Author Archives: Daniella Liebling

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

By   June 18, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contacts:

Peter LaVenia, Co-chair, GPNY    chair2@gpny.org or 518-495-8001

Gloria Mattera, Co-chair, GPNY  chair@gpny.org or 917-886-4538

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

June 13, 2019, New York City—The Green Party of New York said last night’s vote on ranked-choice voting (RCV) for New York City Elections was disappointing, as commissioners voted 8-6 against applying RCV to general elections. Party officers praised the six commissioners, including Sal Albanese and Stephen J Fiala, who made a strong case for RCV in all elections for all New Yorkers.

Party officers also said they were disappointed in the position taken by Common Cause, which only advocated for RCV in primaries and special elections. The party said this was a puzzling stance for a so-called “good government” group to take, and made it seem like they were working for Democratic Party incumbents instead of the public interest. The Greens said they would support the fall ballot measure that would allow RCV in primaries and special elections because it can serve as a building block for extending RCV to general elections.

“The Green Party thanks the commissioners who supported ranked choice voting for all elections,” commented Green Party of New York (GPNY) co-chair Gloria Mattera, who lives in Brooklyn. “Despite overwhelming testimony supporting RCV to empower voters in all elections, some Democrats and influential special interests focused on RCV as a mere cost-saving measure to eliminate the need for a runoff election if a candidate in a municipal, citywide primary fails to surpass 40% of the vote. The claim that ‘fusion’ would combine poorly with RCV not only allows one of the worst aspects of New York political culture to stymie real progress, it also ignores that, from 1936-47, New York City used a proportional form of RCV — and it worked.”

“If RCV is limited to only primaries and special elections, it will largely apply only to the major parties who already have all the power, money, media coverage, and influence. Independent voters, along with Greens, Libertarians and other third parties who don’t typically hold primaries, will be denied the chance to equally benefit from RCV. We agree with Commissioners Albanese and Fiala, who said if RCV is good for some elections it should be good for all of them,” commented GPNY co-chair Peter LaVenia. All of the commissioners who voted against RCV for regular, general elections were appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Six commissioners voted in favor of the amendment to include RCV in general elections:

  • Sal Albanese, appointed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
  • James Caras, appointed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
  • Stephen J. Fiala, appointed by Staten Island Borough President James Oddo
  • Rev. Clinton Miller, appointed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
  • Sateesh Nori, appointed by former Public Advocate Letitia James
  • James Vacca, appointed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Eight commissioners voted against the amendment to include RCV in general elections:

  • Dr. Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, appointed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
  • Commission Chair Gail Benjamin, appointed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
  • Lisette Camilo, appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio
  • Paula Gavin, appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio
  • Lindsay Greene, appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio
  • Alison Hirsh, appointed by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
  • Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, appointed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
  • Carl Weisbrod, appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio

###

SAVE THE DATE
GPBK Membership Meeting (and Party!)
Tuesday evening, June 25

We’re getting together at the Park Slope home of one of our Green members, where we’ll have food and drink, and talk about the issues we’d like to work on in the coming months. RSVP to gloria@gpbk.org for the address.

Support Our Party
Help grow the Green Party by becoming a supporting member or sustainer, or with a one-time donation. Thank you!

For more information contact Gloria Mattera at gloria@gpbk.org or 917-886-4538.

Learn more or join our mail list for local updates at Green Party of Brooklyn, or get statewide news from the Green Party of New York.

Pride Fair Sat & Membership Mtg. June 25th!

By   June 6, 2019
Calling All Greens and Supporters!

Come out and enjoy summer, celebrate Pride Month, and meet your neighbors at Brooklyn’s fun street fairs. If you can help at our Green Party of Brooklyn table for an hour or two, at one of the street fairs listed below, please get in touch with Dani at 347-218-3107 or daniliebling@yahoo.com. Also on tap: our Membership Meeting is June 25 in Park Slope!

Brooklyn Pride
Saturday, June 8, 10 am-5 pm
We’ll be on 5th Ave. between 6th and 7th Streets in Park Slope, spreading the word about the Green Party and our support for the LGBTQI community.

Seventh Heaven
Sunday, June 16, 12-6 pm
Our table will be on 7th Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets in Park Slope.

SAVE THE DATE
GPBK Membership Meeting (and Party!)
Tuesday evening, June 25

We’re getting together at the Park Slope home of one of our Green members, where we’ll have food and drink, and talk about the issues we’d like to work on in the coming months. RSVP to gloria@gpbk.org for the address.

Support Our Party
Help grow the Green Party by becoming a supporting member or sustainer, or with a one-time donation. Thank you!

For more information contact Gloria Mattera at gloria@gpbk.org or 917-886-4538.

Learn more or join our mail list for local updates at Green Party of Brooklyn, or get statewide news from the Green Party of New York.

Send in Your Ranked Choice Voting Testimony On-line by May 24th!

By   May 14, 2019

We’re on the verge of getting Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) implemented for NYC elections! This would be a major step in making our elections fairer and more democratic. The final public hearing is Tuesday, May 14, in Staten Island, where we need you to come out to let the City Council Charter Commission know why we need RCV, not just for NYC primaries and special elections, but for general elections as well! Watch testimony from the Brooklyn hearing.

No need to sign up in advance to testify, but we’d love to know if you’re coming. Green Party of Brooklyn will be there to help with talking points.

If you haven’t been able to make it to any of the public hearings, please submit your testimony online. Every person who testifies will make a huge difference to this effort. And make sure to mention the need for RCV in NYC’s general elections!

Staten Island Borough Hearing –Tuesday, May 14, 6 pm

College of Staten Island

Center for the Arts

Bldg. 1P, Room 116, Williamson Theatre

2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island

2019 Charter Commission

Also coming up…

Lobby Day in Albany!

Tuesday, May 21

10:30 am-4 pm

Hit the road to Albany with the Green Party of New York as we lobby for Green issues and send a strong message to state legislators on climate change, marijuana legalization, election reform, and single-payer healthcare. After lunch, we’ll join other groups to lobby for the Off Fossil Fuels Act. GPNY is organizing a bus to Albany and back for the day ($25). Let us know if you can join by emailing peter.lavenia@gmail.com.

Support Our Party

Help grow the Green Party by becoming a supporting member or sustainer, or with a one-time donation. Thank you!

For more information contact Gloria Mattera at gloria@gpbk.org or 917-886-4538.

Learn more or join our mail list for local updates at Green Party of Brooklyn, or get statewide news from the Green Party of New York.

Update on NYC Ranked Choice Voting Hearings!

By   April 28, 2019
 

JOIN US TO TESTIFY TO BRING RANKED CHOICE VOTING TO NYC!!!

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), the fair voting system, is on the table for NYC elections! Public hearings on revising the City Charter to include RCV are upon us, with the first one on Tuesday evening, April 30. Join us Tuesday, or at any of the other hearings coming up in the next two weeks, to tell the City Council Charter Commission why we need RCV!

You don’t need to sign up in advance to testify, but we’d love to know if you’re coming, to make sure Green voices are heard at all five hearings (one in each borough). Stay tuned for talking points!

Read on for dates and locations:

Queens Borough Hearing
Tuesday, April 30, 6 pm

Jamaica Performing Arts Center
153-10 Jamaica Ave., Queens
Facebook
2019 Charter Commission

Brooklyn Borough Hearing
Thursday, May 2, 6 pm

Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn
Facebook
2019 Charter Commission

Bronx Borough Hearing
Tuesday, May 7, 6 pm

Lehman College
Speech & Theatre Bldg., Lovinger Theatre
250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Bronx
2019 Charter Commission

Manhattan Borough Hearing
Thursday, May 9, 6 pm

City Hall, Council Chambers
City Hall Park, Manhattan
2019 Charter Commission

Staten Island Borough Hearing
Tuesday, May 14, 6 pm

College of Staten Island
Center for the Arts
Bldg. 1P, Room 116, Williamson Theatre
2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island
2019 Charter Commission

Also…
NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally

Saturday, May 4, 11 am
Broadway and 32nd St., Manhattan
Green Party of New York returns as a co-sponsor of the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally. Join other Greens calling for an end to the drug war and to ensure that historically oppressed communities are the first to enjoy the economic benefits from the sale of organic cannabis. Let us know if you can make it by emailinggloria@gpbk.org! Speakers start at 11 am, including GPNY Co-Chair Gloria Mattera, who helps kick off the parade.

Support Our Party
Help grow the Green Party by becoming a supporting member or sustainer, or with a one-time donation. Thank you!

For more information contact Gloria Mattera at gloria@gpbk.org or 917-886-4538.

Learn more or join our mail list for local updates at Green Party of Brooklyn, or get statewide news from the Green Party of New York.

First Charter Revision Commission RCV Hearing! Tuesday April 30th In Queens!

By   April 24, 2019
Calling all Greens and Supporters!
Please join the Green Party and other groups like Fair Vote and Common Cause to push for Ranked Choice Voting in NYC!
There are Charter Revision Commission Hearings coming up in all 5 Boroughs. The first one is:
Tuesday April 30th – Queens – Here is the FB link to the first hearing: https://www.facebook.com/events/1008536986007695/
The other hearings are as follows:
Thursday May 2nd – Brooklyn (Borough Hall)
Tuesday May 7th – Bronx
Thursday May 9th City Hall (Manhattan)
Tuesday May 14th Staten Island
All the hearings are at 6:00pm.
If enough people turn out for these hearings and tell the Charter Revision Commission that we want RCV,
there is a REAL possibility that we will get the question on the ballot in the next election. If you can not attend
a hearing, you can submit your testimony at: https://www.charter2019.nyc/
Getting RCV in NYC would be a seismic shift to bring REAL democracy in our elections allowing our votes
to reflect our real choices, getting REAL progressives and Greens elected, ending the need for “lesser evil” voting, and the
beginning-of-the-end to money in politics.
Please read on to sign the petition, come out to the presser/rally on Thursday April 25th, and come to testify at
one or more of the upcoming hearings!
Here is the link to the FB page for the first hearing on April 30th. Come and testify!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1008536986007695/
Read on for more info!
*******************************************
Subject: Sign the petition! New York City Charter Revision Commissioners: Let NYC Rank!
Dear Friends of RCV,
Please sign Common Cause/NY’s petition telling New York City Charter Revision Commissioners to Let NYC Rank!
On Tuesday, February 26th voters in the five boroughs headed to the polls for the Public Advocate Special Election. A mere 7.7% of New Yorkers cast their ballot for the second most important elected official in the city. The winner, from a field of 17 candidates, won with a third of the vote. New Yorkers need elected representation that reflects the preference of a true majority.
We can make this happen by implementing a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) system where New York City voters are able to rank their top 5 choices for any primary or special election when more than two candidates are on the ballot.
Why RCV? Ranked choice voting allows voters to express their preferences for a variety of candidates by ranking them from first to last choice. If on election day when all the first-choices are counted there is one candidate who collects a majority of the vote, that candidate wins. If there’s no majority, then the last-place candidate is eliminated and their votes re-allocated according to voter preferences. The process is repeated until there’s a majority winner. Learn more here.
Can you join me and take action? Click here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/let-nyc-rank?source=email&
Thanks!
GPBK

 

Stop the Williams Pipeline and Learn about the State GP Platform!

By   April 14, 2019

Join us April 17 to talk about revisions to our New York State platform. Help stop the Williams natural gas pipeline at a rally and march April 18. Get ready for hearings on Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).

Dine & Discuss: GPNY Platform
Wednesday, April 17, 6:30 pm
Gather at the home of one our members in Park Slope for a lively discussion of the Green Party of New York platform, which is being revised in preparation for finalization on May 11. The platform covers everything from renewable energy to health care, and your input is welcome!
RSVP to receive the address.
If you can’t join us April 17, or want to get a head start, view and comment on the latest platform draft online.

Rally and March to Stop the Williams Pipeline
Thursday, April 18, 5:30 pm
New York City Hall, then march across the Brooklyn Bridge
The deadline is fast approaching for Governor Cuomo to decide whether to block or permit the Williams pipeline, which would carry fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania across the Lower Bay of New York’s harbor. Come to a rally and march to oppose this dangerous project.

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) Follow-Up
At our March 3 forum, experts answered questions about RCV, the fair voting system under consideration for NYC elections. To keep the momentum going, we’re gearing up for the City Council Charter Commission public hearings on implementing RCV. We’re planning a workshop on writing Green Party talking points for the hearings, as well as a little practice on presenting testimony. Stay tuned for dates for the workshop and hearings.

Support Our Party
Help grow the Green Party by becoming a supporting member or sustainer, or with a one-time donation. Thank you!

For more information contact Gloria Mattera at gloria@gpbk.org or 917-886-4538.

Learn more or join our mail list for local updates at Green Party of Brooklyn, or get statewide news from the Green Party of New York.

Ranked Choice Voting Forum – Sunday March 3rd, 6pm

By   February 7, 2019

                                                                    Ranked Choice Voting (RCV)

                                        Community Forum & Discussion Sunday March 3rd, 2019 6pm-8pm

                                    Ranked Choice Voting—Count Every Vote and Make Every Vote Count!

Please join the Green Party of Brooklyn for a community forum and discussion:

Will New York City adopt a new voting system that gives voters more choice and eliminates fear of “vote splitting”? Imagine an electoral system where voters have the freedom to choose candidates who share their vision, instead of the “least offensive” candidate.

RCV is that system!

The New York City Council Charter Revision Commission is exploring the use of RCV. Public hearings begin in early spring.

The Green Party is prepared to help New Yorkers learn more about RCV and to advocate for its use in all New York City elections.

What is RCV? How does it work? Why is it better?

RCV is a fair representation voting system where voters maximize the effectiveness of their vote by ranking candidates in single-and multi-seat districts. RCV gives like-minded voters the chance to win legislative seats in proportion to their share of the population, unlike this country’s current system of winner-take-all elections, which awards 100% of power to a 50.1% majority of voters. Australia and Ireland as well as U.S. cities like Minneapolis and Cambridge use ranked choice voting to elect their governments. The State of Maine also recently elected to use RCV for all future elections.

Although RCV alone will increase voter choice, the Green Party believes that true democratization of elections also means breaking the two-party stranglehold through proportional representation (PR), which often works in conjunction with RCV.  PR is less likely to be addressed by the upcoming charter revision hearings. However, it is important to include it within the discussion. PR previously existed in NYC elections from 1938 to 1947. It was abolished largely from pressure by the Democrats who wanted to prevent any further City Council wins by Communists and Socialists.

Join us to:

*Learn about RCV and proportional representation *Prepare for public testimony* Build a movement for democratizing elections*

When: Sunday, March 3rd, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Where: The Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Contact: Gloria at gloria@gpbk.com or at (917) 886-4538

Speakers: Green Party, Fair Vote, others TBA

Thursday January 10th – First GPBK Meeting of 2019!

By   January 7, 2019

Dear Greens and Supporters,

Please join us this Thursday January 10th from 7:00pm-9:00pm for:

The first Green Party of Brooklyn Meeting of 2019!

Location: 31 Smith Street in downtown Brooklyn (second floor, ring bell).

Our agenda will include:

1) Nominations and Vote for new Officers and At-large Coordinating Committee members.

2) Discussion of upcoming Green Party actions and plans for 2019.
Members speak out – tell us about YOUR ideas and interests!

3) Discussion on the upcoming GPNY State Committee meeting on Saturday, Jan. 12 in Rensselaer.

Please Spread the word. All are Welcome!

For more information contact: Gloria at (917) 886-4538 or at gloria@gpbk.org.

New York Must Commit to 100% Clean Energy by 2030 – a Green New Deal By Mark Dunlea

By   November 29, 2018

Hello Greens!

Stay tuned for our 2019 announcements of local meetings and statewide activities including Mark Dunlea’s Climate State of the State in early January.

In the meantime, please read and share this message from Mark!

New York Must Commit to 100% Clean Energy by 2030 – a Green New Deal
By Mark Dunlea
The United Nations last month announced that we have 12 years left for an emergency worldwide mobilization – unprecedented in human history – to halt the use of fossil fuels and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. Failure to take such dramatic action increases the likelihood that human civilization as we presently know it will cease to exist. Floods, sea level rise, wildfires, heat waves and droughts will make parts of the planet uninhabitable.  Climate refugees will likely be in the hundreds of millions. Support systems involving energy, food and water will break down, leading to wars over such resources. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, could die.
There is no indication that Governor Cuomo or state lawmakers take this threat seriously or that they are prepared to launch the needed effort. Climate change was ignored by Cuomo and most lawmakers in the recent election. It also continues to be largely ignored by the media. New York’s progress on meeting climate goals has been pitifully small. 16 years and three Governors after Pataki set some modest goals for renewable energy, New York has only added 4% of the state’s electricity coming from solar and wind.
We need New York to provide national leadership by enacting the strongest climate change agenda possible. That is the Off Fossil Fuels act, which would immediately halt all new fossil fuel infrastructure, transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 (i.e., net zero greenhouse gas emissions), and require all new buildings to be at least net zero carbon emissions. (California just enacted the latter requirement while also requiring new buildings to be solar powered.)
The Act act not only requires the state to adopt an enforceable climate action plan with clear timelines and benchmarks, but for counties and local governments above 50,000 to do so as well.
The State also needs to take the simple but symbolic step of divesting its state pension fund from billions in fossil fuel investments as NYC recently agreed to do. A state carbon tax on polluters would help accelerate and pay for the transition to renewables. The Democrats and their closely aligned community organizations are poised to enact the Climate and Community Protection Act (CACP), a version of which has passed the Assembly since 2009. It builds upon an Executive Order issued by Governor Paterson. At least through 2030, the CACP largely seeks to put into law the Governor’s existing climate goals rather than improve them. It continues the traditional strategy of taking incremental steps that are seen as politically practical – rather than doing what is necessary to save life on the planet. It does not even call for the state to halt the development of fossil fuel infrastructure.
We witnessed a similar scenario eight years ago, when the Green Party picked up the call by grassroots activists to ban fracking of natural gas. The larger green groups dismissed a ban as imprudent, instead calling for a moratorium to study the issue. Fortunately, the grassroots had the numbers and the passion and eventually prevailed, with the big groups changing their position. One of the great things about taking climate action is that it has major positive impacts on jobs, health and electric bills – in addition to saving life on the planet. The only downside is for the fossil fuel companies – unless they move into renewable energy, efficiency or energy storage, as their own scientists urged them to do thirty years ago.
The NY Times Magazine recently devoted its entire Sunday edition to the proposition that life on the planet is doomed since we lacked the political leadership to take action to stand up to the fossil fuel companies. The NY Times may say game over but we say game on. We need average New Yorkers to step up and create that political will. Pope Francis was correct when in his climate treatise he said we could not solve climate change unless we also solved injustice, since it is the same mentality that allows the wealthy to exploit the poor that drives humanity to exploit the planet. We need to change our political and economic system, our values, to focus on meeting the needs of all not just enrich the wealthy.
We need to reject capitalism and adopt eco-socialism.  Continuing to allow the private sector and their focus on maximizing profits to determine our energy future will never solve the climate crisis. For the last eight years we have campaigned for a Green New Deal to transform our energy systems while providing millions of new living wage jobs and eliminating the air pollution that kills millions worldwide.
The Green New Deal has received increased attention in the last year. It made national headlines recently when hundreds of climate activists with the Sunrise Movement held a sit-in in Cong. Nancy Pelosi’s office. Draft legislation by incoming Congress Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for a ten-year transition to 100% clean power, with an accompanying committed to environmental and economic justice and public ownership and democratic control of our energy system.
We must push Governor Cuomo to make New York a true climate leader.
Mark Dunlea is the former Green Party candidate for State Comptroller and the chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund.

By   November 9, 2018

Howie Hawkins – Green for Governor
www.howiehawkins.org
Media Release
For Immediate Release: November 6, 2018
For More Info: Howie Hawkins, howie.hawkins@icloud.com, 315-425-1019 h, 315-200-6046 c
Michael O’Neil, michael@howiehawkins.org, 917-825-3562
Hawkins Declares Mission Accomplished As He Wins Ballot Status for Greens for Third Time in a Row

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, declared “mission accomplished” tonight as his vote total surpassed the 50,000 votes needed to maintain a ballot line for the Green Party in New York.

Hawkins successfully regained ballot status for the Greens in 2010 after they lost it in the 2002 election. In 2014, Hawkins won almost 5% of the vote, the highest vote total for an independent left party candidate for governor in New York history and the highest percentage since 1920. Today’s accomplishment is the first time that one candidate has won a ballot line for a third party for three consecutive gubernatorial elections in New York history.

“We have secured a Green Party ballot line in New York state for three consecutive elections by running our own candidates instead of running a major party candidate on our line. That’s a significant achievement in a system designed to create so-called third parties that merely function as extra ballot lines for the Democratic and Republican parties,” said Hawkins.

“But it’s too bad that corporate media gave Cuomo a free ride,” Hawkins continued. “They excluded the Greens from the news narrative of the primary and general elections. The Green alternatives to Cuomo’s terrible education, fiscal, transit, housing, and energy policies were not reported. Cuomo’s record was not subject to public debates because the corporate media succumbed to Cuomo’s dictates on debates. New York’s voters are the losers. They weren’t informed of all their options.”

Hawkins said that the Greens will now focus on organizing movements to push state government to adopt the popular demands the Greens campaigned for, including the New York Health Act for single-payer health care, fully-funding public schools, closing pro-developer loopholes in the expiring rent laws, tuition-free public college, and criminal justice and election reforms.

“The Greens will focus on passing the New York Off Fossil Fuels Act with the same intensity we put into winning the fracking ban in 2014,” Hawkins said. The NY OFF Act would block all new fracked-gas pipelines and power plants and build out a 100% clean energy system by 2030.

“The IPCC says we have 12 years left for a worldwide emergency mobilization to avoid climate collapse. We have already wasted 4 years since the Paris accord. The prognosis is bleak under either Democrats or Republicans,” said Green comptroller candidate Mark Dunlea.

“Our electoral efforts will now shift to local town, city and county races, where we can win more offices because it is harder for the pay-to-play money going to the Democrats and Republicans to beat local candidates who can go door-to-door to talk to voters,” Hawkins said.