2019 Legislative Report Card: Marijuana Bill Still Leaves Many Vulnerable to Overpolicing

It's the Penultimate Edition of our 2019 Legislative Report Card Series, brought to you by GPNY Summer Intern Dylan Lynch! We've been breaking down what Democrats in Albany achieved (or failed to achieve) in the legislative session, with control of both houses and the governor's mansion. This week: Cuomo and the Leg decriminalized marijuana...OR DID THEY? (Spoiler: Only sort-of!) New York, over the past twenty years, has become what the Drug Policy Alliance calls the “marijuana arrest capital of the world.” During this time, in lamentable depths of the so-called “tough on crime” era, there were over 800,000 arrests for small scale marijuana possession with, on average, sixty people being arrested statewide per day for the offense. Despite the fact that marijuana consumption is rather equally balanced amongst race and ethnicity, Latino and African-American individuals consistently made up roughly 80% of those arrested on marijuana charges in New York City. And in 2016 that percentage was 85%, the highest since 2006 when it reached 89% under Michael Bloomberg. These arrests, no matter how minor the offense, leave longstanding records that hinder the formerly arrested/incarcerated from gaining or re-gaining employment and housing, thus further exacerbating the racial wealth gap structurally maintained by our “New Jim Crow”: the drug war and mass incarceration. Continue reading

Green Party On Public Campaign Financing Commission Meeting: “Pivotal Moment” for New York Politics

NEW YORK —The Green Party of New York (GPNY) said today's meeting of the Public Campaign Financing Commission, empaneled by the Governor and Legislature, has the opportunity to propose urgently-needed reforms to broaden and strengthen democracy in New York. GPNY officers stated they “support a system of full public campaign financing, broader than had been proposed by the Governor,” and the “banning of fusion.” Party officers also promised their members will express support of these reforms to the commission.  Continue reading

2019 Legislative Report Card: Solid Steps For Farm Workers and Immigrant Rights

Welcome to the third post in our series breaking down what Democrats in Albany achieved (or failed to achieve) in the legislative session, having gained control of both houses and the governor's mansion. We've been pretty blunt about the half-measures (or no-measures) the Dems have squandered their majority on, this year, but we want to show some appreciation for two bills that labor and community activists fought hard to get passed that will improve working conditions for farm workers and restore mobility and autonomy to undocumented immigrants in New York. GPNY 2019 Summer Intern Dylan Lynch explains. We speak of the United States’ rich history of militant labor struggle perhaps less often than we should, enjoying its hard-earned fruits without the perspective needed to continue to foster its vital legacy. We must pay close attention not only to this courageous history, but to how this movement continues to fight for justice into the present day. Fortunately, this past legislative session, New York added one more significant achievement to this longstanding workers’ tradition by passing Assembly bill A8419, the Farm Laborers Fair Protection Act, signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 17th.  Continue reading

2019 NY Legislative Report Card: Healthcare Justice

Welcome to the second post in our series breaking down what Democrats in Albany achieved (or failed to achieve) in the legislative session, having gained control of both houses and the governor's mansion. Cuomo says they achieved "99.9%" of what they wanted. So...what explains the New York Health Act for single payer going MIA? GPNY 2019 Summer Intern Dylan Lynch explains. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given our penchant for fostering violence, death, and religiously upholding the “infallible” market wherever we leave a trail, the United States willfully and irresponsibly persists as the only “major” nation on the planet to refuse guaranteed healthcare to all its residents through some form of single payer system. To this day, 30,000-45,000 people across the nation die annually from a lack of healthcare – more than the casualty equivalent of a “domestic” Vietnam War every two years. Nearly one million people remain uninsured in New York state alone, while countless more are woefully underinsured, incapable of affording skyrocketing deductibles and prescription drug prices (in fact, fifty-seven-percent of Americans cannot afford a five-hundred-dollar emergency without going into debt, and when we speak of crippling debt we’re really talking about a form of bondage to a system of predatory institutions). Continue reading

GPNY Demands Justice for Eric Garner

The Green Party of New York (GPNY) renewed its call for justice for Eric Garner in response to the Justice Department’s announcement that it would not bring federal civil rights charges against the New York City Police Department officer responsible for killing Garner, an unarmed citizen, five years ago today. Continue reading

2019 NY Legislative Report Card: The Climate Crisis

This post is the first in a series that will break down what Democrats in Albany achieved in the legislative session with their control of both houses and the governor's mansion. Cuomo and other leading Democrats promised "historic" results. Did they deliver? When it comes to the climate crisis, the answer is a resounding "No", as GPNY 2019 Summer Intern Dylan Lynch explains. The response to New York’s passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) should not be an unquestioning victory party, but rather a skeptical postmortem. The “landmark” legislation, which promises to cut carbon emissions by 85% of 1990 levels (the further 15% will be covered by carbon offset projects) by 2050, and the Democrats supporting it, practice and promote their own form of odious climate change denial. Theirs is driven by a neoliberal obsession with political “maturity” and “feasibility,” given credence by a political class determined to maintain current socioeconomic power structures into a “greener future” rather than fundamentally alter the relations that have led us into oligarchy and to the brink of climate catastrophe. The CLCPA is the type of milquetoast legislation that offends no one, does just enough to warrant calling it a victory, and changes nothing fundamentally significant about our political realities, present and future alike — leaving us perfectly set up for a “milder” climate catastrophe and potential civilizational collapse than the Republicans would deliver. Continue reading

Ranked Choice Voting May Come to New York City . . . But Not for Everyone

The Green Party of New York (GPNY) said last night's vote on a ballot measure to introduce ranked-choice voting (RCV) for New York City municipal primaries and special elections was disappointing, as commissioners voted 8-6 against applying RCV to general elections. Party officers praised the six commissioners, including Democrat Sal Albanese and Republican Stephen J. Fiala, who made a strong case for RCV in all municipal elections for New York City voters. Continue reading

Green Party Calls Proposed Public Matching Funds Proposal a Sham

For Immediate Release ALBANY—The Green Party of New York today called the campaign finance matching funds proposal put forward by the Governor an incumbency protection system, and discriminatory against candidates not running as Democrats or Republicans. Party officials said the legislature needs to pass a full public campaign finance system like Maine and Arizona. Continue reading

Green Party Supports Cuomo’s Effort to Expand NYPA Role with Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release ALBANY—The Green Party today urged state legislative leaders to drop their opposition to the Governor’s budget proposal to expand the role of the New York Power Authority in developing renewable energy, including providing electricity to CCAs (Community Choice Aggregation) and other public entities. “With time running out to save life on this planet from catastrophic climate change, this is not the moment for state lawmakers to focus on protecting the profits of private developers of renewable energy. This needs to be an all-hands-on-deck moment. Public ownership of renewables would speed up their development and reduce costs for consumers,” noted Peter LaVenia, state party co-chair. Continue reading

Green Party Slams Healthcare and Marijuana Omissions In One-House Budget Resolutions

For Immediate Release NEW YORK—Green Party officials said today that while there were some positives in the Assembly and Senate one-house budget resolutions, they did not move far enough or fast enough on critical issues such as healthcare, ending the drug war, and wealth inequality. Party officers said the Legislature needed to ensure it passed crucial legislation this session outside of the budget process, and that the party and its members would continue to press their agenda. Instead of moving boldly, now that the Democrats are in total control of the State Legislature, the Assembly and Senate budget resolutions leave important issues on the table. Single payer healthcare, for instance, has overwhelming support among the public and even a majority of Democratic state legislators, yet it still faces an uphill struggle and was not introduced in the budget. Continue reading

Green Party Agrees it is Time to Get Rid of Electoral Fusion

Albany, March 4, 2019 - The Green Party of New York agrees with Monday’s decision by the Democratic Party State Committee to ban electoral fusion, though for fundamentally different reasons. Fusion, often presented as a tool to expand democratic choice, is in reality ballot lines-for-hire used to entrench the two-party system and provide political cover for the Democratic and Republican parties. It enables patronage machines that masquerade as small parties and shifts power from rank and file party members to candidates and campaign donors. And it contributes to an electoral arena where it is all but impossible for legitimate, independent third-parties like the Greens to compete. Fusion breeds confusion. Continue reading

Green Party members testify at State Senate hearings on climate crisis

For Immediate Release  New York - Members of the Green Party of New York (GPNY) came out in full force to demand immediate and comprehensive action to address the planetary emergency of climate change at New York State Senate hearings held the week of February 10, 2019. Greens called for the elimination of new fossil fuel infrastructure, particularly the building of new gas pipelines and gas-fired power plants, and moving to a carbon-neutral, 100% clean, renewable energy economy by 2030. They emphasized the need for a just transition for workers and frontline communities most affected by climate change. Continue reading

Participate in Renewing the GPNY Platform

The Green Party of New York will adopt a new platform at our State Committee meeting on May 11, 2019 and the GPNY Platform Committee needs your help to create it! We are inviting all registered Greens in New York State, and GPNY Supporting Members not legally allowed to register, to contribute proposed planks and amendments to the draft platform revision on the topics you know and care about most. This is a great opportunity for you to help sharpen our message with a statement that speaks to the issues that concern you. We also encourage Green Party locals and affiliated counties to discuss and submit their ideas for the new platform. The current platform can be viewed and downloaded at www.gpny.org/our_platform. To facilitate our discussions, GPNY is using an online message board where users can submit and discuss platform ideas. To participate, please fill out the enrollment verification form. Upon verification of your enrollment (or eligibility to participate as a Supporting Member), we'll send you the forum registration link.  Continue reading

Green Party Denounces US-Backed Coup in Venezuela

For Immediate Release NEW YORK—The Green Party of New York denounced the ongoing US-backed coup in Venezuela as the latest in a long line of US imperial interventions in Latin America. Party officers pointed out that the Trump administration has been enforcing crippling sanctions on Venezuela and met with military leaders last year to plot a coup, which was openly reported in US news outlets. The US openly backed a coup in 2002 that temporarily deposed President Hugo Chavez, and the Bush, Obama, and Trump regimes have supported the right-wing opposition and its neoliberal plans for the Venezuelan economy. Party leaders said members of the New York Congressional delegation, including Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Representative Ocasio-Cortez should introduce a resolution to cut off all US support for the coup. Continue reading

It's Howie's Birthday, Let's Celebrate! 🎉

By Michael O'Neil This year I had the honor of managing Howie Hawkin's campaign for Governor of NY. I've worked on Howie's past campaigns, but this was my first opportunity to collaborate with him on a daily basis. I learned so much from Howie, and over the campaign my admiration for his dedication and courage only grew. Today is Howie's birthday, and I hope you'll help me honor Howie by supporting something he cares very deeply about. Howie Hawkins, perhaps more than any other Green in the history of our party, has been a staunch advocate for funding the campaigns and organizing we all care about so much through grassroots methods such as our Supporting Member Dues Program for registered GPNY voters, and sustaining donations from grassroots allies. I hope you will commit to giving through one of those methods today. How much would that matter to Howie? Let me tell you a quick story. Continue reading

Vote Green Party on Tuesday, November 6th

Vote Green Party on Tuesday, November 6th Row or Column D Howie Hawkins and Jia Lee, the Green Party Gubernatorial ticket are the only progressive choice. The only candidates will address the climate crisis and the economy with a Green New Deal for New York. Eliminate high stakes testing, fairly and fully fund our public schools and enact universal single-payer health care. Mark Dunlea, Comptroller candidate is a leader in the fossil fuel divestment campaign and is endorsed by 350.org NYC and Food & Water Watch Action. Michael Sussman, Attorney General candidate is an experienced and dedicated civil rights lawyer. Continue reading

Chris Hedges Endorses Howie Hawkins

Chris Hedges endorses Howie Hawkins and discusses the importance of supporting the Green Party as an alternative to the corporate Democrats and Republicans  

League of Women Voters Gubernatorial Debate 2018

Watch it again: League of Women Voters Gubernatorial DebateYouTube: youtube.com/LWVNY

Open Letter to NYC-DSA

To the Members of the NYC-DSA, We in the Green Party are happy to see that you are taking up the question of endorsing our candidates Howie Hawkins and Jia Lee for the 2018 New York gubernatorial race. We share with you the common goal of building an independent working class political force in the United States, even if we have chosen different strategies. We are pleased to see your continued commitment to that goal as expressed in your statement of September 28th, 2018 stating "we reject the illusion that the Democratic Party is, or will become, an institution serving the interests of the U.S. working class." We also appreciate your clarification of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez's statement endorsing Andrew Cuomo. The Democratic Party is a bourgeois party, and Andrew Cuomo is a bourgeois candidate. Endorsing him asks working class voters to tie themselves to big capital's representative in Albany, and the head of a thuggish machine politics connected to graft and corruption. We urge you to support Howie Hawkins. Hawkins is a longtime socialist and Teamster, endorsed by the Socialist Party and many independent socialists are active in the campaign alongside unions like the Buffalo Teachers Federation, and has committed radical union activist and DSA member Jia Lee as his running mate. His 2014 race had the best vote total for an independent left campaign in New York in nearly a century, and it helped push Cuomo to ban fracking. Hawkins has long made worker-control and democratic control of the economy a centerpiece of his campaigns, and was willing to openly proclaim himself a socialist long before its recent popularity. Continue reading

Howie Hawkins 2018 Campaign Video

Watch and Share Howie's Campaign Video #DemandMore

Green Party Mourns the Passing of David McReynolds

New York - The Green Party of New York State today mourned the passing of David McReynolds at the age of 88, long-time anti-war activist, editor of the journal Liberation, Socialist Party USA presidential candidate in 1980 and 2000, and former Green candidate for US Senate in 2004. He was a longtime member of the War Resisters League, and helped organize one of the earliest draft-card burning protests against the Vietnam War. Party officials said McReynolds was an inspiring and dedicated advocate for peace and socialism, and that he would be greatly missed. “I was deeply saddened to hear about David’s death. Long an admirer of David’s work, I was privileged to coordinate his U.S. Senate campaign for the Green Party in 2004. His unwavering commitment to peace and social justice was a foundation of the anti-war movement and an inspiration to us all. I remember fondly not only the rich political conversations and sometimes disagreements but also the wonderful stories of his time in the movement and of course sharing photos and the antics of our cats over the years. He was a mentor, comrade and friend. His gentleness, intellect, humor and dedication to peace will be missed by us all,” stated Gloria Mattera, party co-chair. Contact:Gloria Mattera, chair@gpny.orgPeter LaVenia, chair2@gpny.org

Green Party Nominates Howie Hawkins for Governor and Jia Lee for Lt. Governor, Mark Dunlea for Comptroller, Michael H. Sussman for Attorney General

At its state convention in a Rensselaer church on Saturday, the Green Party designated Howie Hawkins for Governor and Jia Lee for Lieutenant Governor. For Hawkins, a retired Teamster from Syracuse, it will be his third consecutive run for Governor. Hawkins finished third with 5% of the vote in 2014. Hawkins has been an organizer in progressive movements since the late 1960s and was co-founder of the Green Party in the U.S. Lee is a public school teacher and parent in New York City. She is a leader in the Opt Out movement against high-stakes testing. A UFT chapter leader, she is active in the Movement of Rank and File Educators, which ran her for UFT president in 2016 where she came in second with nearly 11,000 votes. The Green ticket will campaign for longstanding Green demands for single-payer health care, 100% clean energy by 2030, fully-funded public schools, legalization of marijuana, and public campaign finance. Continue reading

Green Party Statement on Eric Schneiderman Abuse Allegations and Resignation

ALBANY--Green Party of NY leaders said the allegations that Eric Schneiderman assaulted at least four women highlight the misogynistic power structure in Albany and our broader society. Party officers reaffirmed their commitment to Feminism as one of the national Green Party’s “Ten Key Values”, and challenging the patriarchy in New York State politics. Alongside reforms in campaign finance, elections, and ethics, party leaders called for a commitment to gender equity and accountability in the legislative and executive offices. Continue reading

GPNY Tells Cuomo We Need System Change, Not Climate Change at "Walk the Talk" Rally in Albany

Greens from across New York State rallied in Albany today as part of the "Cuomo Walk The Talk" event. Of course, Greens have are used to exposing Democrats who "talk" moderately progressive but "walk" to where the money is. Get involved with GPNY to learn how to build the grassroots power we need for a Green New Deal! Continue reading

Why I Will Risk Arrest on My Birthday

By GPNY Co-Chair Gloria Mattera On April 23rd I will turn 61. But that is not the big news. The news of the day is that I will be one of scores of New Yorkers who will come together in Albany from all over the state to demand that Governor Cuomo Walk the Talk and end all fossil fuel infrastructure projects. I always loved having a birthday around Earth Day because I have been an environmental and social justice activist. But there has not been much to celebrate when it comes to the state of our planet and the danger to all the species who live on it. Nationally, this country is slipping back from even the minimal commitments made by previous administrations. In New York, where the Governor likes to proclaim himself a leader on addressing climate change. we lag far behind other states in real action to reduce carbon emissions. All talk and very little meaningful action. Continue reading