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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 email@example.com 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.