"Ten Reasons Dems Will Win in November"
by County Legislator Joel Tyner (Clinton/Rhinebeck)
[just submitted this "Valley Views" to Pok. Journal; here's hopin' they run it!]
With 56,111 registered Democrats in Dutchess and only 52,787 registered GOP, here are ten reasons why more and more locally (of all parties) are waking up to back our county government from Republican obstructionism (à la Kathy Hochul in 26th C.D.):
1. We Democrats know our county should be funding its Human Rights Commission (900+ complaints made annually to it); the Republicans have eliminated funding for it-- along with our county's Office of Consumer Affairs. Our elderly deserve more than lip service as well, but Republicans decimated our county's senior home care program and the Senior Friendship Centers in Millerton, Pawling, and Fishkill.
2. We Democrats know independent redistricting is crucial-- but Republicans repealed our law in their desperate power grab to gerrymander.
3. We Democrats agree with repeated Poughkeepsie Journal editorials that wells should be tested for volatile organic chemicals when property change hands-- as in Fishkill, East Fishkill, Wappinger, Rockland and Westchester counties, and New Jersey. Our own county's Health Department has found serious MTBE groundwater contamination all over the county just last year-- over six years after MTBE was banned from being put in gasoline. Republicans have stymied our efforts on this for a decade.
4. We Democrats agree with repeated Poughkeepsie Journal editorials that our county government should be cleaned up with the campaign finance reform legislation Rockland County has had in place since 1998-- a $100 limit on campaign donations from companies doing business with county re: amounts they can give to county officials and candidates. Republicans have rejected our efforts on this for over a decade now as well.
5. We Democrats know cost-saving innovations in criminal justice proven to work elsewhere, but Republicans are still bent on wasting millions of our county tax dollars on unnecessary jail expansion. Brooklyn's ComAlert system, recognized by the New York Times, has cut recidivism rate in half, Father Peter Young's program has cut recidivism rate for his participants from 69% to 8%, and Newark's fraternity for dads behind bars has cut recidivism rate there from 65% to 3%. Even worse, Dutchess GOP eliminated county funding for BOCES GED program in ou Jail (though endorsed by jail leadership), eliminated our county Youth Bureau's Project Return program, and ended county funding for the for Mediation Center of Dutchess County's juvenile delinquency prevention for troubled teens.
6. We Democrats sponsored a resolution for Dutchess to save $27 million annually for 110,000 homeowners every winter on home heating oil bills with a plan here similar to one already successfully run in Cortlandt, Putnam Valley, Somers, and Peekskill (saving $250 annually for each homeowner there)-- but the Republicans shot it down last February.
7. We Democrats sponsored a resolution for our county government to save $3 million annually for local towns, cities, and villages on the cost of health insurance for municipal employees without cutting benefits-- with a countywide consortium for this as in Tompkins County-- but Republicans shot this down as well last February.
8. We Democrats know (thanks to Sustainable Hudson Valley Chair David Dell of Poughkeepsie) our county could save $1 billion on energy costs over next decade for homeowners and business owners with energy-efficiency/renewables loan fund similar to what GOP-led Town of Bedford in Westchester has put in place-- creating thousands of green jobs and cleaning up our county's air (just ranked "F" for third year in a row by the American Lung Association of NY)-- but Republicans reject our efforts on this.
9. We Democrats know Dutchess now incinerates/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-- but Republicans continue to reject our efforts to save tax dollars with an eco-industrial park here.
10. We Democrats sponsored resolutions last year for a public jobs summit to turn our local economy around and a youth leadership summit-- but Republicans shot these down too.
Train's leaving station; get on board-- join DutchessDemocracy.blogspot.com, DanFrenchExec.com, DutchessDems.com!