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.

About Our Endorsed Candidates

Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon for NYS Governor


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


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


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


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


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


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.

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.”

It’s not too late to protect net neutrality!

This is the free speech issue of our time.

Multiple calls to save the internet are flying around online, everything from emailing FCC commissioners to filing official comments with the FCC online. But with over 22 million public comments already submitted, there is little chance that additional comments will change the minds of chairman Ajit Pai and the two Republican commissioners. On December 14, they plan to vote on a proposal to repeal net neutrality and end the internet as we know it.

Only two of the five commissioners are listening to the people. The two Democratic commissioners have sounded the alarm, saying that the proposal:

“would dismantle net neutrality as we know it by giving the green light to our nation’s largest broadband providers to engage in anti-consumer practices, including blocking, slowing down traffic, and paid prioritization of online applications and services.” —Mignon Clyburn

“hands broadband providers the power to decide what voices to amplify, which sites we can visit, what connections we can make, and what communities we create. It throttles access, stalls opportunity, and censors content.” —Jessica Rosenworcel

The Verge, November 21, 2017


1. Contact our congressional representatives—Faso, Schumer & Gillibrand—and ask them to:

  • Question whether the FCC upheld proper protocol in their review process. NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating fraudulent comments on this issue that were submitted to the FCC! You can use this search tool to see if your name was used to make a fake comment.
  • Invoke the Congressional Review Act to roll back any FCC vote that repeals net neutrality. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a little known bill passed in 1996 that allows Congress to completely get rid of rules passed by a federal agency within 60 days of being published in the Federal Register or submitted to Congress, whichever is later. Once Congress uses the CRA on a rule, it is like the rule never existed. In legal speak, the rule has no force or effect.

2. Join the National Day of Protest on Thursday, December 7, 12pm outside the Verizon Store in Kingston, 1200 Ulster Avenue.

WHY THE VERIZON STORE? Chairman Ajit Pai is a former top lawyer for Verizon, and the company has been spending millions on lobbying and lawsuits to kill net neutrality so they can gouge us all for more money. Protesting at Verizon stores across the country will shine a light on the corruption.

More info at battleforthenet.com.

Protect Net Neutrality!


May 18, 2017: Voted to begin the process of eliminating Title II protection of the Internet. Without Title II protection, the Internet will no longer be regulated as a public utility. This will effectively put the Internet up for sale to the highest bidders, and allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to favor or block particular websites and types of online content.

The consequences of Internet monopolization are severe: we would have less choice over content, higher prices, less chance for independent voices to be heard, and less ability to mobilize grassroots movements.

April 20, 2017: Voted to lift restrictions on the amount of airwaves that large broadcasters can purchase and thus monopolize. They also voted to allow broadband rate hikes for schools, libraries, hospitals, and small businesses.

March 29, 2017: Voted to overturn the Broadband Privacy Order, thus allowing broadband service providers access to consumers’ personal data without express written permission.

The time to act is NOW:
File a Comment with the FCC

Up to July 17, 2017, The FCC is currently accepting comments on this proposed regulation change.

To make a comment:

  1. Visit fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express or gofccyourself.com (if it doesn’t load, wait a few minutes and try again)
  2. In the first box (labelled “Proceeding(s)“) type 17-108. It should auto-populate as “17-108 Restoring Internet Freedom”. Press Enter.
    FCC Express Comment Screenshot
  3. Fill out the form with your name and contact information.
  4. Enter your comment. You can use the sample comment below as a template.
  5. Click “Continue to review screen” check your submission,
  6. Click “Submit.”
  7. If there are problems, call the phone number at the bottom of the page. The FCC is experiencing high traffic volumes and anticipates periodic shutdowns.

Sample Comment

I do not agree with any proposed changes to the regulation of the internet. The internet should continue to be regulated under Title II to ensure fair and equal access to broadband use by all ISPs and to stop any paid prioritization. The FCC is mandated to serve American citizens, not corporations, and we have a right to keep access to airwaves and broadband protected from monopolization.

I agree with Commissioners Clyburn and McSweeney and believe this policy change would give unfair advantage and profit to the largest of companies and eliminate viable access to all others. We cannot allow content and privacy to be controlled by corporate gatekeepers. A change in Title II regulations and/or rules that ban blocking or throttling websites threatens our constitutional rights to free speech. I submit that regulations remain as they are. Thank you.

Spread the word and contact your Member of Congress and Senators to tell them not to allow any changes to the internet regulations!

Washington, DC: 202-225-5614
Kinderhook: 518-610-8133
Kingston: 845-514-2322
Delhi: 607-746-9537

Washington, DC: 202-224-6542
NYC: 212-486-4430
Peekskill: 914-734-1532
Albany: 518-431-4070

Washington, DC: 202-224-4451
NYC: 212-688-6262
Hudson Valley: 845-875-4585
Albany: 518-431-0120

Learn more & stay involved:

Visit and sign up for updates from battleforthenet.com, which is a hub of many organizations advocating for free press and an open net. #protectnetneutralitycalltoaction

Things to know about the proposed regulation changes, NPRM Docket 17-108

  • The FCC is sending a distorted message by calling this NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) “Restoring internet Freedom.” We call it The end of access to online free speech.
  • Two commissioners, Mignon Clyburn of the FCC and Terrell McSweeny of the FTC, oppose these rule changes. They authored a statement describing the plan as “a gift to behemoth incumbent broadband providers” who will be “powerful gatekeepers of our modern world,” controlling content and consumer private user data. (FCC.gov)
  • The rule changes are supported by all the giant Cable Companies, and would allow them to slow the Internet to a crawl, and then force sites to pay for special “fast lanes.”
  • The rule changes are also supported by many right wing groups such as Freedom Works (supported by the Koch Brothers) and American Commitment, which is for “constitutionally-limited government regulation” and has called net neutrality Marxist.
  • The Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is a former Verizon lawyer. He was appointed to the FCC by President Obama in May 2012, at the recommendation of Mitch McConnell, and named Chairman of the FCC in January 2017 by President Trump.
  • We need to fill the comment board with our comments, it took 4 million of us last time, this time we need more!
  • Extremist, right wing groups have already started flooding the comment board.
  • Don’t get discouraged, your comment is counted. It goes into an official government document that they are required to review and comment on.

Confused? Let John Oliver explain:

Learn more & stay involved

Visit and sign up for updates from battleforthenet.com, which is a hub of many organizations advocating for free press and an open net.