New York Resistance Agenda
New York can lead the way in resisting Trump and strengthening our democracy. Here’s how.
The Trump regime is a threat to our democracy as well as the rights and well-being of millions of New Yorkers. While people across the country are fighting back, here in New York we have an opportunity to enact a Resistance Agenda into law to protect New Yorkers and model progressive governance. But to do that, first we need progressive forces in the State Senate to unite; only then can New York lead the way in protecting our rights, expanding health care, improving education, fighting climate change and strengthening our democracy.
We call on all progressive elected officials to unite to pass the agenda below so that together, we can resist Trump, defend the rights of all New Yorkers and strengthen our democracy.
STRENGTHENING OUR DEMOCRACY: Trump and the Republicans want to keep people who don’t vote for them from voting at all. The core of democracy is encouraging every eligible voter to vote and ensuring anyone can run for office, not just the wealthy and connected. WE NEED UNITY to enact automatic and same day voter registration, restore parolee voting rights and institute early voting and vote by mail. We can fight corruption and restore faith in government by passing public financing of elections and closing the LLC Loophole so voters know the people they elect will actually be accountable to them and not special interests. We can pass ethics reform to ensure the integrity of our government. And we can take a stand against conflicts of interest at the highest level of our government and for transparency by supporting legislation to release Trump’s NYS tax returns.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND POLICE REFORMS: Even though the national crime rate remains at near-historic lows, Trump and Attorney General Sessions are pushing policies that will significantly increase mass incarceration and re-institute controversial, racially-biased programs like Stop-and-Frisk. Studies and crime statistics prove that putting millions of low-level, mostly Black and Brown offenders in jail for long periods of time divides police from the communities they serve, destroying trust and decreasing community safety. WE NEED UNITY to dismantle unjust systems of mass incarceration by passing legislation that ensures the right to truly speedy trials, reforms the bail system so that poverty doesn’t unfairly impact punishment, increases transparency in cases of police brutality, protects youth in the system, reduces systemic racial disparities and keeps both police and communities safe.
JOBS & INFRASTRUCTURE, NOT CORPORATE WELFARE: Trump talks about fixing the country’s very real infrastructure problems but instead he will create another opportunity for the rich to get richer through huge tax breaks, privatization of public infrastructure and corporate giveaways. WE NEED UNITY to stop corporate tax giveaways, including the ones we currently dole out here in NYS through Industrial Development Agencies, Empire Zones and myriad other programs, and instead make crucial investments in our mass transit system, roads and bridges, to protect our drinking water, expand broadband and more. These investments can create good paying union jobs and spur economic activity for businesses across our state.
CLIMATE JUSTICE: Trump is willing to put millions at risk from rising sea levels, violent storms, polluted air, and worsening heat waves so he can line the pockets of oil and gas billionaires. With a federal government in utter denial of scientific reality, New York is one of the most important states to lead the charge against climate change over the next four years. WE NEED UNITY to meet the climate crisis head on: moving the economy to 100% renewable energy, creating thousands of new jobs, protecting communities at the front lines of climate impacts, and making polluters pay their fair share for the damage being done to our health and our communities. We can do all of this and more by uniting to pass the New York Climate and Community Protection Act.
PROTECTING NEW YORK’S IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES: Trump wants to rip families apart and send hard-working, tax-paying immigrants back to countries they’ve fled to protect their lives and deprive immigrant communities of economic and educational opportunities. WE NEED UNITY to pass the DREAM Act to ensure higher education access for all, the Liberty Act to draw a bright line between immigration enforcement and local law enforcement, universal legal representation for anyone facing deportation, drivers licenses for all qualified motorists, regardless of immigration status, and other protections to ensure all immigrants can continue to be productive New Yorkers.
WORKERS RIGHTS: Behind Trump’s empty boasts about jobs are plans to destroy workers’ rights to organize, end rules to protect basic workplace safety and cuts to programs like OSHA that defend workers. WE NEED UNITY to pass protections for the right to unionize and baseline workplace standards like prevailing wage & benefits for subcontracted transportation workers, and safe staffing minimums for healthcare workers. We also need to pass EmPIRE legislation, which would expand state resources to hold corporations accountable for violations of workers’ and consumers’ rights.
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: Trump has appointed an extreme, right-wing justice to the Supreme Court and is intent on using the courts and Congress to take away a woman’s right and ability to access abortion and contraception, and to attack health care providers who provide these essential services to women. WE NEED UNITY to pass legislation to guarantee that all New York women have access to high-quality, timely, affordable abortion care and contraception by passing the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA) and the Reproductive Health Act (RHA).
CIVIL RIGHTS: Trump wants to pit us against one another, spreading hatred for Muslims, winking at anti-semitism, boasting of sexual assault, and refusing to condemn his racist and bigoted supporters. Within weeks of taking office, his administration rescinded President Obama’s guidance to ensure that schools followed the law to ensure transgender and gender nonconforming youth are treated fairly and with dignity. At a time when transgender and other vulnerable populations face increasing levels of violence, Trump is rolling back crucial protections. WE NEED UNITY to pass gender identity protections so that transgender and gender nonconforming New Yorkers are protected against discrimination by state law; and we must do more to end the endemic violence against transgender people of color.
HEALTHCARE FOR ALL: The ugly reality of Trump’s health plan is that it eliminates health care for millions of people so he can provide a huge tax cut for the wealthy. WE NEED UNITY to provide badly needed support for our public hospitals and to pass the New York Health Act so healthcare finally becomes a right for every New Yorker.
DEFENDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES: Trump is seeking to dramatically cut support for public schools and universities, undercutting the education that is the key for our children’s future, and diverting this money into school privatization through private school vouchers and privately run charter schools. WE NEED UNITY to pass full funding for our public schools as required by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), as well as for our public colleges and universities, CUNY and SUNY, which have long provided a path to the middle class for hundreds of thousands of aspiring New Yorkers.
TAX FAIRNESS FOR WORKING FAMILIES: Trump wants to slash taxes for himself, his family and the wealthy, while average Americans see education, healthcare and other vital services we depend on gutted. WE NEED UNITY to pass measures to ensure that the rich pay their fair share here in NY, including an expanded millionaire’s tax, a mansion tax, and repeal of the carried interest loophole, which saves hedge fund owners billions. We also need to support middle class homeowners by limiting property taxes to a reasonable percentage of their income.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Trump wants to gut support for affordable and public housing, which will increase homelessness and force thousands of families into poverty. WE NEED UNITY to stand up to the real estate lobby’s demands for tax breaks and pass stronger rent laws to protect tenants and end loopholes that incentivize evictions, to fully fund and create 20,000 units of supportive housing statewide, to increase financial support for public housing and all affordable housing development, and to pass the Home Stability Support Initiative.
“Make no mistake: Trump and his right-wing extremist administration has declared war on American workers. We need progressive forces to unite so New York can lead the resistance, protecting immigrants and ensuring New York’s workers have the basic protections and decent wages they deserve,” said Hector Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU.
“While Trump and his cronies are trying to siphon money away from our public schools, Republicans in Albany refuse to fully fund our schools and universities. The IDC-GOP Alliance needs to end now. Democrats in Albany must unite, resist the Trump agenda and start standing up for our kids,” said Cynthia Nixon.
“American democracy is being tested. In Washington, it’s clear that Donald Trump and his party are willing to undermine our democracy for their own power and agenda. Thankfully, states can still lead by creating model voting and campaign finance systems where every voter has an equal say and you don’t need corporate money to win. New Yorkers overwhelmingly support democracy reforms, but the IDC-GOP alliance is standing in our path. It’s time for progressives in the State Senate to stand together so we can strengthen our democracy and restore faith in government, making it easier to vote and getting big money out of politics,” said Heather McGhee, President, Demos Action.
“Trump is undermining our Constitution and democracy, mocking our ethics rules, and rolling back civil rights: he is cruel, careless, lawless, and kleptocratic. New York should be leading the resistance in fighting back. But the IDC-GOP alliance stands in our way. We need Democratic unity to finally pass public financing elections, stop corporate tax giveaways, make big corporations accountable, and pass the rest of the Resistance Agenda,” said Zephyr Teachout.
“The Trump regime is doing everything it can to sabotage efforts for climate justice. It’s time for the states to step up and lead. But here in NY, the IDC is enabling the Senate Republicans who are in lockstep with the the oil and gas industry. They need to unite with the Senate Democrats, pass the NY Climate and Community Protection Act and put New York on track for a just transition to a 100% clean renewable energy future,” said Guido Girgenti of 350 Action.
“Super-rich CEOs keep trying to get even richer by avoiding taxes, and in New York their top accomplices are Trump Republicans in the State Senate. The only way everyday New Yorkers won’t be left to foot the bill is if all Democrats join together to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share,” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York State.
“Trump and the Washington Republicans are about to devastate our public housing; meanwhile the IDC-GOP alliance is blocking stronger rent laws and more funding for affordable housing. It’s time for the IDC to come back so Albany can put working families first ahead of the interests of the real estate lobby,” said Alyssa Aguilera, Executive Director of VOCAL-NY Action Fund.
“People think of New York as a progressive state, and nearly eighty-percent (80%) of New Yorkers are considered prochoice. But with Trump and Republicans in Congress on a warpath to dismantle Roe v. Wade, people don’t realize that abortion access isn’t fully protected — even here in NY. By siding with Senate Republicans, not only are these so called “independent” Democrats misaligned with our values they are also putting women’s lives at risk right here in New York State,” said Heidi L. Sieck, CEO, #VOTEPROCHOICE, a nationwide platform founded in New York City to mobilize the nation’s pro-choice majority.
“Trump and his bigoted supporters are looking to roll back civil rights across the board. His rhetoric has helped lead to an increase in hate crimes across our state. It’s time for New Yorkers to stand up. But we can’t because we’re blocked by the IDC-GOP alliance, we need unity to fight back to make sure civil rights for all New Yorkers are protected and that gender identity protections are written into law,” said Sean Coleman, Transgender Activist.