Thursday, May 04, 2006

Alison Duncan - for Lt. Governor

Dear Western New York Greens,

Thank you for considering my candidacy for Lt. Governor!

I grew up in Niskayuna, NY (a suburb of Schenectady) where I had my first experiences with political change. Please indulge me in a short story. In 1990 the staff of the Niskayuna High School newspaper attended a meeting of SPIF--our Student Political Interest Forum (of which, incidentally, I was the secretary)to hand out story assignments for an upcoming special issue on diversity. My friend, Ben, and I looked at the list and decided that "Homosexuality in the High School" would be a good challenge. At the time, I did not know how close to that story I was. I came out to myself in the course of writing that article—an understanding that has changed my life irrevocably. Once the article hit publication, it was a catalyst for change in the high school. I became an opinion editor on the paper where I wrote, solicited and published articles on lesbian and gay rights.

Through SPIF, I organized larger and larger discussions on homophobia and lesbian and gay rights. Visibility, Niskayuna's Gay-Strait Alliance, had its first meeting weeks before I graduated. Now it is a thriving club. This was not the start of my activist career and it's far from the end. I tell this story because I often use it to remind myself that slow and steady, righteous work catalyzes change.

As the Lt. Governor candidate, I will bring the credibility of my community work to our slate. I have found a good vocation in service activism. I serve as a volunteer rape crisis advocate, a hospital volunteer, a homeless shelter volunteer, a street medic, a mediator, a facilitator of workshops on managing stress and avoiding burnout, a teacher of technical trades to women, and a delegate and activist in my union.

I grew up in Niskayuna, now I live in New York City. The tri-city area is as much home to me as the tri-state area. As the Lt. Governor candidate, I bring a unique perspective of having one foot firmly planted in the city, and one that will never leave upstate.

I have been described as "New York's most diplomatic Green", "no
stranger to the tough political knock-down drag-out" and as being in possession of "a can of suave, but firm, oratorical whoopass". I excel under pressure. I look forward to bringing my creativity, fire and eloquence to this campaign, both to promote our slate and our Green values to the electorate and to promote some healing and unity within the party.

Reportedly, the issue most important to New Yorkers in this campaign season is education. My mother is a school psychologist, in the Albany City School District. I was actively involved in educational reform initiatives in Niskayuna and have worked extensively with New York City Public School children. I feel confident that I can connect with voters with a strong Green message on education reform for New York. My campaign will also focus on social justice issues--healthcare, dropping the Rockefeller Drug Laws, prison reform, the death penalty, police brutality and community policing, and LGBT rights--including the right to marry. Finally, cleaning up our rivers and closing Indian Point in a way that addresses the needs of the workers are also important issues to address this season.

I am a lesbian and a union member. Despite our outstanding platform and our track record of supporting union and LGBT issues, we have a lot of work to do to attract queer folk and union members into our movement. I know that I will have unique access to locals LGBT community groups. It is my hope that seeing a sister in a high
profile Green race will strengthen our relationships with these
two communities.


Alison Duncan


Jason Nabewaniec said...

I am disappointed in my delivery of Alison Duncan's written statement at last Saturday's Green Parties of Western New York Candidates Convention. The combination of my own nervousness due to it being the first statement in which I had to read for the day, the sudden change in order when I realized Kimberley was no longer in the room, and my unforeseen struggles seeing my notes as I tired to make eye contact with an elevated audience. I do hope everyone takes the time to review the text of Alison's statement along with her questionnaire when selecting the candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

I support Alison in her campaign to become the Green Party's nominee for Lieutenant Governor of New York. Alison has a strong track record in service to the Green Party over the past few years, and a strong record of activism with groups that our natural allies of the Green Party. Alison serves as a GPNYS State Committee member, as the Region 2 (New York City) GPNYS Executive Committee member, a Union activist, and a leader in the LGBTQIH community in her area.

Her activism and leadership in both the LGBTQIH and Unionized workers communities make her and ideal candidate to have on our slate. Alison has fought to protect workers rights, and serves both on an election committee and contract committee for her Union. The issues promoted by these communities are aligned with our platform and the Green Party holds an excellent track record of public support for these issues. Still we need more progress before both of these important communities are willing to break allegiance with the Democratic Party were they have found a comfort zone but only minimal support.

With the legal standing of our State Party contingent by the outcome of this years elections I feel Alison's qualifications in mediation and dispute resolution are a tremendous benefit to the Party and could potentially play a critical role in our 2006 electoral efforts. Alison has often been asked to serve in a diplomatic role of mediator during emotional political disputes. Alison has the ability to mend the wounds of vigorous and sometimes aggressive political debate. Personal divides and factions should be avoided so that we can work together in unison to build our Party.

Alison's professional background and her formal education make her particularly qualified to speak to the issue of creating a uniform single payer health care system in New York and to address the health insurance crisis that exists in our State. I certainly look forward to hearing her debate her Republican and Democratic counterparts on this issue.

I am not a State Committee, nor do I have a State Committee member representing my district. I am an active Green Party member but there will be no one to represent my opinion at the May 20th convention in Albany. That is why I am asking the State committee members of Western New York to please consider supporting Alison Duncan for the Green Party nomination as our candidate for Lieutenant Governor.


Jason Nabewaniec
Co-Vice Chair, Green Party of Monroe County
Delegate from New York, Green National Committee
Co-Chair, Bylaws, Rules, policy and Procedure Committee of the Green Party of the United States
Member, Merchandising Committee of the Green Party of the United States
Volunteer Advisor, Campaign Committee of the Green Party of New York State

Anonymous said...

From Kimberly Wilder, the other candidate for Lt. Gov:


Oh, my. I am so sorry if me being out of the room at the time confused the order of things.

Two things: I had brought the Malachy McCourt video that was being shown first. And, I thought it was longer and I had time. Didn't realize they decided to show only the opening section.

And, I was watching someone's baby in the hallway, trying to do childcare to support another green.

Eek! I feel bad if I made the host nervous.

I did travel a long way to try to reach out to greens in Western NY. I wonder if in addition to Jason's comments, the results of the even might be posted. It was nice to have an informal primary. And, I felt supported by the greens in attendance.

Thank you to Jason and his wife for setting up the event. It was wonderful.

Peace and struggle,
Kimberly Wilder
votewilder at yahoo dot com

Jason Nabewaniec said...

put them here.

Jason Nabewaniec said...

and here are the other two written statements:

Julia Willebrand
Why I am Running for NYS Comptroller.

Right now we live in an unjust world completely out of harmony with other
species. It's a given that all Greens want to live in a just world, a world
where we and every other species co-exist in balance and harmony. Our Ten
Key Values contain the steps needed to achieve that goal. Greens want to
change the world and I believe my campaign for Comptroller will be a step
toward making the change happen.

You have all probably heard the ecological chestnut of how the flutter of a
butterfly wings in South America can influence the weather in the Arctic.
The message of the story is that everything is connected and every
individual action has consequences.

I believe my candidacy will be important in just that way. I¹ll be out on
the street and in the debates advocating for drastic changes to business as
usual in NY. I¹ll talk about the power of the comptroller to vote New York
State pension proxies against corporate greed, about the Comptroller¹s power
to curtail the abusive insider manipulations of Public Authorities, abuse
such as the MTA¹s keeping a double set of books which raised fares for NYC
worker. And I¹ll make the connections between the Comptroller¹s power and a
better world for all of us.

In NYC in 2000, hot summer tabling around a petition to get Nader into the
Presidential debates earned the Greens hundreds of supporters. In 2006
petitioning to be on the ballot while waging a campaign to tell NY about the
Green platform will be like the butterfly wing flutters I spoke of. Our
Green activities are opportunities to change the world one step at a time.

Tabling, leafleting, forums, meetings grow the Green party by encouraging
more people to join us in our movement. And running for Comptroller is one
small step toward the change we must see if we are to continue as a species
on the Earth we call home.

Who am I?

I was born in Brooklyn, next oldest of 10 children. My roofer father died at
50 of lung cancer leaving my mother to support my 5 youngest siblings as an
attendant on a violent ward at Creedmoor State Hospital.

I went to a Catholic girls school and did what most working class girls did
in those days, went to work in an office. I hated the office and escaped to
Greenwich Village and the life of a waitress cum bohemian. In the 60s I
married a wonderful man, a Pan Am flight attendant who encouraged me to go
to college. I graduated from City College in February 1966 at age 32. My
daughter was born the next month. In September Œ66 I started teaching at PS
84 where I was elected UFT delegate in October. Two years later when my son
was born, I decided teaching kids all day and coming home to toddlers was
overkill on the childcare front. So I left the public school system to teach
mothers on welfare in the South Bronx. But, I didn¹t abandon the public
Schools. I stayed active in my children¹s PTAs at PS 9, IS 44 and Music and
Art HS.

While working as a Master teacher in the Welfare Education Program I
provided expert advice to a Life Skills program being developed at Teacher¹s
College, Columbia University. This led to a doctorate and college teaching
including stints at LaGuardia Community College, City College and the Labor
College at SUNY. Finally I spent several years in Hungary as a visiting
Fulbright professor

When the love of my life, the guy who typed my dissertation, my best friend
and comrade in protest and rallies, died in 1988. I dove into environmental
activism as a way to fill the hole in my life. Ultimately, I chaired the
Manhattan Citizen¹s Solid Waste Advisory Board

The five-minute resume tells you who I am and how I got from there to here.
Now let me tell you what I believe who I am will mean in terms of being
qualified to hold political office.

Growing up in a big family I definitely learned to give a little to get a
little - an important lesson for any activist.

Growing up in a union family and being a union delegate, I know that unions
have been the lifeblood of this country.

Having been Chair of the Citizens Solid Waste Advisory Board, I know that
there are hundreds of solutions to endemic problems that are never tried
because power talks only to power.

Having grown up very poor in NYC I know that we once had, among many
blessings, a free premier education system and that this state can be great
for all our citizens yet again.

I¹ve been a Green activist for nearly 10 years. Eight years ago I was Green
Party Candidate for State Senate from the 30th District. Six years ago, I
organized a local in Manhattan. I ran for NYC Mayor in 2001. I¹ve
represented NY State to the National Greens. I¹m the Co-chair of both the
USGP International Committee and the Federation of Green Parties of the
Americas (FPVA).

I want to put all of that experience to work changing the world. I hope you
will let me do that by nominating me for Comptroller.

Julia Willebrand, Ed.D

Steve Krulick
Hi, I'm Steve Krulick. I'm a Village Trustee from Ellenville, the FIRST and
ONLY Green to be RE-elected to municipal office in New York State. I'm on
the State Committee from Ulster County, on the Executive Committee for the
Catskill/MidHudson region, and served briefly as that region's rep to the
National Committee of GPUS.

I announced my availability to run for US Senate last fall, to make sure
that if nobody else came forward, particularly someone well-known and better
qualified, at least SOMEONE would be there to bear our standard. It would
have been nice if Ralph Nader or Harry Belafonte or Bette Midler or the like
had been interested in running, but that isn't so. However, several Greens
have begun campaigning, and so there is now a choice.

Personally, I have supported Steve Greenfield's run since he first announced
his attempt to take on Hillary in the Democratic primary, which doesn't seem
to be likely to happen now. But he's done the legwork and the homework, and
is months ahead of anyone else in getting out on the campaign trail, so I
think the Green Party would be wise to take advantage of that, particularly
now that he's re-registered Green.

However, I stand ready to accept the nomination if the party is unable to
agree on Steve or any of the other candidates, for whatever reason, and
likewise, to stand for any other statewide office. That is why I announced,
and that is my purpose, to be an available choice. I have the time to
campaign, a knowledge of the issues, public speaking ability, the feisty
attitude to take on a Hillary Clinton without flinching, AND a track record
of WINNING elections, something else NONE of the other candidates can boast.

I look forward to seeing many of you on May 20th, when I'm back from
Ireland, where I hope to hobnob with some of my Irish elected-Green
counterparts, as I have done in past trips to Europe.