UAW Region 9A
2019 New York State Political Platform
- Voting rights and electoral reform. New York must enact comprehensive voting reform to ensure that every eligible New Yorker is able to cast a vote and can vote more easily. We urge the Legislature to continue its monumental 2019 reform by making Election Day a state holiday, restoring voting rights to New Yorkers on parole, enacting automatic voter registration and instant runoff voting, letting voters change party registration close in time to an election, requiring that candidates for public office disclose their tax returns, and ensuring that ballots are easy for voters to fill out.
- Campaign finance reform. We must ban corporate contributions and introduce a match for smaller-dollar individual donations to ensure that working people, not corporations, drive our democracy.
- Preserve and expand affordable housing. We must expand rent regulation, close loopholes in the rent laws, and protect market-rate units to ensure that working class and middle-class union member households and other New Yorkers are not pushed out of New York. Our funding priorities on the state level are to fund the Communities First program to advise and represent homeowners facing foreclosure and the Home Stability Support program to provide a new statewide rent supplement for public assistance-eligible families and individuals who are facing homelessness.
- Workers’ rights. New York must do everything in its power to ameliorate the Janus decision, protect the right of workers to organize, and reform the Taylor law.
- Criminal justice reform. New York must enact bail, speedy trial, and discovery reforms; end the extended use of solitary confinement; protect undocumented immigrants from deportation for misdemeanors; require judicial warrants for any courthouse arrests by ICE; and improve loan forgiveness for public defenders and other lawyers working in the public interest.
- Protecting immigrants. We urge the Legislature and Governor to ensure that all New York residents regardless of their immigration status can obtain driver’s licenses, and fund outreach to immigrant communities to ensure an accurate 2020 Census. We commend the Legislature for passing the DREAM Act to allow undocumented students to apply for state financial aid.
- Health care. We ask the legislature to ensure that every New Yorker has health insurance by passing the NY Health Act, and pass legislation to end racial disparities in maternal mortality. We applaud the Legislature for the important steps it has taken to protect women’s reproductive rights and health.
- Green New Deal. Future generations demand that we act quickly to eliminate our carbon emissions and create an entirely renewable energy system. This will protect our planet and our state and will also create 4.5 million jobs, improve public health, benefit low-income communities and communities of color, and lower electricity rates.
- Opposing Amazon HQ2. We call on our state elected officials to stop one of the largest corporate giveaways in New York history by exercising its power through the Public Authorities Control Board to veto the proposed deal and by refusing to authorize new funding for Amazon.
- Community Equity Agenda. We must further economic democracy in New York by supporting the development of worker and financial cooperatives, creating a public bank and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to make affordable lending available to working people, and ending predatory lending.
- LGBTQ rights. In addition to the significant steps the Legislature has taken this term to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and ban conversion therapy, we urge the Legislature to add an “X” gender designation on drivers’ licenses and identity documents.
- Child care for working families. We ask the Legislature to support working families and child care providers by giving families equitable access to affordable quality child care and affording a living wage for child care providers. We ask that the Legislature increase funding for the Child Care Facilitated Enrollment Projects, and support the child care workforce and infrastructure by increasing reimbursement rates and bolstering the infant/toddler (zero to three) rate differential.
- Improving Unemployment Insurance. We must reform the UI system to increase the weekly benefit recipients are eligible for, and ensure that benefits recipients can accept part-time work without losing more in benefits than they earn.
- Fighting wage theft. We urge the Legislature to pass the SWEAT bill to allow New York’s workers to recover wages they’re owed by employers.
- Improving paid family leave for freelancers. The Legislature should eliminate the two-year waiting period before freelancers can access Paid Family Leave benefits, allowing them to qualify after six-months like all other workers in NY State.
- Auto dealers and auto lease brokers. We urge the Legislature to increase the reimbursement fee to auto dealers for performing state titling and registration work, and to require that auto lease brokers be licensed by the DMV.