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

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