Posted by Joe Dinkin on April 20th, 2013
Two New York lawmakers arrested. A “show me the money culture” where cash comes first and democracy second. And public cynicism only grows.
The silver lining—and it’s real—is a public demanding change and a political environment ripe for reform. Leaders in the Assembly and State Senate have announced their support for comprehensive campaign finance reform, including public financing of elections, which would stop the corrupting influence of big money in politics.
So what did Governor Cuomo do?
Read full post…
Posted by mcain on April 18th, 2013
Working Families Party
15th Anniversary Gala
Honoring Women of Our Movement:
Cecile Richards – President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Gaby Pacheco – DREAMer
Heather McGhee – Vice President of Policy & Outreach, Dēmos
Julie Kushner – Director, UAW Region 9A
Maria Castaneda – Secretary Treasurer, 1199 SEIU
Thursday, June 27th, 6pm – 8:30pm
For more information or to RSVP, click here.
Posted by Joe Dinkin on February 15th, 2013
This weekend, Working Families Party Executive Director Dan Cantor and Friends of Democracy Founder Jonathan Soros appear together for an interview with Bill Moyers on Moyers and Company. The topic: what’s wrong with big-money politics — and what we can do about it.
“We need a system that’s one person, one vote, not one dollar, one vote,” says Dan Cantor.
Want to watch it on the air? The show runs at 6PM and 11PM on Sunday on WNET/Thirteen in New York. But showtimes vary around the country. To look up when to watch in your area, just enter your zipcode here.
Soros makes an important point: “For our democracy, we cannot rely on disagreements among rich people.” He’s right. The vast majority of political contributions to candidates comes from an infinitesmal slice of the population. That’s also true for both major parties (but not WFP!). If we want a real democracy, we need to make sure every voice is heard. Right now the wealthy and well-connected have megaphones.
If you watch the show and enjoy, we need your help. Help us keep fighting for Fair Elections and an end to the corrosive, corrupting influence of money in politics with a donation of $15 or more.
As always, thanks for your continued support.
Posted by mcain on January 18th, 2013
This morning, they finally counted the last ballots in the last State Senate race. Once the votes were counted, Cecilia Tkaczyk was declared the winner. By 19 votes.
Nineteen votes has never felt like a bigger landslide.
It’s a landslide because it proves that our strategy — to find strong progressive local leaders and help them run for higher office — works. It proves that by identifying great candidates like Cece and giving them the support and training they need for the campaign trail, we can put our state back on the right path.
We want to repeat this success in 2014. And in 2016. And over and over again, until we have incredible candidates running — and winning — in every race across the state.
Here’s the thing about Cece’s victory: she was never supposed to win. She was never expected to come close. Her opponent was some millionaire Assemblyman pegged for a promotion, and the district was hand-carved to give him an easy victory.
But then she started talking about ending the corrupting influence of big money in politics, and people started to listen.
Cece made the race about getting money out of politics and getting people back in. And, with the lessons she learned at our Candidate Pipeline training and support from too many allies to name, she ran one hell of a campaign. Her victory shows that a local leader, running with grassroots support and talking about issues people really care about, can win anywhere.
We’re incredibly proud of Cece. But we want her victory to be a starting point, not an ending.
-Dan Cantor, WFP
Posted by mcain on August 14th, 2012
Working Families Party members around the state interview prospective candidates who’ve applied for the WFP’s endorsement. It’s a pioneering, grassroots process that helps hold politicians accountable to regular, working people.
In 2012, more than 1000 politicians applied for the WFP endorsement. Hundreds of our members and supporters took part in the vetting process. We’re proud of how we make our endorsements – but they become meaningful when voters like you take them to heart in the voting booth.
When you vote on the Working Families Party ballot line for these candidates, you know you’re voting your values.
President and Vice President
Barack Obama and Joe Biden
CD 1 Tim Bishop
CD 2 Vivianne Falcone
CD 3 Steve Israel
CD 4 Carolyn McCarthy
CD 6 Grace Meng
CD 7 Nydia Velazquez
CD 8 Hakeem Jeffries
CD 9 Yvette Clarke
CD 10 Jerrold Nadler
CD 11 Mark Murphy
CD 12 Carolyn Maloney
CD 13 Charles Rangel
CD 14 Joseph Crowley
CD 15 Jose Serrano
CD 16 Eliot Engel
CD 17 Nita Lowey
CD 18 Sean Patrick Maloney
CD 19 Julian Schreibman
CD 20 Paul Tonko
CD 21 Bill Owens
CD 22 Dan Lamb
CD 23 Nate Shinagawa
CD 24 Dan Maffei
CD 25 Louise Slaughter
CD 26 Brian Higgins
CD 27 Kathy Hochul
SD 1 Bridget Fleming
SD 4 Ricardo Montano
SD 6 Ryan Cronin
SD 7 Daniel Ross
SD 10 James Sanders
SD 11 Tony Avella
SD 12 Michael Gianaris
SD 13 Jose Peralta
SD 14 Malcolm Smith
SD 15 Joseph Addabbo
SD 16 Toby Ann Stavisky
SD 19 John Sampson
SD 20 Eric Adams
SD 21 Kevin Parker
SD 22 Andrew Gounardes
SD 23 Diane Savino
SD 24 Gary Carsel
SD 25 Velmanette Montgomery
SD 26 Daniel Squadron
SD 27 Brad Hoylman
SD 28 Liz Krueger
SD 29 Jose Serrano
SD 30 Bill Perkins
SD 33 Gustavo Rivera
SD 34 Jeffrey Klein
SD 35 Andrea Stewart-Cousins
SD 37 George Latimer
SD 38 David Carlucci
SD 39 Christopher Eachus
SD 40 Justin Wagner
SD 41 Terry Gipson
SD 44 Neil Breslin
SD 46 Cecilia Tkaczyk
SD 48 Amy Tresidder
SD 49 Madelyn Thorne
SD 51 Howard Leib
SD 52 Barrett Esworthy
SD 53 David Valesky
SD 55 Ted O’Brien
SD 60 Michael Amodeo
SD 61 Justin Rooney
SD 62 Amy Hope Witryol
SD 63 Timothy Kennedy
AD 1 Fred Thiele
AD 4 Steven Englebright
AD 6 Phillip Ramos
AD 10 Joseph Dujmic
AD 11 Robert Sweeney
AD 13 Charles Levine
AD 14 John Brooks
AD 16 Michelle Schimel
AD 17 Kevin Brady
AD 20 Harvey Weisenberg
AD 21 Jeffrey Friedman
AD 22 Michaelle Solages
AD 24 David Weprin
AD 25 Nily Rozic
AD 26 Edward Braunstein
AD 28 Andrew Hevesi
AD 29 William Scarborough
AD 31 Michele Titus
AD 33 Barbara Clark
AD 34 Michael Dendekker
AD 35 Jeffrion Aubry
AD 36 Arivella Simotas
AD 37 Catherine Nolan
AD 38 Michael Miller
AD 39 Fransisco Moya
AD 40 Ronald Kim
AD 41 Helene Weinstein
AD 42 Rhoda Jacobs
AD 43 Karim Camara
AD 44 James Brennan
AD 45 Steven Cymbrowitz
AD 46 Alec Brook-Krasny
AD 47 William Colton
AD 49 Peter Abbate
AD 52 Joan Millman
AD 55 Nathan Bradley
AD 58 Nick Perry
AD 60 Inez Barron
AD 61 Matthew Titone
AD 64 John Mancuso
AD 65 Sheldon Silver
AD 67 Linda Rosenthal
AD 68 Robert Jay Rodriguez
AD 70 Keith Wright
AD 73 Dan Quart
AD 74 Brian Kavanagh
AD 75 Richard Gottfried
AD 76 Micah Kellner
AD 77 Vanessa Gibson
AD 79 Eric Stevenson
AD 80 Naomi Rivera
AD 81 Jeffrey Dinowitz
AD 82 Michael Benedetto
AD 83 Carl Heastie
AD 85 Marcos Crespo
AD 86 Nelson Castro
AD 87 Luis Sepulveda
AD 88 Amy Paulin
AD 89 Gary Pretlow
AD 90 Shelley Mayer
AD 91 Steve Otis
AD 92 Thomas Abinanti
AD 93 David Buchwald
AD 94 Andrew Falk
AD 96 Kenneth Zebrowski
AD 97 Ellen Jaffee
AD 98 Gerard McQuade
AD 99 James Skoufis
AD 100 Aileen Gunther
AD 101 Daniel Carter
AD 103 Kevin Cahill
AD 104 Frank Skartados
AD 105 Paul Curran
AD 106 Didi Barrett
AD 107 Cheryl Roberts
AD 108 Carolyn McLaughlin
AD 109 Pat Fahy
AD 110 Phillip Steck
AD 111 Angelo Santabarbara
AD 112 Michele Draves
AD 113 Carrie Woerner
AD 114 Dennis Tarantino
AD 116 Addie Jenne Russell
AD 119 Anthony Brindisi
AD 123 Donna Lupardo
AD 125 Barbara Lifton
AD 127 Albert Stirpe
AD 128 Sam Roberts
AD 129 William Magnarelli
AD 138 Harry Bronson
AD 141 Crystal Peoples
AD 142 Michael Kearns
AD 145 Robert Restaino
AD 147 Christina Abt
AD 148 Daniel Brown
AD 149 Sean Ryan
AD 150 Rudy Mueller
Albany County District Attorney David Soares
Broome County Executive Tarik Adbelazim
Posted by mcain on August 11th, 2012
Paul Ryan is young, and telegenic and dangerous. And Mitt Romney just named him as his Vice Presidential pick.
Remember him? He’s the Congressman who wrote the Tea Party plan to end Medicare as we know it. And his solution to America’s problems? More tax cuts for the very richest.
It’s scary, but we’ve got a sure-fire way to beat these ideas: tell the truth about them.
New Yorkers are used to getting ignored in Presidential Election years. But for Congress, this year, we’re the nation’s biggest swing state, with at least eight Congressional races up for grabs. The road to control of Congress runs right through New York.
You thought Sarah Palin was bad? Paul Ryan is just as extreme, but he’s clever. So he’s even more dangerous.
I won’t sugar-coat it here: the plan Ryan proposed in Congress is a sure-fire way to throw millions of seniors into poverty. It’s a promise to do less for each other and concentrate more wealth at the top.
(Never mind, of course, that Ryan himself depended on Social Security survivors’ benefits early in life. Now that he’s found success, he thinks everyone else should have to fend for themselves.)
But a little race last year in upstate New York showed the model for our plans. Democratic and Working Families candidate Kathy Hochul was running in a rural, red district New York’s North Country. Together, we turned the race into a referendum on the newly-announced plan, authored by Paul Ryan, to eviscerate Medicare. WFP activists, volunteers and staff knocked on tens of thousands of doors to spread the word. But because of you, we won — and stopped Paul Ryan’s plan in its tracks.
But helping Kathy Hochul last year was expensive. Grassroots donors like you pitched in tens of thousands of dollars. We’ll need to raise even more for all of our races this year. We’ll put staff on the ground in our key districts and do everything possible to take back the house.
We don’t have the backing of Sheldon Adelson or any super PAC. We just have you.
Thanks for your support,
-Dan Cantor, WFP
Posted by mcain on June 17th, 2012
At 3pm on Father’s Day, thousands of New Yorkers will gather on 110th Street in Harlem and march down 5th Ave to protest Stop and Frisk. Silently.
We’ll be updating this post throughout the march with pictures, videos, tweets and information. Check back often!
Why do you march?
— United NY (@united_ny) June 17, 2012
Why am I in #silentmarchnyc? Because I’m sick and tired of explaining to my students that the 4th Amdt doesn’t apply to them.
— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) June 17, 2012
— Norah Shaban (@norahshaban) June 17, 2012
— NYCLU (@nyclu) June 17, 2012
– Update #11, 4pm –
WFP Communications director Joe Dinkin wore his hoodie to the march:
The Daily Kos has a long front page article on today’s silent march. The opening really explains what this is all about:
Today, on Father’s Day, Fifth Avenue in New York City will echo with the sound of silently marching feet. No shouted slogans. No protest songs. No rallying cries. Just long lines of people by the thousands—marching for justice in a righteous battle to end New York’s Stop and Frisk policies.
Silence is sometimes louder than words.
Blacks, whites, latinos, asians, Native Americans, union members, youths, straight folks and LBGTs—all united in a powerful coalition to demand justice and an end to the racial profiling taking place on city sidewalks and streets. This is a coalition forged out of pain but fired by love.
Today people will bear witness to their belief in equality in a profound expression of common humanity.
Brotherhood and sisterhood.
It is fitting that it takes place on Father’s Day, since so many of those affected are young men, some who may never be given the chance to be fathers.
The silence is working:
— Nida Khan (@NidaKhanNY) June 17, 2012
— Ben Doernberg (@BenDoernberg) June 17, 2012
— United NY (@united_ny) June 17, 2012
– Update #8, 3pm –
And the march is under way!
Silentmarchnyc really to roll @nyclu. Starting to stop talking
— donna lieberman (@JustAskDonna) June 17, 2012
Protesters covering several blocks waiting to march. Black, white, Latino, unions and the Muslim community present. #silentmarchNYC
— Ryan Devereaux (@RDevro) June 17, 2012
#silentmarchnyc this sucka is about to kick off. Tons of people united for justice.
— Vince Warren (@VinceWarren) June 17, 2012
The energy at #silentmarchnyc is electric.
— NYCLU (@nyclu) June 17, 2012
— Libero Della Piana (@ldellapiana) June 17, 2012
The live stream is now, um, live:
Our very own Joe Dinkin sends along a picture showing what it looks like from inside the march.
The gathering crowd is growing. Some great signs already.
— Occupy The Bronx (@OccupyTheBronx) June 17, 2012
— Glenn E. Martin (@glennEmartin) June 17, 2012
— J Liu (@jujube) June 17, 2012
— Jen Carnig (@JCarnig) June 17, 2012
– Update #4, 2pm –
People are already gathering for the silent march, which officially kicks off at 3pm. Jasiri X just posted this photo of the marchers lined up to go:
Why a silent march?
Stop and frisk silences communities of color by humiliating law-abiding young men. Our silence today is a protest against the oppressive silence of racial profiling.
The tradition of silent marches dates back to 1917. Thousands marched down 5th Ave in protest of lynching & race riots. #SilentMarchNYC
— LatinoJustice PRLDEF (@latinojustice) June 17, 2012
— Nelini Stamp (@NelStamp) June 15, 2012
As it says on silentmarchnyc.org:
In contrast to previous demonstrations, we will march in silence as an illustration of both the tragedy and serious threat that stop and frisk and other forms of racial profiling present to our society. The silent march was first used in 1917 by the NAACP—then just eight years old—to draw attention to race riots that tore through communities in East St. Louis, Illinois, and build national opposition to lynching.
Now, 95 years later, you can join us in powerful protest to help end this great injustice and begin rebuilding national opposition to racial profiling.
If you’re outraged that police, security guards and even community watch volunteers in so many neighborhoods continue to treat young people of color differently, or if you’re concerned for your children, or your neighbors’ and friends’ children, then channel these emotions into action by joining thousands in calling for an end to racial profiling and the abuse of New York’s stop and frisk laws.
Silence is a powerful force that, like other forms of non-violent protest, holds a mirror to the brutality of one’s opponents. On June 17, we will hold up a mirror to New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy. It is not only discriminatory, it actively seeks to humiliate innocent citizens—particularly African American and Latino men—and criminalize otherwise legal behavior.
Rodney King, whose videotaped beating at the hands of the LAPD led to a series of riots in the early ’90s, has died. He will no doubt be on the minds of the people marching today.
— Judith Browne Dianis (@jbrownedianis) June 17, 2012
Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin, has an important Father’s Day message about Stand Your Ground, the Florida law that made it possible for his son’s killer to walk free for so long before his arrest. Already in 2012, sixteen unarmed African Americans have been killed by police officers, security guards or self-appointed vigilantes.
On Twitter, people say they’re marching for Trayvon and other victims of gun violence:
— Philippe (@Ti_Philippe) June 13, 2012
Posted by mcain on May 17th, 2012
How is Facebook posting this mega tax break on its timeline? Well, “it’s complicated.” But basically, when the company goes public tomorrow, a major corporate tax loophole will give Facebook a $3 billion dollar tax break.
Yes, that’s right, $3 billion — even more than what J.P. Morgan just lost through reckless banking. Even though Facebook is extremely profitable, this loophole will zero out its entire tax bill this year, and likely for years to come.
This loophole should be big news. But it isn’t. Will you help us use Facebook to spread the word? Click here to share this action.
Facebook’s tax dodging will take billions of dollars that should be public funding for schools and hospitals and parks and public safety — and turn them into private pocket-lining for the company and its new shareholders.
We’re talking big money here. For every dollar in stock options its employees take (which cost the company nothing to give out), Facebook can take a dollar of “net operating loss” tax deductions. So how much are taxpayers losing in this deal? At least $3 billion this year alone, plus hundreds of millions in retroactive refunds. That money could be used to hire 75,000 teachers. Or to write down nearly a hundred thousand underwater mortgages. Or to restore the “Full-Year Pell” grant program cut last year.
Sure, it’s legal. But it shouldn’t be. Michigan Senator Carl Levin has proposed a bill to close the Facebook loophole. But without a major push, it isn’t going anywhere.
Like Warren Buffett, billionaire Zuckerberg has told President Obama he agrees that the mega-rich should pay more in taxes. So we’re calling on Mark Zuckerberg to follow through and ask Congress and President Obama to close the Facebook loophole today so that Facebook — and every big company that goes public — pays its fair share.
And then please help spread the word by sharing this action — you know where.
Thanks for all you do.
-Dan Cantor, WFP
Posted by Dan Cantor on April 1st, 2012
by Dan Cantor
You’ve heard the story already. A young, unarmed black man was shot and killed, in a place he had every right to be. The tears of parents and friends flow.
But I’m not talking about the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida. This story is closer to home.
A few weeks before Trayvon was killed, Ramarley Graham was killed in the Bronx. He was all of 18. The NYPD saw a black teenager “adjusting his waistband,” saw something that seemed to their eyes suspicious, and ended up chasing him into his own home. He was shot to death attempting to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. The police thought he had a gun. But like Trayvon Martin in Florida, Ramarley Graham was unarmed.
I’m a 56 year-old white man with a 20 year-old son. My son spent his high school years traveling around New York City at all hours, and never once was he stopped and frisked. He always wore hoodies. I always told him to “keep safe,” but if I’m telling the truth, it never occurred to me to worry that he might be stopped and questioned and frisked. I never thought for a second that he might fall victim to a police “mistake.” And I never gave him a lecture about how to be deferential to the police. Not so for black and brown parents. Every parent loves and wants to protect his children, but the ability to do so is not equal.
One of the reasons that we created the WFP was to tell the truth, as we saw it, about our society and economy. The truth is, Trayvon Martin’s death wasn’t an isolated act of vigilantism. And Ramarley Graham didn’t die because of a mistake. They died because we live in a nation where young men of color are stopped, and sometimes killed, because somebody decides they look suspicious. It is hardly news to say this, and of-color leaders and activists across the country are mobilizing with a sense of anger and righteousness that is entirely warranted. But what is new and welcome is that more and more white people are reminded or learning for the first time what the persistent existence of the color line means to millions of our fellow Americans.
It’s two different worlds. If a middle-class white teenager visiting his father were shot to death by an African- American “neighborhood watch” leader, would an arrest be likely? Or, as in Florida, would the shooter walk free and be allowed to keep his concealed carry permit?
Public safety is crucial to every community — black, white, Latino, Asian — and we need a vigilant, well-trained police force. But there is a law-and-order culture in our nation that has crossed the line. The dominant society is afraid of young of-color men, and instead of asking ourselves why and what might be done about it, we endorse policies that keep the problem under control. Until it isn’t.
In New York City, Police Commissioner Kelly defends his policies aggressively. He argues that “stop, question and frisk” has taken guns off the street. He says that it has helped reduced crime, and that communities of color are the main beneficiaries.
But Kelly’s line of argument is a dead-end. It’s a vision of a society that will never deal with racism – not just the individual prejudice and preconceptions of the Florida “watchman,” but the ingrained structures of a society in which life chances are determined at birth. It’s not Kelly’s fault; we ask the police to deal with problems the rest of us want to ignore. We have decided that there is no way for our society to create job opportunities, education and healthy families that will set young men down a promising path to adulthood, so we focus immense resources on policing and jailing them instead. We stop-and-frisk because we aren’t able to educate-and-employ.
There are a lot of young men growing up in tough circumstances, but – again, let’s tell the truth – it seems toughest in the black community. Deindustrialization. Residential segregation. The lure of the informal economy. A prison-industrial complex that requires ever more prisoners and lobbies for absurdly harsh sentencing laws. It’s a toxic combination, and the results are not surprising: there are now more African-American men in prison or on parole than were held as slaves. America’s “original sin” has not been expiated.
This is a serious challenge. At the Working Families Party, we spend much of our energy on the shared interests of people of all races. We ask working-class and middle-class people – white and of-color, citizen and immigrant – to unite and work together. We want a society in which all people have a chance at a decent, productive life. That means excellent schools, jobs that pay living wages, parents with the time and inner resources to raise healthy children, taxes that stop the obscene selfishness that now characterizes American society. But we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t acknowledge the serious and exceptional problems faced by of-color Americans.
New York City Council Members Jumaane Williams, Melissa Mark Viverito and Brad Lander have concrete proposals to reform stop-and-frisk that deserve support. And it may sound utopian, but Mayor Bloomberg should convene public hearings in which young people, beat cops, social scientists, employers, unions and elected leaders come and testify about their experience and their ideas on ways to reduce crime and increase opportunity. It won’t be perfect, but it can be a step forward.
The killings of Trayvon Martin and Ramarley Graham and too many others to name are a stain on our nation’s honor. Let’s learn from it, and act on it.
Dan Cantor is the Executive Director of the Working Families Party.
Posted by mcain on March 19th, 2012
Progressive Party Gives Gillibrand Backing and a Ballot Line
For immediate release.
For more information, contact Joe Dinkin at 718.222.3796 x.217 or jdinkin[at]workingfamilies[dot]org
New York – Today, the Working Families Party announced its endorsement of Kirsten Gillibrand for US Senate. The endorsement, which marks the progressive party’s first of the 2012 cycle, gives Gillibrand the WFP’s line on the November ballot – Row D – and also the support of its formidable grassroots door-to-door get-out-the-vote operation.
“In just a few years, Senator Gillibrand has proven herself to be one of Washington’s most effective advocates for working people,” said Bob Master, co-chair of the Working Families Party, and Legislative and Political Director of the Communications Workers of America Region 1. “From making access to decent healthcare affordable for families to reversing the outsourcing of decent jobs, Kirsten can get it done.”
In 2010, 182,655 New Yorkers cast their votes for Senator Gillibrand on the Working Families Party line, or almost 4% of voters statewide.
Votes cast on the Working Families ballot line count the same for the candidate, but also, say supporters, make a statement about your values. “When you vote on the Working Families line for Gillibrand for Senate, you’re voting for your values,” said Camille Rivera, a leader in the Working Families Party and Executive Director of United NY. “If you want to urge all our elected officials to stand up and fight for working families like yours, cast your vote on the Working Families line.”
The Working Families Party is an independent grassroots party that fights for the 99%. WFP evaluates the records of all the candidates and supports only those who stand up for working-class and middle-class families on issues like good jobs, affordable healthcare, fair taxes and quality schools.