[whoa-- p. 2 of yesterday's PoJo even has my pic there as possible Dem candidate for County Exec-- again-- my floating trial balloon on this has never really been about me, per se, running-- has been all about lighting a fire in you progressive folks of conscience all across grass roots of Dutchess to push for ten common-sense initiatives below that unfortunately too many Dems in power structure not pushing for-- so again-- let me know if you can be Firecracker for Democracy-- to push for some/all of these!]
[again-- just confirmed with my ol' WVKR bud Stu Millman of Millman's T-Shirt Factory in Poughkeepsie-- he's willing to crank out twenty beautiful new FDR Democratic Club of Dutchess County T-shirts (with big pic of FDR himself) for a bit less than $10 apiece-- but difficult if not impossible for me to place order for 20 of them unless enough of you all truly make clear to me that there's real demand for 'em-- so-- let me know if you're interested, and I'll order 'em; see http://www.WorldSeats.com/MillmansTShirtFactor!y ; join FDR Dem Club of Dutchess http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_149905961729495 !]
[Rhinebeck folks: email Marcia Slatkin at email@example.com; new Rhinebeck Progressive gp. forming!]
[recall below originally sent out to this list Feb. 17th]
Re: Dutchess Progressive, FDR Dem Club of Dutchess-- ten reasons to make 'em real!...
Thanx to 220+ of you out there already signed on to our Dutchess Progressive group on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=151387038233489 (join us; pass it on!)...
Here are ten more reasons for you all to sign on to Dutchess Progressive...
[tho I may not end up being County Exec candidate in 2011, we in grass roots need to push for these; it's become increasingly apparent-- county Dem power structure looking at numbers on board; join us!]
Fact #1: The Town of Babylon has been taking the lead across the state in creating green jobs by lending homeowners money for solar and energy-efficiency retrofits-- with those loans easily paid back, as the annual savings on electric bills is more than the cost of the annual loan-- why can't we do this here? Dutchess could actually save $1 billion over the next ten years for local homeowners and business owners with an energy-efficiency and renewables loan fund here as in GOP-led Town of Bedford in Westchester-- according to Sustainable Hudson Valley's Chair David Dell-- while creating thousands of jobs, cleaning air, and cutting carbon emissions, revitalizing our entire local economy.
[ http://www.petitiononline.com/pacehere ; http://www.LIGreenHomes.com ; http://www.NWEAC.org ]
Fact #2: Clearwater, Sierra Club, NYPIRG, and EANY have all endorsed an 85% by 2020 recycling rate for NYS and Dutchess as members of the statewide Zero-Waste Coalition; recycling and composting create ten times more jobs than incineration or landfilling, and our county now incinerates or sends to landfills $15 million worth of materials and resources that could be recycled, including plant debris, food waste, paper, wood, ceramics, soils, metals, glass, polymers, textiles, chemicals, and various items for reuse-- why can't at least our county's Democrats endorse an 85% by 2020 recycling rate for Dutchess?
[ http://www.petitiononline.com/zeroyes ; http://www.CECToxic.org ; NYS "garbage" is similar to MD's--
Fact #3: For a decade Dutchess Democrats promised voters that if we ever got the Co. Leg. majority back, that we would enact the campaign finance reform I convinced Dems in late 90's to embrace (with former County Exec Lucille Pattison) to clean up our county government-- a $100 limit on campaign contributions to county officials/candidates from companies doing business with the county; even the Poughkeepsie Journal editorialized not once but twice for this (in 2000 and 2004); my annual reports have documented since the late 90's literally millions of our county tax dollars in legalized kickbacks.
Yet-- our county's Dem leadership refused to follow through on this promise in 2008 and 2009-- why?
[ http://www.petitiononline.com/cleangov -- note, too-- polls have repeatedly shown this highly popular]
Fact #4: Dutchess could slash recidivism and save tax dollars (by avoiding tens of millions GOP want to waste on unnecessary jail expansion)-- with comprehensive system of re-entry and programming for youth; Newark, N.J.'s fraternity for dads behind bars has cut the recidivism rate there from 65 percent to 3 percent; Brooklyn's ComAlert (Community and Law Enforcement Resources Together) system, Lancaster County's job court, and Peter Young Housing, Industries, and Treatment are cost-saving too.
Six years ago county Dems picked up seats in Co. Leg. opposing jail expansion; why can't Dems now?
[join our brand-new group-- Jobs Not Jails(!)...see http://www.JobsNotJails.weebly.com ; http://www.petitiononline.com/comalert ; http://www.petitiononline.com/jobcourt ; www.FightCrime.org]
Fact #5: Philadelphia and Los Angeles are smartly holding local lending institutions accountable for investment/foreclosure prevention practices; even the Northern Dutchess Alliance's recent "Blueprint for Economic Development" recommends that local banks be held to high standard for county business.
There were over 1300 foreclosures in Dutchess last year-- why can't our county Dems support this?
[ http://www.MoveYourMoney.info ; http://www.NorthernDutchess.org ]
Fact #6: Dutchess County could save at least $1 million a year for local taxpayers with a Canadian prescription drug option for county employees and retirees-- as GOP Rensselaer County Exec Kathy Jimino has done for several years now there-- and also as in Albany, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties; Schenectady County saves a million annually this way-- with less employees/retirees there as well.
Why can't at least our county's Democrats embrace this proven, legal cost-saver for local taxpayers?
[ http://www.PetitionOnline.com/SaveOnRx ]
Fact #7: Columbia County GOP and Dems worked together last fall to hand-count all of the ballots at this past November's election and have held on to lever machines-- scrapped here in Dutchess-- why?
[ http://www.ETCNYS.org ]
Perhaps most importantly-- there have been massive cuts to our county budget recently...
[why can't our county's Dem leadership speak out strongly for progressive taxation to avoid such cuts?]
Fact #8: Unfortunately, the Democratic party's leadership at state and national levels (Cuomo and Obama) have just in the last few months already capitulated to right-wing tea party ideology and proposed deep, destructive, and unsustainable cuts to our schools, hospitals, libraries, low-income heating assistance and domestic violence programs and massive layoffs that will only make current recession much worse.
Why can't at least our county's Democrats be strong voice for progressive taxation polls show we want?
[ http://www.ABetterChoiceforNY.org ; http://www.FiscalPolicy.org ]
Fact #9: We could help local small-business owners and homeowners greatly by completely eliminating county property taxes (while avoiding the need for more budget cuts or layoffs) with a county-level income tax as in NYC-- Assemblymen Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, Marc Molinaro, R-Red Hook, and Joel Miller, R-Poughkeepsie, are all for a statewide income tax increase to eliminate school property taxes - there's no reason why Dutchess can't lead the way in New York state with progressive tax reform.
Fact #10: Dutchess CSEA's Shaun Chesley, Hyde Park's Doris Kelly, Rhinebeck's Marcia Slatkin, Ruth Boyer, Fred Nagel, Sandra Oldenburg, and Edmond Roberts, Clinton's Pat Zolnik, Carmen Region, Milan's Sheila Buff, Fishkill's Josh and Mara Farrell, Wappinger's Philip Banco, Rich Carlson and Richard Vineski, Beacon's Susan Osberg, Erika Waldron, and Dan Rigney, Poughkeepsie's Barbara Lindsey, Scott Patrick Humphrey, East Fishkill's Joette Kane, Red Hook's Cary Kittner and Doris Soroko, Dover's Nora Edwards, Bangall's Alison Francis, Millerton's Dianne Engleke and Joan Daidone, and Pleasant Valley's Sue MacNish have all endorsed this-- see http://www.petitiononline.com/cobudget .
....but wait-- there's more......
Fact: A Quinnipiac poll last summer found even rank-and-file GOP registered voters for millionaire tax(!).
[ http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2010/08/16/100816ta_talk_surowiecki -- 8/16/10 New Yorker]
Fact: A Siena poll just found in Dec. that a whopping 73% of New Yorkers across the state strongly support a millionaires tax-- while 74% of us are against even more state budget cuts to our schools-- while 68% of NY'ers oppose cuts to Medicaid and health care too; the richest 1% of NYS households increased their share of all income statewide from 10% in 1980 to 35% in 2007; we in the middle-class here in NYS now pay over 11% of our income in state and local taxes-- while millionaires pay only 8% of their income in state and local taxes (call Cuomo and state legislators now: 877-255-9417!).
Fact: A Marist/YNN poll just found earlier this month that the vast majority of New Yorkers strongly support a millionaires tax-- as opposed to Cuomo's plan to decimate state funding for education, healthcare, and other crucial services.
Fact: Last June a Hart Research Associates poll found by 4-to-1 ratio New Yorkers for millionaires tax.
[ http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=940073&category=state ]
And-- don't forget this-- from http://www.Quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml in late January:
"January 26, 2011 - New Yorkers Oppose Many Budget-Cutting Ideas, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds;
* 79 percent yes- 18 percent no oppose cutting state aid to public schools;
* 69 percent yes- 28 percent no oppose cutting Medicaid;
* 55 percent yes- 38 percent no oppose reducing state worker pensions.
From January 18 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,436 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones."
Fact: All of the following members of the Better Choice Budget Coalition stand in strong support for a new tiny millionaires tax (and at least partial re-implementation of a stock transfer tax on Wall Street as well)-- NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence, NYS AFL-CIO, NYSUT, CSEA, PEF, AFSCME, NY Jobs with Justice, Dutchess Outreach, NY Statewide Senior Action Council, NYS Alliance for Retired Americans, Interfaith Alliance of NYS, Interfaith Impact of NYS, Environmental Advocates, Citizen Action, NYS Community Action Association, and many more-- see http://www.ABetterChoiceforNY.org ;
thx especially to Hunger Action Network of NYS, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, Fiscal Policy Institute.
[if these groups don't comprise a coalition for core Democratic values-- which groups do?...wake up!]
Ball's in your court-- join 100's of Dutchess folks signed to Dutchess Progressive and FDR Dem Club:
[pass it on]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[surely I'm not the only progressive Dem here in Dutchess County who reads The Nation(!)]
Miss this one recently from http://www.TheNation.com ?...(it's appropriate right here in Dutchess!)...
[again-- if you missed link above-- join 30 others signed on to http://www.petitiononline.com/cobudget ]
Saving Our Cities [and Counties] with Fair Taxes
December 20, 2010
[press release here: http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/NYCCPC_Bush-eraTaxSurchargePlan.pdf ]
It's been a busy few days in Washington. While I'm thrilled about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the extension of unemployment benefits, I remain extremely disappointed about the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts to the very wealthiest households. It will cause us to borrow billions, do little to stimulate the economy, and increase the deficit in order to put more money in the pockets of millionaires.
At the same time, cities and states across the country are reeling. Federal stimulus spending is about to expire, and no new help is on the horizon. In Arizona, 1 million low-income residents lost access to Medicaid services, and the state stopped paying for organ transplants. Washington State cut benefits to 41,000 physically and mentally incapacitated individuals, leaving them just $258 per month. Hawaii shortened the school year by 17 days. Newark laid off 13% of its police officers. And states are still facing staggering deficits-California $18 billion, Illinois $13 billion, Florida $5 billion-that threaten deeper cuts, and perhaps even bankruptcy.
Here in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed laying off over 4,000 public school teachers, closing 20 fire companies at night, closing dozens of child care centers, eliminating over 2,000 summer youth jobs and leaving more runaway homeless youth to sleep on the streets.
So it is time for cities and states to step up. That's why the New York City Council's Progressive Caucus, which I co-chair, has introduced a plan to place a temporary city/state income tax surcharge on the wealthiest New Yorkers-precisely the amount of the tax windfall they are getting from incoming Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
We are encouraging other legislators around the U.S. to do the same. We will repeal the surcharge the minute that Congress and the President end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest and restore some tax fairness to the federal tax system.
Our proposal would raise over $8 billion annually. For that amount, we can keep the child care center open. We can avoid laying off thousands of school teachers. We can keep the fire companies open at night. We can keep shelter beds in place for homeless teens who are sleeping on the street. We can keep our libraries open 6 days a week (the Mayor's proposal would likely reduce some branches to just 2 or 3 days next year). And we could still reduce the City's budget deficit.
What will it mean for the average family? The 97% of New Yorkers earning under $250,000 will still receive the full tax relief offered under all the plans. A married couple with two kids earning $50,000 will continue to receive about $2,000 in tax relief.
For the wealthiest New Yorkers? A married couple with no kids, earning $500,000, would no longer receive the $3,000 extra that the Bush plan gave them (they'll still get over $7,000, much more than the average family).
Republicans say it's a bad time to have anyone's taxes go up. But look at it this way. The top 1% of households in New York have an average income of $2.3 million, and will receive an $80,000 tax windfall under the federal deal. They will likely save most of it, so it won't help our struggling economy.
Meanwhile, in my community, the mayor is preparing to close a 30-year-old child care center that serves 50 low-income kids, many of whose parents work nearby in downtown Brooklyn. Without child care, it will be hard for their parents to keep their jobs. Which choice is better for the economy and the future of our city?
We will still have very hard choices to make. The City's projected budget deficit for coming years is growing, so we'll still need to come up with more cuts. That is no simple task when we have already cancelled police recruitment classes, raised school class size and eliminated thousands of back-to-work and summer youth jobs.
But we will face fewer disastrous consequences-rising crime, night-time fires or kids who miss out on early childhood education that is essential to healthy brain development. We will prevent massive layoffs and reduce the risk of a double-dip recession. And we'll get a very modestly fairer tax system to boot.
National Democrats lost on tax policy. But common-sense progressives in cities and states across the country don't have to.