Meet Ulster People for Justice & Democracy

Ulster People for Justice & Democracy is a volunteer group of Ulster County residents, unaffiliated with any political party and entirely member-run. We believe a just, prosperous and sustainable future for our community is possible when we engage in the political process and hold our elected officials accountable. Together we can take on the big corporations and wealthy elites to demand a government that represents the people, an economy that works for all of us instead of just a few, and a society where all people are treated fairly and live with dignity and freedom.

We advocate for our platform — and candidates who commit to supporting it — at the county, state, and federal level. We study and share how government at all levels is working for us (or against us), engage with our elected officials directly on the issues that matter to us, and help get people elected to public office who share our vision and will fight for economic, social, environmental, and racial justice for all.

Contact us to learn how you can get involved.

Upcoming Events

  1. Civics Class with Zephyr Teachout and Jennifer Schwartz Berky – Session 4

    June 29 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  2. Regular Legislative Session of the Ulster County Legislature

    July 18 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Our Mission

Ulster People for Justice and Democracy, inspired by the Bernie Sanders campaign for President, is a non-partisan grassroots group in Ulster County, NY, building an inclusive, responsive democracy through advocacy, education, and direct political action. We demand that our government at all levels represent people, not corporations, and fight for economic, social, racial, and environmental justice for all.

Our Platform

Create a responsive, functioning democracy where people—not big corporations and billionaires—have the power.

Our democracy is in jeopardy, with the balance of power now resting in the hands of transnational corporations and wealthy elites. We must stop the march toward oligarchy and ensure a government of the people, for the people, and by the people:

  • Get big money out of politics. Overturn Citizens United, publicly fund political campaigns, reform lobbying rules to stop legalized bribery, and ban secret donations.
  • Make sure every American gets to vote and that their vote is counted accurately and fairly. Reform our outdated voting system and prevent politicians from drawing their own district lines to guarantee re-election (a practice known as gerrymandering).
  • Demand government transparency. Public information should be easily accessible online and openly shared with the press.
  • Ensure an open and democratic internet for all. Protect net neutrality and expand rural broadband.
  • End media consolidation to ensure a free press. Break up the big media companies and restore regulations to limit control over diverse media markets.
  • Reform Wall Street. Break up and regulate the big banks and prosecute all who break the law.
  • End unfair monopolies and oligopolies. Restore antitrust law and break up big corporations and institutions to restore fair competition.

Ensure dignity, security, and liberty for all.

When our rights are at risk and our freedoms tested we are not secure. All people deserve access to the basic things we all need to survive and to live in safety. Caring for our most vulnerable is part of what it means to be American.

  • Enforce the Bill of Rights for people (not corporations). Guard especially the right to free speech and peaceful protest, and the right to privacy (end the surveillance state and regulate data collection). Respect and protect whistleblowers.
  • End extreme income and wealth inequality. Fix our broken tax system so that billionaires and corporations pay their fair share, and enact policies to support the growth of a strong middle class.
  • Ensure healthcare as a right. Enact an affordable single-payer, Medicare-for-all system like other modernized countries.
  • Ensure education as a right. Fully and equally fund free public education from pre-K through higher education, and provide student loan debt relief.
  • Ensure clean air, water, and soil as a right. Protect the commons.
  • Strengthen and expand Social Security. Do not allow privatization.
  • Stand up for real family values. Guarantee paid time off for vacation, illness, and family leave, and provide universal childcare.
  • Take care of the vulnerable in our communities. Protect the rights of and create opportunities for the disabled, the poor, the homeless, and others at risk.
  • Defend and protect women’s rights. Ensure reproductive freedom and secure equal pay and equal employment opportunities for women.
  • Respect and care for our veterans. Honor their service, provide job and educational opportunities, and ensure quality medical care for the rest of their lives.
  • Protect against gun violence. Enact common sense gun regulations.
  • Abolish the death penalty. Society demeans the value of each life by permitting Government to end human life.

Cultivate and protect quality employment opportunities.

There is no freedom without economic security and dignity. In the richest country in the world, everyone should have the opportunity to have a good job with fair pay.

  • Raise the minimum wage to a living wage. Start with $15 an hour and tie it to inflation.
  • Support unions and the right to organize. Protect collective bargaining and collection of union dues.
  • Oppose disastrous trade deals. No free trade that ship jobs overseas and strip citizens of their sovereign rights.
  • Enact a New New Deal. Provide quality jobs to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and supply much-needed care for children, the elderly, those suffering from sickness and people with disabilities.
  • Support our locally-owned, independent businesses. Keep the wealth circulating in our local economy.
  • Defend and expand worker’s rights. Protect all workers regardless of immigration status and ensure safety on the job.

Stop oppression at home and abroad.

All people deserve to live safe and secure lives free from oppression both at home and abroad. While we can’t control everything that happens in other countries we can certainly adjust our policies to support human rights more widely and promote a more peaceful global community.

  • End the wars and bring the troops home. No more nation-building and foreign regime interference.
  • Enact real criminal justice and policing reform Demilitarize the police and call out police brutality, abolish for-profit prisons, stop the school-to-prison pipeline, and offer rehabilitation for those convicted. Prosecute officers who break the law and ensure equal access for all to our judicial system.
  • Establish fair and humane immigration policies. Unite families instead of tearing them apart, bring undocumented workers out of the shadows (and punish corporations who exploit them), and welcome refugees and those seeking asylum.
  • Prevent discrimination based on sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability and guarantee everyone equal access to employment, housing and public accommodations.
  • End institutional racism. Reform our social, political and financial institutions to end discriminatory practices based on race and ethnicity.
  • End the failed war on drugs. Decriminalize and regulate drugs, and recognize addiction as a public health crisis requiring treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Respect international law. Honor our treaties with indigenous peoples and follow the rules of global agreements like the Geneva Convention.
  • Stop selling weapons to human rights violators.

Protect and restore the health of our planet Earth.

The scientific consensus is overwhelming—we must roll back our carbon emissions and tackle the biggest threat to all of us: climate change.

  • Lead the transition away from fossil fuels. Invest in research, jobs and infrastructure to support more renewable and sustainable solutions, ban fracking, stop the build-out of fossil fuel infrastructure while safeguarding the economic stability of communities affected by the transition.
  • Support sustainable agricultural systems. Develop food and agricultural policies that support economically and environmentally sustainable local food systems. Promote and protect public health and reduce industrial agriculture.
  • Clean up our water, land, and air. Hold polluters responsible for the damage they do.
  • Respect nature. Increase conservation and protect all ecosystems, and the plants and animals within them from corporate greed. Stop the privatization and exploitation of public land and resources.

Affiliations

Ulster People for Justice & Democracy is a chapter of:

  • NYPAN logo