Former Green Party Mayor presents 100 ideas for his village

Jason West was Mayor of New Paltz, New York from 2003-2007. As a Green Party candidate, he ran with the Green Party and also on the ballot with the “The Innovation Party”.

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Ex-mayor’s wish list offers 100 ideas for New Paltz
West ‘in remission’ from electoral politics

By Jeremiah Horrigan / Posted: June 29, 2009 – 2:00 AM

NEW PALTZ — Jason West was bitten early and hard by the political bug. It’s taken him to national prominence, and it’s sent him crashing to the political ground.

The former house painter-turned-mayor is back painting houses here after a brief sojourn out West, where he discovered first-hand the severity of California’s economic (and employment) crisis. But the political bug still has him. And while he said he’s not ready to mount any campaigns for office just yet, politics is in his blood — “and I’m only in remission.”

West will jump back into electoral politics “at some point.” But until then, he’s concocted something called “100 Ideas for New Paltz” (http://100ideas.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/welcome/), a blog in which he offers a list of projects big and small to improve the village…

Some of Jason West’s 100 ideas for New Paltz are: Form a public power utility; Buy the streetlights, run ‘em on solar; Require curbside compost collection; Expand the reed beds [successful way to manage sewage, previously instituted on a small scale by Green Party elected officials in New Paltz]; Ban pesticides; Grow the downtown uptown; Outlaw subsidized sprawl; Ban chain stores; Create [and fund] more public art; Plan tree plantings for the effects of global warming on forests; Put living roofs on bus shelters; Make the bus stops more convenient; Re-design main street for more people fewer cars; Use instant runoff voting; Educate about domestic violence; Create a local currency; Make it easier for locals to go to Suny New Paltz [State University]; Abolish corporate personhood; Recognize the rights of nature; Use only native plants when landscaping

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Archival photo of Jason West. From the 2004 Green Party convention, a Nader gathering.

Jason West, 2004

Jason West, 2004. Photo by Kimberly Wilder.

7 thoughts on “Former Green Party Mayor presents 100 ideas for his village

  1. mdh

    I liked a few of them…

    Tree plantings, living roofs on bus shelters, and making bus stops more convenient are good ideas. These are easy, local things.

    Banning subsidized sprawl is probably good too, depending on implementation. Banning all subsidies entirely would be even better, of course. 🙂

    Ending corporate personhood is great, but not realistically something that can be done at the local level like that.

    Solar streetlights, a local currency, and instant runoff voting might be good ideas, but I don’t have enough knowledge/information to comment on them specifically.

    A few of the rest, however, are very bad. Banning chain stores is insane.

    Finally, a lot of the others could be good or bad depending on implementation. When funded by theft, they would be very bad, obviously.

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