Broadband: Claverack Dems recognize and believe that access to broadband is a necessity for everyday life — work, school, healthcare. Currently far too many Claverack residents lack access to the Internet, a staggering inequity that magnifies deeper and older social disparities in education, employment, and healthcare.
Our 2021 candidates for Town Supervisor and Town Board will make broadband access a central issue in this year’s races and work to close what the Brookings Institution calls “the digital chasm.”
We will call for accurate census block mapping and a thorough count of unserved households. We believe that a review of the town’s existing agreements with Mid-Hudson Cable is necessary to expand coverage.
We will continue to pursue and expand interim measures and we will work closely with our state and federal representatives to leverage every possible resource to connect all Claverack households to the Internet.
Economic Development: Claverack Dems treasure our town’s rural and agricultural character. New organic farms and craft-based businesses build on our traditional strengths. But we recognize that addressing our needs for broadband access, affordable housing, and small business creation constitute our greatest opportunities to strengthen our economy and to reduce inequality. We strongly believe that we can make the intersection of Routes 23 and 9H, anchored by our new library, a more vibrant town center, welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists, and a walkable attraction for residents and for visitors to the mid-Hudson Valley.
Conservation and the Environment: Our agricultural economy and our irreplaceable green spaces are both our history and our future. But both are threatened by rising levels of greenhouse gases and the inevitably resulting climate change we’ve all seen and experienced taking place around us.
Claverack Democrats know we face an urgent need to reduce emissions and transition our economy to renewables and other clean energy sources. But arresting further degradation is not enough.
We also need to work towards restoring the interdependent eco-systems that keep us all alive and insuring their long-term sustainability. Claverack Dems, long active in various conservation efforts, support the effort to organize a Claverack Climate Smart Communities Task Force. Current projects include a greenhouse gas inventory for our town and exploring possibilities for hydropower. To learn more, or to help to develop the agenda, email email@example.com.
Social Justice: In 1619, the first 20 enslaved Africans reached the shores of Virginia, giving rise to a culture of racism that has held our country back for 400 years. And sadly, we acknowledge that white-nationalist hate groups still have a presence in Columbia County — one that threatens our democracy and our values.
Claverack Democrats are working diligently to dismantle our nation’s legacy of social, economic, educational, and political inequity. We support efforts to achieve social justice so that all people have equal access to capital, health, well-being, justice, housing opportunity, and employment.
We applaud and support local organizations such as Operation Unite NY, the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, and ReEntry Columbia. And we will continue to recruit and support candidates for local office who are equally committed to our justice agenda.
Where the Claverack Democratic Committee stands on these issues.
Police Reform: Police Reform is needed all across the country, including in Columbia County, as the instances unarmed individuals of color being harmed and killed by police happens repeatedly. Federal police reform legislation needs to be enacted so that no matter what state you live in, over-policing and racially biased policing will not continue to happen without consequence. We must hold our local law enforcement officials accountable for their actions and demand improvements and reform to ensure all are treated equally and fairly.
In the wake of the senseless and inhumane murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order (EO) requiring all municipalities with law enforcement agencies in New York State to conduct a Reform and Reinvention Process. The EO expected a thorough review of policies, procedures, and practices to seek ways to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy within communities to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.
The Columbia County Board of Supervisors (BOS) created a Police Reform Panel to examine the Sheriff’s Office and several town police departments, including the Village of Philmont Police Department, in order to develop a plan to submit to the State as required.
After eight months of meetings, which included many members of the public, elected officials, and law enforcement, the BOS submitted a plan. As written, the plan stated objectives in the areas of hiring, training, community relations, transparency and accountability, operational policies for procedural justice and community policing, and mental health. The plan failed to set measurable benchmarks or metrics to demonstrate progress toward change or to acknowledge specific issues associated with racial bias or disproportionate policing in Columbia County.
The Social Justice Subcommittee of the Columbia County Democratic Committee’s Issues Committee provided frequent public comments during the process. It pursued its own data analysis and research, which determined that disproportionate policing was increasing and that Black residents were nine times more likely than White residents to be arrested for a felony. Its conclusion was that the modest plan submitted by the BOS fell far short of meeting the moment for reform in Columbia County law enforcement.
For more information, visit the Columbia County’s Police Reform Panel.
Columbia County Democratic Committee’s Values and Platform
For more information about the above and additional issues, read the Columbia County Democratic Committee’s Values and Platform Brochure
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Claverack Democratic Committee, PO Box 514, Claverack, NY 12513
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