Ulster People Endorses Bernie Sanders for President!

Rosendale, NY – By a huge majority, the members of Ulster People for Justice and Democracy voted on Monday night to endorse Bernie Sanders for President.

Ulster People member Todd Wolgamuth explained, “Bernie Sanders has been a powerful and often lone voice for justice, fairness and equality in a sea of political actors self-centered and corrupted by money with hidden agendas.”

Wolgamuth’s enthusiasm for Sanders exemplifies the strong thread of
political activism that runs through Ulster People, which was founded in the
aftermath of the Sanders presidential bid in 2016.

In the last three years, UP has thrown its volunteer power into several local
political races; with their powerful grassroots connections and multi-pronged approach, UP volunteers were a key contributor to the election of a wave of Democrats to the Ulster County Legislature in 2017.

Now members of Ulster People are eager to focus their energy on a presidential campaign again. “Bernie’s platform aligns with my values and his candidacy promises much needed excitement and optimism,” Penny Coleman, UP member and Vice Chair explained.

With this endorsement of Bernie Sanders, Ulster People positions itself as the organization providing local support and local structure to the Sanders campaign. UP members are seasoned grassroots activists familiar with the turf that needs to be covered for Sanders to succeed. Bernie Sanders won 63% of the vote in Ulster County in the 2016 Presidential Primary; with the added energy of people joining now, UP plans to do that well or better in 2020.

For those interested in volunteering for the Sanders campaign locally, Ulster People for Justice and Democracy can be found at https://ulsterpeople.org.

In the words of UP member Max Grieshaber, “Bernie Sanders represents the substance of valuing community over corporate selfishness.”

The combination of Ulster People’s experienced volunteers and the activists who join now will make a formidable force here in the Hudson Valley.

Register to vote! And double-check your registration!

Friday, October 12th is the LAST day to register to vote in New York in the upcoming November elections! Not only that, is is also the LAST DAY to change your party affiliation in advance of the 2019 primary elections — a whole year away!

Not registered? No problem.

Even if you’re already registered, PLEASE take a moment right now to double-check. Especially if you’ve moved recently. But even if you haven’t. New York State is notorious for purging voters from the rolls. We need to be vigilant!

To check your registration, visit voterlookup.elections.ny.gov and enter your info (or use the form below, powered by vote.org). Fill at the form to look up your registration, and then confirm (Under “Voter Information”) that:

  • Your address is accurate.
  • Your political party is the one whose primary you want to vote in.
  • Your voter status is active.

October General Meeting

Please join Ulster People for Justice & Democracy on Monday, 10/1 for our October general meeting!

This month we’ll be joined by Joyce St. George, Democratic candidate for New York State Senate District 51 and retired corruption investigator. St. George will discuss her research on Reclaim NY, a right-wing campaign funded by the Mercer Family (and initially directed by Steve Bannon) to strain and disrupt our local governments and school districts.

Reclaim NY has recently become active in Ulster County, making it all the more urgent to we understand their mission and tactics. So please invite your friends and neighbors to join us on Monday!

Also on the agenda:

  • Report backs from our working groups, including how to get involved in helping to elect our endorsed candidates!
  • Our members vote on whether to Antonio Delgado in the congressional race (endorsements require support of 2/3 of our voting members).

 

August General Meeting feat. Pavlina Tcherneva

Please join Ulster People for Justice & Democracy at our August general meeting! This month we’ll be joined by economist Pavlina Tcherneva of Bard College to talk about her proposal for a Federal Job Guarantee. Prof. Tcherneva is a leading scholar of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and has advised both Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Also on the agenda:

  • Report backs from our working groups, including how to get involved in helping to elect our endorsed candidates!
  • Discussion of whether to endorse Antonio Delgado in the congressional race (with a vote tentatively scheduled for September’s general meeting on 9/4).

This meeting is open to the public, but only voting members are eligible to vote on organizational business and will be given priority during discussion of such. Details of our membership policy can be found here. If you support our platform and would like to become a voting member, this meeting will be a great way to learn about opportunities to meet the volunteer requirement for voting membership.

About Our Endorsed Candidates

Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon for NYS Governor

DONATE!

Cynthia Nixon, though best-known as an award-winning actor, is a long-time activist for public schools, marriage equality, and women’s rights. She advances an agenda for a New York that serves the many, not the few: rent justice, marijuana legalization, improved public transportation, a clean energy economy, and drivers licenses for all. She has great clarity about the specifics of Albany cronyism and the inhumane consequences of austerity. She is refreshingly honest about the areas in which she lacks experience and surrounds herself with good, experienced people while leveraging her celebrity into a formidable force against Cuomo’s $30 million war chest. Just two months into her candidacy, she has deftly used her intelligence, humor, and media connections to promote her platform in ways that have already moved the conversation– and Cuomo – to the left.

Jumaane Williams

Jumaane Williams for NYS Lieutenant Governor

DONATE!

Jumaane Williams has been a forceful voice on the NYC Council for affordable housing, anti-gun violence measures, fair policing, equity, and social justice. He authored the legislation that ended Stop and Frisk in NYC, and championed youth employment initiatives. He has a background in community organizing and has prioritized housing initiatives and tenants’ rights. He is also a committed immigrants rights activist. He is running to be “the voice of the people in state government,” with a vision to transform the office of Lieutenant Governor into the role of independent advocate for all New Yorkers.

Juan Figueroa

Juan Figueroa for Ulster County Sheriff

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Juan Figueroa is uniquely qualified to bring real change to the Ulster County Sheriff’s department. His plans include diversifying the department, introducing training to combat racism, treating the opioid epidemic as a public health, rather than a criminal justice, issue, and refusing to cooperate with federal immigration agents targeting our undocumented neighbors. As a Marine Corps veteran with 22 years years of service and 25 years as a NY State Trooper and Investigator, he has extensive experience in law enforcement. As a person of color who has experienced discrimination, he understands the challenges– and importance– of fostering mutual trust and respect between law enforcement and the community. He believes immigrants must be able to contact the Sheriff’s Office without fear, and is fluent in both English and Spanish. Driven by a strong sense of justice and public service, he is committed to serving and protecting all residents of Ulster County and upholding due process and equal protection under the law.

Jen Metzger

Jen Metzger for NYS Senate District 42

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Jen Metzger is a town councilwoman, environmental activist and community advocate. She is deeply knowledgeable about social, environmental, and economic issues. As director of Citizens for Local Power, Jen negotiated the first ever reduction in Central Hudson’s service charge and led the effort to keep the Pilgrim Pipeline from carrying Bakken crude oil through our backyards, an effort that produced a domino effect up and down the Hudson River. As a municipal official, she has pursued a local, sustainable energy economy and improved quality of life for residents without raising the costs. She has done so by being simultaneously respectful, fierce, stubborn, smart, compassionate and effective.

Pat Strong

Pat Strong for NYS Senate District 46

DONATE!

Pat Strong brings a progressive vision to economic, environmental, and creative possibilities for the Hudson Valley. She has been an advocate for fully and fairly funded public schools, common sense gun safety, effective interventions and treatment for those addicted to opiods and programs to disrupt the school to prison pipeline. She is an advocate for renewable and sustainable energy and environmental justice for communities suffering the effects of toxic pollution. Pat will be a strong voice against the antidemocratic forces at work in our body politic.

Joyce St. George

Joyce St. George for NYS Senate District 51

DONATE!

Joyce St. George promises to be a real representative for a district that has felt largely ignored for too long. Her career in law enforcement in NYC, where she was the first female investigator to serve in the AG’s anti-corruption unit, included rooting out crime within the criminal justice system, working with the US Justice Department to mediate between police and communities of color and training others in crisis and conflict management. She has since worked as a court mediator for Delaware-Otsego Counties, assisted FEMA providing crisis services following Irene and other disastrous storms, spearheaded the movement to evict the Mercer-funded, Bannon-inspired Reclaim NY from Delaware County, and hosted a radio program, “Conflict Revolution,” that brings together people with different perspectives. She advocates for rural communities and family farms, for sustainable energy, economic equity and social justice. And as a Puerto Rican woman, she brings a much needed perspective and voice to Albany politics.

24 March For Our Lives Hudson Valley

Please join us at March for Our Lives Hudson Valley!

RSVP Here: http://act.everytown.org/event/march-our-lives-events_attend/9454

We will meet on the Poughkeepsie side of the Walkway Over the Hudson at 11:00am and gather for speakers, followed by a march over the Hudson River.

Sponsor: Steven Spicer – Black Lives Matter Kingston

Co-Sponsors: Arts for Peace • Black Lives Matter (BLM) • Dutchess County Interfaith Council (DCIC) • Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance (DCPAA) • End The New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN) • Hudson Valley Strong • Indivisible NY 19 • Indivisible The Fight Is On (ITFIO) • March On! Hudson Valley • Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America • Move Forward NY 19th Congressional District • New Yorkers Against Gun Violence • Ulster People For Justice & Democracy • U-Act

Thanks to all our supporters. Let the Hudson Valley really show the students of Parkland how much we care!

Inequality in America: A National Town Hall

We live in the richest country in the history of the world, but that reality means little because much of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals while more than 40 million Americans live in poverty. The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time.

On March 19th, Sen. Bernie Sanders, in partnership with The Guardian, NowThis, The Young Turks and Act.tv, will present a live town hall event on the rise of the oligarchy and the collapse of the American middle class. Sanders will speak with director Michael Moore, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, economist Darrick Hamilton and other guests about the 40-year decline of the middle class and possible solutions to the growing crisis of income and wealth inequality in America.

The event will be live streamed across the social media platforms of Sen. Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Michael Moore, The Guardian, NowThis, The Young Turks, Act.tv and Buzzfeed.

CD-19 Candidate Endorsement Process

We are pleased to announce that Ulster People for Justice and Democracy is now accepting applications for our 2018 CD-19 Endorsement.

To help us decide which candidate to endorse for CD-19, we are asking all challengers who are interested in our endorsement to complete our endorsement form. Please see here for instructions.

Our screening committee will contact applicants following receipt of the questionnaire to arrange a personal interview. The committee will make a recommendation based on platform support and viability as a candidate. Final endorsement decisions are determined by a vote of our voting membership, and may be coordinated with other NYPAN chapters in the district.

Although we have requested that the forms returned by February 15, we hope to accomplish our review of candidates as quickly as possible. Please contact Bill Barr, chair of the screening committee, at runforoffice@ulsterpeople.org with any questions.

About Ulster People for Justice & Democracy

Ulster People for Justice & Democracy is platform-based political organization, unaffiliated with any party, that evolved out of the grassroots group Ulster County Volunteers for Bernie (aka Ulster4Bernie).

As Ulster4Bernie, we coordinated the petitioning effort in CD-19 to get Senator Bernie Sanders on the NYS Primary ballot and secured more signatures than any other Congressional District in New York (February, 2016) and sent two delegates for Bernie to the 2016 Democratic National Convention (July, 2016). We then elected one of those delegates to represent the 103rd Assembly District on the New York State Democratic Committee (September, 2016).

Now as Ulster People for Justice & Democracy, we aspire to bring the energy, enthusiasm and practical experience honed on the Bernie campaign to answer Bernie’s call to “start engaging at the local and state level in an unprecedented way.”