Thursday, December 14, 2006

WFP 2007 Priorities Survey Day 1 results

Here are the Day 1 results of the Working Families Party 2007 Priorities Survey. The percentages don't add up to 100% because votes for "All of the Above" aren't listed.

Question 1: Here are six issues where we could win real victories for working families in 2007. Which of these issues do you think the WFP should work on in 2007?

Fair Funding for Education11.61%
Protecting Health Care in New York17.60%
Paid Sick Leave3.00%
Reforming Corporate Subsidies10.11%
Affordable Housing13.11%
Environmentally-Smart Building Codes1.50%

Question 2: Here are five important long-term issues that may not be finished in 2007. Which of these issues do you think the WFP should work on in 2007?

Universal Health Care37.83%
Progressive Taxation7.12%
Strengthening Unions4.49%
Family Friendly Workplaces3.00%
Energy Independence8.99%

Question 3: The WFP was formed both to deliver real victories for working families and to change the terms of the public debate over the long term. In 2007, do you think it's more important for the WFP to focus on the fights we can win this year (the first set of issues) or the long term fights (the second set of issues)?

Win real victories in 200754.31%
Push long-term issues34.46%

Question 4: The WFP helped Democrats win key elections in New York, but in the year to come we may have disagreements on specific issues. When there's disagreement on specific issues, do you think the WFP should push the progressive position or support Democratic politicians?

Push the progressive position84.27%
Support Democratic politicians7.12%

For more details, read WFP Policy Director Josh Mason's blog post on possible WFP issues in 2007.

If you haven't taken the Working Families Party 2007 Priorities Survey yet then do it now at

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Anonymous said...

I am surprised at how few people voted to support Democratic candidates, as during the convention Hillary and company got wide support, even though the WFP disagrees with her on specific progressive issues (i.e., Iraq).

irv feiner said...

”What Now? Your Turn”
1- The election results demonstrates significant gains for WFP. In the Governor’s race of 4 years ago WFP got 59% of its total vote of 90,000 from the city. This year of our 155,000 votes 52% came from non-city counties. Places many of us never think of increased their votes 150% to 300%: Clinton, Cattaragus, Wayne, Genesee, Lewis, Herkimer, Madison, Putnam, Ontario, Saratoga Schenectady, Erie 117%, Suffolk 175% and all of the upstate counties show similar increases. In many counties we came close to the Conservatives in terms of vote share and not far away from Independence.
2- So ”What Now?” All of the issues noted in the Priority Survey are important. There are various groups who are involved in those issues. But there is no single group, no single group. No single group that is engaged in an organized campaign to change how we finance schools and local government. But knock on any door outside of the city (will explain why excluding the city below) and ask, what is the biggest LOCAL issue? The answer, Local Property taxes.
3- The annual increases of property taxes, school and local government are impoverishing working families. Read:
“In a report made public a few weeks ago by the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal officials, ‘Connecting the Dots: A Blueprint for Revitalizing Our Communities and Our State,’ the case was well made for the need for an increase in revenue sharing as essential to property tax relief. And property tax relief is the first key step in moving upstate economic revitalization forward.” 12/12/06----albany times union--------also true of metropolitan counties –Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland
4- Here is why I said, “knock on any door outside of the city” because the city is made up of 70% renters. While renters pay property taxes in their rent they do not see tax bills. Additionally the city has an income tax. The city gets 40% of its revenue from property taxes while the rest of the state gets 80% of its local revenue from property taxes. Outside of the city over 70% of the people are homeowners—the proportion is slightly different in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.
5- Property tax reform trumps all of the other issues because it is the most dominating local issue in people’s minds. If our party, The Working Families Party is identified as the champion of property tax reform we become increasingly popular with working families and we will gain their ears on all of the other important issues.
6- Here is the very good part. The data so easy to get from government sources broken down by county all demonstrate how unfair the property tax is because the working and middle class are paying far more than their fare share. HERE IS OUR MESSAGE: 1% OF NEW YORKS WEALTHIEST has 26% of state income but pays only 17% of all state taxes—the next 4% wealthiest have 15% of state’s income and pays only 13% of all state taxes so the combined wealthiest 5% have 40% of New York’s income but pay only 30% of all state taxes----the remaining 95% of working and middle class families share 60% of the state income and pay 70% of all state taxes---- That is the state picture. We can break it down county by county to show how folks are being screwed in each county.
7- This is how we do it. There are over 300 newspapers in the state ------most of them small or medium size in counties, towns and small cities all over the state. They eagerly print letters and op-eds. We can design a generic letter or op-ed and all we need to do is drop in the easy to get data PERTAINING TO THE SPECIFIC COUNTY. I am willing to help going around the state, meeting with our local folks and go over how the data is accumulated. We also must encourage our folks to show up at the county, town, and city boards and demonstrate their knowledge on the issue of fair local taxes taxes.
8- I have a power point demonstration on Rockland that shows how the school tax can be cut 35 to 50% for over 90% of the taxpayers by imposing a 3.6% tax on NYS taxable income----the same approach with the same result with a 4.3% tax on NYS taxable income. We eliminate the property tax on homes for school and do not decrease the revenue for schools------what we do is shift the burden of taxes from peoples homes to the ability to pay.
9- The beauty of this is that we are showing our local folks how to become important players on the local scene because they are champions of fair taxes—thus establishing credibility on all of the other issues. Picture a Working Family member writing a letter to. For example, the Clinton County (Plattsburgh) –Herkimer County (Utica)—Wayne county-newspaper with cold facts showing how folks are being screwed by unfair taxation---think if he or she makes an articulate argument about taxes at the county or city board.
10- This is a blog and there has to be lots of questions -------how do we do the city? There are answers and I am prepared to answer all of them. I hope I have gotten your attention----but take it from this 82 year old lefty that I am not departing this dimension until, at least, Working Families Party surpasses the Conservatives and Independence and becomes Row C-------which was the Row that my party, American Labor Party had when I started agitating over 70 years ago---which brings me to
11- Independence Party enrollment is going up---from 257,281 to 345,957, or 35% in 4 years –since last governor’s election. Conservative party has decreased 6%. We have increased 117% ---15,763 to 34,269.
The Independence party did damage in a number of races—Massa and Hall races. We know that the Independence party is a phony party. Their enrollees think they are independents. I suggest---and it doesn’t take a great deal of effort, Dan, Bob, Bertha and Sam, lets pick out 1000 to 2000 Independence enrollees from across the state and get one of our good writers—not a polemicist—to write these folks and tell them that they are being fooled in appropriate language of course---tell them if they want to be truly independent they should register as a blank-----find the language to tell them about us—in a number of cases show how some of their leaders are using the line to get cushy government jobs by selling the line, example Rockland ---and you got to agree that the resulting press would be great---WORKING FAMILIES PARTY GOES AFTER INDEPENDENCE PARTY’’’’---------and depending on the results of the initial test we take it from there.

Irv Feiner