining stock transfer tax revenues, cutting corporate welfare – this budget imposes austerity on local governments with revenue sharing frozen at a historically low level and the 2 percent property tax cap.”
“The new income disclosure rules touted as ethics reform would please the U.S. Supreme Court that opened the floodgates to corporate spending on elections in the Citizens United case with the excuse that disclosure would tell voters who was in whose pocket. Breaking the pay-to-play corruption culture in Albany requires much stronger reforms, including full-time legislators who cannot take outside income and full public campaign financing on the Clean Money model used by Arizona and Maine,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins condemned the budget's raid of $40 million from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative account to fund the Environmental Protection Fund and renewable energy tax credits.
“These worthy environmental initiatives should have been funded by tax revenues, not by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. And they should have been funded at higher levels. The state should commit to the public investments and private incentives needed convert to 100 percent green energy by 2030 in order to address the climate crisis, create full employment, and reduce energy costs,” Hawkins said.
Our Schools Remain At Risk- Syracuse City Schools Deserve and Need Increased State Support
A presentation by Dr. Rick Timbs, Executive Director, Statewide School Finance Consortium www.statewideonline.org in Syracuse, NY on Monday March 16, 2015 at the Bishop Harrison Center on Lancaster Avenue.
With the “one house” budget bills from the Assembly and Senate now released in response to Governor's budget proposal, state government is entering the final two weeks of budget negotiations before the budget is due on April 1.
This teach-in on the state budget was organized by the Green Party to inform the Syracuse community on the impact of the pending state budget on Syracuse schools, city services, and Centro so they can make their concerns known to their state legislators.
The teach-in featured an hour-long presentation by Dr. Rick Timbs of the Statewide School Finance Consortium on how the state budget impacts the Syracuse City School District budget, including the impact of the Gap Elimination Adjustment and the shortfall in Foundation Aid funding.
View the Presentation Slide Show Here.
Additional Presenters included Pearler Washington of the Local 580 of the Amalgamated Transit Union on the Centro budget, Howie Hawkins of the Green Party on an overview of the state budget, and Raymond Blackwell of Save Our Schools on bringing parents and teachers together to support Syracuse schools.
View Video of All Speakers Here.
Exclusive Video Courtesy of Independent Media CNY.
Due to heavy and persistent snowfall throughout Central New York, tonight's monthly meeting of the Green party of Onondaga County is postponed. We hope you will stay safe and warm and off the roads unless necessary. Keep and eye out for an announcement for when the meeting will be rescheduled.
Keep reading below for important events and actions happening this week to help us organizing to protect public education and to stop the next big and scary neoliberal trade agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership.
#TPPTuesdays - Call-in to Congress
All day, from your phone. Join in this weekly action to urge Congress to vote "No" on Fast Track for the TPP.
Get more info (like where to call), RSVP and spread the word via Facebook.http://syracusegreens.nationbuilder.com/tpp_tuesdays_call_i…
Green Shadow Cabinet Meeting about the Trans Pacific Partnership
Wednesday, February 11, 8pm Conference Call
Join Green Party leaders and grassroots activists to learn about the undemocratic trade agreement being negotiated in secret - and how we can stop it! Register here! Find more info and spread the word on Facebook.http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/…/r…/KCFFE1GBQ58XQLJ2
#AllKidsNeed CNY Education Forum
Wednesday, February 11, 6pm Lyncourt School, 2707 Court St. Syracuse, 13208
Share, RSVP and find more information on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/events/1546018539017230/
The upcoming NY State of the State on Wednesday January 21st will be a time for action, celebration, and future focus.
- New York has banned fracking! Rally to Celebrate New York Fracking Ban and Lead the Nation in Renewable Energy! Rally from 11:30am-12:30pm, followed by a celebration with food, fun, and live music from 1pm-4pm. For full details, visit the Facebook event page. Bus seats are available!
Special Events on Tuesday January 20th
- Tune into "The People's State of the Union" and participate in an online chat during President Obama's 2015 State of the Union speech on Tuesday, January 20, on the Green Party's Livestream channel (http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus). The State of the Union, which begins at 9:00pm ET, will be aired on the Livestream page. A chat box for discussion will be on the screen next to the live State of the Union video.
Become a sustaining member of the GPOC and the Green Party of NYS. Click Here! Green Party members are doing great things all year round, and we need your financial support. Check out this article about this past week's demonstration right here in Syracuse in support of a veto of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Thank you for your time, your financial support and your passion for the Green Party and its 2014 candidates, especially our own Howie Hawkins and his running mate, Brian Jones. Because you helped bring the Green Party message to voters this year, we saw the number of votes cast in New York for our Green Team increase to over 300% of our 2010 totals.
Sadly, I wasn't able to be very hands on with the Hawkins campaign in 2014. But I plan to call you in the next few weeks and hope to see you at our December 2nd meeting so that we can get to know one another better. I look forward to hearing what brought you to the Green Party as a supporter this year and how you plan to stay involved. If you have not yet done so, I urge you to register Green and consider a sustaining monthly donation at whatever level is affordable to you. I also hope that you will continue your activism in whatever other areas of Green politics you find most satisfying -- as a candidate, campaign manager, campaign volunteer, office volunteer, etc.
Building the Green Party to further our progressive agenda of a living wage, full employment, an end to wars and drone strikes, universal health care, free public education, and more, has been a dream of mine for many years. I look forward to working with you to capitalize on our success in 2014 to make this dream come true.
Barb Humphrey, GPOC Coordinating Committee Chair
Statement of Support from Members of the Syracuse Community for The General Body and Student Calls for Diversity and Transparency at Syracuse University
We are inspired by the student groups organizing on the SU campus for diversity and transparency (a summary of their grievances is below). Their movement embodies principles of inclusivity, democratic participation in one’s community, care for others and direct action in support of the public good.
At a time when it is common to hear complaints of youth apathy, we commend these students for their dedication and thoughtful action, and we call on the chancellor and the administration to respond to the substance of student demands with meaningful dialogue and action.
Having inscribed the words of the first amendment on the walls of Newhouse III, it would be particularly hypocritical for SU’s administration to repress the rights of students to freedom of speech and to peaceable assemble.
The Syracuse community has a long history of social movement organizing and civil disobedience to further peace and social justice. As organizations committed to continuing that organizing tradition for a more just and equitable future, we stand in solidarity with the organizing work and demands of The General Body, a united front of student organizations at Syracuse university.
For more background and the 43-page document of grievances and demands, see www.thegeneralbody.org.
Signed by the following Syracuse area Community groups:
The Syracuse Peace Council, The Green Party of Onondaga County, Syracuse Community Choir, ArtRage Gallery, Peace Action of CNY, Bread and Roses Collective House, Westcott Neighborhood Association, SEIU 1199.
Please accept a hearty THANK YOU to our supporters, volunteers, and newest members here in Syracuse and Onondaga County.
Following Election Day 2014's vote total of nearly 5% (176,269 votes) for Hawkins for Governor, and a rise to Line D on theballot (formerly we were two further down at F), the Green Party in New York State is as strong as it has ever been - but not strong enough.
In a mostly dismal election year, Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones gave the left something to cheer about with their Green Party campaign for the governor and lieutenant governor of New York. By getting almost 5 percent and 200,000 votes, Hawkins-Jones had the most successful independent left-wing campaign in New York state in more than 50 years.
- "This Campaign Doesn't End on Election Day" http://socialistworker.org/2014/11/13/this-campaign-doesnt-end-here
It's not good enough to only think of Election Season as October-November, or even May-November, because it is time to work on party building now and year-round through:
Registering Green Voters - Ask Us for a Form or Find Other Options by Clicking Here
- Signing Up State Party Supporting Members - Click Here
- Providing Feedback on the Recent Campaign Effort - Click Here
Working and Learning Together Locally - Stay Tuned for a December County Meeting Announcement, Help us Grow on Social Media in the Meantime by Liking and Sharing.
Identifying Offices and Candidates for 2015
We can't leave the light on, or always have someone home, but if you see it shining, please stop into our office at 2013 East Genesee St in Syracuse.
Let's Make A Scene in Syracuse and Onondaga County!!! We know calls work best to reach our supporters, but signs and flyers will reach media, and other voters, and the general public, to show that the Green Party Movement is strong and proud. How many people can hold a sign on a street corner Monday night and Election Day, how many people can come by and take some flyers (we've got a lot left, help us push them out) to distribute in your neighborhood, at local businesses and public places, and to your friends and family? Movement building, alongside electioneering, alongside showing support, alongside demanding change, alongside shaking up the establishment. Do a little, or a lot, contribute to a great change! Oh yeah, we'll take phone callers too ;>)
It's time to think GOTV - Get Out The Vote - for Howie Hawkins for Governor!
We're putting out the call locally to ask you to volunteer to help us Get Out The Vote for Howie over the next 7 days here in Syracuse. Are you able to spend some time with us making phone calls, distributing leaflets door-to-door, or working Election Day for the only true progressive NY vote on the ballot?
- Sunday Phone Banking with PIZZA!
Each One, Bring One! Tell and Bring a Friend!
Frank Cetera, Syracuse Greens