To the editor:
Now that the summer is here and the New York legislature has adjourned, we wish to express again our displeasure at state Sen. Jeff Klein and the Independent Democratic Conference.
Sen. Klein is able to get funding for our district, including our RiverFest and the greenway study, KRVC, and local non-profit organizations. These are wonderful for us in Riverdale, but do not address many issues that are important on a statewide level.
For example, many progressive measures that the IDC claims to support passed the Assembly, but never got out of Republican-led committees. These include voting reform, the reproductive health bill, single-payer health insurance, and campaign ethics reform.
It is possible that not all of these bills would have passed if the IDC became real Democrats, but they would have had a better chance of getting to the floor for a vote.
Sen. Klein claims he supports progressive legislation, but his voting record doesn’t matter because his deal with the Republicans ensures that most progressive legislation cannot come to the senate floor for a vote. There is no voting record for bills Sen. Klein effectively blocked from coming to the floor.
This legislative session, the IDC worked with senate Republicans and Gov. Cuomo to pass free tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools for the middle class, and to raise the age of criminal responsibility. We believe these bills would still have passed if the IDC members went back to work with the Democratic majority.
Right now, the state is facing devastating cuts to Medicaid under President Trump, drastic shifts in immigration policy, and federal positions on environmental protection and business regulations — and the IDC remains aligned with Trump-allied senate Republicans.
The people signing this letter have requested on the phone, in letters and in emails, open town halls to discuss these issues, and have been repeatedly rebuffed by Sen. Klein. He has forgotten that he works for his constituents, and not the other way around, and we will not forget his actions when we vote in 2018.
SUE ELLEN DODELL, ANNEMARIE GOLDEN, DALE WOLFF, JANICE WEAVER, CAROL RADEL, JACQUELINE GOLD, STACEY LIECHTI, JUDITH MINKOFF-GREY, RUTH MULLEN