Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Decency and Tolerance Win In Suffolk County

Last night, Working Families suceeded in defeating proposed anti-immigrant legislation in the Suffolk County Legislature by a vote of 10 to 6.

Hopefully this win signals the beginning of a change in political discourse. Here's Brian Schneck, Co-Chair of the Suffolk Chapter of Working Families:
"The tide is turning in Suffolk County . . . After several years of grandstanding politicians riding a wave of anti-immigrant animus, people are starting to return to their senses. Common-sense values of decency and tolerance prevailed last night.
. . .
Legislators need to know that working families are looking for real solutions to the problems facing us here on Long Island, not useless political grandstanding.
. . .
There are many victims of our nation's inadequate immigration policies, as well as the failure of government to enforce labor laws. But this bill only fueled the flames of misunderstanding and intolerance."
Working Families organized opposition to the bill, including:
  • A public letter to the bill's sponsor, Jack Eddington, that said that support for the bill would be a factor in the party's endorsement process.
  • Robocalls to constituents of undecided legislators that connected them directly to their legislators to register opposition.
  • Grassroots lobbying of swing legislators, including in-person visits and phone calls.
  • Bringing members to testify against the bill at public hearings and press conferences.
  • Mobilizing opposition from progressive and labor allies.
Our thanks to the 10 legislators who voted "no":
  1. Kate Browning
  2. John Kennedy, Jr
  3. Thomas Barraga
  4. Steven Stern
  5. Louis D'Amaro
  6. William Lindsay
  7. Jon Cooper
  8. Ricardo Montano
  9. Vivian Viloria-Fisher
  10. Elie Mystal
Congratulations and thanks to everyone who made calls, came to speak at legislative hearings, lobbied swing legislators, and a special congratulations to Brian Schneck, Michele Lynch, Regina Corby-Graham, Bill Page and Susan Steinmann, as well as affiliates UAW, SEIU 32BJ, Laborers Union, LIPC and UNITE HERE for all your hard work against this bill!

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Anonymous said...

I found it quite interesting that those who spoke in opposition to IR 1022, calling for fairness and justice for all people, live outside the area where day laborers congregate.

Where is the fairness and justice for the law-abiding, tax-paying working women and men who struggle to buy a home only to have hordes of strangers cluster on their property, walking through plantings, leaving garbage, yelling, cursing, and even urinating?

Where is the fairness and justice for motorists, simply trying to get to work, who have to dodge contractor vans that stop short and laborers who run or bicycle into rush hour traffic?

Where is the fairness and justice for residents of Suffolk County whose drinking water supply is being fouled by the undue strain placed on it when 20 people live in a house whose cesspool was designed to meet the needs of a single family?

Enjoy your victory, Working Families Party. My friends, neighbors, and I won't forget your prejudice against us, the real working people who struggle to maintain a middle class lifestyle on Long Island. We intend to spread the word of your assault on our right to a decent quality of life. We will do everything in our power to make sure that, with one exception, Working Families candidates are not elected. The exception? Jack Eddington, the only legislator brave enough to stand up to your phony cries of racism.

mo said...

Yes I remember well yr ally from Farmingville who came to the hearing in Riverhead and testified that the daylaborers stand on her lawn where they curse,strew garbage, yell and urinate.

She stated she even has pictures of men defecating on her lawn. Who doubts that if she had pictures of a day laborer shitting on her lawn, every single miniman and anti-immigrant protester would be carrying the blown up photo with some non-racist statement such as: If you were this lawn, would you mind this busy body dumping?

In fact it would probably become the opening page on the minimen web site & the cover of every tract they put out. --mo