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Marlborough Democratic Committee summer 2021 newsletter

Updated: Jul 9, 2021



News

  • The Ulster County Democratic Committee held its annual spring brunch on April 18. This was held remotely via Zoom. Here is a recap from UCDC Chair Kelleigh McKenzie:

Following an uplifting message from County Executive Pat Ryan, we traveled around the county with a heart-warming roll call welcome from all of our local committees. Special guest NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who called the event "one for the books," inspired us with her take on New York's progress with a Democratic supermajority in the State Senate, and US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gave an update on the American Rescue Plan and shared his personal story of the January 6th insurrection.

“County Sheriff Juan Figueroa, State Senators Michelle Hinchey and James Skoufis, Assembly Members Kevin Cahill and Jonathan Jacobson, and US Congressman Antonio Delgado energized us with their encouraging words on the importance of this year's local elections, and we got to visit with three of our candidates at the top of the ticket—Kevin R. Bryant and David Gandin who are running for State Supreme Court Justice, and County Comptroller March Gallagher.

  • In observance of Arbor Day, several families and local residents came out May 1st to explore the new Marlboro Nature Trail, participate in a tree identifying scavenger hunt, and take home red maple saplings.


  • After a countywide meeting about the Neighbor-to-Neighbor (N2N) initiative on May 24th, the long-awaited initiative commenced in election district four on June 5. Covering two turfs, ED4 UCDC representative Patti Haidaoui, Barbara Arindell, Mici Simonofsky, and Ted Millar spoke with dozens of registered town Democrats about the committee and our endorsed candidates. The ultimate goal is to eventually visit all registered Democrats in Marlborough and inform them about their representatives and report their concerns back to the county committee. This has been proven in other municipalities to increase voter turnout and community involvement. We may even gain some more MDC members in the process!


  • Mici Simonofsky was unanimously elected MDC Vice Chair at the May monthly meeting. This position was vacated when Jake Marro resigned his Chair position in February and Ted Millar was elected to succeed him. Thank you, Mici!

  • Also at the May meeting, Patti Haidaoui was elected to fill the vacant county committee seat for election district four.

  • Cindy Lanzetta has resigned her county committee seat to accept a seat on the League of Women Voters Board of Directors. This means we need to fill a country committee seat for election district 3.

  • Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa was interviewed on NBC news recently in a piece titled “Reimagining Police Training in Ulster County”. Click here to view it.

  • Additionally, the Town of Marlborough, through our Police Reform Committee work, has been involved with Sheriff Figueroa in the CIT training mentioned in the NBC news clip. Supervisor Al Lanzetta, Police Chief Gerald Cocozza, and Town Council Member Howard Baker participated in day long online seminar covering the issues covered in the CIT training, including racial bias, conflict resolution, and de-escalation techniques. As Council Member Baker stated, "In some small way I believe we helped push this along. At least two of our officers have been through the new CIT training class earlier this year. Our goal is to get all of our officers trained in these techniques via this class. That was a specific recommendation of our Police Reform Committee." A draft of the Marlborough Police Reform can be found here.

  • Ulster County Democratic Committee members will convene on June 29 for a judicial candidate nominating convention. If you are a county committee member, please keep an eye out for an email containing a join link.


  • Two MDC members are on the November ballot for townwide positions: Al Lanzetta (incumbent supervisor), Howard Baker (incumbent town council member and deputy supervisor).


  • Volunteer Opportunity with the Ulster County Democratic Committee from UCDC Secretary Adriana Magaña:


The Ulster County Democratic Committee is seeking a savvy Ulster County Democratic Committee member to manage our existing events calendars for the 2021 election season. Calendars are used by our entire slate of Democratic Candidates, as well as members of the Ulster County Committee, to keep track of campaign, community, fundraising, and government events in and around Ulster County. Responsibilities would include: collecting and searching for information about pertinent events from social media, local news papers, and personal submissions; entering event information into the calendars; and maintaining and updating calendars.


The ideal volunteer would be familiar with social media platforms and how to gather event info from them; have a solid understanding of Google Calendars and how to manage them; possess a basic understanding of Google Sheets as well as the ability to learn add-on applications integrated with Google Calendars; be a good communicator with the ability to respond to event submissions in a timely fashion; and be committed to helping Democrats WIN!


Time Commitment: Approximately 1 hour a day


The UCDC Calendar Keeper will play a very crucial role in our bold UCDC strategy to elect Democrats to local and county leadership positions and continue our progressive agenda for the people of Ulster County. If you have a little bit of time and are familiar with the various platforms mentioned, this is an excellent way to help make positive change in your community!


To inquire about this position, please email: secretary@ulstercountydemocrats.com with the subject “UCDC Calendar Keeper”.


How to contact your representatives


We all value our lawmakers’ positions on issues, yet too many people abdicate their civic responsibility in reaching out to elected officials about issues that matter. As a result, many grumble about how politicians “don’t do anything,” or “don’t care what we say”.

But the good ones do. Remember, THEY WORK FOR US!

We should all be contacting our representatives. Here’s how. It’s easy!

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Rep. Antonio Delgado: 202-225-5614 (D.C.); 443-2930 (Kingston)

Sen. Chuck Schumer: 202-224-6542 (D.C.); 914-734-1532 (Peekskill); 518-431-4070 (Albany)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: 202-224-4451 (D.C.); 212-688-6262 (NYC); 875-4585 (Hudson Valley); 518-431-0120 (Albany)

NYS Assembly Member Jonathan Jacobson: 562-0888 (Newburgh); 518-455-5762 (Albany)

NYS Senator James Skoufis: 567-1270; 518-455-3290 (Albany)


Looking for another great and easy way to get active?

Download the “5 Calls” app to your phone or tablet. Inputting your zip code will produce a list of representatives and a script you can use to call about a host of provided issues.

There are also many activist groups right here in the Mid-Hudson Valley, like U-Act. We can find many on the Indivisible site.

Writing letters to editors (LTE) of local newspapers is another terrific way to spread the word about legislation and issues while getting makers’ attention. Some of the founders of Indivisible worked as congressional staffers, and attest to the impact LTEs have on elected officials. Here is a great guide on “How to write letters to the editor that really get attention”: https://indivisible.org/resource/write-letters-editor-really-get-attention


Local Newspapers:

But keeping track of legislation can be nearly impossible if we don’t know where to look. A great site dedicated to make Congress more transparent is GovTrack.us. On it we can locate our representatives and bills on issues about which we care the most.

Here are some other useful resources:

Legislation Corner

This section is dedicated to spotlighting bills at the state and federal level in which MDC members might be interested.

Some pieces of legislation could use a little grassroots encouragement.

First, at the state level, is the “New York State Build Public Renewables Act" (S6453/A1466A), “requiring the New York power authority to provide only renewable energy and power to customers.” It is currently in committee.

Then there are S284A, which would amend the Election Law to avoid disqualifying a registered voter’s entire ballot solely because it was cast at a poll site in their county that is different from the voter’s assigned polling place, and S286A, which would provide public access by request to ballot images within a short period after an election.

Here are some more;

  • John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York (S1046/A6678)

  • Protect against insecure voting machines (A1115)

  • Return postage guaranteed for absentee (S909/A1044)

  • Public access by request to ballot images (S286A/A6589A)

What can we do? For the four above, use this link to send a pre-written message to Sen. Skoufis & Assemblymember Jacobson.

You can also call Senator James Skoufis: 567-1270, 518-455-3290 (Albany) and Assembly Member Jonathan Jacobson: 562-0888 (Newburgh), 518-455-5762 (Albany) to urge them to support the bill. Make sure you have the bill number handy to tell the staffer recording your call. But don’t wait too long--the NYS legislative session ends June 10.



Another piece of legislation that’s very close to passing is the New York Health Act, which seeks to provide comprehensive single-payer health coverage for all New Yorkers that would replace private insurance.

On March 8, it was re-introduced with majority support in both the Assembly and the Senate, bringing it closer than ever to making it to Gov. Cuomo’s desk.



Detailed information for it can be found here.

What can we do?

  1. Learn more about the New York Health Act and sign up for updates from the Campaign for NY Health.

  2. Contact your legislators (Sen. Skoufis and Assembly Member Jonathan Jacobson have not co-sponsored it.)

  3. Sign up to phone bank or text bank fellow New Yorkers to teach them about the bill.

  4. Join Hudson Valley Demands New York Health.



At the federal level, there is theDemocracy Restoration Act (S.181)”, which “addresses the voting rights of individuals convicted of a criminal offense and the restoration of their voting rights.”

There is also SR1, the U.S. Senate version of the recently House-passed HR1, “For the People Act” that “expands voter registration (e.g., automatic and same-day registration) and voting access; limits removing voters from voter rolls; addresses campaign finance, including expanding the prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals, requiring additional disclosure of campaign-related fundraising and spending, requiring additional disclaimers regarding certain political advertising, and establishing an alternative campaign funding system for certain federal offices."

What can we do?

Contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand at 202-224-3121, and urge them to support both bills.


Members’ Correspondence

How do you “beat an elephant?” The same way you eat one--one bite at a time!


I know it can seem overwhelming, and you might not think you have the appetite for elephants, or politics, but we will get trampled unless we act now. Both nationally and locally, our values and ideals are under attack. The saving grace is that none of us has to stand against this onslaught alone. Just like Democrats joined efforts and linked arms to defeat Trump, we can do the same to ensure our town (and those around us) continue to move forward and prosper, not stagnate in sentimentality and angst.


First, and foremost, we need each other. We need to communicate with each other, build a community of like minded folks, and help educate our family, friends, and neighbors so they truly understand what is at stake with the upcoming elections, especially our local elections.


What can you do? Here are some easy actions you can take to help keep our democracy safe:


  • Share this newsletter with 5 people.

  • Tell 5 people how important it is to re-elect our Town Supervisor Al Lanzetta and Councilman Howard Baker.

  • Donate your time and your money (even 5 minutes or $5 can make a difference).

  • Attend a campaign event and invite at least 2 people to go with you.

  • Join us at a Town of Marlborough Democratic Committee meeting (we ONLY bite elephants, promise!)


"Please reach out to us, the Marlborough Democratic Committee, and let us know what we can do for you and for our town to make it a more inviting and enjoyable place to live. We look forward to working with you!" —Patricia Haidaoui


Chair’s Correspondence

In 2012, I volunteered to phone-bank for the Obama/Biden re-election campaign. I had never engaged in anything political before and was not sure what to expect (especially when what I was being asked to do was cold-call complete strangers in Ohio on a Sunday afternoon).

My introverted personality and nearly pathological aversion to speaking on the telephone aside, I actually enjoyed it. Despite the hang-ups (and expletives) that concluded most calls, I actually got to have some meaningful conversations with several voters who really knew little about how Obama’s policies differed from then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s.

Then in 2015 I got involved with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, which underscored the belief in a “political revolution” intended to activate Americans who previously felt intentionally shut out of the political process. It was then I decided to “take the plunge” into the political fray. Canvassing, phone-banking, texting, circulating petitions, and volunteering at the Marist College rally just before the 2016 New York Democratic primary, made me feel like I was part of a movement to help create a better country for my two small children, whom I feared would inherit a fractured democracy and environmental wasteland.

Of course, campaigns end. We all know how things turned out. But one thing I took with me was a slogan Sen. Sanders often shared: “Democracy is not a spectator sport.”

For the past six years, I have been a volunteer at the Ascension Holy Trinity Mission Center, and served for a few years on the advisory board.

I stood on a picket line with Verizon CWA workers.

I attended the 2017 D.C. Women’s March.

I volunteered for congressional candidates Zephyr Teachout and Antonio Delgado.

I got to indulge my love of writing when I started writing for political blogs.

All this led me to this committee.

Although it might seem insignificant and/or frustrating at times, what we do here at the grassroots level is the most important political work of all because it is whom we choose to run and support who, if elected, make real decisions that affect real people’s lives. Local policies work their way up to the state level and ultimately influence national policies.

This requires commitment, perseverance, and a fundamental love for democracy and one’s community.

It is such an honor to do this work with you.

My hope is we grow our membership, which is possible through the “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” campaign.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any ideas, concerns, and/or questions about how we can better serve this community we love.

In solidarity,

Ted

Our push to get information about our candidates, our community, and our campaigns, continues:

  1. Follow us on our website www.mdc-ny.com

  2. Follow us on Facebook at Town of Marlborough Democratic Committee, and please share our posts.

  3. Use our email address any time to get information on registering to vote, questions about the process to enroll or vote, or any questions relating to your local Democratic committee: democrats@mdc-ny.com or marlboroughdems@gmail.com

  4. Volunteer for any specific type of work with us. We can pair you with any volunteer project we have, depending on your availability of time and talent.

  5. As always, your DONATION to the MDC is always welcome and always needed, should it be $5 or $500, or any denomination in between. You can contribute via our ActBlue page or U.S. mail at: MDC, PO Box 966, Marlboro, NY 12542

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