Strength in Unity:
Syracuse Progressive Coalition
Born just after the 2004 election, the Greater
Syracuse Progressive Coalition has slowly,
but steadily created the foundation for a stronger progressive
movement in our community. Initiated by the Peace Council
and the CNY Labor Federation, additional coalition member groups currently include
the Center for Community Alternatives, CNY NOW, Caribbean Latin American Coalition,
Mental Patients Liberation Alliance, Partnership for Onondaga Creek, Peace Action,
Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region, SEIU 200United, Student
Environmental Action Coalition-SU/ESF, Syracuse/Onondaga County Human Rights
Commission, Syracuse Cultural Workers, Syracuse Greens and Syracuse United Neighbors.
Over a dozen other organizations have been involved without formally affiliating.
The coalition meets the last Monday of every month at 5:30 pm at the CNY Labor
Federation, 404 Oak St., Syracuse to "share information across these groups
and to collaborate on issues of local, state, national and global consequence."
After months of work to create a mission statement and reach out to all sectors
of the progressive community, the coalition has now taken on its first project:
advocating for transparent, equitable and verifiable voting machines in Onondaga
Voting is a precious right that most US citizens can exercise, though sadly
many do not. With all its flaws and inequities, the electoral process remains
an important arena for ordinary citizens to maintain and extend our rights.
The debacle of the 2000 Florida presidential election raised awareness about
the importance of counting every vote. With growing concerns about how the 2000
Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is to be implemented, several groups in New York
State have taken a clear position on the type of voting system best suited to
ensure that each person's vote counts.
New York State is currently "out of compliance" with HAVA and has
passed responsibility for implementation to each individual County. Implementation
should be completed by the 2006 election primary in September, which implies
that local election officials must choose voting machine technology soon, unless
NY receives a waiver allowing a year extension.
In Onondaga County, the League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club have been
working diligently on this issue. The Progressive Coalition has begun working
with them to ensure the best possible system is in place in Onondaga County.
Stay tuned as plans evolve!
Coalition meetings are open to all who supports the mission statement. Next
meeting is Monday, March 27 at 5:30 pm at
the CNY Labor Federation, 404 Oak St. Learn more about the coalition at www.peacecouncil.net/coalition
or contact Andy, 472-5478, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Mark, 422-3363 x11, email@example.com.
-Betty DeFazio and Andy Mager
Karen, founder of the Community
Choir, is a mother, counselor, and activist, and believes that everyone can
sing, no exceptions!