In New York State, along with several other states, multiple parties can endorse a single candidate in an election. This is called fusion, and it is frequently used by the Working Families Party, although they do occassionally run candidates of their own. The party mostly endorses Democrats, and has become a somewhat large and powerful organizational structure in New York politics. The party’s executive director, Dan Cantor, writes in the New York Daily News:
We hope to use our political capital wisely. At a time when city and state budgets are threatened by steep budget cuts, we will use the leverage we have to champion the priorities we think matter most to middle- and working-class New Yorkers. It’s an agenda that some consider controversial, but to us it’s common sense. Specifically, we’ll fight for:
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Accountable development. While City Hall struggles to fund its budget, it gives away hundreds of millions of dollars every year to developers and business owners through tax breaks and incentives. Maybe it’s necessary, but if it is, we have the right to demand that when taxpayer dollars help a private owner, the public benefits are real and enduring. That means such developments should include affordable housing, be built with union labor and create permanent living-wage jobs.
The MTA. Another urgent priority is stopping deep cuts to our city’s public transit. It’s outrageous that just months after MTA leaders passed a fare hike, promising it would prevent cuts, they’ve put those cuts back on the table. Slashing free MetroCards for schoolkids, to name just one service reduction, is unacceptable.
Fairer rent regulations. The most basic concern for millions of New York City families – who struggle to pay astronomical rents on flat or declining incomes – is having an affordable place to live. We’ll keep working with tenant advocates, as we have for years, to push for stronger rent regulations and tenant protections. But real estate is to New York what oil is to Texas, so expect landlords and developers to spend millions to protect their special interests.
Take back bonuses. We hear it practically every week: The people who wrecked the economy are rewarding themselves with taxpayer dollars. The WFP supports President Obama‘s new proposal to take back that bonus money – and we’ll look at similar plans here in New York State. Maybe it’s time for a “bonus recapture tax” that can be used to provide property tax relief for the nonwealthy.
A better budget. Economic fairness is about more than just making the rich pay their fair share. Especially in this economy, the rest of us need to be able to count on good schools for our kids, strong support for our seniors and quality health care. When city and state budgets are tight, we have to make sure that these are the top priorities – not special interest projects or giveaways to big business.