Center for Working Families

A rabbi, an imam and a priest…

June 25, 2012

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Rabbis, imams and priests called for it.

Environmentalists demanded it.

The governor spoke in favor of it, and both houses of the legislature introduced bills to enact it.

But last week, the New York State legislative session ended without passage of publicly financed elections.

So now the campaign for fair elections is entering a new phase. As the New York Times reported today, pro-democracy investors and philanthropists are working closely with Governor Cuomo to set the stage for success next year. The Center for Working Families and our allies are also preparing for an even bigger push.

Events of recent days provided plenty of reminders of why we can’t give up:

•    Broadly-supported public safety legislation to microstamp guns was blocked by senators who had received hefty gun industry contributions.
•    Industry opponents of a higher minimum wage persuaded key members of the legislature to stop this modest reform, using big campaign contributions as tools.
•    Some senators, apparently swayed by lobbyists for a Manhattan catering hall and by contributions from the hall’s law firm, voted to renew the hall’s liquor license against the wishes of local lawmakers and community residents. (The bill didn’t pass the Assembly.)

As Cecil Corbin-Mark of WE ACT for Environmental Justice and Roger Downs of Sierra Club’s Atlantic Chapter put it in their recent Newsday op-ed, “We’re in it for the long haul, and we won’t give up until our other elected leaders follow.”

 

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© 2012 Center for Working Families

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