I am casting a protest vote for the first time in my life. I am voting for the candidates of the Green Party, Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones. I voted for Zephyr Teachout in the Democratic primary for three reasons: her position on education, on public integrity, and on the environment. And these are the reasons I will cast my ballot in November for the Green Party.
I like their platform on the issues that matter most to me. I oppose hydrofracking ( yes, there was a recent study that said that hydrofracking did not cause pollution, but the faulty wells dug during the process of fracking caused pollution; forgive me for saying that is a distinction without a difference).
Cast your vote as you choose. This is my choice.
BAN FRACKING: Protect New York farms from the air, water, and land pollution, climate change, and degradation of rural infrastructure and property values that hydrofracking of shale formations for natural gas would bring to rural upstate New York.
100% CLEAN ENERGY BY 2030
Build in 15 years a full clean energy system based on:
*energy production from distributed solar, wind, wave, tidal, hydro, and geothermal energy production, where every home, office, and factory is retrofitted to be a solar power producer;
*energy storage from electrolytic hydrogen, battery, potential, and thermal energy;
*transportation through electrified vehicles and rails;
*heating and cooling by electricity-powered air- and ground-source heat pumps, heat exchangers, and backup electric resistance heaters;
*an interactive smart grid to match energy supply and demand and sales and purchases of distributed energy producers and consumers.
1. END CORRUPTION
30 state legislators have been indicted or pushed out of office for ethics violations since 1999, including 11 since Governor Cuomo took office in 2011. Cuomo promised in his 2010 campaign to establish an independent ethics commission. Instead, we got the Joint Commission on Public Integrity (JCOPE) and the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC), both of which are compromised by segmented jurisdictions and leadership appointed by and staffing drawn from staffs of the very politicians they are supposed to monitor. Then in 2014 Cuomo shut down the Moreland Commission to investigate public corruption before it could complete its work. We need strong ethics reforms to end this epidemic of corruption.
2. RECONVENE THE MORELAND COMMISSION
Bring the Moreland Commission back to finish the investigations it began. Give it the funding it needs and the autonomy to let the commissioners hire staff this time without interference from the governor’s office or the legislature.
3. ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT STATE ETHICS COMMISSION
Establish a truly independent ethics commission with comprehensive responsibility for ethics enforcement. Give it the resources necessary to vigorously investigate and punish ethics rules violations by members of both the executive and legislative branches. Operate it under the following rules:
No elected officials on its governing board.
A five-year revolving door restriction for recent politicians or their staff members to serve as board or staff for the Ethics Commission.
Apply Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Laws to the Ethics Commission.
4. FUND ETHICS ENFORCEMENT BY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
County DAs need additional resources in order to enforce public ethics laws in addition to their work on street crime.
5. FULL TIME LEGISLATURE
Bar income from outside work while serving a term in office. Legislators should be public servants, not politicians getting rich from the work (show or no-show) they secure because they are legislators who influence legislation. They should devote their full time to the people’s business.
QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL
Fully fund public schools with an equitable state aid formula.
Eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment and the state-mandated local tax cap.
100% Foundation Aid for public schools.
Fully funded, full day, and developmentally appropriate Universal Pre-K and Kindergarten with certified and unionized educators.
Opt out of high-stakes testing for students, teachers, and schools.
Opt out of Common Core and Race To The Top.
Opt into common standards, curricula, and diagnostic tests written by professional teachers in the schools, not by outside corporate contractors.
Opt into teacher and school evaluation based on collaboration.
Opt into affirmative action to reduce school segregation by race and class, such as regional inter-district transfer programs.
State legislation to reduce class sizes and case loads.
Free Tuition at CUNY, SUNY, and Community Colleges.
The full platform is online here: