Coalition Urges Support Of Progressive Agenda In Albany

Representatives of activist groups asks Senator Carlucci to back Democratic leadership in state senate.


Members of women’s, environmental, labor, community, housing, civil rights, and immigrant organizations spoke out Tuesday on the need for elected state officials to act on a variety of issues including raising the minimum wage, passage of the Dream Act for immigrants and implementing public financing of elections. The representatives included Bob Milone of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) 1107 and the Working Families Party; Sandy Oxford of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) 888, Loretta Manning and Yusef Belford of Community Voices Heard Power and Rockland County Legislator Ilan Schoenberger. 

They called upon state legislators to act on the progressive agenda passed by voters earlier this month. Milone specified they want State Senator David Carlucci (D-New City) to support the new Democratic majority in the Senate.  Carlucci is one of four members of the Independent Democratic Conference. Milone said the coalition was concerned about rumors that the independent Democrats might caucus with the Senate Republicans.

“We’re just urging him to help elect a Democratic leader in the senate,” said Milone, who said he has worked with Carlucci for years and spoke with him as recently as Monday. 

“The only way we’re going to get our issues on the floor and voted upon in the senate is if we can get all the Democrats together,” said Milone. “We’re looking to get the Independent Democratic Committee, the four members of the committee which includes our senator, Senator Carlucci.”

Manning said public financing of elections will make running for elected office an option for anyone.

“Right now elections are bought,” she said, adding that many candidates are wealthy. 

Manning said it should not matter what is in her bank account that determines if she can run for office but how the voters feel about what she is willing to do to increase jobs and raise wages.  A bill for campaign finance reform has been passed in the assembly but not in the senate. 

“Do the right thing,” she urged.  “Remember we’re the ones that put you there.” 

Belford also brought up the need to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50.  Milone noted that 14 states have a higher minimum wage than New York.

Milone said they have worked with Carlucci in the past and that members of the Working Families state committee plan to meet with him this week.

“We’re very proud of David and what he’s done in the senate so far,” said Milone, noting that Carlucci supported some of the issues the coalition identified.

Other issues on the coalition’s agenda are the Reproductive Health act, tenants’ rights, a ban on hydrofracking, criminal justice reform and indexing the minimum wage to inflation.

Schoenberger said, “ We need our state senators and assembly members to support the progressive changes which the people voted. We need to tell every member of the state senate and the assembly to work together with the governor to accomplish this progressive agenda which represents the will of the people.”

Oxford spoke about the Dream Act and how it would help young immigrants in the state.

A similar program with unions and other groups took place in New York City on Tuesday with one in Buffalo planned for today and another in Syracuse on Thursday. Additional coalition member are Citizen Action of New York, Democracy for America, Moveon.org, New York Communities for Change, SEIU 32BJ, Strong Economy for All, Tenants PAC and United New York.

Pat Godfrey November 29, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Let's start calling out who the perpetrators of these policies are. It is the democrat party. They want more government control and are doing everything in their power to get it. The press are also liberal and do not point out what they are doing. So we have a democrat dominated town, state, and federal government. What that means is higher taxes, inflation, less freedom, more welfare, less jobs. I feel for my children because they are going to have less opportunity than we had coming out of school. They are also going to have massive debt to pay off from our greediness. If it keeps going this way we're talking 70% tax rates? 80%?
Watchdog November 29, 2012 at 10:33 PM
OBAMACARE...The President said we will not have any increases in premiums. Empire just called my home for NEW RATES on Medicare Advantage which Obama said will not go up. GUESS WHAT! Premiums, Co-Pays....all going up from 15-18% across the board. What a TRAVESTY... to be misled by the President of the United States. I have a feeling that this is JUST THE BEGINNING!!! Seniors are cooked. County, Town taxes all rising and no more broken promises. We are if for a heck of a ride this next four years. The dishonesty is APPALLING!
Dan Whelan November 30, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Watchdog, that is not even the worst of it. The worst unintended consequence of Obamacare will be the loss of medical innovation and development of new cures and therapies. Obamacare takes away all incentive for the pharmaceuticals to research and develop new therapies. It doesn't matter, because the medical review board will be making decisions for patients based on actuary tables anyway
Dan Whelan November 30, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Nancy Pelosi asks: "Why didn't you read it before you voted on it?"
Watchdog November 30, 2012 at 01:33 AM
The shorter your lifespan...the better OBAMA likes it. We are in for a wild ride. He is out to change America as we knew it. Just how long it will take before people get sick of the lies and deception is anyones guess.


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