Join us this Thursday, Feb. 20th at 4:30 pm in front of our County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie for our Press Conference/Rally for Democracy-- if you agree that at the very least these eight resolutions below drafted by yours truly and co-sponsored by various members of our County Legislature's Democratic Caucus at least deserve an up-or-down vote and placement on the agenda for March Committee Day(!)...
[recall-- current GOP Co. Leg. majority prevented my/Dem caucus resolutions re: stopping county/city bus merger, stopping fracking brine on roads, and for Women's Equality Act from all even appearing on agenda for Feb. Co. Leg. Committee Day-- even though all had strong support in Democratic Co. Leg. caucus and had all been submitted on time to Co. Leg. offices in mid-January!]
So-- one more time-- again-- here are the eight we're focusing on for March-- help us make 'em reality-- and thx big-time to new County Legislators like Micki Strawinski and April Marie Farley for their support on these eight and more besides:
[important-- can't join us?...email all 25 of us-- at email@example.com; scroll down just a bit to see full proposed text of all eight resolutions]
1. To bring back our county's Human Rights Commission here in county of Eleanor Roosevelt
[co-sponsors: Barbara Jeter-Jackson, April Marie Farley, Alison MacAvery, Micki Strawinski]
2. To respect the wishes of City of Poughkeepsie residents and stop county takeover of city bus system.
[co-sponsors: Gwen Johnson, April Marie Farley, Micki Strawinski]
[co-sponsor: April Marie Farley; see http://www.100kHomes.org ]
4. To prevent fracking brine from being applied to county roads here in Dutchess.
[co-sponsors: Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, April Marie Farley, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo]
5. To endorse the new, strong, unanimous Feb. 4th resolution from the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors against new transmission towers and overhead high-voltage lines locally.
[co-sponsors: Micki Strawinski, Alison MacAvery, Barbara Jeter-Jackson, April Marie Farley; see below]
6. To endorse the New York State Conference of Mayors' efforts to increase state AIM (Aid and Incentives to Muncipalities) for towns, villages, and cities-- in opposition to Cuomo's latest skewed tax scheme (see www.StoptheTaxShift.org ; www.FiscalPolicy.org ; http://www.ABetterChoiceforNY.org ; www.NYInequality.org ).
[co-sponsors: Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, April Marie Farley, Micki Strawinski]
7. In support of Women's Equality Act in NYS Legislature: www.NYWomensEquality.org .
[Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Francena Amparo, Micki Strawinski, April Marie Farley, Gwen Johnson]
8. For new county law in Dutchess to protect tenants in apartment buildings from unwanted pesticides.
[April Marie Farley's idea; other co-sponsor: Micki Strawinski: www.PANNA.org ; www.BeyondPesticides.org ]
Thanks again to new Beacon Co. Leg. April Marie Farley for agreeing to co-sponsor resolutions from yours truly for all of these ideas for county-level initiatives below...
And-- new-- thx to new Red Hook Co. Leg. Micki Strawinski for agreeing to co-sponsor resolutions from yours truly on the vast majority of these below (no.'s #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15-- and stonger resolution vs. new overhead power lines and county law to protect tenants from unwanted pesticides!):
[again-- email all 25 of us at firstname.lastname@example.org-- to build support for ones you want!]
1. New, stronger resolution vs. new overhead power lines (modeled after Supervisors/Mayors resol.) www.HudsonValley-CC.org www.NoMonsterPowerLines.com www.ClintonUnited.org
2. Bring back our county's Human Rights Commission (here-- county w/Eleanor Roosevelt, NAACP too) www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/10/rally-with-ann-perry-mae-parker-harris.html
3. Forum to promote alternatives to prolonging county incinerator contract w/Covanta (expires this June) www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2013/0/speak-up-with-shabazz-jackson-thurs-apr.html www.petitiononline.com/zeroyes
4. Stop county takeover of city bus system (City of Poughk. Common Council want help from us on this-- thx to Gwen Johnson for her leadership on this; why isn't entire Dem Co. Leg. caucus on board?) www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2013/December/17/Pok_buses-17Dec13.html
5. Forum on importance of investing in youth programs/activities/education to prevent incarceration www.njafter3.org/edu/docs/Statistics_ResearchFindings-Benefits-of-Afterschool.pdf
6. Forum on proven, innovative ways to slash recidivism in Newark, Albany, and Brooklyn (not here yet) www.uptownmagazine.com/2011/11/mayor-cory-booker-save-newark-save-the-world/ www.PYHIT.com ; www.petitiononline.com/comalert
7. Forum to expose millions in county subsidies for large chain stores/restaurants paying poverty wages www.demos.org/publication/underwriting-bad-jobs-how-our-tax-dollars-are-funding-low-wage-work-and-fueling-inequali
8. Prevent fracking brine from being put on county roads (as Beacon, Red Hook, other counties have-- thx to Micki Strawinski and Francena Amparo on this)
10. Put specific groundwater contamination info about roads in towns on DCDOH website; warn locals www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-are-caldwell-steinhaus-gop-still-so.html
11. Follow example of Albany County and close large bank accounts with Wall Street banks like BofA www.bizjournals.com/albany/print-edition/2011/06/10/albany-county-legislators-want-to.html www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/12/fact-dutchess-county-has-50-million.html
12. Public forum on New Economy possibilities for Dutchess County to create jobs, revitalize economy www.NewEconomicsInstitute.org www.yesmagazine.org/issues/the-new-economy/clevelands-worker-owned-boom
13. Push Albany for effective property tax relief with circuitbreaker legislation from Krueger/Englebright www.abetterchoiceforny.org/CircuitBreaker.pdf ; www.FiscalPolicy.org
14. Enact Oregon-style "pay-it-forward" plan: DCC tuition-- to help working families send kids to college www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/education/in-oregon-a-plan-to-eliminate-tuition-and-loans-at-state-colleges.html?_r=0
15. Push for Women's Equality Act to be passed and signed into law here in NYS [thx to Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo on this-- but current GOP Co. Leg. majority won't even allow our resolution on this to be on agenda for monthly Committee Day unless someone in NYS Senate introduces companion bill!] www.NYWomensEquality.org
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BRING BACK DUTCHESS COUNTY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
WHEREAS, Dutchess County is home to the legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, long considered the mother of the international human rights movement, and the birth of the NAACP in Amenia a century ago, and WHEREAS, the Dutchess County Office Building has been rededicated to former County Executive Lucille Pattison; our county's Human Rights Commission is part of her legacy, and WHEREAS, literally hundreds of different Dutchess County residents used to contact our county's Human Rights Commission under both Republican and Democratic County Executive administrations annually for various reasons, and WHEREAS, women are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and
WHEREAS, folks with different sexual orientation are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and WHEREAS, senior citizens are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and WHEREAS, people of color are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and WHEREAS, people with disabilities are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature requests that the Dutchess County Executive work with the Dutchess County Legislature to find a way bring back the Dutchess County Human Rights Commission in 2014, and be it further RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dutchess County Executive
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STOP PROPOSED MERGER OF DUTCHESS COUNTY LOOP BUS SYSTEM WITH CITY OF POUGHKEEPSIE BUS SYSTEM WHEREAS, the duly elected representatives of the City of Poughkeepsie, the Common Council there, voted overwhelmingly in December against a proposed merger of the city bus system with the Dutchess County LOOP bus system, and WHEREAS, repeatedly dozens of City of Poughkeepsie residents have come out to speak up at Common Council meetings against such a merger, and WHEREAS, various well-attended rallies have also been held on this issue over the last few months as well; it is clear that the people themselves in the City of Poughkeepsie are dead-set against such a merger, and WHEREAS, Dutchess County government needs to respect the wishes of local municipalities and their residents, and therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature goes on record to publicly oppose any merger of the Dutchess County LOOP bus system with the City of Poughkeepsie bus system, and be it further RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dutchess County Executive, Dutchess County Transit Administrator, City of Poughkeepsie Mayor, and City of Poughkeepsie Common Council
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TO SAVE TAX DOLLARS AND LIVES THROUGH DUTCHESS COUNTY JOINING 100,000 HOMES CAMPAIGN
WHEREAS, 100,000 Homes communities have already moved more than 20,000 homeless Americans into permanent housing, transforming their public systems along the way; powered by Community Solutions and supported by a broad base of national and local partners, the Campaign helps communities turn their services systems into solution systems capable of ending street homelessness for good; as a movement, they are not interested in managing homelessness indefinitely, they are interested in ending it, and
WHEREAS, over 200 communities across the United States are participants in the 100,000 Homes campaign; participating communities do three things differently, as noted recently on "60 Minutes", turning lives around while saving county tax dollars: • First, they identify every homeless person on their streets by name. For several mornings in a row, volunteers comb the streets to survey their homeless neighbors using a questionnaire called the Vulnerability Index. This tool, based on leading medical research, helps each community build a database with the names, photos, health conditions, and institutional and social histories of its homeless residents. The resulting data allows communities to prioritize systematically, match people to appropriate housing subsidies and dramatically expedite the rate of housing;
•Second, they track and measure their local housing rates against clear monthly goals. All communities are working toward housing at least 2.5% of their chronic and vulnerable neighbors each month, a figure that puts them squarely on track to end homelessness in roughly four years;
•Third, they improve local systems to make housing simpler, faster and more efficiently targeted. Using quality improvement methods drawn from industry, local teams work together to set and achieve clear goals for systems change. Many communities have dramatically reduced the time required to house a single individual. Others have logged measurable improvements in outreach, resource targeting and service delivery; and therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature strongly urges that Dutchess County join the 100,000 Homes campaign to house all of our local homeless while saving county tax dollars, and be it further
RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to our County Executive and our county's Commissioner of Community and Family Services
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REQUESTING THAT DUTCHESS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS NOT USE HYDROFRACKING BRINE ON COUNTY ROADS WHEREAS, the Ulster County Legislature recently voted unanimously to ban the use of hydrofracking brine on roads there, and WHEREAS, Riverkeeper is also urging the state to ban the use of hydrofracking liquid wastes as an alternative to traditional snow and ice melting materials, and WHEREAS, some companies using fracking to harvest natural gas have offered the fluid at no charge to communities for use on roads, but Riverkeeper has stated that it has been proven to contain dangerous chemicals, and WHEREAS, the chlorides found in these fracking wastes are as much as 20 times more concentrated than commercial solutions; there is minimal chemical testing of these wastes before they are approved for application on roads and no testing whatsoever required after that approval; there has been no testing whatsoever for radioactive materials; ten counties have banned this dangerous practice, and WHEREAS, unfortunately, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has approved the use of fracking waste fluid as a deicing agent on highways in 13 western New York municipalities, and WHEREAS, unfortunately, the state has approved the use of fracking waste fluids for deicing, dust control and road stabilization, even though studies have not been conducted to determine whether there are harmful impacts, and WHEREAS, Riverkeeper's December report stated that the “extraction of natural gas using fracking produces large amounts of liquid and solid waste than can contain ... chemical additives, which may include ethylene glycol, naphthalene, and sulfuric acid; metals; organic compounds and other contaminants; fracking waste from extraction activities in the Marcellus Shale can also contain naturally-occurring radioactive materials such as radium-226 and radium-228,” and therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature request that the Dutchess County Department of Public Works not use hydrofracking brine on county roads, and be it further RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dutchess County Executive and Dutchess County Public Works Commissioner.
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ENDORSING STRONG STATEMENT FROM DUTCHESS COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF SUPERVISORS AND MAYORS IN OPPOSITION TO NEW ABOVE-GROUND TRANSMISSION TOWERS IN DUTCHESS COUNTY
WHEREAS, the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors February 4th unanimously passed a strong resolution February 4th that pledging ,"their commitment to protecting the special and significant scenic, historic, agricultural, and natural resources pivotal to Dutchess County's ongoing economic success and viability, and here do memorialize strong opposition to the construction or expansion of above-ground transmission towers through scenic Dutchess County in the New York Hudson Valley," and WHEREAS, also noted that they "urge Albany and the New York Public Service Commission to consider this initiative as an opportunity to consider all long-range options and new technologies and to ensure that all current and future projects are scoped, or re-scoped, to incorporate a well-publicized commitment to protecting the Hudson Valley's special and significant natural resources and viewsheds," and WHEREAS, the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors unanimous resolution also noted that "mitigating past viewshed damage to improve the Hudson Valley and restore value to towns and tax rolls badly damaged by poorly scoped utility proposals should be added as a consideration and objective of all projects, to bring direct and tangible benefits to proposed project areas," and therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature agrees with these strong sentiments from the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors, and urges the New York State Public Service Commission on this matter as well, and be it further RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the New York State Public Service Commission
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FOR INCREASED STATE AID TO MUNICIPALITIES (AND OPPOSING CUOMO'S LATEST TAX SCHEME)
[below text is almost identical to East Nassau resolution] WHEREAS, the New York State Conference of Mayors has expressed strong opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal for a freeze on property taxes within local governments, and WHEREAS, such proposal would require all local governments to consolidate services in order for local tax payers to be eligible for the tax freeze, and WHEREAS, the Governor’s budget again fails to increase Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM), a program whose funding has decreased by 75% since 1980, and WHEREAS, the state mandated property tax cap has limited local governments’ ability to raise needed revenue in order to offer critical services in a proper and safe manner. WHEREAS, local governments already proactively share services with other governments in order to streamline programs and save taxpayers money, and WHEREAS, in addition to sharing services, local governments have reduced their workforce by tens of thousands of employees through layoffs and attritions over the past four years in order to keep property tax increases to a minimum, and WHEREAS, local governments that have previously shed or consolidated services with other municipalities will not receive any credit for doing so under this proposal. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Dutchess County Legislature strongly opposes Part FF of S. 6359A / A. 8559A, and ask that the state budget increase AIM funding for local governments in order for them to preserve existing services and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be forwarded to our respective members of the New York State Senate and Assembly.
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FOR WOMEN'S EQUALITY ACT FOR DUTCHESS COUNTY AND NEW YORK STATE WHEREAS, the Women's Equality Act would protect a woman's freedom of choice, achieve pay equity, stop sexual harassment in all workplaces, allow for the recovery of attorneys’ fees in employment and credit and lending cases, strengthen human trafficking laws, end family status discrimination, stop source-of-income discrimination, stop housing discrimination for victims of domestic violence, stop pregnancy discrimination once and for all, and protect victims of domestic violence by strengthening order-of-protection laws, and WHEREAS, recent polls prove that eighty-nine percent of New York voters agreed that equal pay for women should be a high priority for state leaders, and 80% support updating New York’s abortion law, and WHEREAS, the Women's Equality Act coalition, which includes the support of 860 women’s groups, businesses, religious organizations, medical groups, and advocacy organizations from across the state, is united in its efforts to mobilize New Yorkers and push legislators to get the job done in 2014, and WHEREAS, the measures of the Women’s Equality Agenda reflect the complexity of women’s lives–securing equal pay, access to reproductive health care, and freedom from discrimination and violence are all essential to women’s equality; New York State needs to update and strengthen its laws to reflect the reality of women’s lives today, and WHEREAS, members of the statewide Women's Equality Act coalition include Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Grace Smith House, Inc., Family Services, Inc., American Association of University Women - Poughkeepsie Branch, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, 9 to 5, ACLU, AFSCME, ALIGN - NY, Alliance for Quality Education, BALCONY (Business and Labor Coalition of New York), Center Against Domestic Violence, Center for Law and Justice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Center for Working Families, Citizen Action of New York, Community Voices Heard Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action at Manhattanville College, CSEA Local 1000 AFSCME; Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Center, Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, Feminist Majority Foundation, Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, New York State Academy of Family Physicians, New York State AFL-CIO, New York State Alliance for Retired Americans, New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, New York State Association of Electrical Workers, New York State Association of Licensed Midwives, New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA), New York State Community Action Association, New York State Laborers Health & Safety Trust Fund, New York State Nurses Association, New York State Pay Equity Coalition , New York State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior Leagues, New York State United Teachers, New York State Women, Inc. New York Union Child Care Coalition, New York Women in Communications, Inc. New York Women in Film & Television, New York Women's Agenda/Equal Pay Coalition New York Women's Chamber of Commerce, New York Younger Women's Task Force New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, and Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley (PPMHV), and therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature strongly urges that the New York State Legislature pass and Governor Cuomo sign into law the Women's Equality Act, and be it further RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Senate Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Dutchess County's delegation of state legislators
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LOCAL LAW NO. OF 2014, A LOCAL LAW PROTECTING TENANTS FROM UNAUTHORIZED PESTICIDE OR INSECTICIDE SPRAYING BE IT ENACTED by the County Legislature of the County of Dutchess as follows: § Section 1. Legislative Intent. This Board finds that individuals and their personal property are, or can be, unwittingly exposed to negatively impacted by pesticides and insecticides applied in their apartments. This Board further finds that pesticides and insecticides may pose health and safety risks to people, particularly children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with infirmities. The intent of this local law is to provide information to county residents about certain pesticide and insecticide applications to which they may be exposed, so that they can take steps to minimize such exposure to themselves, their families, pets, and property. It is intended that this local law be read and applied consistently with that section and all other applicable provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations promulgated there under. This law shall be known as the Dutchess County Tenant Pesticide and Insecticide Notification Law. § Section 2. Definitions. "Pesticide" means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. § Section 3. Notification Requirements for Application of Pesticides in Apartments There shall be no application of any pesticide or insecticide in any apartment in Dutchess County unless the tenant of that apartment has given written permission for that application, the pest has been identified, the pesticide or insecticide to be applied has been identified, and sufficient rationale for that application has been provided to the tenant. § Section 4. Enforcement. The Dutchess County Department of Health shall enforce the provisions of this local law administratively, provided that all sanctions, which shall be assessed after providing a hearing or opportunity to be heard, shall be as specified in the Penalties provision herein of this law and shall be payable to and deposited with Dutchess County. In particular, the Department of Health shall be responsible for neighbor and applicator provisions and the Department of Consumer Affairs shall be responsible for retail establishment provisions. § Section 5. Penalties and Administrative Sanctions. (1) A person applying pesticides or insecticides who violates any provision of this local law shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars for a first violation, and not to exceed two thousand dollars for a subsequent offense. (2) An owner or owner's agent of a multiple dwelling or apartment complex who violates any section of this law shall for a first such violation, in lieu of penalty, be issued a written warning and shall also be issued educational materials prepared by the Dutchess County Health Commissioner. Such person shall, however, for a second violation, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars, and not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars for any subsequent violation. § Section 6. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this law or the application thereof to an person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this law, or in its application to the person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance directly involved in the controversy in which such order or judgment shall be rendered. § Section 7. Effective Date and Filing. This law shall take effect on the first day of January after it shall have been adopted and filed with the office of Secretary of State. Within twenty days after adoption of this law, the Clerk of the County Legislature shall forward one certified copy thereof to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and one to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and one to the New York State Attorney General.