With the New York Democratic Committee meeting fast approaching on May 20-22nd , the Progressive Caucus will be submitting resolutions – in both a Caucus and individual capacity - to be voted upon in that meeting.
At the last State Committee meeting in October, we unanimously supported a resolution calling upon the Independent Democratic Conference of the New York Senate to rejoin the Democratic Conference led by Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
You can read the resolution below. If you wish to sign onto it , please click here.
Resolution of the NYSDC
Calling Upon The Members of the New York State Senate’s
“Independent Democratic Conference” to Rejoin the Democratic Conference
Whereas the Independent Democratic Conference (“IDC”) is a group of registered Democrats who won their State Senate seats by running as Democrats on the Democratic line;
And whereas the IDC’s members stated at its founding that it would be a better vehicle than the New York State Senate Democratic Conference to advance and successfully pass progressive legislation in the New York State Senate;
And whereas the New York State Senate Rules, as agreed upon by the IDC and Republican Conference in combination as the New York State Majority Conference, provide for legislation to reach the Senate floor for debate only when both Senate Co-Presidents give their consent, ensuring that the Republican leadership gets to determine whether legislation pertaining to key progressive causes like campaign finance reform or reproductive rights receive a vote;
And whereas under this arrangement, many progressive issues have not only failed to receive a vote, they have also failed to receive a public debate upon the merits of the legislation, including the previously referenced public financing and the Women’s Equality Act, which was proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and passed by the New York State Assembly;
And whereas the overwhelming proportion of legislation that reaches the floor under this arrangement is sponsored by members of the Majority Coalition, while bills introduced by members of the Democratic Conference do not usually receive a committee vote, leaving all Democratic members unable to fully legislate on behalf of their constituents' needs, and leaving those Democratic members in marginal districts particularly stymied in their attempts to conduct the people's business;
And whereas the IDC has therefore served as a deterrent rather than a catalyst for passing progressive legislation in the New York State Senate, and has in fact only further strengthened the power of Republicans within that body;
Therefore be it resolved, that the Independent Democratic Conference has been injurious to the Senate's Democratic Conference, the New York State Democratic Committee, the residents of this state, and to the enactment of real progressive legislation;
And be it further resolved, that the New York State Democratic Committee calls upon the individual members of the IDC and the IDC as a whole to withdraw from its coalition arrangement with the Republican Conference, and join the Democratic Conference where they rightfully belong, and seek to resolve their leadership differences within the Democratic Conference to which, in fact, their constituents actually elected them.