Greenfield for Congress launches in NY's 19th CD
New Paltz, NY – Today, Monday, February 10, 2020 marks the official launch of Steve Greenfield's campaign for House of Representatives in New York's 19th Congressional District.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a few months before his assassination, had called for a new means of allowing a public referendum on war should neither the Democrats nor Republicans make such a candidate available, Greenfield, in his DIY announcement video, said "this year there will be candidates who provide that referendum on war -- and on fossil fuels, and denial of health care, and mass incarceration of minorities, and poverty, and all forms of inequality, and public and higher education, and on the human and environmental destruction created by non-defensive militarism and monopoly corporate profiteering. This year, New York's 19th Congressional District will hold that referendum."
Steve Greenfield for Congress
For Immediate Release
February 10, 2020
Steve Greenfield, GreenfieldForCongress@gmail.com and 845-532-0280
Greenfield went on: "These are universal human interests. They know no party or cultural boundaries, and affect everyone. Towards that end, besides the Green Party ballot line, I will be seeking endorsements from people and institutions associated with all parties, no parties, and all small businesses, individuals, and demographic groups."
But Greenfield draws the line on big banks, fossil fuels and war. He added "I will not accept one penny from Wall Street, from the fossil fuel industry, from war profiteers, from the private prison industry, or anyone who profits from human suffering and environmental devastation -- including their lawyers and lobbyists. The residents of the 19th District will be able to vote for a candidate who owes allegiance to nobody but them."
Greenfield touts a simple standard for legislation: "Is it Constitutional; is it good for the 19th District; is it good for America; is it good for the planet; and do we have an effective way to pay for it, including return on investment. If the answer is yes to all of them, the bill will get my vote. If the answer is no to even one of them, my vote will be no -- and no donor or party boss will have any influence over that whatsoever."
The first order of business for the campaign will be to get the required signatures to get on the ballot, which the new New York political calendar has moved up to no later than April 2nd. From there, the campaign will move on to fundraising and reaching out to regular voters, and in particular to the nearly half the registered voters who have had their interest in participating in elections beaten out of them by too many years of big-money partisan candidates who they know won't make any difference in their lives. With no serious Republican opposition in the 2020 race, Greenfield considers this year's contest to be wide open, the incumbent vulnerable for his pro-Wall Street, anti-health care, anti-education, pro-fossil fuel, strictly partisan voting record, and is running to win.
Steve Greenfield is 58 years old and lives in New Paltz, NY since January 2001. Prior to that, he was born and lived in New York City. Since moving to the Hudson Valley, Steve has been a volunteer firefighter for 16 years (Secretary and delegate to the Ulster County Firemen's Association most of that time), a two-term elected school board member, and has held numerous appointed positions with the Town of New Paltz and the school district, where he currently serves as a community member of the Legislative Action Committee, which he chaired while on the board. He is married with three teenaged children, and the family belongs to the Jewish Congregation of New Paltz, where Steve serves as de facto fire safety officer.
Steve graduated from Columbia University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in Economics. He has been a professional musician on sax and keyboards since he was 17, and has toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He serves on the Executive Board of the Hudson Valley's Local 238-291 of the American Federation of Musicians.
Recently Steve has been very active in Extinction Rebellion and Never Again Action, civil resistance groups dedicated to interrupting climate change and closing immigrant detention camps, respectively. This is his second try to represent New York's 19th District in the House of Representatives, having come in third of four in 2018. He aims to restore the Constitutional separation of powers, end non-defensive war, build a thriving, sustainable post-fossil fuel economy, promote quality education and health care for all, and to return economic and governmental power to smaller-scaled, better-serving, more efficient, more democratic local control.
Full text of the announcement video is below.
I’ll start with the words of a great American who was with us much too briefly, who was my childhood inspiration, and remains so to this day.
"Men of reason should no longer debate the merits of war, or means of financing war. They should end the war and restore sanity and humanity to American policy. And if the will of the people continues to be unheeded, all men of good will must create a situation in which the 1968 elections are made a referendum on the war. The American people must have an opportunity to vote into oblivion those who cannot detach themselves from militarism. And so we are here because we believe, we hope, we pray that something new might emerge in the political life of this nation which will produce new structures and new institutions, and a new life for mankind."
That was Dr. Martin Luther King in his "Three Evils" speech. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was in effect for only three years at that time, and active warfare was being waged in only one country, and by one President -- as compared to the more than eighteen years we have been at war now, in seven countries, started and waged by three Presidents, of both major parties.
Seven months later, before this dream could be realized, Dr. King was killed.
The incumbent member of Congress in New York's 19th District, Democrat Antonio Delgado, has voted to continue all of our non-defensive wars and occupations, which have already consumed over $7 trillion in public funds, and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. He has voted for the biggest increases in military spending since Reagan, including the creation of a Space Force -- as if there is a developing threat in outer space that needs to be addressed, while over 27 million Americans are still without any health insurance, the more than 38 million Americans below the federal poverty line die 20 years younger than average, and the United States, with a $20 trillion GDP, ranks in the mid-50s worldwide, behind many 3rd World countries, in both maternal and infant mortality.
But Mr. Delgado, a Democrat, supposedly a liberal, voted to waste billions of a shockingly debt-burdened federal budget carrying a $1.1 trillion deficit -- yes, we're over a trillion now, double Obama's final deficit -- on militarizing outer space, with Donald Trump as its commanding officer. He has proposed nothing to alleviate that grinding poverty, and the large scale crime and early death it imposes on millions of Americans every year, including here in the 19th District, where the poverty rate is higher, and household income lower, than the national average.
With global temperatures, and American greenhouse gas emissions increasing, and wildfires, floods, and deaths of civilians and firefighters throughout America, including here in the 19th District, and worldwide, rising alongside them, and with all honest scientists -- and reasonable people -- in agreement that significant action must rapidly be taken to transition to clean, renewable energy, Mr. Delgado just voted to approve the USMCA to replace NAFTA, despite it containing big tax breaks for fossil fuels, further delaying the arrival of a time when renewable energy could become cost-competitive. He isn’t sponsoring even the most modest climate legislation already submitted by his Democratic Party colleagues, all of which he has rejected. Instead, he’s promoting a long-term study bill, as if we don’t already know what needs to be done – and as if the floods and fires will sit around waiting while he “studies.”
He sits on the Agriculture Committee, which every farmer in the 19th District knows is dominated by the giant monopoly agribusinesses, yet despite his experience as a corporate litigator, Mr. Delgado has not lifted a finger to protect local family farms by pursuing enforcement of existing anti-monopoly laws, or proposing new ones that would place the farmers, and all small businesses and independent contractors of the 19th District, on a more level playing field in their respective markets.
And he refuses to support even the decriminalization of marijuana, let alone legalization, thereby burdening counties and municipalities in the 19th District with organized crime, high law enforcement costs, denying a substantial commodity crop to our struggling agricultural sector, denying new tax revenues within the 19th District, and continuing the mass incarceration of minorities that destroys families and renders those in the system permanently unemployable, in many cases rotating for the rest of their lives between public dependency status and incarceration.
As the immigration and refugee crises continue to mount, with children, and even American citizens, dying, and thousands being sexually abused and medically abandoned in the most inhumane chapter of American immigration policy history since the Immigration Act of 1924 led to the shipping of Jewish refugees back to Europe and death in the Holocaust, including numerous arrests and detention here in the 19th District, Mr. Delgado's response has been to vote to give Trump billions of dollars in new funding for expanding mass detention centers.
And at a time when public education is in crisis, and wages and hiring of teachers and support staff are under historic downward pressure from tax caps and student debt, forcing talented young people not to pursue careers in education, Mr. Delgado continues to support Common Core, standardized testing, and has even taken up teacher union-busting by traveling as a keynote speaker for one of the country's largest charter school lobbies.
If you want to know how someone claiming to be a liberal, and carrying a Democratic Party registration card, can be doing all this, that's easy. Just look at his donor list.
His top funding source now, as in 2018, is his former employer, the global corporate law firm Akin, Gump, which represents huge corporations, individuals in the 1%, and the usual Wall Street giants like Goldman-Sachs and Morgan-Stanley. Antonio Delgado is their man on the inside -- not ours here in the 19th District.
He spent $15 million moving here and achieving that in 2018. $9 million in his own fundraising, with the proportion of that coming from large donations among the highest in all Congressional races, and the rest from PACs of unlimited wealth. He is in the midst of the same scale of fundraising, and from the same sources for the 2020 election -- and to remain in their service, not ours.
Those corporate behemoths and non-defensive war tax profiteers we can't compete with? They're Antonio Delgado's biggest supporters. The 2018 19th District Congressional race was the fourth most expensive in American history. That's not campaign support -- it's investment. Donors like that get paid back with policy -- policies not in the interest of the residents of the 19th District, or anywhere except major corporate boardrooms.
In light of that, and in the interest of the people and economy of the 19th District, the United States, the world -- and my own three children, I am announcing my candidacy for Congress as an independent candidate on the Green Party line. In 2020, as Dr. King dreamed before he was silenced by an assassin's bullet, his voice and vision will be remembered, honored, and restored.
There will be candidates who provide that referendum on war -- and on fossil fuels, and denial of health care, and mass incarceration of minorities, and poverty, and all forms of inequality, and public and higher education, and on the human and environmental destruction created by non-defensive militarism and monopoly corporate profiteering. This year, New York's 19th Congressional District will hold that referendum.
These are universal human interests. They know no party or cultural boundaries, and affect everyone. Towards that end, besides the Green Party ballot line, I will be seeking endorsements from people and institutions associated with all parties, no parties, and all small businesses, individuals, and demographic groups.
But I will not accept one penny from Wall Street, from the fossil fuel industry, from war profiteers, from the private prison industry, or anyone else who profits from human suffering and environmental devastation, including their lawyers and lobbyists. The residents of the 19th district will be able to vote for a candidate who will owe allegiance to nobody but them.
If I get elected, how I’ll vote will be simple. Every bill will be subjected to the same standard: is it Constitutional; is it good for the 19th District; is it good for America; is it good for the planet; and do we have an effective way to pay for it, including returns on investment. If the answer is yes to all of them, the bill will get my vote. If the answer is no to even one of them, my vote will be no – and no donor or party boss will have any influence over that whatsoever.
This is the right time. It's always the right time to do the right thing. Join in. This is America, and our votes are not auctioned to the highest bidders. That's not what our founders, our abolitionists, and our labor, civil rights, peace, and environmental advocates struggled and died to bequeath to us. Voting is free, and so is volunteering to spread the message.
If you want a level playing field for 19th District residents, agriculture, small business, and educational institutions, volunteer and vote for it. If you want clean energy and a sustainable future, volunteer and vote for it. If you want good health and long life, volunteer and vote for it. If you want restoration of communities and an end to mass incarceration, volunteer and vote for it. If you want affordable higher education, volunteer and vote for it.
If you want humane immigration policy, volunteer and vote for it. If you want to restore sanity to our foreign policy, and save the millions of lives, and trillions of tax dollars being wasted, volunteer and vote for it.
If you want peace, vote peace.
My name is Steve Greenfield, and I'm running for Congress. Log onto my website, SteveGreenfieldForCongress.com, or contact me by email at GreenfieldForCongress@gmail.com, for further information, and to find out how we can work together to start getting these dreams onto the floor of Congress.
Thanks very much for listening, and I look forward to hearing from, and meeting you, and earning your votes.