Poughkeepsie Journal Voter Guide
Experience: (50 words maximum)
Organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, and the environment since the 1960s. Attended Dartmouth College. Served in the Marine Corps. Held working-class jobs in construction and on loading docks. Started successful small businesses in construction, including a workers cooperative building solar, wind, and energy-efficiency upgrades for homes and businesses.
Why do you want to serve? (150 words maximum)
I want to work for the 99% of us – the working-class and middle-class people – who are over-taxed, under-served, and under-paid by the richest 1% who control state government through corrupt pay-to-play private campaign financing. I support full public campaign financing and a full-time legislature. Lawmakers should work year-round for the people and be barred from taking outside income from businesses seeking special favors. My Green New Deal platform would insure that every New Yorker has the right to a useful job, living wages, affordable housing, quality health care, a good education, and a sustainable environment. We pay for the Green New Deal by restoring the more progressive tax structure New York had in the 1970s and by ending corporate-welfare tax loopholes and subsidies. We provide comprehensive health care for every New Yorker with billions of dollars in cost savings by enacting a public single-payer health care plan.
What are the biggest challenges facing your state or district and how will you deal with them? (200 words maximum)
Fair Taxes: Cut our highest-in-the-nation property taxes by restoring the more progressive state tax system New York had in the 1970s. 95% of us would get a tax cut, while the state revenue would increase 20%. Revenue sharing with local governments would increase eightfold and pay for unfunded state mandates, enabling us to cut local property taxes while fully funding municipal services.
Quality Schools: Fully and equitably fund public schools, from universal pre-K to tuition-free CUNY and SUNY. Reject Common Core-aligned high-stakes testing and return control of curricula and assessments to the local teachers, parents, and school boards who care most about local schoolchildren.
Jobs and Economy: Enact a $15/hour minimum wage and public jobs for the unemployed in public services and infrastructure. This bottom-up, wage-led, full-employment approach will incentive businesses to expand and hire to make money meeting increased demand for goods and services. Trickle-down corporate-welfare tax breaks and subsidies don't trickle down to small businesses and workers.
Clean Energy: Ban fracking and new gas pipelines. Build 100% clean energy by 2030. Cornell and Stanford researchers found that building 100% renewable energy in 15 years in New York will create 4.5 million jobs and cut electric rates in half.