New York Greens Call on Cuomo to Embrace a ‘Progressive Agenda’ in Coming Year

The Green Party of New York has called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to embrace “a progressive agenda for 2021, including Taxing the Rich to fund a Green New Deal COVID relief package, enactment of single payer health care, and passage of long-delayed marijuana legalization including reinvestment in impacted communities.”

In a press release prompted by the governor’s multi-day State of the State address, the Green Party noted they are currently suing the governor “over his law to kill off independent smaller parties.”

The New York Libertarians and Greens have been fighting the state in court over a recently passed ballot access law that made life drastically more difficult for independent and minor party candidates.

The Greens further demanded that state lawmakers “side with democracy, including restoring third party political rights, enacting Ranked Choice Voting and proportional representation, and doing far more to crack down on campaign finance abuses than the package enacted last year.”

“Democracy is in a fragile condition in New York and nationwide, with both parties engaged in corruption and suppression of democratic rights. Cuomo used the cover of COVID to kill independent small parties in the state budget. It is time for all those Democrats who told us they opposed what was happening to have the courage to stand up to Cuomo and do what is right for New Yorkers. That includes raising the taxes on billionaires and other rich New Yorkers to close the massive budget deficit from COVID,” added Gloria Mattera, state party co-chair.

The Greens have been critical of Cuomo’s mishandling of the COVID crisis despite praise from much of the media. They support an independent investigation into the handling of nursing homes as well as the delay in moving to shut down and require masks. The Greens also expressed their support for an effort lead by county governments to increase their role in the COVID vaccine distribution.

In addition to funding Green New Deal initiatives, the Greens support strengthening the climate law Cuomo signed a year ago to speed up the timelines. The Greens have also been long-term proponents of “stopping the multi-billion dollar annual rebate of the Stock Transfer Tax.”

“It is long past time that the Democrats in Albany make the rich pay their fair share of taxes and ways, instead of making New York the long-time leader in economic inequality. We won’t solve the climate crisis or systemic racism or a host of other social problems until we embrace ecosocialism, putting the needs of average people and the planet ahead of the profits and well-being of a few,” said Peter LaVenia, state party co-chair.

The Green Party of New York first obtained ballot access in 1998 with (Grandpa) Al Lewis’s gubernatorial campaign and his call for ending the war on drugs. This included pushing to repeal the old Rockefeller drug laws and the legalization of marijuana.

The Green Party further affirmed their agreement with the Michelle Alexander paradigm that drug laws have created the New Jim Crow and renewed their push to repeal all cannabis laws.

“Big monied, politically connected Corporations should not dominate the cannabis industry. The legislature should spell out in law what is to be set aside in cannabis tax revenue for grants and small business loans for individuals and communities most harmed by the War on Drugs. How much gets set aside and who gets what should not be left up to bureaucrats appointed by the governor” said Bronx Green Paul Gilman. “The Greens want to allow people to grow their own marijuana and to require commercial growing operations to be organic.”






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