GINY Principles and Platform – February 2018

Greenwich Indivisible New York (GINY) is an independent grassroots organization that works to further the interests of the citizens of New York and the Nation by advocating for progressive positions and responsive, representative government at all levels.  Our goals are:

  • Replace Elise Stefanik in NY-21 with a Member of Congress who represents the citizens of our district, not party leadership and dark money
  • Inform and involve our members on local, state and national issues directly impacting the residents of Washington County – local governance including our Villages and Towns as well as how national policy and issues impact us
  • Inform and involve our members on NY State issues impacting the residents of Washington County and all of New York – healthcare, education, economic opportunities, immigration, etc.
  • Support Democrats and Progressives in their runs for office at all levels of government
  • Support our members with information and resources for connecting with our representatives

Since GINY is now a recognized political entity in New York, we establish this Platform as an expression of our principles and positions.  Candidates for office who seek our support will be considered to the extent their past actions and present positions, including specific legislation they offer or support, align with it.


*A modified and modernized version of the Principles of the Progressive Party, 1912

The conscience of the people, in a time of grave trouble, has called us to new action, born of the Nation’s awakened sense of outrage and justice. We of the Indivisible Movement now answer the call to fulfill an old promise made to us and demand that ours is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

We hold with progressives and activists past and present, those in government and out, that the people are the masters of their Constitution.  It is ours to safeguard from those who, by perversion of its intent, would convert it into an instrument of injustice. In accordance with the needs of each generation the people must use their sovereign powers to establish and maintain equal opportunity and justice, to secure the rights on which this Government was founded and without which no republic can endure.

This country belongs to the people who inhabit it. Its resources, its business, its institutions and its laws should be utilized, maintained or altered only in whatever manner will best promote the general welfare.

We find ourselves in a time when the people’s voices must be heard.  It is time to end the dominance in our government of the very few who are distorting the institutions they are sworn to protect for their own interests at the expense of the rest of us.

It is time to put the public welfare in the first place.

Greenwich Indivisible New York Platform

Infrastructure, Jobs, Unions, Trade, Social Safety Net

GINY supports major public investment in infrastructure jobs in order to repair crumbling schools, roads, water and sewer systems, bridges, and ensure that NY 21 and the nation have the resources needed to keep teachers, police, and firefighters working.

GINY supports increasing federal and state support for increasing economic development focused on small towns and rural communities and that create an environment that fosters locally owned business.

GINY supports Net Neutrality and ensuring that NY 21 and the nation have the resources to make high speed internet services available to support individual, business, agricultural and community needs.

GINY supports a Green New Deal to create clean-energy jobs in wind and solar energy production while reducing, with an eye toward eliminating, dependence on fossil fuel and nuclear energy production.

GINY supports workplace reform to protect and encourage workers’ right to join together in unions and make it harder for management to threaten workers who seek to organize a union.

GINY supports workers’ right to organize and form unions and repealing Taft-Hartley, which allows anti-union “right to work” laws in the states.

GINY supports addressing the high rates of families living in poverty in NY21 (13.6% in 2014) and families designated Asset Limited Income Restrained Working (ALICE or working poor – 28.9%) by assuring a federal living wage, indexed to the cost of living so its value does not erode over time.

GINY supports eliminating the loophole that allows employers to pay tipped workers less than the minimum wage.

GINY supports fair trade policies that protect American workers, agriculture, the environment, and jobs.

GINY believes that access to health care is a human right and supports Medicare for All.

GINY opposes any cuts in Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits, and Medicaid benefits including raising the retirement age and cutting cost-of-living adjustments or anything that makes beneficiaries pay more for their care.  GINY believes these are programs into which Americans have paid throughout their working lives and must never be assaulted as a revenue source.

GINY supports adding trillions to Social Security’s current surplus by “scrapping the cap” so that millionaires and billionaires pay Social Security taxes on more than just the first $118,500 of their income.

GINY supports saving taxpayers approximately $230 billion over 10 years by allowing Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies.


Women’s Rights, Gender Issues, Social Justice

GINY supports the principles of a woman’s autonomy regarding her health care needs, including access to safe and legal abortion, to effective birth control and emergency contraception, to reproductive health services and related education for all women.

GINY supports economic justice issues affecting women including a living wage, job discrimination, pay equity, child care accessibility, social security and pension reform.

GINY supports expanding legal protections for women including but not limited to protection from:

  • domestic violence
  • workplace discrimination and harassment including discrimination that affects access to jobs
  • sexual harassment

GINY supports comprehensive immigration reform, including:

  • ending the travel ban on travelers and immigrants from Muslim nations
  • establishing a fair and reasonable DACA program in law
  • formalizing a path to citizenship for immigrants working in the US
  • ending the unconstitutional use of withholding federal funding to force localities to hold immigrants in custody

GINY believes that no funding should be made available in the Federal Budget for the building of a wall on the boarder with Mexico and immediately stop any bidding or planning already underway.

GINY supports LGBTQ rights and is committed to fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including marriage, employment, access to services, housing, health services, and child custody. [Discrimination laws should define victims of gender bias as a protected class.]

GINY supports the rights of citizens and non-citizens in all communities regardless of race, religion or national origin and is committed to fighting discrimination in all areas, including protection under the law, freedom from intimidation in police practices, employment, housing and health services.

GINY supports prohibiting the government from collecting the phone and Internet records of millions of ordinary Americans unless a court decides there is probable cause of criminal action or terrorist activity.

GINY supports the bipartisan Surveillance State Repeal Act (SSRA), which repeals the PATRIOT Act.

GINY believes the national conversation about guns must focus on the responsible ownership and use of guns to include:

  • Closing the “gun show loophole” and requiring background checks for private and gun show sales.
  • Requiring a 3-day waiting period, gun owner safety training, and the reporting of lost or stolen guns.
  • Barring gun purchases by people on no-fly or terror watch lists, violent criminals, and convicted abusers and stalkers.
  • Banning “bump stock” devices and all modifications that can turn semiautomatic firearms into fully-automatic machine gun-type weapons.


Criminal Justice

GINY supports reforms to the criminal justice system that eliminate practices that discriminate against persons of color and low-income individuals, including:

  • abolishing cash bail and creation of a system, such as those is states using pretrial risk assessment and monitoring with technology, that is fair and equitable for all persons regardless of their financial means.
  • increasing access to public defenders to reduce overcrowding in the system and discourage the pressure to settle for plea bargains.
  • stopping unfair and discriminatory sentencing programs and replacing such practices with alternative sentencing that does not unfairly burden low-income individuals.

GINY believes that the costs and fees incurred by prisoners while incarcerated constitute a double consequence and make reentry into society unfairly difficult.  Such costs and fees should be reformed so they are income indexed.

GINY believes a goal of incarceration should be to prepare prisoners to re-enter society and that family connections are an important anchor in support of that goal.  To that end, family access for prisoners should be facilitated by:

  • locating prisoners near their communities whenever possible
  • providing families with reasonably priced transportation to facilities and ensuring that telephone services in prisons are not priced unfairly.


Finance, Banks/Wall Street, Taxes

GINY supports breaking up “too big to fail” financial institutions.

GINY believes the SEC should bring big banks that break the law to trial, not just agree to out-of-court settlements with them.

GINY supports establishing a fair tax code that ends corporate welfare that benefits corporations and the rich over regular Americans.  Loopholes must be closed that allow:

  • Wall Street banks and other corporations that get caught breaking the law to deduct the cost of their fines or penalties.
  • corporations to take tax deductions for executive compensation
  • investors and real estate business to avoid taxes on carried interest

GINY believes that “tax reform” that is revenue neutral represents a lost opportunity to have corporations and wealthy individuals pay their fair share toward the fiscal needs of the nation. GINY therefore supports:

  • Replacing the unfair tax law passed in 2017 with a law such as The Fairness In Taxation Act (HR 676) that would raise nearly a trillion dollars over 10 years by raising taxes on income above $1 million per year. It would create new tax brackets above the current top rate of 39.6% — 45% for income above $1 million, 46% above $10 million, 47% above $20 million, 48% above $100 million, and 49% above $1 billion — all below the top rate of 50% under Ronald Reagan.
  • Increasing income taxes on those making over $250,000 a year in wages, carried interest or capital gains so that our system of taxation is more progressive and everyone pays their fair share.

GINY supports restoring the wall between commercial and investment banking (Glass-Steagall) to protect families’ savings from being used for risky Wall Street speculation.

GINY supports a financial transactions fee (aka “speculator’s fee”), which would primarily impact major investors, not ordinary investors, in order to make Wall Street pay their fair share and reduce reckless speculation.

GINY supports giving shareholders a binding vote to approve or disapprove of CEO pay packages.

GINY supports eliminating that deduction for companies that pay their CEOs more than 50 times their median worker salary, in order to encourage them to pay employees more and reduce income inequality.


Voting Rights

GINY supports expanding the rights of New Yorkers and all Americans to participate in the electoral system through federal legislation that would establish national standards and end states’ discriminatory practices such as difficult voter ID laws, gerrymandering and complex voter registration procedures.  To this end, GINY supports:

  • Ensuring that voting rights for all Americans age 18 and above are protected with no exceptions
  • same-day voter registration legislation to reverse Citizens United to remove dark money from our electoral process
  • requiring corporations to seek approval from shareholders before spending funds on political campaigns or supporting organizations that engage in political activity
  • the SEC’s use of its existing power to require that all publicly traded companies disclose any political donations or donations to trade associations or non-profits that engage in political activity

GINY opposes removing the separation of church and state that is protected by the so-called Johnson Amendment that prohibits religious organizations claiming tax exempt status from engaging in political activity.



GINY supports the settled science that the Earth is warming and that this change is real, caused by humans, and requires strong leadership from the government.

GINY condemns the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and supports re-establishing the nation’s partnership with the nations in the Accord.

GINY supports public investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, paid for by a carbon tax, to generate good jobs and growth while reducing carbon emissions.

GINY opposes taxpayer investment and infrastructure development in short-sighted energy production from non-renewable and/or environmentally damaging sources including, but not limited to:

  • the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline
  • fracking
  • coal
  • nuclear

GINY condemns all State and Federal agencies or legislatures opening protected land and/or coastal areas to the extractive industries, including oil and natural gas drilling and mineral mining.

GINY supports NY State and Federal investment in retraining coal and oil workers for good-paying clean energy jobs, such as building a wind or solar energy grid.

GINY supports incentives for car manufacturers to accelerate the move to develop and sell alternative fuel vehicles.



GINY supports New York’s program of financing education at public universities and colleges and believes it should be refined to reach students most in need by revising credit hour and degree completion timeline requirements in recognition of the limits they impose on working/parent students.

GINY supports federal financial assistance to states and students so that we can achieve a national goal of debt-free education at all public universities and colleges in America.

GINY supports federal and state investment in universal Pre-K.

GINY opposes school voucher programs, and instead supports increased investment and support of public schools.


Military Spending

As the US military budget is larger than that of the next eight nations combined, GINY believes that, while our defense capabilities must be maintained, we must reassess our military expenditures as compared with the rest of the budget.

Within the military budget there is a disproportionate emphasis on weapons, equipment and hardware not needed and not requested by the military.  GINY supports realigning military budget resources to priorities and resources that improve the quality of life for members of the military, veterans and their families.


Government Leadership

GINY supports transparency and fairness in earmarks that designate government funds to localities.

GINY supports electing to public office only those officials who are and remain openly accessible to their constituents.   This accessibility includes and is not limited to conducting open town halls, soliciting constituent input on major issues and communicating openly regarding the official’s positions.

GINY supports restoring gravitas and civility to government and so call on our elected officials to take strong leadership positions in condemning hypocritical, racist, misogynistic or any other bigoted statements from our leaders, at whatever level.