Platform - Green Party Onondaga County

On Monday, May 20, 2013, the Green Party of Onondaga County Convention adopted the 2013 Syracuse Greens Platform by acclamation, understanding that the platform is a living document. The platform will inform Green party campaigns for office and can be used by Greens to educate the public on Green positions and solutions on issues relevant to the future of our community.

To propose amendments or addition to the platform, send an email to syracusegreens@yahoo.com.

Download the pdf. here.

Sections can be viewed by selecting the appropriate link from the menu above.

PREAMBLE

The Green Party has a vision of our community’s future that is informed by 10 key values.

  1. Grassroots Democracy
  2. Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
  3. Ecological Wisdom
  4. Nonviolence
  5. Decentralization
  6. Community-Based Economics and Economic Justice
  7. Feminism and Gender Equality
  8. Respect for Diversity
  9. Personal and Global Responsibility
  10. Future Focus and Sustainability

 

Section 1:  GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY and ELECTION REFORM

 

Neighborhood Assemblies:  

  • Create Neighborhood Assemblies to replace the current TNT area planning councils in the city.  Form town meetings or neighborhood assemblies in the county’s towns and villages.  

  • Assemblies will be organized into districts established by residents and municipal planning bodies.

  • The assemblies will have policy and budget authority, with the power to instruct their elected representatives on policy issues and utilization of resources provided through city and county revenue sharing for neighborhood programs and projects.

  • Create a Council of Neighborhood Assemblies in the City made up of representatives of each neighborhood assembly that is advisory to the Mayor, Common Council, Syracuse School Board, and representatives to county, state and federal governments.

Citizen Initiatives: Amend city and county charters to enable citizens to initiate legislation to be voted on in referenda.

Recall:  Amend city and county charters to enable citizens to recallelected officials by petition and recall election.  

Public Campaign Finance:  Enact local full public financing; with equal campaign grants, no private funds, and mandatory participation in publicly-sponsored debates for all candidates who opt in and qualify for public campaign fundin

Instant Runoff Voting:   Elect single seat executive offices, such as Mayor and County Executive, by ranked choice voting.

Proportional Representation: Replace winner-take-all elections with proportional representation for municipal and county legislative bodies.

Voting Rights for Felons:  Change state law to permit individuals convicted of a felony to vote while incarcerated or on parole. Require criminal justice officials and parole officers to inform individuals of the current law that allows felons upon completion of a sentence (including parole) to exercise their right to vote

Land Rights for All:   Negotiate settlements of land rights issues with the Onondaga Nation.

 

Section 2:  EDUCATION FOR LIFELONG LEARNING &CITIZENSHIP

 

  1. Free Public Education from Pre-K through College:

  • Fully fund public education in NYS.

  • Restore the 2007 Foundation Aid Formula and amend the formula to be more need-based and equitable.  

  • Make tuition free at SUNY, CUNY, community colleges and BOCES.   

  • Support public education at all levels with a more progressive state income tax structure instead of  regressive local property taxes.

 

  1. Community Schools with Strong Neighborhood Partnerships: Support schools that have strong partnerships with and are fully integrated into the community.

  • Provide an equitable allocation of resources to provide all students with the resources required to meet their educational needs.

  • Require schools to be open from early morning to late evening to provide life-long educational, recreational, and social opportunities for students, school staff, and community members.  

  • Engage students in community educational activities during and after the school day and incorporate local history/geography/ecology into the school curricula.

  • Establish all public schools as community schools, neighborhood centers providing services such as health and day care centers, and adult education, and serving as sites for meetings, such as Neighborhood Assemblies.

  • Establish incentives to encourage school personnel to live in the City of Syracuse.

 

  1. Desegregation of public schools by race and class:  

  • Research and develop a county-wide desegregation program.

  • Start by desegregating school financing.  Establish a county-wide property tax sharing plan.

  • Redraw school feeder patterns to reduce segregation by race and class in City schools.

  • Turn Central High School into a City/County pilot magnet school.

 

  1. Parent/Families/Community Engagement in Education:  

  • Involve families and community members in schools as guest educators, volunteers, and mentors.

  • Restructure and expand the current school improvement process to develop and advance authentic parent, family and community stakeholder participation in site-based-planning and shared decision-making.

 

  1. Classroom Instruction and Student Growth: Target any increased revenues that become available for classroom instruction and direct student support, including:

  • Universal Pre-K,

  • Reduced class size

  • Up-to-date textbooks and classroom technology

  • Remedial programs for students not achieving at grade level

  • Enrichment programs for advanced students at all levels

 

  1. Safety, Respect and Responsibility Culture in the Schools:

  • Define universal expectations for positive student behavior and consequences for negative behaviors based upon a restorative justice model.

  • Provide alternative educational programs for disruptive students who need to be removed from the classrooms for disciplinary reasons.

  • Assure that students on in-school-suspension receive the same level and intensity of instruction as they would in the classroom

  • Make out-of-school suspension the option of last resort.  But when out-of-school suspension is necessary to remove children from school, formal suspension protocols must be adhered to that afford students and parents their due process rights and ensure education is provided in alternative locations.

 

  1. School Curricula to Prepare Students for Family and Civic Life:

  • Resist state- and federal-imposed curriculum and testing mandates, such as Common Core and high stakes testing.

  • Establish a basic educator-developed curriculum to prepare students to obtain a NYS high school diploma and function productively as parents and in the civic life of their communities.

  • Offer a basic curriculum that is a mix of academic, technical, vocational, arts and humanities, and physical education to expand students’ educational horizons, explore their interests, and develop their talents.

  • Empower educators to diversify the curriculum to meet the educational needs and interests of their students.

  • Provide classroom teachers with adequate support staff and resources in the classroom to individualize instruction content and technique to the individual student.

  • Identify, catalogue and assess programs and services that are offered to students directly by the SCSD and via contractual arrangements to determine efficacy.  

  • Involve students, parents, families, school personnel, and community in program assessments.  

  • Discontinue ineffective programs and services.  

 

  1. School Assessments that Support Student and Teacher Growth:

  • Repeal state- and federally-mandated high stakes testing.

  • Support student and parental rights to opt out of high stakes testing until repeal.

  • Defend educators’ free speech rights to support the opt-out movement.

  • Establish and use educator-developed proven assessment tools to measure student learning and growth and teacher effectiveness.

  • Provide teachers with data from student assessments to guide instruction.

  • End data mining programs that provide private corporations with access to student and family data.

  • Replace APPR teacher evaluation systems with locally-developed assessments that provide positive feedback to students, parents, families and educators.

 

  1. State Takeover of City Schools:  oppose NYS take-over of City schools based on student test scores that categorize them as “failed.”

 

  1. Healthy School Environments:  

  • Offer nutritious school meals.

  • Ban pouring rights programs that use schools as vehicles for corporate promotions.

  • Ban vending machines that sell unhealthy drinks and snacks.

  • Develop farm-to-school programs with local farmers.

  • Develop school-based gardening programs.

  • Design student spaces to maximize natural illumination.

  • Test for toxins in building materials and by idling vehicles and provide remediation as needed.    

  • Integrate outdoor (non-classroom) time for students in all grades during the school day for recreational and/or education purposes.

  • Teach non-violent strategies of communication and decision-making to foster safety and civility and reduce force and violence in the schools and community.

 

  1. Modern SCSD Schools:  Implement Phases II and III of the JSCB, assuring appropriate community involvement in the development of modernization plans for all schools and appropriate representation on the JSCB by district and at-large Common Councilors.  

 

  1. SCSD Tax and Budget Authority: Support state legislation to give the “Big Five” school districts, including Syracuse, the option for independent financial authority to set spending levels and tax rates subject only to a public vote.

 

Section 3:  HOUSING AND NEIGHBORHOODS

 

  1. Quality, Affording Housing for All:    

  • Creating a Syracuse Housing Trust Fund, capitalized in part by funds collected by City Housing Court, to develop and maintain code-compliant affordable housing for low to median income families.

  • Develop and maintain an adequate supply of affordable transitional housing with an interconnected service delivery system to address the root causes of homelessness for homeless and housing vulnerable populations.

  • Establish day facilities for homeless persons that offer meals, services and socialization when sleeping facilities are closed.

  • Assist owner occupants to maintain their homes using funds from the Syracuse Housing Trust Fund and other sources via grants and loans to address code violations and façade-related street appeal.    

  • Improve code enforcement with tools to force remediation of code deficiencies in rental housing, such as using rents and fines to remediate deficiencies.

 

  1. Neighborhood Quality of Life

  • Reduce the number of vacant properties blighting Syracuse’s neighborhoods by implementing a Vacant Property Registry requiring vacant property owners to pay escalating fees to retain them as vacant properties and incentivizing donations of houses to the Syracuse Land Bank.

  • Conduct annual program and fiscal audits of the Syracuse Land Bank to examine practices of taking homes, marketing homes for resale, and relocation of tenants of occupied properties.

  • Encourage the development of non-traditional housing, such as collectives, cooperatives, and tiny homes by amending zoning and code enforcement regulations

  • Permit construction of ramps in the front yards of houses.

 

  1. Race/Class Desegration

  • Require racial/class impact analyses of City Common Council ordinances and Mayor’s Office directives and operating department actions to determine how these actions impact (increase and/or decrease) race and class desegregation in the City.

  • Promote mixed income housing throughout the City.

  • Use zoning tools such as inclusionary zoning to integrate low income individuals and families into new or substantially rehabilitated market rate housing developments of five or more units.

  • Prioritize enforcement of fair housing through education and testing and add “source of income” as a protected class.

  • Amend the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program to increase access of eligible families to high opportunity communities and ease portability of vouchers across jurisdictional lines

  • Provide incentives to recruit new landlords into the Section 8 program, particularly from higher income neighborhoods.

  • Incorporate universal design standards into new construction and substantial rehabilitation to increase accessible and visitable housing.

 

  1. Safe Neighborhoods with Accessible Services and Schools:

  • Increase walkability through properly lit, well maintained sidewalks

  • Establish a municipal sidewalk maintenance/snow removal program

  • Clearly mark all pedestrian crosswalks and enforce crosswalk regulations.

  • Offer robust mass transit and car and bike sharing programs as alternatives/adjuncts to car ownership/use.

  • Request NYS authority to create resident on-street priority parking.

  • Bring police out of their cars and into the community with staffed police storefronts and walking and biking patrols.  

  • Enforce quality of life violations, such as illegal parking, illegal trash set out and excessive noise.

  • Provide receptacles in residential areas and business districts for trash, recyclables, and deposit cans/bottles.

 

  1. Neighborhood Business Districts:

  • Focus economic development resources on establishing and maintaining neighborhood-scale essential retail services in neighborhood business districts.

  • Prioritize worker- and consumer-owned cooperatives in neighborhood business districts.

  • Provide training, technical assistance, and financing for worker or consumer cooperatives.

 

  1. Recreational Opportunities:

  • Sponsor and promote activities that bring people together in socialization, recreation and celebration in City parks, libraries, schools and other public spaces.

  • Offer a mix of recreational and social activities in public parks during all seasons.

  • Take advantage of multi- and social media to the market recreational and social activities in public spaces.  

  • Run recreation activities leagues out of public parks.

  • Take advantage of Syracuse snowfall for recreational activities in public spaces, such as skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding.

 

  1. Greening Syracuse Neighborhoods:

  • Bring those with expertise to teach tree stewardship, gardening, rainwater capture, composting, and other environmentally sustainable activities in neighborhoods.

  • Create neighborhood composting sites.

  • Permit front yard edible gardens.

  • Encourage the development of edible gardens on vacant lots.

  • Establish neighborhood tool-lending sheds and seed and plant exchanges.

  • Reforest residential neighborhoods through tree planting.

  • Create greenways between parks and other green spaces.

  • Create and map a comprehensive system of bike pathways.

 

  1. Densify Syracuse Neighborhoods:  Identify zones within City neighborhoods to target housing development and neighborhood improvement, particularly areas adjacent to schools and neighborhood business districts.

 

  1. Rehabilitation and Deconstruction:

  • Require funded housing development agencies to exhaust rehabilitation opportunities before engaging in new construction.

  • Deconstruct houses slated for demolition through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to sell salvaged items for reuse.

 

Section 4:  JOBS and COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE

 

  1. Equal Employment Opportunity Program:   

  • Restore City enforcement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Program.  

  • Examine the minority/resident hiring goals in City of Syracuse Ordinance 302 in 1973 for Equal Employment Opportunity and update to correspond to the current demographics in the City of Syracuse.

  • Require a “racial impact statement,” in much the same manner as an environmental impact statement, to determine the racial impact of new and expanded commercial developments and closures.



  1. Jobs for All

  • In partnership with the state and federal government, legislate public employment programs to provide living wage jobs to everyone willing and able to work who cannot find private sector employment.

  • Pending enactment of a program at the state and/or federal level, enact a Community Full Employment Program providing public jobs meeting community-defined needs with priority for the long-term unemployed.

 

  1. Living Wage for All City Employees and Contractor Employees:

  • Update and expand the Syracuse Living Wage Ordinance to cover all City of Syracuse employees and contractors, including employers receiving economic development benefits.

  • Advocate for Onondaga County to pass a comparable living wage law.

 

  1. Community Hiring Halls:  

  • Create Hiring Halls as non-profits or through a municipal agency.

  • Locate Hiring Halls in or easily accessible to low income, high unemployment neighborhoods.

  • Require the City of Syracuse and its contractors adhere to a first source hiring agreement to seek qualified new employees at Hiring Halls, including CDBG contractors.

 

  1. Municipal Development Bank:

  • Capitalize a Municipal Development Bank with public funds and resident deposits.

  • Invest in enterprises with ownership structures that anchor businesses to the community, such as worker and consumer cooperatives, municipal public enterprises, and community corporations like the Green Bay Packers, where only residents have voting shares.

  • Offer training and technical assistance as well as credit to community enterprises.  

 

  1. Economic Development through Community Enterprises:  

  • Promote the development of community enterprises through existing economic development tools, such as the Syracuse Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO).  

  • Prioritize SEDCO loans for non-profits and cooperatives.

  • Create a cooperative incubator as part of the Municipal Development Bank to assist workers of new cooperatives to plan, finance, and start businesses.   

  • Use existing educational institutions to provide education on the development of cooperatives.  

  • Transform existing City and County Economic Development Zones into Cooperative Zones where economic subsidies and other benefits are prioritized for cooperatives or other community-owned businesses.

  • Amend New York State law to permit local government funds to be deposited in credit unions as well as the Municipal Development Bank.

 

  1. Democratize Industrial Development Agencies:

  • Guarantee labor and community representation on IDA Boards with one-third representation each from business, labor, and the community.

  • Prioritize public subsidies, tax breaks, and other incentives to cooperatives and community enterprises that are owned by workers or community institutions anchored to our community.

  • Require recipients of public subsidies, tax breaks, and other incentives to enter into Community Benefit Agreements with enforceable performance goals.

 

  1. Public Power

  • Establish a public power utility governed by a publicly-elected board.

  • Operate the utility at cost, not for profit, and charged it with planning a transition to 100% clean energy by 2030.

 

  1. Public Enterprises:

  • Create a community-owned broadband network.

  • Support the growth of Syracuse Community Radio to reach the entirety of Syracuse and Onondaga County, and encourage additional community stations to get on the air.

  • Negotiate a franchise agreement with Time Warner to use funding from franchise fees for a community controlled nonprofit to provide programming, staffing, and training in all forms of community media and offer cable channels devoted to Public Access, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) programming.

 

Section 5:  PUBLIC SAFETY and CRIMINAL JUSTICE

 

  1. Healthy Neighborhoods and Communities with quality affordable housing and living wage jobs where police work together with residents to assess neighborhood problems and craft responses.

 

  1. Opportunities for Youth:

  • Increase opportunities for youth in service and recreation at City parks, schools and community centers.

  • Integrate youth of working age into Community Hiring Halls staffed to assist with job placements and provide linkages to employment related services and educational opportunities.

 

  1. Community Policing:

  • Establish community policing units in city neighborhoods.

  • Use community policing to promote relationships and cooperation between the police and community members to work together to address quality of life issues as well as more serious crimes.

  • Create walk and bike patrols.

 

  1. Residency Incentives for Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters:  

  • Establish incentives to encourage City law enforcement officers and firefighters to live in the City of Syracuse.

  • Advocate for a change in NYS law to require public safety personnel to live in the City of Syracuse.

 

  1. Integrated Police Force

  • Update the numerical goal in the Consent Decree for African American members of the SPD based upon current demographics.

  • Target SPD recruitment to reach this goal.

 

  1. Militarization of Local Police:  Refuse grants and gifts from the state and federal governments to obtain military and military-type equipment for use by local police.

 

  1. Citizen Review Board:

  • Provide the Citizens Review Board (CRB) with the tools it needs to ensure that the Syracuse Police Department and individual officers are responsive and accountable to the community.

  • Assure greater transparency in the Chief of Police’s response to CRB recommendations

  • Strengthen the CRB ordinance to give the CRB the power to initiate legal action without the approval of the city's lawyer.

  • Include police cooperation with the CRB as an issue in the next police contract negotiations.

 

  1. War on Drugs:

  • The Syracuse Police Department should opt out of participation in federal drug policy enforcement.

  • Cease stop-and-frisk policies that result in concealed drugs being brought out in the open and thus subject to criminal proceedings.  

  • Adopt policies that encourage a medical response to drug use and abuse by health/mental health professionals.

 

  1. Racial/Class Disparities:  

  • Require all pending legislation before the Syracuse Common Council and County Legislature impacting the child welfare and criminal justice systems to undergo a racial/class impact analysis to assess how this legislation will impact poor persons and persons of color that is available to the public prior to a vote.

  • Use the offices of Syracuse Auditor and County Comptroller to conduct racial/class operations audits to examine practices to identify racial/class bias in the law enforcement/criminal justice system.

 

  1. Right to Trial by Jury of Peers:  advocate for a change in state law to require City defendants a trial by a jury of their peers from the same municipal jurisdiction as is the case in the towns.

 

  1. Restorative Justice:

  • Adopt a restorative justice approach that applies consequences for infractions and builds hope, responsibility and a sense of belonging as an alternative to incarceration

  • Assign those convicted of non-violent offenses to alternative, community-based programs including halfway houses, work-furlough, community service, electronic monitoring, restitution, and rehabilitation programs.

  • Use approaches that offer psychological and medical care and rehabilitation services for mentally ill prisoners.

  • Release prisoners too old and/or infirm to pose a threat to society to less expensive, community-based facilities or home.

  • Break the school to prison pipeline by changing school culture from suspension to restorative justice.

 

  1. Parole:

  • Treat parole as a time of reintegration into the community, not as a continuation of sentence.

  • Provide community reentry programs for inmates prior to release.

  • After release, provide parolees and their families with access to education, health and mental health services, substance abuse treatment, job training and work.

  • Inform people on probation that they still have the right to vote and parolees that they have the right to have their voting rights restored upon completion of parole.

 

  1. Juvenile Offenders:

  • Never house juvenile offenders with adults.

  • House violent juvenile offenders apart from non-violent juveniles.

  • Continue education for juveniles while in custody.

  • Do not put juveniles in solitary confinement.  

  • Raise the age for charging violent and non-violent offenders as adults to 18.

 

  1. Ban the Box:  

  • Improve Ban the Box in the City of Syracuse by including all employers.

  • Expand Ban the Box to Onondaga County.

 

  1. Public Defenders’ Office:  Establish a Statewide Public Defenders’ Office to ensure that individuals accused of criminal offenses are guaranteed their constitutional right to counsel.

 

  1. International Sanctuary City Movement:

  • Join the International Sanctuary City Movement.

  • Advocate for the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County to pass a "City and County of Refuge" Ordinance (also known as the Sanctuary Ordinance) that prohibits city and county employees from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with immigration investigations or arrests unless such help is required by federal or state law or a warrant.

  • Encourage residents, faith based groups and organizations to welcome persons from other countries into our community and to assist them to obtain material, legal, and moral support.



Section 6:  PROGRESSIVE TAXATION and FISCAL POLICY

 

1. Progressive Taxes for Public Infrastructure and Services:  

  • Replace the regressive property tax with a more progressive state income tax as the primary source of municipal funding for infrastructure, education and services.

  • Restore state revenue sharing to 8% of state revenues to fund state mandates and municipal services.

 

  1. NYS Single Payer Healthcare:  Adopt a New York State single payer, universal public health insurance program to replace health insurance costs borne by taxpayers in local government and school district budgets.

 

  1. Mayoral Impoundment of Appropriated Funds: Remove the power of the Mayor to impound funds appropriated by the Common Council.  

 

  1. Progressive Local Income Tax:  

  • Obtain state authorization to adopt a progressive local income at the County level with a fair sharing of revenues between the county and its municipalities and school districts.  

  • Seek New York State approval to levy a progressive City tax on income earned by residents and commuters who use city infrastructure and services while working at tax-exempt governmental, higher education, and health care institutions.

 

  1. Progressive Tax Reforms:  

  • Prevent low-income people, including low income working people and families and retirees, from being forced to leave their homes due to property tax burdens.

  • Establish progressive property tax rates based on the total value of each property owner's real estate, with reduced rates for farms.

  • Institute a property tax circuit breaker to limit the percent of income one must pay in property taxes to protect homeowners with limited/fixed incomes from being unduly burdened by property tax.

  • Establish a renter's property tax rebate that limits the percent of one's income one must pay in property taxes through rents, which include property taxes passed on by landlords.

  • Land Value Taxation:Study the viability of employing land value taxation, a system that levies taxes based upon the market value of land but not its improvements (homes and businesses).

  • Enact user fees for provision of direct City services, such as road and sidewalk repair/maintenance and trash collection, to be borne by all property owners, including those exempt from property taxes, similar to water and sewer charges.

  • Cut sales tax and replaced lost revenue with more progressive taxes, such as income and property taxes.

  • Institute eco-taxes on environmentally harmful products, pollution, and waste.



Section 7:  ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY

 

  1. Commit to 100% Energy from Renewable Sources by 2030

  • Plan a transition to 100% clean, renewabale energy in Syracuse and Onondaga County by 2030.

  • Create a public power authority to give local governments the power to enact a transition to clean energy.

 

  1. Sustainable Syracuse:

  • Promote ecological farming to provide organic food to urban consumers from family farms..

  • Promote community gardening & urban farms/gardening on vacant lots and front yards within the city.    

  • Promote ecological manufacturing through tax policies and investment strategies that promote eco-friendly manufacturing, including use of nontoxic biodegradables and recyclables, use of locally produced raw materials, and use of renewable energy sources.

  • Use tax and fiscal policies to promote construction and rehabilitation/renovation using nontoxic materials that maximizeenergy and water efficiency and are powered by on-site renewable energy sources.

  • Prioritize redevelopment and renovation over new construction and promote deconstruction rather than demolition through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to expand items for purchase at ReStore.

  • Conduct environmental audits by the City of Syracuse Auditor, the Onondaga County Comptroller, and comparable officials in other municipalities that run parallel to their fiscal audits to document the unnecessary use of toxics, waste of energy and resources, and identify opportunities for “eco-efficiency,” the greater utilization of non-polluting materials and the more efficient use of energy, paper, and other materials, that save public resources and reduces adverse impacts on the environment.

  • Develop a pedestrian/cycling greenway network linking parks, wildlife preserves, and other green space to all neighborhoods, schools, and shopping districts, and foster biodiversity in the greenway.

 

  1. Green Transportation System

  • Develop and maintain pedestrian- and bike friendly infrastructrure, robust mass transit, and car and bike sharing as alternatives to automobiles.

  • Replace the I-81 viaduct with gridded street pattern, using the I81 footprint for  mixed use development, including sidewalks, bike paths, gardens, trees, a central park, recreational space and retail shops with upper-level, mixed-income housing and without motorized vehicles.  

 

  1. Food Right to Know Labeling:   advocate for NYS to require labeling of genetically modified organisms in food by specific engineered trait.

 

  1. Exposure to Pollutants and Toxins:  

  • Require public notification of pesticide applications to enable the public to avoid exposure.  

  • Phase-out where possible, or otherwise minimize, synthetic pesticide use by local governments in favor non-toxic pest control measures that result in long-term solutions and save money over the long term.

  • Enforce regulations regarding clean air and water to prevent the release of industrial pollutants into the air and water.

  • Legislate a permanent ban on hydrofracking in NYS.  

  • Advocate for NYS to require labeling of food additives and genetically-modified organisms by specific engineered trait and function.  

  • Ban commercial and public vehicle idling when not being driven and restrict the use of fossil fueled generators.

  • Demand that the DEC use its summary abatement power to stop the transport of oil tankers on New York’s railroads until adequate safety measures are taken, including replacement of DOT-III tankers; two-crew minimums; shorter, lighter, slower trains; removal of volatile gases; and training of first responders.

 

  1. Zero Waste Strategy via Reduce, Reuse & Recycle:  

  • Impose “pay as you throw” fees scaled to the volume of waste reduction and reuse.

  • Create a robust reuse program for households, businesses, and institutions to reuse products that would otherwise be discarded in their current form.

  • Enact a Right to Repair bill in Onondaga County to provide greater access to automobile, electronic and other product design and parts for individuals and locally owned businesses that repair autos, electronics and equipment.

  • Require OCRRA to collect all plastics & styrofoam for recycling.

  • Ban one-use plastic bags and one-use water bottles in the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County.

  • Implement a “receipt by request” system for all retail businesses.  

  • Require take-out food containers and utensils to be recyclable or compostable.

  • Promote individual and neighborhood composting education and facilities, and residential reuse of composted soil

  • Require Zero Waste strategies at festivals and parks.

  • Provide public receptacles for waste in business districts and neighborhoods for placement of trash, recyclables, compostables and deposit containers.  

  • Provide incentives for materials recovery industries by targeting economic incentives to businesses that reuse, repair, recondition, recycle, or resell waste materials.

  • Impose green fees on non-recyclables at the manufacturing and/or retail levels.

  • Promote buying recycled and recyclables, especially from local sources.

  • Invest in recycling industries and infrastructure through the creation of locally owned businesses offering secure, living wage jobs to handle waste materials.

  • Provide public education & training on the 3 R’s: recycling, reuse, reduction of waste.

 

  1. Land Filling & Incineration:  

  • Phase-out trash incineration.

  • Maintain public control of trash.

  • Elect the OCRRA Board  rather than fill the Board by political appointment.

  • Reject offers to accept out-of-county trash for burning in exchange for sending ash back to that county for land-filling, including the current Cortland County Trash for Ash proposal

 

  1. Heal Onondaga Creek and Onondaga Lake:

  • Support the Onondaga Nation's Land Rights Action and its “Vision for a Clean Onondaga Lake.”

  • Return ownership of Murphy’s Island to the Onondaga Nation.

  • Develop a plan to reclaim the Syracuse waterfront on Onondaga Lake for public use.

  • Remove the western shore “White Cliff” waste beds.

  • Reclaim Onondaga Creek and lake waterfront for public use.

  • Complete the “Loop-the-Lake trail.

  • Support the transformation of the “Sainte Marie” historical site into a Haudenosaunee Museum.

 

Section 8:  ADVOCATING FOR STATE and FEDERAL POLICY

 

1. Progressive State Tax Reforms:

  • Retain Stock Transfer Tax revenue of approximately $12 billion/year collected by the Stock Transfer Tax enacted in 1906 instead of rebating 100% of the tax to the stock traders as it has done since 1981.

  • Restore the more progressive State income tax structure of the early 1970s, when the lowest bracket was half of what it is today and the top bracket was almost double what it is today. 95% of New Yorkers would get an income tax cut while the state would take in about $10 billion more a year.

  • Establish a Bankers' Bonus Tax, a 50% Bankers Bonus Tax on bonuses over $50,000, which would yield about $10 billion more a year.

  • Provide State Mandate Relief through state revenue sharing, with local governments to receive 8% of state revenues from its current level of less than 1%.  This revenue will make the state pay for its mandates, including costly Medicaid and public employee health insurance.

  • Restore the state share of revenues to 8% to cover state spending mandates to local governments instead of but routinely writing itself exemptions in each year's state budget to share less than 1%.

  • Enact a single payer health care plan to remove Medicaid and public employee health insurance from local government and school district budgets.

 

  1. Progressive Federal Tax Reforms:  

  • Enact a federal financial transactions tax.

  • Make the federal personal income tax more progressive and simple, with no loophole and equal taxation of all income regardless of source.

  • Finance increased social security benefits through progressive income taxes rather than regressive payroll taxes paid by workers.

 

  1. Social Security Expansion by increasing benefits and lowering the age to retire.  Pay for this by eliminating the cap on social security taxes on high incomes.

 

  1. Residency Requirement for Syracuse Police and Fire Personnel:  advocate for a changein NYS law to require Syracuse police and fire personnel to live in the City of Syracuse.

 

  1. Freedom Budget – A Marshall Plan for Cities:  create jobs and rebuild aging infrastructure, build/rehabilitate affordable housing and community assets such as schools and community centers, and preserve historical structures.  

 

  1. Economic Bill of Rights:  enact the economic rights President Roosevelt called on Congress to secure in 1944, including the rights to jobs, living wages, income and retirement security, decent housing, and good education.

 

  1. Carbon Tax:  enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax with revenue devoted to clean energy and returned to citizens as equal monthly “green checks” to make the tax progressive overall.

 

  1. “We, The People Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution:  

  • Obtain Common Council and Onondaga County Legislature approval of resolutions urging Congress to support the proposed “We, The People Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution in order to establish that people, not corporations, have rights and money is property, not speech.

  • Advocate for adoption of  the “We, the People” amendment at the federal level.

 

  1. Military Spending:

  • Cut military spending by 50% to the 2001 budgeted level and redirect those savings to human and environmental needs.

  • Implement a just transition for those who lose their jobs in the military and in companies with military contractors.  Displaced workers should receive full pay and benefits and retraining opportunities until they have secured comparable employment.

 

  1. Mixed Martial Arts:  legalize professional and regulate amateur mixed martial arts in NYS to better protect athlete safety and, at the professional level, bring sports business to the state.

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SyracuseGreens
As a political party we work to establish political action based on cooperation, rather than exploitation, on conservation rather than consumption, and on sustainability rather than short-term gain. We believe in an alternative, independent politics.