Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Impressions... WFP Kingston Candidate Forum... Pertinent Links... In Support of Shayne Gallo for Mayor... Brief Blogger Commentary

In attending the "Working Families Party [WFP] Kingston Candidate Forum" [as a guest; non-member; non-voter (WFP Vote); Kingston Citizen, taxpayer, registered Democrat, voter and blogger] - I was very impressed (in every sense of the word) by the WFP Forum, the questions asked, the materials handed out, and the candidates that showed up to present thier position and answer questions. 

As a citizen supporter of Mayoral Candidate Shayne Gallo [Democrat] - I present the following:

I stated in a previous post, where photos of all the candidates at the WFP Forum were presented, that my next post would be more biased; and it is, in the sense that I am unabashedly expressing my support for Shayne Gallo - whom I have come to like and respect as a person and a politician.  I find Shayne Gallo to be (a big deal for me) approachable, inclusive, respectful and concerned about many of the same issues (in a "go straight to the heart of the matter" manner) that I am..

Does Shayne Gallo support "collective bargaining" rights?  "Yes."

Does Shayne Gallo support "public financing" of elections?  "Yes."

Does Shayne Gallo support a "speculation tax"? "Yes" [See below; (a)]

Does Shayne Gallo support the "minimum wage"?  "Yes." [A "living wage" (See {e} below) would be even better!"]

Does Shayne Gallo support "Social Security"?  "Yes."

Does Shayne Gallo support "Reproductive Choice"?  "Yes."

Does Shayne Gallo support "Marriage Equality"?  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo support the "Chase Campaign"? "Yes" [See below; (b)]

Does Shayne Gallo support "Green Jobs"?  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo support "Economic Development"?  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo support "Circuit Break Property Tax Relief"?  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo support "Inclusionary Zoning Laws"?  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo support "Smart Growth"?  "Yes" [See below; (c)]

Does Shayne Gallo support ""Net Zero Energy Affordable Housing"?  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo support ""Double Poles"?  "Yes" [See below; (d)]

Does Shayne Gallo support "Hiring & Training Local Workers"?  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo support the formation of a "Community Development Advisory Committee"? [If I understood this right, it has to do with the formation of a committee to review the potential disbursement of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds"]  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo believe we need to preserve "Public Housing"?  "Yes"

Does Shayne Gallo believe "Transportation" is an important issue?  "Yes"

Are there areas that I might be in disagreement (from what I have heard and read thus far...) with Shayne Gallo?  Yes.

I do not support "Hydrofracking" (Mr. Gallo has apparently expressed support for this.) - or
"Wallmart" (without some policy changes to protect thier workers) - which I believe has to be looked at separately (Could Wallmart workers be unionized?) from the issue of support of "small businesses" (These need, in my opinion, all the support we can give them!)

*** To grant Mr. Gallo and the other candidates thier due on the Wallmart issue, this question was (in my opinion) inserted in the WFP leaflet [see the reference below...] in a rather tricky way...
[As in, do you support "Wallmart & Small Business"?  (Is this not an oxymoron?)]?

From above:

(a):  "Speculation Tax" [I do not totally understand this, even after looking it up - so input would be appreciated!]

(b):  "Chase Campaign" [If I understood this correctly, Ulster County currently uses Chase Bank as thier financial institution and a change (sounds good to me) is being considered...]

(c):  "Smart Growth":

"Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use-development with a range of housing choices. The term 'smart growth' is particularly used in North America. In Europe and particularly the UK, the terms 'Compact City' or 'urban intensification' have often been used to describe similar concepts, which have influenced Government planning policies in the UK, the Netherlands and several other European countries.

Smart growth values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus. Its goals are to achieve a unique sense of community and place; expand the range of transportation, employment, and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; and promote public health" [Copied and Pasted (direct links removed) from "Wikipedea";]

(d):  "Double Poles":  I do not totally understand this, even after looking it up - so input would be appreciated!

{e} "Living Wage": 

"Living Wage is a term used to describe the minimum hourly wage necessary for an individual to meet basic needs, including shelter (housing) and other incidentals such as clothing and nutrition, for an extended period of time or a lifetime. In developed countries such as the United Kingdom or Switzerland, this standard generally means that a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care, and recreation.

This concept differs from the minimum wage in that the latter is set by law and may fail to meet the requirements of a living wage. It differs somewhat from basic needs in that the basic needs model usually measures a minimum level of consumption, without regard for the source of the income. A related concept is that of a family wage – one sufficient to not only live on oneself, but also to raise a family, though these notions may be conflated" [Copied and Pasted (direct links removed) from "Wikipedia";]


In closing, I would like to state that being able to attend this type of meeting as an "outsider" (so to speak) - with no entry fee required (a big deal for some of us!) - was very much appreciated.  I would hope that the WFP would continue to host such forums and put an invite out to the entire City of Kingston Community [same conditions] with the Democratic Party and Republican Party [at minimum (what I meant by this, is any active political parties in town, but especially the more prominent ones...] following suit.


Pertinent Links: 

"The Kingston News Blog Working Families Party Candidate Forum (Videos) City Hall #kingstonny":

YouTube - "Working Families Party Candidate Forum 6-7":

"Debate begins in Kingston's race for mayor" -

"Working Families Party Kingston Candidates Formum" Leaflet; Monday, 5/23/2011; City Hall, Kingston]

Working Families:

Working Families » "Issues":

Working Families » "Endorsements" [2010]:

Working Families » "Hudson Valley Endorsements" [2010]:

"Ulster County Dem, GOP conventions near";;

Please note that I am not speaking on behalf of the Working Families Party, the Democratic Party, the City of Kingston or any other person or entity.  This reflects my research and opinions only; and if any errors have been made, I would appreciate feedback.  Prompt corrections (where called for) will be made. 

Thank you,


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