Resolutions Calling for Ethics Reform and the IDC to Return to NY Senate Democratic Conference
As we head to Saratoga Springs for the NYS Democratic Committee Meeting and Convention on May 23rd, 2016 we are delighted that our two important Caucus resolutions are garnering press coverage, most recently by Jimmy Vielkind in www.capitalnewyork.com.
While some may argue that these debates about State Party resolutions are a distraction from the more important work of electing the top of our ticket, we respectfully disagree. We believe that it is precisely by having these kinds of debates about substantive issues that we both draw in activists who are most motivated by policy issues and energize our own base.
Telling people – either directly through words or indirectly through actions that preclude meaningful interactions in Democratic party processes – that their opinions are unimportant to the party erodes the morale of our existing grassroots and alienates newly engaged activists. We need both sets of voters and party workers in the upcoming Presidential election and beyond.
Our Resolution for Real Ethics Reform in New York State Government has as its ultimate goal a viable system of publicly financed campaigns. The only way we can have true democracy is to ensure that each citizens’ vote has equal weight, and that corporations or other monied special interests cannot exert economic pressure or provide economic gain to those working in government.
Our other Resolution Congratulating Newly Elected State Senator Todd Kaminsky and Calling upon the “Independent Democratic Conference” to Rejoin the Senate Democratic Conference once again asks the IDC to come on home. While this a recurrent resolution of ours, it is again immediately topical in light of Todd Kaminsky’s recent election.
Democrats now have a majority in the State Senate. While we understand that this majority is a technical one, given the fact that Senator Simcha Felder is an in-name-only Democrat, our point regarding the new political balance in the Senate remains apposite. The Senate Democrats can now effectively counteract the Republicans, but only if they act in concert with each other as Democrats and as progressives. Unless, of course, the IDC does not in fact wish to advance the numerous pieces of progressive legislation that languish in Committee while the Senate Republicans are the powerbrokers.
We need your active support to ensure that both of these resolutions are voted out of the Executive Committee and come to the floor of the business meeting. If there is a fair floor vote, we believe each would pass.
Unfortunately all of the Caucus meetings are presently scheduled for the same block of time on Monday the 23rd, despite obvious overlap between the Caucus groups. To ensure that we have time to discuss these and other issues, we will also be informally caucusing in the bar of the Saratoga Hilton on Sunday May 22nd from 5:30 p.m. until the official welcome reception at 7 p.m.
As Progressives and State Committee members we obviously believe in working from within the party to advance social justice. But we need to convince a new generation of idealistic and motivated young people that if we work from within, we will be listened to and included. And that means making actual progress on critical issues, including campaign finance reform. Let’s pass both of these resolutions this upcoming Monday.