Green Party urges prosecution of white supremacist groups for domestic terrorism in the wake of racist violence in Charlottesville.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States is calling for vigorous prosecution of white supremacist groups responsible for the violence, injuries, and deaths that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, August 12.
Greens said that the violence inflicted on anti-racist counter-protesters, including a car driven into a crowd that killed one person and injured more than two dozen others, was a deliberate act of domestic terrorism.
The Green Party strongly condemns the white supremacists and their rally and violent actions and expressed solidarity with all those who participated in the counter-demonstrations.
White supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations thrive on violence and threats of death and mayhem. They support a violent overthrow of the U.S. government and various forms of subjugation, expulsion, and extermination for all people of color, LGBTs, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and anyone who doesn't conform to their vision of a white gentile male-dominated society based on an extremist "blood and soil" ideology.
The violence on the University of Virginia campus was consistent with the openly expressed intention of white supremacist groups to provoke a "race war" and clearly fits the definition of terrorism.
President Trump responded by casting blame "on many sides," as if peaceful anti-racist protesters were responsible for the attacks they suffered.
The president's reaction betrayed the influence of advisors like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, who have ties to fanatical far-right, neo-Nazi, anti-Muslim, and white supremacist organizations. Greens said that Mr. Trump's loyalty to these staffers makes him unfit to occupy the White House. (On Monday, the president condemned "criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups" after widespread criticism of his initial response on Saturday.)
The Green Party counts nonviolence and respect for diversity among its Ten Key Values (http://www.gp.org/ten_key_values_2016) and has endorsed Black Lives Matter and its demand for racial justice. The party also recognizes and upholds the right of self-defense, in keeping with the Key Value of nonviolence. Greens support efforts to eradicate racism and other forms of discrimination, including removal of public monuments that glorify Confederate leaders and military personnel.
RSVP and learn more at http://votecetera-syracusegreens.nationbuilder.com/taste_of_sankofa_17
Come out and meet and greet the Green Party who will be tabling at the
Taste of Sankofa on Saturday August 19 from 11 am - 4 pm. The event
will be hosted by the Eat To Live Food Cooperative at 2323 South
Salina St in Syracuse. Green candidates Howie Hawkins (Mayor) and
Frank Cetera (Councilor At-Large) were both instrumental in the
opening and planning development of the cooperative retail grocery.
Happy Birthday Frank Cetera!
Frank is committed to economic and community development grounded in justice, cooperation, and sustainability.
To create a #SyracuseThatWorks, Frank is committed to:
Frank's Birthday is coming up next Sunday on August 6th and he is asking for contributions to the Greens 2017 Coordinated Campaign. Donate $30 which is the average monetary donation of our supporters so far this campaign season (or a multiple of $30 if you can!). The $funds$ will support campaign staff wages, will purchase lawn signs, palm cards, and buttons for our upcoming canvassing outings and volunteer needs, and help the campaign get off to a fast start. The goal is 20 Birthday Moneybloom pledges this week!
Being independent means respecting your own ballot line by not weakening your principles through fusion appearances on other party lines; as well as respecting others' ballot lines by not petitioning to appear on them when you are not a registered member of that party. That's what Greens not only preach, but practice, and it's indicative of our political beliefs, platform, policy, and progressive ideals for ballot access and fair representation. Unfortunately, most other candidates just care about getting their name on the ballot on as many lines as possible to overwhelm the voter. They therefore are now also no longer independent in any way, even to the ballot line of the party they belong to, as they now are answering to multiple parties with multiple interests. How can you really truly know where your candidate stands when they have multiple masters like this?
- Frank B. Pelosi, Democrat for City Court Judge
- Loretta R. Kilpatrick, Republican for Surrogates Court Judge
- Michele Pirro Bailey, Republican for Family Court Judge
Mix with the 2017 Syracuse Green Party Candidates - Frank Cetera for citywide At-Large Councilor, Serena "Rahzie" Seals for 4th District Councilor, Eric Graf for 2nd District Councilor, Howie Hawkins for Mayor. Featuring "mix-tape" music, mixed drinks, a mix of different party dips with veggies and breads for dunking, and garden tours. $30 suggested donation. No one turned away. Candidates will address the attendees as a group at 7:00 pm.
In today’s digital age it is too easy to spread inflammatory speech. My post about youth ATV riders on the Geddes St. sidewalks generated many concerning comments. Upon reflection of my immediate reaction, posting photos and language that stigmatized young people of color was inappropriate due to the fact that in the United States today, an encounter between young black men and police results in a disproportionately high chance that they will enter the system of incarceration or worse as we have seen with the recent police murders of Philando Castile, Charleena Lyles, and too many more.
I appreciate that friends and community members took time to help me understand the ways that my response was problematic. It’s up to all of us to acknowledge how we reinforce racism, even if unknowingly, and strive to dismantle those structures. I take full responsibility for allowing such statements to proliferate on my post of May 29th before I removed the post from public view on May 30th; and I will work diligently to condemn and prevent any racist speech on my websites and social media.
On this recent weekend of the Pride Parade and Juneteenth celebrations in Syracuse, it is as important as ever to recognize this, especially in light of the recent political events that have emboldened racist ideologies. Here is what I intend going forward.
I reiterate here, my pledge as a candidate at the TNT Southside Forum on May 31st, that I will work diligently to create a City where policing is a last resort.
I ask others to join me in educational and awareness work to understand the roots of challenges facing our city so that we can find solutions, to the issue of policing culture, violence in the community, and other quality of life issues such as the atv/dirtbike issue. As such, I have created a list of resources that can be publicly shared and added to collectively.
I will continue to speak out for comprehensive safety solutions as I did after the hit and run death of Seth Collier on North Salina St by Peter Rauch, a former Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office Investigator; and as I have done in neighborhood stop sign and speed hump advocacy for the NWS neighborhood where 2-year old Jameisha Stanford was killed by a hit and run driver.
I urge all of us, especially those afforded relative privilege, to reflect on how our actions contribute to reinforcing structures of oppression and to be willing to do the hard and patient work of finding solutions to end structural inequalities and create a harmonious socio-economic system in Syracuse where everyone lives a safe and dignified life.
NY Single-Payer Health Care Would Save City $80 Million a Year
Greens Call on Sen. DeFrancisco To Be Deciding Vote for Passage
SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR VIDEO LINK
Green Party candidates for city offices said today that the city and school district would save $80 million a year if the New York Health Act is adopted.
The New York Health Act would set up a universal health insurance plan covering all New Yorkers for all medically necessary services. It would be paid for by a single public payer financed by progressively graduated taxes on payrolls and non-payroll income in New York and federal funds now received by New York for Medicare, Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and Child Health Plus. 98% of New Yorkers would pay less on health care than they do now, with those earning less than $100,000 a year seeing the largest savings.
The $80 million annual savings would more than cover the $15 million a year recurring deficit the city operations budget faces with less than $20 million projected to be remaining in reserves by the end of FY 2017-18.
Standing outside the State Office Building in downtown Syracuse on Wednesday, the Greens appealed to Sen. John DeFrancisco to become the last vote needed in the state senate pass the bill. With the election Tuesday of single-payer supporter Brian Benjamin for the vacant state senate seat in Harlem, supporters of the NY Health Act are now only one vote short of passing the bill in the Senate, according a whip count by The Campaign for New York Health. (Photo Credit Michael O'Neil)
The Assembly passed the bill by a 94-46 margin on May 16. Three of the four state legislators representing the city of Syracuse support the New York Health Act, including Assemblymembers Pam Hunter and Bill Magnarelli and state Senator David Valesky. State Senator John DeFrancisco has been opposed.
The Greens estimate that the New York Health Act would save the city $42 million a year in current and retired employee health care costs and the school district would save $38 million a year on current employees' health care costs, for a total of $80 million in savings for the combined city and school district budget.
The county would save $54 million in employee health care costs and $98 million in Medicaid costs, for a total savings of $152 million, according the Greens' estimates
“The New York Health Act would make the New York economy, which now has the second highest health insurance costs in the nation, more competitive by lowering health care costs for businesses as well as government employers. It would also enable unions to take health care largely off the bargaining table and focus more on wages, working conditions, and pension benefits in contract negotiations,” said Frank Cetera, the Green Party's candidate for councilor-at-large, a business advisor at the Onondaga Community College Small Business Development Center, and a teachers union steward and delegate to the Greater Syracuse Labor Council.
Rahzie Seals, the Green candidate for 4th district councilor who works in the hospitality industry, said, “I need this plan and so do a good portion of the people in the 4th district. When we have coverage in our jobs, it is often limited and costly. And in an industry with high turnover and frequent layoffs, we are often without coverage between jobs. This plan will save us money and give us peace of mind.”
The Greens made their estimates using figures from the most recent city and county budgets and financial statements and a cost analysis by economist Gerald Friedman (Economic Analysis of the New York Health Act, April 2015). Friedman's analysis found that employers would pay an average of 8% of payroll. The city payroll is $118 million, the school district payroll is $226 million, and the county payroll is $240 million. To determine the savings, the Greens subtracted 8% of those payrolls from current health care costs – $51 million for the city, $56 million for the school district, and $73 million for the county. The difference between 8% of payroll and current costs is the estimated savings. The city number includes the legacy costs for retired employees. The school district and county figures do not include these legacy costs, meaning the actual savings are greater than the Greens' estimates. The county also saves $98 million in state-mandated Medicaid expenses.
The Greens' estimates assume that the government employers pay for all of the payroll taxes. The legislation actually requires employers to cover 80% of the payroll tax and with employees having the remaining 20% deducted from their wages or salaries. However, employers are permitted to pay part or all of the employees' share as an added benefit, which could be the result of a collective bargaining agreement. The Greens' estimate of savings is conservative because it assumes city, school district, and county employers will pay for 100% of the payroll tax.
The savings to local governments in New York has been a big selling point for the New York Health Act with municipal officials and state legislators. Albany city treasurer Darius Shahinfar has noted, “For taxpayers, we have an enormous hidden health care 'tax' in our property taxes. And the truth is this hidden tax is bleeding property taxpayers dry. . . . Astonishingly, health care costs are nearly half of our city tax bill, a quarter of our school district's tax bill and more than the entire amount in a county tax bill.” He said that with passage of the New York Health Act “every taxpayer in every municipality in New York would see similar, massive savings.”
The New York Health Act would cover all New Yorkers, including the 1.2 million people (6% of New Yorkers) who are uninsured.
The Act would save $70 billion for New Yorkers in 2019, a savings of 25% from projected health care costs. The savings and expanded coverage would be achieved through ending monopoly pricing by drug and medical device companies, administrative savings and reduced fraud from billing simplification, and eliminating private insurance company profits.
The plan would cover all medically necessary services with no out-of-pocket expenses, including:
Long term care will be added to the benefits within two years of adoption.
The Green Party state committee voted on May 20 to make the campaign to enact the New York Health Act its top priority. It has a webpage at www.gpny.org/healthcare with downloadable leaflets, petitions, and other resources.
The Common Council’s recent decision to defund the Greater Syracuse Land Bank from the city budget sacrifices long-term financial and community wellness for short-term budget crisis management.
In a recent report titled “Austerity Urbanism” (produced by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung New York City), University of British Columbia Geography Professor Jamie Peck found that “facing tax cuts and other revenue-slashing measures, these [municipal] governments have increasingly turned to austerity policies. This has translated into ….. less investment in the city, particularly in affordable housing.”
Common understanding of austerity practices is that it leads to an increasing gap in income inequality and “yet more marked forms of uneven socio-spatial development” - meaning our poor neighborhoods like the NWS, the southside and SW, get poorer, while our richer neighborhoods get richer.
How would more money for more police instead of Land Bank demolitions create such an outcome here? I could imagine that some developers and financiers would be more comfortable with more policing and the resulting influx of higher paying lease-holders and the extrication of poorer residents. In reality, we have enough police as the data indicates, over twice as many per 10,000 capita as other cities our general size; but doesn’t it look bad to those investors with the money that our police force is smaller by 100 officers than we were a decade ago.
This redistributive politics is taking our right for self-determination out of the hands of the people and into the hands of the police, and setting the precedent for future austerity measures that could lead to further privatization, and price hikes, of social services. This is not the recipe for A SYRACUSE THAT WORKS.
What we save in the short term will end up costing us much more (unless what we want is to become the next Detroit), as flaking lead from housing in disrepair continues to enter our environment, drugs continue to be sold out of derelict structures whom no one takes responsibility for, and our police force continues to expand into a larger and larger militarized force bent on strength in numbers rather than strength in deed.
This morning I took a short walk over to Central Ave, only a block from my house. This short dead-end street has 4 Land Bank properties (out of a total of 10 houses), one of which is vacant, one of which has long-time residents still living in it, and two that are slated for demolition. I talked to three residents on the street. Kenny and Sandy have been working hard over the past couple years to renovate their property (we've actually watched the progress on each others gardens and yards "over the fence" as our backyards butt up against each other), they have replaced the roof, painted the exterior, and completed many landscaping projects. Across the street Andy lives with his children and his wife who is a Minister and has a dance and ministry program at their house.
Yet both of these families tell me that the vacant and deteriorating houses lead to illegal dumping from contractors, illegal drug use and sales, and an overwhelming number of rodents in the vicinity. Andy would like nothing more than for the house to come down so that he can acquire the vacant lot for his children to play and the ministry to continue on.
As we were standing and talking, we witnessed a drug deal take place through a window of a home that is flanked by two Land Bank properties. We all agreed, let's work as fast as possible to put people back into these properties so that they are being used, but also so we have "more eyes on the street" - as we know - community and neighbors are the first line in crime deterrence.