Don’t Trust the IDC
RAMOS, JACKSON, BIAGGI, MAY, ROBINSON, MYRIE AND DUANE TELL IDC: NO DEAL
After Trump-Democrats Pass Irresponsible Budget, New Yorkers Won’t Fall For Bait and Switch
April 4, 2018
IDC challengers Jessica Ramos, Robert Jackson, Alessandra Biaggi, Rachel May, Jasmine Robinson, Zellnor Myrie and John Duane released the following letter to the Independent Democratic Conference today:
To: Marisol Alcantara, Tony Avella, David Carlucci, Jesse Hamilton, Jeffrey D. Klein, Jose Peralta, Diane Savino and David J. Valesky:
In 2012, progressive forces united to win 33 Democratic State Senate seats. Your Independent Democratic Conference stole away this victory. Since then, we’ve had seven straight Republican budgets thanks to the IDC’s continued support for Republicans. Because of your allegiance with the Republicans, the budget passed again this year with no Democratic State Senator at the negotiating table. Despite repeated requests, you refused to support rightful Democratic State Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in the room for budget negotiations. The result is a deeply irresponsible budget that hurts working people, communities of color, students, and women in New York State.
While we all support a unified, progressive Democratic majority in the State Senate under the leadership of Andrea Stewart-Cousins, your claims of unity cannot undo the damage that you have done by blocking a single Democratic State Senator in the room to advocate for common-sense progressive priorities. You failed to represent Democratic priorities at the negotiating table, and no Albany deal should or will prevent a competitive, healthy primary in which New Yorkers strongly consider your allegiance with the Republicans. New Yorkers will not be fooled into believing you are “Democrats” when it is politically convenient for you.
Your harmful budget ignores or severely underfunds key priorities for New York:
1. Criminal justice reform — The budget failed to end cash bail, reform the discovery process, or help defendants secure a speedy trial — ensuring countless low-income New Yorkers will continue to be unfairly punished.
2. Real rent reform — New York’s affordable housing stock is disappearing, yet this budget fails to include real rent reform that would protect working families from massive rent hikes and eviction.
3. Public school aid — While the budget includes additional funding for state and city schools, it once again falls short of our students’ needs, leaving students in low-income communities without the resources they need to learn.
4. NYCHA funding — NYCHA has been severely underfunded for decades, and the increase in NYCHA funding is insufficient compared to what our city’s housing authority residents need.
5. Reforming our broken democracy — New York has one of the lowest voter participation rates in the county—yet the budget does not include early voting, public financing, closing the LLC loophole, or same-day registration.
6. Child Victim’s Act — Despite support from more than 80 percent of New Yorkers, your budget fails to allow sexual-abuse victims to bring civil suits until their 50th birthday and felony criminal cases until their 28th birthday.
7. Sexual harassment — The sexual harassment measures in the budget were decided by four men in a room; unsurprisingly, they fall short. The budget fails to define sexual harassment, and does not include money for additional investigations into alleged harassment.
8. MTA — The funding increase in the MTA does not go far enough to fully fix our crumbling subway system, ensuring working families will continue to suffer delays and interrupted commutes for years to come.
9. Gun control — Because you gave Republicans a seat at the negotiating table, the budget fails to include bans on possessing bump stocks. At a time when our nation is ravaged by school shootings, this omission is unacceptable.
10. Roe v. Wade — Reproductive rights are under attack from a bigot in the White House and the Gorsuch Supreme Court. Despite overwhelming support from New Yorkers, the state constitution still fails to codify Roe v Wade in the state constitution.
11. DREAM Act — New York’s immigrant students deserve equal access to higher education — but the budget leaves the DREAM Act out and denies thousands of students a chance to attend college.
12. Transgender rights — Despite widespread support, transgender New Yorkers remain unprotected from discrimination.
13. Climate protection — The budget fails to include the state Climate and Community Protection Act to reduce the impacts of climate change on New Yorkers.
During budget negotiations, you failed to represent the Democratic voters who elected you. At the polls this year, voters will not make the same mistake again. We will not allow you to mislead New Yorkers with claims of unity.