NYC Democratic Socialists of America - Jia Lee

NYC Democratic Socialists of America - Jia Lee

Jia answers questions about democratic socialism, climate change, public education, state governance and much more from DSA.

I. DSA and Democratic Socialism I.

A. Are you a member of DSA?


B. Do you identify as a socialist? What does being a socialist mean to you?

Yes, I identify as a socialist.

Socialism, to me, is the development of vision, values and practices through a collective endeavor for the common good. In the context of our state of the state, it involves the work of dismantling hierarchies of power that create inequities in resources and quality of life that have had disproportionate impacts across race and class.

Socialism relies heavily on active organizing within communities and worker cooperatives to build a broader understanding of the vital benefits of engaged ownership and cooperation, rather than accepting exploitation of people and nature for the exclusive benefit of a dominant class of big property owners. A central tenet of socialism requires social ownership of the means of production .

C. Are you willing to run publicly as a socialist? Would you publicize DSA's endorsement?

My running mate and I are both publicly running as socialists.

We would proudly publicize DSA's endorsement.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

D. Would you pledge not to take any campaign contributions from for­profit corporations or for­profit corporate PACs? Would you pledge not to take any campaign contributions from real estate developers, corporate lobbyists, and professional landlords?

Absolutely, the Rules of the Green Party of New York State on whose ballot line I am running require that Green candidates refuse contributions from for­profit entities. Their purpose is to require that the Green Party maintains its political independence from the capitalists and their political representatives in the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Hawkins for Governor contribution policies on my website donation page goes further to limit the size of individual and PAC contributions to the federal limits because the state limits are so high as to encourage huge pay­to­play contributions that function as legalized bribery even when an illegal quid pro quo cannot be proven in court.

E. Would you be open to working with DSA when developing your platform?

Yes, of course.

F. DSA has a large and active volunteer base. Would you allow DSA to train our own volunteers, run our own canvasses, and campaign openly as DSA members?


G. Would you allow the DSA Political Committee to create campaign materials to distribute during its work on your campaign?


(excerpted from Howie Hawkin's response) On the other hand, if you do it as independent expenditures, we cannot "allow" you to do it because we cannot communicate with you about it under campaign finance laws. You would have to disclose your independent expenditures to the state Board of Elections.

We prefer to coordinate.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

H. Who will be running your field program? Would you welcome DSA collaborating with your field program?

Our campaign manager is running our field program and we would welcome collaboration with DSA!

I. Would you allow DSA to keep copies of all data we collect through voter contact?


J. What staff and/or consultants have you hired?

Campaign Manager: Michael O'Neil Treasurer: Baritta DeShields Media Consultant: Mark Dunlea

K. What voter contact program are you using for your campaign?


L. In past campaigns, DSA has had teams of member­organizers who work directly with campaign staff on areas such as field, communications, fundraising, data, and legal compliance. Would you agree to this arrangement and guarantee your staff would build direct relationships with members of our campaign team?


II. Goals of Your Campaign

A. What is the central message of your campaign?

A Green New Deal for New York

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Tax the rich and spend more on public infrastructure and services, including clean energy, universal public healthcare, public education from pre­K to college, public housing, mass transit, a public broadband utility, and environmental protection.

Scrap Cuomo's corrupt pay­to­play subsidies, tax breaks, and contracts to rich campaign contributors that don't trickle­down to the rest of us. Invest directly in public infrastructure and services in working class communities to revitalize the public sector and private economy from the bottom up.

B. What are the issues that will distinguish you from other candidates?

A socialist approach to social problems that sees social ownership and democratic administration as necessary conditions for solutions. Thus on particular issues:

NY OFF (Off Fossil Fuels) Act for 100% clean energy by 2030 (not 2050 like the Democratic bill passed by the Assembly, which is is too little, too late for the climate emergency). In addition, we call for public ownership of power and gas generation and distribution. NY Health Act for a universal public healthcare plan. Good Public Schools for All - Fully­funded, desegregated, and providing universal access to gifted­quality education and vocational training for all without tracking, from pre­K to college. Homes for All - Statewide rent control and new public housing that is high quality, human scale, scatter site, mixed income, and powered by clean energy. Public Broadband for universal access with net neutrality. Public Banking to lower the costs of credit for public investment and private business and consumer loans. Progressive Taxation to pay for the Green New Deal, including graduated income tax brackets for multi­millionaires, stock transfer tax, land value tax, and cuts on taxes on the earned incomes of low­ and middle­income working people.

Furthermore, as a NYC public school special education teacher, I have been a rank and file union organizer within the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), the social justice caucus of the UFT. I have been organizing "opt out" of high stakes standardized testing, and have been a conscientious objector to administering the state tests to my students. As an organizer for the Black Lives Matter at Schools, I organized locally and brought resolutions to my union to advocate for culturally relevant curriculum, the hiring of more Black educators and the end to zero tolerance policies. These demands are coupled with the demands to dismantle austerity measures connected to

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

charterization, school closures (which occur in predominantly Black and Brown communities), that are directly linked to the real estate development and gentrification (neighborhood revitalization plans) that have made housing unaffordable.

C. How will your campaign appeal to working class voters and those disaffected with the political process?

Howie Hawkins and I identify in our messaging as working class people ourselves, Howie being a retired teamster and I am a public school special education teacher in NYC. We experience many of the same experiences and anticipate this to be a natural connection to voters.

Our campaign is based on the fact that we are a party powered by the people. We are members of the working class who are actively building an independent party that has a vision to push our imaginations outside of the realm of a reality we have been forced to live in. This campaign is an invitation for all to build a democratic system. An inventor once said, "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." Our campaign is not just about taking on issues of economic and human justice but a call to democratize processes within our state government.

D. What party lines will you be seeking for the general election? Have you applied for the endorsement of the Working Families Party? Have you sought the endorsement of your county Democratic Committee?

We have the Green Party line secured for the general election. We will not seek the WFP or Democratic lines or endorsements because we are socialists. See our answer to Question I.B. above.

E. How much money will you need to successfully compete in this race? What is your plan to raise it?

We need at least $200,000 to hope to get our message out to most New Yorkers through earned media and field organizing. We will not beat Cuomo and other better funded candidates with more money. We will beat them with more people.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

We plan to raise money through small donations through our network of grassroots organizations, allies and individuals. We've made appeals through in Green Party events, parties, paper mail, email, social media, and phone calls.

F. What relationships do you have in your district that could form a base of support, through activism, organizing, work or personal networks?

I am a member of the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), the social justice caucus within the United Federation of Teachers, which is connected to a broader network of teacher union activists. I am also an active member of NYC Opt Out and Change the Stakes grassroots parent/teacher groups that is also connected to the statewide network, New York State Allies for Public Education.

G. What endorsements do you have from elected officials, political organizations, unions and community leaders?

We are just starting to seek endorsements.

III. Goals in Office

A. If elected, it's possible you'll be the only representative in Albany, or one of a few, who refuse corporate donations and support a Democratic Socialist vision for our state. How can a single representative contribute to bringing radical change to New York State?

I would create spaces to bring together the collective ideas for building transparency and democratic processes for greater engagement at the State Senate. This would be the first priority. It's time to envision what that would look like now. One of the first questions people ask me when they learn that I'm running for Lt. Governor is "What does that position entail?" Many people seem to have a vague understanding of the seats and the roles they play. In order to be able to change any system, we need to hold as many informational sessions as possible and develop this, to a greater extent, in our educational system. The next phase would be to then ask constituents, so what SHOULD and COULD this position hold for the people of New York?

B. Constituent services staff generally act as a liaison between members of the public and state agencies, helping them navigate an inadequate status quo, rather than organizing them to create

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

change. What would the role of constituent services staff in your district be? Do you think there is a role for district staff in creating a climate for radical political change?

As mentioned in the response above, I believe the work of the people's party, not just the candidates/elected leaders, is to develop a collective understanding of those roles and to define them to the needs of the people and NOT corporate interests. This would be a significant shift and indicates a great need for training that includes an analysis of the conditions.

C. Would you agree to appear at monthly DSA branch meetings in your district (when not in session in Albany)?


D. Would you join a Democratic Socialist caucus in the State Legislature? Would you start one? Yes and yes.

E. If elected, what are your top 3 priorities? What committees would you want to join? (excerpted from Howie Hawkin's responses) 1. Gifted­Quality Public Education for All - I will put the $4.2 billion cumulative shortfall in Foundation Aid into the budget plan to close the gap. I will tell the Attorney General to settle with the plaintiffs in the two lawsuits against the state for failing to fully fund Foundation Aid. I will send a program bill to the state legislature to reform the Foundation Aid formula so it is truly equitable for high­poverty school districts. I will put into the budget funding for universal pre­K and for truly tuition­free public higher education at CUNY, SUNY, and community colleges. I will submit a program bill to require desegregation of public education in New York through Controlled Choice, where parents and students rank their preferred schools and those choices are combined with a formula to achieve socioeconomic integration in all schools. Desegregation will also require redrawing school district lines where they now serve to segregate public schools by race and class.

2. 100% Clean Energy by 2030 - Enact the NY OFF (Off Fossil Fuels) Act to require that the state energy plan to detail with timelines and benchmarks how to achieve 100% clean energy by 2030. I will also introduce a program bill for full socialization of the New York energy system as a federation of locally­elected public power district boards that coordinate planning statewide through a democratized New York Power Authority.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

3. Guaranteed Health Care - Enact the NY Health Act to provide universal publicly­funded health care for all. Improve the program by (1) providing for long­term care immediately, not in two years after enactment, (2) democratizing its administration, with locally­elected health care district boards that coordinate planning statewide as a federation, and (3) incentivizing and investing in publicly­owned healthcare providers to move from socialized healthcare insurance toward a socialized healthcare service.

IV. Housing as a Human Right

A. What do you believe are the causes of the housing crisis in New York? What is your vision for addressing the crisis?

Private real estate developers partnered with our elected officials have a vision for the landscape and demographics in various regions across the state. These decisions are made behind closed doors and therefore, rely very little on the actual housing needs of most working class people and the poor. When big profit motives influence urban design and planning, those without the means are pushed out. In addition, actual working conditions and security are on the decline

B. Do you believe housing is a human right? Yes

C. Would you refuse to vote for any 2019 rent law renewal that failed to end vacancy decontrol? Yes

D. Do you support the following policies? For any you don't support, please explain why. (Please tick the boxes or place a "Y" by each policy you support.)

Ending vacancy decontrol entirely Y

Ending the vacancy bonus entirely Y

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

Ending the preferential rent loophole Y

Making Major Capital Improvement (MCI) increases temporary Y

A statewide right to state­provided counsel for tenants in housing court Y

Legislation to outlaw the tenant blacklist that discourages tenants from seeking redress in court Y

Fully funding the $17 billion in repairs to NYCHA buildings, without privatizing NYCHA land Y

Offering state financing for affordable Community Land Trusts Y

V. Expanding and Deepening Our Democracy

A. If in office, will you commit to voting against any redistricting bill that maintains the state senate gerrymander in the wake of the 2020 census?

Yes. In fact, as the Green Party asserts, we believe in proportional representation


which with multi­member districts will greatly diminish the impact of district lines.

B. Do you support the following policies? For any you don't support, please explain why. (Please tick the boxes or place a "Y" by each policy you support.)

same­day registration Y

online registration

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee


□ changing party enrollment deadlines to mirror registration deadlines N. In an ideal world, I believe party affiliation would be more about aligning with a common set of values/ideas/positions on issues. The reality is that in the current paradigm, strategies to bring power to a particular party could be a detriment.

offering green card holders the right to vote in state elections Y

enacting early voting in New York Y

public financing for state elections modeled on New York City's public campaign finance system

No. The current campaign finance system in New York City is heavily dominated by private interests, particularly in real estate development. This is a huge problem.

closing the LLC loophole in New York's campaign finance laws Y

fully nonpartisan redistricting in New York Y

Fully repealing New York's felony disenfranchisement laws Y

Reducing barriers to ballot access Y

Ranked choice voting or other alternatives to first­past­the­post, single district elections Y

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

VI. Labor

A. What is your relationship to the union movement in New York State? What would you do to support the rights of workers to form unions, and to expand unionization in New York State?

I have been the UFT Chapter Leader at my school for the last eleven years and a member of the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), the social justice caucus of the UFT. We have worked to develop bottom up, rank and file unionism within the UFT, a business union. I am a trained organizer (through Labor Notes) and work actively to build our base of organized school communities and districts. In 2016, I was the UFT presidential candidate for MORE and obtained nearly 20% of the vote, the highest of any dissident caucus, which served as an indication that teachers are ready for MORE. We have built alliances with teacher unions across the state and nationally, as well as, other like­minded unions. Through a national network of reform caucuses, I have been involved in the development of caucuses in states where there have been pivotal teacher strikes. I continue to do this work as well with the militant teacher union in Puerto Rico, where I have and continue to visit for solidarity brigade work. I started a school to school solidarity campaign with Puerto Rico, including educational resources for students and educators to learn about the austerity measures in public education.

As my running mate, Howie Hawkins, has indicated, we stand for the same protections under the law: Card Check: Extend the right to majority sign­up or card­check recognition of union bargaining status to all New York workers, with the right of new unions to submit a first contract to binding arbitration at the request of the union. Just Cause: Enact a Wrongful Discharge From Employment Act that protects employees from at­will discharges by providing that after a probationary period an employee can be terminated only for just cause defined as failure to satisfactorily perform job duties, disruption of operations, or other legitimate business reasons. Wage Board Sectoral Bargaining: Expand the use of wage boards to that bring together unions, businesses, and government to bargain for fair wages, benefits, and working conditions for employees across a specific industries, especially in low­wage sectors as home health care, retailing, and farm work, as was done in recent years for fast food workers and tipped workers in New York State. Prohibit 24­Hour Workdays and Unpaid Labor on 24­Hour Shifts: Replace 24­Hour shifts in the home care industry with split shifts. Repeal the recent NYS Department of Labor regulation allowing no pay for 11 hours of 24­hour shifts by home care workers. Following three state appellate court

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

rulings in the second appellate division in September 2017 requiring healthcare agencies to pay home care workers for all their hours on 24­hour shifts, Governor Cuomo's Department of Labor issued "emergency regulations" in October consistent with contrary federal court rulings allowing payment for only 13 hours. Labor Law Protections for Farmworkers: Extend to farmworkers the same rights under labor law as other workers, including A Day of Rest, Overtime Pay, Collective Bargaining Protections, Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Child Labor Protections, and Occupational Safety and Health Standards. Labor Law Protections for Prisoners: Enact legislation to end the super­exploitation of prison labor at pennies per hour, which undercuts the wages of workers and earnings of businesses outside the prison system. The prison labor system as it exists now is akin to slavery and the prison labor camps in other authoritarian countries. Work done by prisoners can be part of rehabilitation and enable prisoners to acquire job skills, support their families, and have savings upon release. Work done by prisoners for private contractors and for public services should be paid prevailing wages. Prison workers should have all the protections of labor law, including the right to organize unions.

B. The Supreme Court is likely to invalidate key provisions of New York's public sector labor law in the upcoming Janus v. AFSCME case. How should New York respond?

The Supreme Court has ruled for Janus.

Governor Cuomo has made an executive order to keep public employee contact information from the kind of union busting service operations that exist in other right to work states.

Janus was designed to divide and conquer, harping on individualistic interests. I believe it is important that our state maintain the understanding that unions bring worker solidarity and shift away from our current system of business union models that serve as arms of the government. Instead, the work of unions should be to actively engage members in their proposals for contract demands. To that end, I do not agree with Cuomo's signing off of legislation of pay to play union membership.

C. How can we ensure fair conditions for people working in New York State's gig economy?

The gig economy is a design of economic competition and extractionism. It's reliance on individualism is antithetical to socialism and thus, protections need to be put into place for current workers to have a

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

fair share of the income produced. For instance, Uber drivers make only a fraction of the fair due to exorbitant booking fees and commission. Further, the state could support the establishment of agencies where people have access to developing worker owned cooperatives. D. Would you support modification of the Taylor Law to eliminate restrictions on the rights of public sector workers to strike? Would you unconditionally support any striking workers in New York, even if their actions violate legal restrictions like the Taylor Law?

I support the right of workers to strike, and I would support the elimination of restrictions under the Taylor Law to strike. Striking, withholding labor, has been and continues to be the single most powerful way to fight for working conditions. Joe Burns, lawyer, union organizer and author of several books on the power of strikes including Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America discusses the Taylor law. It is imperative that this generation understand the political context of negotiation between unions and the government that took workers' only ability to exert power and has led us to the largely business unions that dominate our state.

VII. Racial Justice and Ending Mass Incarceration

A. Often calls to end mass incarceration focus on the "easy" question of "non­violent offenders." Given that such a large part of the prison population is made up of "violent offenders," what policies would you support, if any, to reduce the number of people imprisoned for violent offenses and ensure they do not end up reincarcerated?

Research has overwhelmingly shown that in societies where there is greater income inequality, there is a higher rate of violence. I began my teaching career in a special education lock down, where we received students who were in and out of the juvenile detention system. Most of these students served time for violent offenses. I would support an end to educational and criminal justice policies that feed the school to prison pipeline. More funding is allocated to the juvenile detention system that per student in the public school system. Instead, I would support allocation of funds to restorative programs that have proven to support violent offenders with individualized re­entry plans and ongoing support to prevent recidivism.

I would support constitutional amendments to ensure that fully funded and effective legal aid is made available to those that need it; that lawyers are able to have access to evidence well before the trial begins, instead of the day before; those identified to have mental illness receive treatment.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

B. What steps would you support taking to end the "school­to­prison pipeline"? What is your view on the role of police in schools?

It's a community ­to­prison pipeline. The schools are just one staging area for the prison pipeline. Schools alone can't solve that problem. The schools with high disciplinary and suspension problems are invariably the schools in high­poverty communities. I would invest in high­poverty communities to end the homelessness, unemployment, street crime, and interpersonal conflicts that arise with concentrated poverty.

New York State's adoption of test based accountability measures, in compliance with, to start, No Child Left Behind, followed by Race to the Top, and now the current Every Student Succeeds Act has led to the use of un­researched value­added metrics (VAM). Backed by corporate lobbyists and hedge funds, these policies have resulted in disproportionate adverse consequences in poorer Black and Brown communities through state­sanctioned labeling and school takeovers and closures. According to a study conducted by the National Opportunity to Learn campaign, Black and Brown students are 20 times more likely to attend a school that is under­resourced, labeled as failing, and then slated for closure. The disruption and displacement of these students pushes many of them into the school­to­prison pipeline.

A secondary impact of education legislation backed by wealthy investors promoting the testing and charter industries is the narrowing of the curriculum and stripping educators' ability to teach culturally relevant pedagogy. Underfunded schools has meant the elimination of arts, sports and physical education, basic infrastructure maintenance, and an increase in negative student behaviors. Returning greater educational autonomy and democratic decision­making by school communities in educational policy are central to dismantling the school­to­prison pipeline.

I testified before the U.S. Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in January of 2015 on the reauthorization of the Elementary Secondary Education Act for testing and accountability, where I made it clear that the privatization policies have had a detrimental impact on students and their communities. As a public school teacher in New York City, I am a conscientious objector to high­stakes testing, refusing to administer the state standardized tests, the tools used to rank and sort students and schools and punish poor students simply for being poor.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

I am a member of Teachers Unite, a member based organization of teachers, guidance counselors, parents and allies who are actively working with schools to develop cultures of restorative justice. TU initiated a campaign calling for more guidance counselors and no cops in schools. It is typical for high schools with as many as 4,000 students, all coming in with a range of problems, having access to only eight guidance counselors.

I understand that we have schools with higher rates of violence and communities want and need to have order. In the extreme instances where there is an unusually high rate of violence, school communities should have a right to seek support in the form of additional staff, training in developing peer mediation and restorative school culture, as well as, access to resources for students who exhibit violent behaviors. Currently, school administrators are discouraged from having too many OORS reports (online occurrence reporting system) and it has resulted in climates of disempowerment and chaos in some schools that have gained media attention.

C. What is your opinion on automated decision systems ("algorithms") used by the State Government, for example, for assigning funding to school districts, for determining bail in judicial hearings, or for predictive policing? Would you support legislation to bring these systems, which are often proprietary software, under public oversight?

Automated algorithms have been problematic. In her book, Weapons of Math Destruction, mathematician, quant and data scientist, Cathy O'Neil, discusses the embedded biases in the algorithms. Since the algorithms are "man" made, it is dangerous to rely on the data as objective measures of a condition. Money is being wasted on these systems; instead, the funds should be allocated to researching more effective means that could be implemented by localities. There is far greater information to be gathered, albeit more time consuming, with qualitative research methods, which would provide for more accurate assessment of conditions and therefore, more meaningful implications for problem solving.

D. Do you support the following policies? For any you don't support, please explain why. (Please tick the boxes or place a "Y" by each policy you support.)

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

Authorizing and funding the State AG's office to investigate police departments for unconstitutional policing Yes.

Sentencing reform to reduce the length of sentences for most crimes Y

Early release Y

Prison diversion programs Y

A commitment to bringing New York's incarceration rate down to the Organisation for Economic Co­operation and Development (OECD) average within 10 years Y

a statewide prohibition on exclusionary school discipline (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) Y

The decriminalization of all drugs Y

Full legalization of recreational marijuana Y

Retroactive application of marijuana legalization and automatic clearing of marijuana convictions Y

Raising the age of majority for all felony convictions to 21 Y

Ending cash bail for all crimes throughout New York

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee


VIII. Socialist Feminism

A. Do you consider yourself a feminist?


B. What would you do to address high rates of violence against transgender women, particularly trans women of color?

I will push for passage of the Gender Expression Non­Discrimination Act (GENDA) to provide equal protection for transgender and gender non­conforming people in education, employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations.

C. Do you support state­mandated paid parental leave for all parents, regardless of how the child arrived?


D. Do you support the right to universal free childcare?


E. What would you do in office to address the problem of sexual harassment and assault against women in precarious situations, whether in housing, immigration, or low­wage work, that imperils their livelihood, homes, or presence in this country?

I would support the passage of legislation to ensure the protection of women against conditions that lead to unsafe situations. Women need access to a livable wage, affordable housing, ability to seek asylum as an immigrant and programs to foster supportive networks within local communities. Funding is necessary to provide programs to communities that educate to dismantle toxic masculinity, white supremacist culture and racism. It is not enough to have punitive measures for cases of sexual harassment when nothing is done to invest in the dismantling of patriarchy.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

IX. Health Care as a Human Right

A. Would you support the New York Health Act and the establishment of a universal right to comprehensive health care in New York state?


B. Would you support New Yorkers' rights to reproductive health care, including abortion without restriction and on demand? How would you guarantee poor and working class people have access to reproductive care? Would you support the Reproductive Health Act in NY?

Yes. Funding needs to be made available to specialists in reproductive and women's health, such as Planned Parenthood. Provisions should be in place to provide for localities to coordinate partnerships with the community and specialists to plan and provide the best possible care facilities. Yes, I would support the Reproductive Health Act in NY.

C. How would you improve current laws designed to aid people with disabilities?

As a special education teacher, I believe that the language needs to change. Using the term disability creates a frame of deficit on the part of the individual. Instead, I would propose that our state get educated around the notion of differently abled members of our communities and engage members of the community to discuss and decide what the needs are.

Starting from an access to public education, our state's budget shortfalls and local funding formulas have decreased the services (physical therapy, speech/language, guidance, occupational therapy, hearing, etc.) available to those who need them. Special education lawsuits are one of the biggest bites out of local education budgets.

Young adults need to have alternatives means to high school graduation. It took years for the state to adopt an alternative pathway for students with Individualized Education Plans, but programming in schools has fallen far behind.

Adults need to have access to programs and community efforts for full inclusion and accessibility.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

D. Would you support full access to healthcare for all, including healthcare needed to support transgender persons?


X. Public Education

A. Do you support making CUNY and SUNY tuition free? What is your opinion of Governor Cuomo's Excelsior Scholarship program as it relates to this goal?


Over 95% of SUNY and CUNY students don't qualify for Excelsior Scholarships. It does not fulfill the goal.

B. Would you oppose all efforts by the state to mandate an expansion of charter school operations in New York City?


C. Would you support New York State fulfilling the promise of the Campaign For Fiscal Equity by increasing funding to public schools by $4 billion, most of which is owed to districts with high percentages of Black, Brown and low­income students?


D. Would you oppose efforts by New York state legislators to deny state funding to organizations supporting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and to ban the Students for Justice in Palestine organization from CUNY campuses?


XI. Economic Justice

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

A. Do you think the state should have a role in financing and supporting alternative economic models such as workers cooperatives? Would you support common ownership of natural resources of New York State and any technologies or innovations developed with public funding?

Yes. There are models in other countries that we can look to. In fact, greater worker cooperatives would ensure greater economic equity across local regions and thus, across the state. I would support common ownership of natural resources as well. I teach at a public school called the Earth School (in the East Village), where we design our own curriculum. Environmental stewardship is something we teach, as well as, the fight led by the indigenous people of this nation, alongside environmentalists, to secure our natural resources for the common good. Privatization has only led us closer and closer to global climate catastrophe. I went to Standing Rock with Labor for Standing Rock and experienced the potential power of collective protection over our resources and the seventh generation principles.

B. Due to lack of infrastructure in rural and low­income areas, and lack of inexpensive options, many households in the state of New York do not have internet access. What should the State be doing to guarantee that all residents have low­cost, high­speed internet access?

Howie Hawkins and I agree, "The state should set up a public broadband network to provide all residents with low­cost, high­speed internet with net neutrality and user­friendly customer service that the big private internet service providers like Spectrum and Verizon fail miserably at providing."

C. Do you support the following policies? For any you don't support, please explain why. (Please tick the boxes or place a "Y" by each policy you support.)

Millionaire's tax YES

Financial Transaction Tax Y

A vacancy tax to discourage warehousing by landlords and speculative investment in luxury housing Y

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

New York City home rule to establish new taxes for local revenue generation Y

Formation of a public bank by the state to ensure all New Yorkers have access to financial services Y

XII. Immigrant Justice

A. What steps do you think are necessary to build a true Sanctuary environment in New York state? Would you support the Liberty Act, a proposal to bring sanctuary city policies to the state level?

Passage of the Liberty Act is a priority, as well as, developing a culture of protection in collaboration with elected representatives across the state.

B. Would you support legislation to prohibit the use of resources to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law or to collect or disseminate information regarding the immigration status of individuals?


C. What other steps would you take at the state level to protect New York's immigrant communities against unjust federal policies?

(excerpted from running mate Howie Hawkin's response) Enact the New York DREAM Act to enable 4,500 undocumented students who graduate from high school each year to pursue a college education.

Issue drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, which will enhance public safety as well as equal justice under law.

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

Expand the Liberty Defense Project by increasing funding from $10 million to $20 million to provide immigrants with legal services and process.

Prohibit the use of public funds in New York State to enforce federal immigration laws.

Maintain Executive Order 179 (September 15, 2017) that prohibits:

state agencies and officers from inquiring about or disclosing an individual's immigration status unless required by law or necessary to determine eligibility for a benefit or service. law enforcement officers from inquiring about immigration status unless investigating illegal criminal activity, including, but not limited to, when an individual approaches a law enforcement officer seeking assistance, is the victim of a crime, or is witness to a crime.

Maintain the Attorney General Office's Civil Rights Bureau guidance for local law enforcement to limit their participation in federal immigration enforcement activities, including:

refusing to enforce non­judicial civil immigration warrants issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP), protecting New Yorkers' Fourth Amendment rights by denying federal requests to hold uncharged individuals in custody more than 48 hours, limiting access of ICE and CBP agents to individuals currently in custody, limiting information gathering and reporting that will be used exclusively for federal immigration enforcement.

D. Do you have any plans for conducting investigations into detention center abuses and making those investigations transparent?

Yes, I would work with the governor and support the immediate investigation of detention center abuses and make them transparent. Process is of the utmost importance.

E. What existing connections do you have with immigrant­led groups? As a member of MORE, we are allied with TeachDream, a NYC based group, led by immigrant students and allies to ensure that NYC public schools remain safe havens. It led to the creation of Immigrant Liason initiative for all New York City public schools.

XIII. Environmental Justice

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

A. Do you support the following policies? For any you don't support, please explain why. (Please tick the boxes or place a "Y" by each policy you support.)

Ensuring causes of asthma and other environmentally harmful sites such as utilities and transit hubs are not disproportionately sited in working class communities and communities of color Y

Legislation to abate mold and toxins in public housing and private residences Y

Resilience measures to curb increasing flooding and retrofit buildings, parks, and roadways and the introduction of locally owned energy microgrids Y

Ensuring any resilience measures be used to increase employment and/or support full employment at prevailing wages Y

Congestion pricing Y

levying a gas tax and using its proceeds for mass transit?


The New York State Climate and Community Protection Act

The Green Party opposed the passage by the Assembly of this bill this Spring, but it is too little, too late to address the climate crisis. The climate science indicates that industrial economies like New York State's have to move to 100% clean energy by 2030 if the planet is to avert runaway global warming and a climate catastrophe.

Greens campaigned for the NY Off Fossil Fuels Act (NY OFF, A.5105/S.5908A ). The bill would amend the state's energy master plan to require a transition to 100% clean energy by 2030. It would

Green Party Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jia Lee

halt the building of any new infrastructure for natural gas or other fossil fuels. We believe this bill, not the Climate and Community Protection Act, is what the movement should push.

Fully funding the MTA capital plan Y

Reducing or eliminating MTA fares

Yes. Free or reduced fares for public transit is needed to relieve working class household budgets and discourage commuting by car. The lost revenue from fares would be covered by more progressive taxation and increased mass transit budgets.

Upgrading subway stations to expand handicap accessibility Y

Making our state entirely free from reliance on fossil fuels by 2035

We're saying by 2030.

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