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GINY joins with the National Indivisible 435 Project and other progressive groups in CD NY-21 who have endorsed Tedra Cobb in her candidacy for the House of Representatives.  Tedra has experience as a two-term St. Lawrence County Legislator, stands for common-sense progressive principles, was a factor in bringing an ethics law to her county, is the only candidate who has spoken in support of term limits, has raised her campaign funds almost entirely within New York, and is the candidate who can win the District in November.

National Indivisible, through its Indivisible 435 Project, endorsed Tedra last week.  Our endorsement process has been going for several weeks and in a ranked choice vote we made our choice on Saturday, June 9.  GINY’s values and positions are articulated in our platform (click here to read the platformagainst which members weighed the written and personal statements of the candidates.  As a partner organization in the Coalition of NY21 Progressives, members had the opportunity before voting to view a series of one on one video interviews in which all the candidates were asked the same questions and given equal time to respond.

The endorsement decision was made using ranked choice voting (click here for a description), a democratic process gaining wide support, in which the winning candidate must achieve a true majority.  Tedra emerged the clear victor with 56.3% of the vote on the first round of ballot counting.

GINY looks forward to lending our active support to Tedra in the run up to the Democratic Primary on June 26, 2018 and following that in her quest to unseat Elise Stefanik in the general election in November.

GINY plans to make endorsements in NY State races in the near future.

GINY’s 2017 Election Return Watching Guide

It’s been one year since Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the Presidential election.  In normal times, which these are certainly not, the local elections the following year get minimal, if any, attention.  This year is different.

As we watch returns come in tonight, there is more to follow than how our local Democratic candidates for village and town offices perform.  Here’s a list of the most interesting national races and ballot questions we can be watching.  Many of these races are considered referenda on Trump and will provide the first indications of the mood of voters.  Others are tests of the direction of the Democratic Party.

So fasten your seat belts, we could be in for a bumpy ride.

New Jersey:  Governor

Outgoing Republican Gov. Chris Christie and his record-low approval ratings hover mightily over the contest to replace him. His Republican lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, has tried to distance herself from Christie. But former Goldman Sachs executive and US Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy, the Democratic nominee, has led consistently in the polls — and spent tens of millions of his own dollars on the race. A Murphy loss would be a stunning upset.

Virginia:  Governor

Ralph Northam, Virginia’s Democratic lieutenant governor, was once expected to easily defeat Republican Ed Gillespie, a former lobbyist and White House adviser to George W. Bush who’s never held office before, in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the state by 5.3 points last November, and since then Democrats have been overperforming (though not actually winning) in special elections nationwide. Plus, even before Trump was elected, the party controlling the White House tended to lose in Virginia gubernatorial races.

But in recent weeks the race has tightened, leaving Democrats worried that they they may see a replay of Clinton’s loss on Tuesday. While most polls still have Northam in the lead, on election eve his lead over Gillespie was down to 3.3 percent in RealClearPolitics polling averages.

Florida: St. Petersburg Mayor

Former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee have all been involved in the effort to reelect St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman over GOP former Mayor Rick Baker. Obama issued a rare endorsement, while Biden has robocalled for Kriseman and the DNC is touting its financial investments in the race. A recent Baker TV ad highlighted the 2001 arrest of Kriseman’s chief of staff, Kevin King, on a charge involving underage girls when King was 22 years old. Both sides say the race is close.
— Marc Caputo and Matt Dixon, POLITICO Florida

Georgia: Atlanta Mayor

Atlanta’s nonpartisan mayoral contest on Tuesday could lead to the election of the city’s first white mayor since Sam Massell in the early 1970s. City Councilwomen Mary Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms appear to have the inside track to be the finalists in next month’s runoff, according to a poll last week. Bottoms garnered a valuable endorsement from term-limited Mayor Kasim Reed, who is interested in a future statewide bid. Norwood, who identifies as an independent, narrowly lost a mayoral bid in 2009. The campaign has taken on a racial tinge — if Norwood, who is white, makes the runoff, she’d likely be an underdog against Bottoms, or another African-American candidate.
— Steven Shepard, POLITICO

Top of Form

Maine: Question 2 (Medicaid expansion)

The Maine referendum is the first in the nation where the question of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is being put directly to voters. The ballot initiative materialized after Gov. Paul LePage vetoed expansion bills five times. LePage, a Republican, has spearheaded the opposition campaign to the measure, which would provide coverage to roughly 80,000 low-income people, according to a nonpartisan state fiscal office. If approved, Maine would become the 32nd state to adopt the Obamacare provision. Liberal activists around the country are hoping that the ballot measure will re-energize efforts to expand coverage in the 18 states that remain opposed.
— Rachana Pradhan, POLITICO Pro Health Care

Massachusetts: Boston City Council District 1

A local city council race is squaring Boston’s old guard against the new face of the city. Lydia Edwards, a 30-something, up-and-coming immigration lawyer from East Boston is giving Stephen Passacantilli, a recovering addict with a longstanding relationship with Mayor Marty Walsh, and whose family has deep ties with the North End, a run for his money. It’s an open seat to represent the heavily Italian American North End, but also diverse, immigrant-rich East Boston. Passacantilli, initially the odds-on favorite to win, edged Edwards by only 77 votes in the primary. Walsh, whose city hall has employed both candidates, won’t endorse, but he did appear in a mailer distributed by the Passacantilli campaign in Spanish and Mandarin stating “I’m with Stephen.” Popular Democratic state Attorney General Maura Healey, who also lives in the district, came out in support of Edwards.
— Lauren Dezenski, POLITICO Massachusetts

Minnesota: Minneapolis Mayor/St. Paul Mayor

This is the third election in which Minnesota’s big mayoral races will be conducted using ranked-choice voting, in which voters will select their first, second and third choices when they fill out their ballots. But even though ranked-choice voting began in Minnesota in 2009, it’s taken on new relevance recently. Nationally, ranked-choice voting is used in a handful of well-known liberal enclaves: San Francisco and Oakland, along with Takoma Park, Maryland. Voters in Maine last year approved a ballot initiative establishing ranked-choice voting statewide, but that’s being held up by the courts and legislature over concerns it violates the state constitution.
— Steven Shepard

New Hampshire: Manchester Mayor

Manchester is a small city, but this year’s mayoral race there is attracting national attention because of the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. While that’s more than three years away, a handful of prospective 2020 Democratic candidates have been to Manchester to campaign for Democrat Joyce Craig: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. (Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Craig in a video message last week.) As for the race, Craig edged in front of incumbent GOP Mayor Ted Gatsas in the initial vote in September.
— Steven Shepard

New Jersey: State Senate 3rd District

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has served in the chamber for 16 years, representing a battleground district. But the state’s highest-ranking Democrat has been forced to pump millions of dollars into his bid for reelection because of a bitter feud with the New Jersey Education Association, which tends to lean left but is endorsing his Republican opponent, Fran Grenier a supporter of President Donald Trump. The contest, which has become the most expensive state legislative race in New Jersey history, has already strained relationships between the state’s largest teachers’ union and members of the Democratic Party. Further post-election fallout is possible and will test the political clout of the state’s most powerful special interest group.
— Linh Tat, POLITICO New Jersey

New York: Proposal 1 (Constitutional Convention)

The New York state constitution requires voters every 20 years to decide whether the state should open up its constitution to amendment and revision. Like in past years, the vicennial ballot question has attracted odd coalitions of liberals and conservatives on both sides. The overwhelming majority of spending has come from public-employee unions worried about labor rights and state pensions. Early polls had indicated support for what New York politicos call “Con-Con,” but a Siena College survey last month found opposition spiking.— Steven Shepard

New York: Nassau and Westchester County Executives

While Bill de Blasio is cruising to reelection in New York’s mayoral race, contests in two close-in, Democratic-leaning suburban counties are much closer. In populous Nassau County, the Long Island bedroom community just outside the city, incumbent GOP County Executive Ed Mangano isn’t running for a third term because he’s under indictment for corruption. Polls point to a tight race between Democrat Laura Curran and Republican Jack Martins. Curran has stressed ethics issues — including Mangano’s proclivity for trumpeting his name on county property and publications. Martins has recently focused on immigration, critizing Curran for accepting support from groups that back so-called sanctuary cities. Republicans sent out a controversial mailer saying Curran will “roll out the welcome mat for violent gangs like MS-13!” The mailer, which critics have dubbed racist, includes a photo of several heavily-tattooed men introduced as “your new neighbors.”
— Steven Shepard and Bill Mahoney, POLITICO New York

In Westchester, Democrats would love to knock off two-term County Executive Rob Astorino, whom Gov. Andrew Cuomo defeated in a statewide race three years ago. Democratic state Sen. George Latimer has certainly tried to make the race a referendum on Trump and has compared the county’s budget priorities under Astorino to ideas that have come out of Washington in recent months. On Friday, he was joined by county resident Hillary Clinton, who asserted that Astorino has been “funded by some of Donald Trump’s most powerful allies” as she endorsed Latimer. Astorino, meanwhile, has continued to run on an agenda that has worked for him and other suburban Republicans in the past: above all else, arguing that property taxes in the country’s highest-tax county cannot increase. But to a large degree, the campaign has revolved around bitter personal attacks. Astorino has repeatedly hammered Latimer on an unpaid $46,000 tax bill on a property owned by Latimer’s wife, and Latimer called on Astorino to resign after he was named in a union official’s corruption trial as the alleged recipient of a discounted luxury watch.
— Bill Mahoney, POLITICO New York

Ohio: Issue 2 (Drug prices)

If passed, the most expensive ballot measure in state history would require that state agencies purchase prescription drugs at prices no higher than those paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA typically gets the lowest prices on medicines in the country. The same ballot measure was narrowly defeated (53 percent to 47 percent) in California in 2016, after the drug industry poured in more than $100 million. In Ohio, the yes campaign has adapted their message to the swing state, bringing in Republican operatives like former state GOP chairman Matt Borges and Columbus-based GOP ad-maker Rex Elsass, who’s worked for Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Michelle Bachmann. But opponents feel confident: The drug lobby PhRMA has poured nearly $60 million dollars into the race, spending almost twice as much per voter as they did in California. The yes campaign has raised much less: $16.5 million.
— Sarah Karlin-Smith, POLITICO Pro Health Care

Utah: 3rd Congressional District

Utah is likely to elect a new Republican congressman Tuesday — one who isn’t necessarily on the Trump train. Republican John Curtis is favored to win the special election for the House seat vacated by former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who resigned this past summer and became a cable-television pundit. A poll last month gave Curtis, the mayor of Provo, a big lead over Democrat Kathie Allen and United Utah candidate Jim Bennett. Curtis, notably, is a former Democrat and was the most moderate candidate in a three-way GOP primary back in August. He didn’t vote for Trump last fall and wrote an op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune last month headlined, “Where I stand on President Trump.” “People in our communities are hurting. We need to calm the anger,” Curtis wrote. “We need solutions, not rhetoric; substance, not sound bites.”
— Steven Shepard

Virginia: State House of Delegates 13th District

Democrats have identified nearly a dozen targets in the state House, but none have received the media attention of the 13th District, where Democrat Danica Roem is challenging GOP state Rep. Bob Marshall. Marshall is a social conservative running in a D.C. exurb — Prince William County, south and west of Washington — that is increasingly Democratic-leaning: Hillary Clinton won the seat by 15 percentage points last fall. That’s one reason why Roem, a first-time candidate and transgender woman, has received so much national exposure. If elected, she would be the first transgender woman to win election to a state legislature.
— Steven Shepard

Washington: State Senate 45th District

A victory by Democrat Manka Dhingra over Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund would give Democrats control of the upper chamber of Washington state’s legislature — and, as a result, control of every governorship and state legislative chamber in the three Pacific Coast states. The national parties have taken note: Both the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee have poured time and resources into the race. All together, Dhingra and Englund’s campaigns, combined, have spent nearly $3 million, breaking state records for a legislative race. Vice President Joe Biden has endorsed Dhingra, as has Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, whose national ambitions stand to benefit from enacting progressive legislation.

GINY September 17 Meeting Minutes

Twenty-three attended our Sept 17 meeting at 103 Plow

Candidate Endorsements
We invited 23 candidates for local office from Greenwich and the Washington County towns from which we have members. Seven candidates attended and introduced themselves:
• Sue Clary
• Katie DeGroot
• Pat Donahue
• Brian Harrington
• Sara Idleman
• Barbara Kingsley
• Kathleen Ward

We considered the question of whether GINY should make a formal statement of support/endorsement for candidates. A lively discussion settled on members not certain GINY should do that at present since we do not have an articulated position on issues by which to measure if we are aligned with a given candidate. Another factor is that GINY is not an official arm of the Democratic Party and should be able to make our own determination of who to support. It was agreed that we will very likely back Democratic candidates and individuals and subgroups of GINY will continue to actively support. In the future we will establish positions on issues prior to considering candidates for endorsement.

We highlighted the fundraiser rally GINY is planning in support of Sara Idleman, Pat Donahue and Audrey Fischer on October 22 at Green Acres Tavern in Greenwich. We sold 3 $25 tickets for the event.

Constitutional Amendment Referendum
We had an excellent presentation from guest speaker Pamela Malone, President of the Empire State College Chapter of United University Professions (UUP), Member of the statewide UUP Executive Board, Member of New York State United Teachers Board of Directors, Co-chair of UUP’s statewide Outreach Committee and member of our statewide Negotiations Team.

Pamela did a very comprehensive presentation on the background of the Con Con, who is supporting it, the money interests involved and the likelihood of sitting legislators and officials dominating. She stressed the cost of $150 – $300 million and that officials will continue to receive regular salaries as well as an $80,000 salary, including extra pension benefits.

GINY purchased 20 lawn signs and 50 buttons, most of which were picked up by members.


Climate Forum
GINY member MaryLou Stern is organizing an event on climate in cooperation with the Ag Program on October 12 at 7:00 pm at Greenwich Jr/Sr High School. Like he did at our Fake News Forum, Joe Donahue will moderate. We have two heavy hitter panelists:
Judith Enck, Former Regional Administrator of the US EPA and current Senior Advisor for the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development and a regular panelist on WAMC’s The Roundtable
Jeff Goodell, contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine and author of The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilized World.

New York Campaign for Health
GINY member Tracy Frisch ( · 518-692-8242) is working with the Campaign for New York Health to recruit people to canvass on September 23. The effort will target poorer areas with the objective to gather personal stories that will form the basis of lobbying efforts in support of the New York Health Act.

Next Meeting The next meeting will be scheduled after the Steering Committee discusses the impact of the day/time change for this meeting and if we want to stay with Sunday, return to Thursday or some other option.

GINY August 17 Meeting Minutes

GINY Meeting 8/17/17

Note Change of Day/Time/Location for next meeting!
Sunday, September 17
5:00 – 7:00 PM
103 Plow
103 Main Street, Greenwich
Pizza Provided, Bring Beverages!

Nine members attended our August 17 meeting at the Cossayuna Fire House.


GDC Caucus

We announced the results of the Greenwich Democratic Committee Caucus on Aug 15. Our slate of candidates:

  • Sara Idleman – Town Supervisor
  • Audrey Fischer – Town Board
  • Pat Donahue – Town Board

Young Democrats of Washington County

  • We discussed a second meeting we had with Dan Barusch of the Saratoga County and DRC Young Dems about organizing a chapter in Washington County.
  • Don Boyagian, one of the announced candidates for NY-21, is also talking with the Young Dems. We are starting to plan an organizational event and we will try to get something set up in the early fall.
  • We have identified through VAN over 100 young registered Democrats to whom we will reach out in the Town of Greenwich’s five election districts alone. We will be identifying others in election districts throughout Washington County between the ages of 18 – 35 to include.

Washington County Fair

GINY will be helping out with two booths at the Fair:

  • North Country Climate will have a booth in Bldg 28 – the Grange/Community Living Bldg – to bring attention to climate issues. Thanks to Herb Perkins for working with the Salem Courthouse Lunch, Learn and Play program to have the 1st to 4th grade group make a tree for the booth. Also, anyone who completes a voter registration or change of registration form at the Washington County Democratic Party booth will receive a voucher to bring for a LED bulb (donated by North Country Climate).
  • Washington County Democratic Party booth in the Commercial Bldg. GINY members will be staffing the table during several time slots during the week. We expect our local and NY-21 candidates to also be spending some time at the booth meeting and talking with Fair goers.


  • Members are encouraged to make comments to the EPA on the issue of GE’s cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson before the deadline on September 1, 2017. The cleanup is only partially completed (approximately 72%) yet GE has been allowed to shut down its plant and de-watering facility. At the very least, cleanup should continue on “hot spots” where concentrations of PCBs remain high. Send comments by mail or email to:
    Gary Klawinski, Director EPA Region 2, Hudson River Office 187 Wolf Road, Suite 303 Albany, NY 12205
  • Members are reminded of an important presentation on August 30 from the Citizens Climate Lobby at ACC/SUNY Adirondack on their lobbying on the Carbon Fee and Dividend. The event is free to all and begins at 5:00, with a catered dinner at 6:00. Discussion continues after dinner until 8:00. Please RSVP to North Country Climate Reality group, or contact MaryLou Stern (

CD 21 Campaign

  • CAT21 (Citizens Acting Together for District 21) will be hosting a Candidates’ Forum at the theater at ACC/SUNY Adirondack on August 31. Invitations were sent to the district incumbent as well as people we knew of who have formally declared their intent to compete for the US House of Representatives Congressional seat in NY District 21. Current District 21 Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) was invited, however, she has not replied. The following people have formally announced their candidacy and have agreed to participate in our event:

o Don Boyajian (D)
o Tedra Cobb (D)
o Russell Finley(R)
o Emily Martz (D)
o Patrick Nelson (D)
o Katie Wilson (D)


  • Plans for a canvass in Greenwich on August 20 have been put on hold. So many of our members are actively engaged in preparation for participation in the Fair and other activities that there is an insufficient number of canvasses to make an impact. Another date will be chosen in the near future.

Constitutional Convention Referendum

  • The planned focus for the canvass was to have been the Constitutional Convention Referendum that will be on the ballot November 7. The bulk of the meeting was a very good discussion of the background, implications/risks and costs associated with a convention. We also discussed who is supporting and opposing passage in November.
  • Key take aways from the discussion:
    o A convention would be a hugely expensive endeavor. Estimates run up to $300 million.
    o Legislators already have the capacity to reform government and amend the NY Constitution through their regular process. This is redundant.
    o Delegates will most likely be sitting officials who will, in addition to their regular salaries, earn $80,000 salaries for the convention.
    o The convention is not time limited, nor is anything in the NYS Constitution off the table, a major concern for environmentalists.
    o Major support for a convention comes from Steve Bannon/Robert Mercer backed Reclaim NY. With vast resources, the delegates they support can hijack the convention to further their agenda of deconstructing government.
    o There is at the moment popular support in NY for a convention. Some may not really understand the implications and others, including some progressive groups, hope for a “people’s convention” that could further the progressive agenda. Given that the election of delegates (separate from the referendum in November) will be an expensive process and one that favors those with political organizations, resources and experience, it is very unlikely to turn out that way.

See the Constitutional Convention Q&A Fact Sheet that follows

Change of Day/Time/Location for next meeting

  • We have heard from several people who would love to attend GINY meetings but are unable to make it on Thursday evenings. We decided to try alternating our Thursday evenings in Cossayuna with other days, times and locations.
  • The next meeting for GINY will be 5:00 pm, Sunday, September 17 at 103 Plow on Main St in Greenwich. Pizza will be provided and members are asked to bring beverages.

Constitutional Convention Q&A Fact Sheet

What will a Constitutional Convention cost?
Estimates run up to $300 Million. Each delegate will be paid a salary of $80,000. Plus, they can hire staff with no exclusions for family and associates. There is no limit on the time a convention can run so the cost can quickly add up.

Who will the delegates be?
There would be an election in 2018 to select delegates. There is a concern that those with the resources and backing of political parties will have a distinct advantage in gathering nominating signatures, campaigning and winning delegate spots.

During the last convention in 1967, four out of five delegates were career politicians, attorneys and Albany insiders. Every politician who ran that year won a delegate seat, and all of the convention leaders were sitting legislators.

While receiving their $80,000 salary as delegates, sitting officials will also continue to receive their regular salaries.

Is this the only way to bring needed reforms to New York?
Reform is needed in Albany. This is by no means the only way to get it. Our elected officials could implement changes through their existing power to legislate or amend the Constitution and avoid a costly convention.

Who is supporting/opposing a Constitutional Convention?
There are progressive and conservative groups supporting a Constitutional Convention in the hope that it will be a “people’s convention” that will bring reform to New York. Out of concern about the delegate selection process and other issues, many more groups – both progressive and conservative – oppose it.


Committee for a Constitutional Convention
Forward March New York
New York State Bar Association
People’s Convention
Sanctuary State Project


Adirondack Council
Council of Churches
Environmental Advocates of New York
NYS Conservative Party
New York Professional Nurses Union
NYS PEF Retirees
NYS Republican State Committee
NYS Rifle and Pistol Association
Port Authority PBA
Planned Parenthood
Right to Life
Strong Economy for All Coalition
Working Families Party

           …… and many more

Town of Greenwich Party Caucus

Town of Greenwich

Democrat Party Caucus


The Democrat Party Caucus for the Town of Greenwich will be held at the Greenwich Town Office Building, 2 Academy Street, Greenwich on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 beginning at 7:PM and ending at 8:00PM.


The purpose of the caucus is to nominate candidates for the following offices:


Supervisor                               Term 2 Years

Council (2)                               Term 4 Years

Town Clerk                              Term 4 Years

Superintendent of Highways  Term 4 Years


Only enrolled democrats are entitled to vote at the caucus. No write-in or floor nominations will be accepted at the caucus.


Those wishing to seek any of the above offices should submit a letter of intent to the Democrat Town Chairman, James Nolan, 20 Sloan Drive, Greenwich, NY 12834.


The letter must be postmarked no later than August 10, 2017.


By Order of the Town of Greenwich

Democratic Committee Chairman                James Nolan                July 28, 2017


For additional information, call 518-531-4039

GINY Meeting – July 20, 2017

Thirteen members attended our meeting at the Cossayuna Fire House.  Topics included:

  • Young Democrats of Washington County – GINY is working closely with the Town of Greenwich Democratic Committee and two chapters of Young Democrats of NY to establish a chapter in WC. Jim Nolan and Alan Stern are working with volunteers to complete the chartering process that will formally form the chapter and plan an event to encourage participation from young Democrats in Greenwich and other parts of WC.
  • Climate Conversations Group; Local Initiatives; Presentation 8/8; Fair Booth –GINY is actively engaged with the Climate Conversations Group, a collaboration of climate experts and activists. On August 30 there will be an important presentation from the Citizens Climate Lobby on their lobbying on the Carbon Fee and Dividend.
  • MaryLou Stern is working with Sara Idleman and Rachel Kish on a presentation August 8 to the Greenwich Town Board on DEC’s programs supporting and providing grants to local communities for clean energy and climate smart initiatives. Pam Fuller is also pursuing certification from DEC as a Clean Energy Community for the Village of Greenwich.  These efforts make Greenwich a leader on this front in Washington County.
  • There is an open comment period ending September 1 on the issue of GE’s cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson. The EPA estimates that GE has removed 72% of PCBs and has allowed them to shut down its plant and de-watering facility. Written comments can be sent to EPA no later than September 1, 2017. Comments can be sent by mail or email to:  Gary Klawinski, Director EPA Region 2, Hudson River Office 187 Wolf Road, Suite 303 Albany, NY 12205  Email:
  • Jill Nadolski is working with North Country Climate to set up a booth at the WC Fair to bring attention to climate issues. It is planned to be an informative and fun experience with an opportunity for booth visitors to create “green” leaves – and take selfies – to place on a “tree” that Herb Perkins is helping to get set up.  Volunteers for the booth are needed so contact Jill at to sign up.
  • Immigration – There will be an important and informative presentation in Fort Edward on July 27 on what’s happening locally impacting our neighbors from Mexico who are living and working in our area.
  • NY 19 Leadership Conference Take Aways – GINY members attended the Resistance Leadership Summit our friends in CD 19 held in July. Several of the strategies they are employing to win that Congressional District can be models for the elections in CD 21 –
  • Countering the tactics of Re-Claim New York. This is an organization founded in 2013 by Steve Bannon and Rebekah Mercer (daughter of Robert Mercer).  In the name of government transparency this group has weaponized the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) to swamp local school districts, villages, towns and cities with a series of requests that defer them from other work.  They then justify their claim that government does not work.
  • Re-Claim New York is in strong support of the Constitutional Convention Referendum on the ballot November 7. This is of great concern as it is feared they will use their vast resources to have enough delegates to dominate a convention and deconstruct the State Constitution, removing many protections including the environment (such as in the ban on fracking and the Adirondack Blue Line).  GINY is working with Mike Kink, Esq, who heads up the Strong Economy for All Coalition and is leading efforts to counter Re-Claim, to do a presentation here in Washington County.
  • 2nd Homeowner Registration – CD 19 is having good success partnering with downstate and NY City districts that are considered “safe” Democratic districts. They are cross referencing voter and tax rolls to identify voters with 2nd homes in CD 19 and contacting them asking them to consider changing their registration to be able to vote in local and CD elections.  GINY is working with our Town and County Democratic Committees to investigate this for our area.
  • “War Room” – Intelligence expert and resident of CD 19 Malcolm Nance presented on a web presence he is leading up to coordinate information and activities across the district. He stressed the importance of “keeping our eyes in the boat” or focusing on what is most immediate.  This translates to grass roots activity and winning local elections.  The “War Room” is modeled on the intelligence community’s approach to managing and winning the information war.  It provides a mechanism for localities all over the district (an especially important thing in a district as large as CD 21) to share and coordinate.  We have requested and will be receiving the code for this web presence and are working with the WCDC to set it up in our county and then share it with the other counties in CD 21.
  • Winning NY 21- We were fortunate to have Emily Martz, one of the announced candidates for CD 21, attend our meeting. She shared her background as well as her reasons for running.  We had ample opportunity for questions and dialogue.  This was a great opportunity and an informal way to get to know one of our candidates.  We will be setting up this opportunity for all the candidates as the campaign continues.
  • Other – We heard a strong request from a member to look at Senate Bill S.720, The Israel Anti-Boycott Act and contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand with your opinion.  This is a controversial measure which some, including the ACLU, see as a severe limitation on individual rights and potentially anti-Israel and others see as having little impact as there has been law on the books since 1977 making it illegal to join in a boycott of Israel led by a foreign country.  This bill would add UN led boycotts to those led by other countries.

Our next meeting will be 7:00 pm, Thursday, August 17 at the Fire House.

Summary of GINY’s June 22, 2017 Meeting

Ten GINY members attended our meeting on June 22.  True to our focus on action, our discussions resulted in some concrete next steps that will move us forward to win 21 and benefit our community.

We got a live preview of our new website.  Those who were at the meeting please note that we were able to get our calendar of events on the site without the aid of a twelve year old!

Jill Nadolski led our discussion of what’s happening in Health Care.  The showing of Fix It at the Greenwich Free Library on June 19 attracted about 30 people.  The film was followed by a presentation and discussion led by Dr. Andy Coates, Past President of Physicians for a National Health Program.  Andy provided some solid data including that about 58% of doctors nationally support single payer.

We viewed the trailer for another film, Now is the Time that also supports single payer.  The focus here is on HR 676, Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act a bill in the House introduced by Rep John Conyers to extend Medicare coverage to all Americans. We agreed to arrange a showing of the actual film and have a panel of physicians to lead a discussion.  We also plan to use it in presentations to local government entities, along with data on cost savings, to urge them to pass resolutions supporting single payer. Sara Idleman and Alan Stern will follow up.

Jim Reid led our discussion with Stacie Dina of Elise Stefanik’s staff at her  Mobile Office in Greenwich.  GINY was well represented with 4 of the 15 or so constituents who attended.  The main focus was on health care (about 1 hr 40 min of the 2 hour session). We also discussed immigration and its impact on Washington Co agriculture and expressed concern over Stefanik’s House Resolution on the environment, noting the glaring loophole left open in its statement about “economically feasible.”  There was a lot of concern about her inability or unwillingness to provide any data on what her constituents are telling her (supporting or opposing legislation).  There is still a strong feeling that she needs to do town halls.

We made three specific asks of the Representative: 1. Take a public stance on the issue of immigration/economic impact in the North Country. 2. Make a strong public statement along with Sen Rubio denouncing the secrecy of the Republican Senate Health Care Bill and 3. Hold public forums.

We will watch for these and keep the pressure on.

MaryLou Stern led our discussion on climate issues.  There are two NY State programs, one run by NYDEC and the other by NYSERDA that provide funding to municipalities to work on reducing greenhouse gasses. The programs are similar but focus on slightly different areas.  Some of the grants they provide require matching funds and others do not.  Some make sense for single municipalities and others work well with collaboration among more that one (such as pooling for the purchase of clean energy vehicle which results in discounts in addition to grants).

The map showing the locations of projects reveals that there are zero grants being taken advantage of in Washington County.  We feel there would be tremendous benefit in GINY’s working with municipalities to change this situation.  Sara Idleman indicated that in the past the Town of Greenwich discussed this but there was no implementation.  MaryLou and Sara will work on re-energizing this effort.

Our conversation about Winning NY 21 had three major portions.  First, there will be a canvassing effort on Sunday, June 25.  This is being led by NY 21 Votes, a consortium of groups throughout the district.  We had little time to get this organized for Greenwich but Faith Perkins will canvass with the group in Cambridge.  Washington County Dems are eager to have canvasses happen on a regular basis so we will make sure to be well organized for the next one, including offering training for canvassers.

We then talked about the questions we developed for candidates for 21 at our last meeting to make sure we have not left out anything important.  We will add questions on experience with immigration issues and climate and a question on candidates’ strategy for funding, specifically dealing with Stefanik’s large financial base.

Out of our discussion of candidates’ questions we entered a conversation about poverty.  We feel this must be a central issue in the campaign for 21. The percentage of households in our district who are struggling is alarming.  We discussed a study done by the United Way that paints the picture of households designated Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) – the working poor. In most of these households wage earners make too much to qualify for benefits but, in many, many cases, barely half of what is estimated as a survival budget.  We have the statistics for Washington County and for all the counties in 21.  Here is a link to the Report

We will invite a representative from Washington County EOC to share expertise on ALICE with us at a future GINY meeting.

Our next meeting will be July 20.  We are going to try to arrange a video conference for that meeting to make it accessible to any who may not be able to make it.

If you’d like to download and review the PowerPoint from the meeting, you can get it here GINY 6-22 PowerPointWe

Dr. Jeffrey B. Flagg – Letter to the Editor: Kudos to Glens Falls for Taking Action

*GINY Editor Note:  This letter is of interest because it highlights two programs of the NY DEC and NYSERDA that provide substantial fiscal assistance to communities for adopting climate friendly practices.


I would like to applaud The Post-Star for drawing attention to the important – and nonpartisan – role that community leaders can take with respect to clean energy and climate change mitigation.  I also applaud the town of Queensbury for its willingness to seek “ways to cut the town’s carbon emissions” through the establishment of a committee to pursue climate smart strategies, and through the pursuit of state initiatives, many of which reward communities that are proactive in their efforts to stem the ominous effects of climate change.

That said, however, I was disappointed that the editors did not make mention of the fact that the Glens Falls City Council has already taken several meaningful steps toward becoming a cleaner, greener community, including some of the very steps prescribed in Friday’s editorial.  For instance, the council has been pursuing Clean Energy Community status since November, and has already completed two steps in the certification process:  adoption of the Unified Solar Permit (for which the City received a $2,500 grant) and a resolution to “benchmark” energy use in all municipal buildings in order to identify energy waste in public facilities.  More recently, the city received a $26,000 grant to install six electric vehicle charging stations in the parking garage, and will begin the process of Energy Code Training later this week.  The Council is also considering adoption of Energize NY Finance, a state-supported program that allows property owners to fund repayment of energy efficiency projects and clean energy upgrades through a special charge on their property tax bill.  Completion of only two of these three steps in the near future will earn Glens Falls the same $100,000 award that the town of Queensbury is currently only thinking of pursuing .  Kudos to Queensbury, but let’s give a little credit where due please.

Jeffrey B. Flagg, Glens Falls

Alan Stern: Elise Stefanik Does Not Understand Single Payer

I wrote to Rep Elise Stefanik urging her to support HR 676 – essentially Medicare for all. Got a reply today that reveals she DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THIS PROPOSAL. Here’s the essence of her reply:

“While I understand this is a passionate issue for many, I do not support a nationwide Medicare for all Program. I often hear from North Country Veterans who struggle with excessive wait times, unsatisfactory care, and increased bureaucracy at the VA Health Centers. Increasing government’s role in our healthcare system will exacerbate these deficiencies.”

This is a common and distorting mis-statement from opponents of single payer health coverage. What is proposed is not a VA model. Under the existing VA model, Medicare pays for veterans’ care while the VA delivers those services. The proposal under HR 676 is not at all about the delivery of medical services but about PAYING for medical services, the only role the government would have.

It will work as Medicare does. It will be funded and administered in the same manner.  Under Medicare, patients actually have a wider choice of providers than the tightly controlled networks set up by insurance companies. There are tests and procedures like enhanced imaging for breast cancer that private insurance will not cover while Medicare does.

Insurance companies currently rake in approximately 30 cents of every health care dollar we spend and for that we get no benefit. Meanwhile the costs to medical practices of dealing with insurance companies continues to spiral out of control. This is one of the chief drawbacks of the ACA. While it did address many inequalities in our health care, it leaves much to be desired in terms of the economic burden on individuals and businesses for coverage and deductibles.

Meanwhile, the Republican AHCA model Stefank supports does nothing to change this situation. It only shuffles around how usurious healthcare insurance will work and leaves insurance companies in charge of our medical care. Regardless of what the secret Republican plan finally looks like, there is no reason to expect any change in the insurance industry’s long track record of denying coverage, denying some services while requiring others that patients and doctors don’t want or need, placing caps on coverage or imposing mountains of paperwork on medical practitioners.

Rep Stafanik’s reply to me can only be interpreted in two ways.  She is willing to legislate the insurance industry’s control of our health care through either ignorance or loyalty to the powerful lobby.  Either is unacceptable.