Does NYC Live Up to Our Values?

We have a real chance to build a more progressive New York in 2013. More than half of the New York City Council will be leaving office, offering a unique opportunity to transform city politics.

As New Yorkers, we have inherited a vibrant, diverse city, and a rich progressive history—from welcoming immigrants, to building the subway, to organizing strong unions, to creating affordable housing, to legislating campaign finance reform.

Unfortunately, that commitment to a progressive NYC has weakened in recent years. Inequality and homelessness are now at all-time highs. Too often we know that NYC falls far short of our values of promoting justice, equality and opportunity in a thriving city.

We have a real chance to do something about it. More than half of the New York City Council will be leaving office in 2013, offering a unique opportunity to transform city politics.

Enter Progressive NYC 2013, a coalition that will bring together the new Progressive Caucus Alliance, labor unions, online organizers, the Working Families Party, progressive donors and grassroots activists like many of you. Together, we can make sure that open seats in the City Council are filled with true progressives who share our values and will work to make them real.

If you want to join this movement, please visit our website.

We will be working to elect community organizers, neighborhood activists, union members and other progressives who want to build a more just New York. And next week, we will be announcing our first three endorsements.

Electing real progressives will not be easy, but with this coalition, we have what it takes to win. We will be hosting house parties in living rooms across the city to raise money for grassroots candidates. We will be working with community organizations to get candidates the volunteers they need to knock on every door and call every phone. We will have a Leadership and Finance Committee of experienced political organizers and donors backing our candidates so they can win while staying true to the progressive values we share.

I am joined in the the Progressive Caucus Alliance by Margaret Chin, Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras, Jimmy Van Bramer, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Jumaane Williams—progressive leaders who have shown that this grassroots strategy works, and who are ready to use it to bring a wave of progressives into the next City Council.

With a City Council full of grassroots leaders, we can pass the progressive legislation that the vast majority of New Yorkers support. A recent survey by the Community Service Society found that by a margin of three to one, New Yorkers favor economic justice and are willing to pay more in taxes to build a stronger, more active government. This consensus transcends income or even party affiliation.

If we elect progressive City Councilmembers that share these values, we will be able to pass sweeping legislation that will create a stronger New York:

  • We can bring the voice of those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy to City Hall, so the recovery will rebuild a New York that is more equitable, sustainable and democratic.
  • We can ensure that all New York workers can take a few paid sick days, rather than having to choose between their health and their job.
  • We can prevent civil liberties violations at the NYPD, so that no one is stopped and frisked simply because of their skin color, or spied on because of their religious or political beliefs.
  • We can clean up our environment, protect and build affordable housing, and bring more democratic, participatory decision-making to city government.


We can build a Progressive NYC

The City Council’s Progressive Caucus has already led the way on some important legislation—a “living wage” law to make sure our tax dollars do not directly subsidize poverty wages, a resolution challenging Citizens United—but we must do much more to combat rising inequality and improve quality of life for millions of New Yorkers.

Together, we can grow the Progressive Caucus and make real change in New York—please become part of that movement today.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dudley Escobar December 06, 2012 at 09:14 PM
"Living Wage" laws are the worst idea that the progressive movement, which is already rife with bad ideas, has ever had. Of course we all want wages to be higher but you can't legislate the value of labor. Labor is a commodity and like any commodity, if you make it more expensive, people (in this case, employers) will buy less of it. So all you'll be doing is condemning teenagers, immigrants and other low-skilled and new workers to even lower odds of finding employment. Why do you think the unemployment rate for teenagers in NYC is so high? If you don't believe this to be true, ask yourself this: if you think the only repercussion of raising the minimum wage is that greedy CEOs might not be able to afford that new ivory backscratcher, then why not go all the way? After all, $15/hr at full time is only $30k/year, and we all know that it's very difficult to survive in NYC on that. So why not raise it higher? Why not raise it to $20/hr? Or why not force the CEO to live a smaller house and raise it to $50/hr? Or $100/hr? Of course you can't do this because at some point, employers will stop hiring because the labor is too expensive. Once you realize that is true, it becomes clear that the only people that should be involved in the decision about an employee's wage are the employee and the employer, because they are the only people equipped with all of the information necessary to determine the value of the work to be done.
Carole G. December 07, 2012 at 05:15 AM
New York State DEC/Dept. Environmental Conservation takes a major DUMP in Carroll Gardens, pooh-poohing the toxic poo poo in the Gowanus Canal and the resultant health risks. http://carrollgardenspetition.blogspot.com/2012/12/new-york-state-decdept-environmental.html
Dudley Escobar December 07, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Your spamming is incredibly irritating and counterproductive. I'm going to go dump entire bottles of bleach and used motor oil into the Gowanus until you stop doing this.
Parksloper December 10, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Progressives and unions have destroyed this city. No jobs. Crime is way up and only to get worse as the economy continues to decline. Time to follow other right-to-work states and to let more Republicans, Conservatives and Independents have a voice. Fair is Fair right?
Patti December 10, 2012 at 03:59 PM
The people have spoken Parksloper; Republicans don't get it. They lost the run for presidency, the Senate is Dem. stronger, and they will lose the congress in the next round. So stop pushing your right wing thinking. Yes, fair is fair.
Brad The Great Procrastinator December 10, 2012 at 09:00 PM
"Electing real progressives will not be easy, but with this coalition, we have what it takes to win." Why, Brad, are you including your self in this sentence. "We" would mean you, and you have done crap for your districts. One lousy light at the corner of Pacific and Court has been asked for over two decades and no one (Including yourself) has even considered this minor task worth taking on. As for your efforts with the Gowanus, you have earned the title Mr Teflon. When these issues were yours to work on early in your political career, you stalled on it so the federal government can place the Superfund label on it. This label took away your voice because you lied initially (That you had it as a priority). Mr Teflon as well as Mr Procrastinator, sounds fitting for someone like you. Keep avoiding the issues. And to answer your Q: Does NYC Live Up to Our Values? Absolutely not when political animals such as yourself run our districts


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