On May 5th, two prominent New York Greens are on the ballot in New York City and New Paltz.
James Lane is the Green candidate for the special congressional election in NY-11, which covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. A longtime Green who has been active in the Black Lives Matter movement and a strong advocate for climate justice after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of NYC, Lane is running against an establishment Democrat and the Republican district attorney who refused to indict Eric Garner’s killer. He recently received the endorsement of the Southern Brooklyn Democrats over official Democrat-Working Families Part nominee Vincent Gentile.
Jason West is a longtime Green and incumbent mayor running in the non-partisan mayoral race in New Paltz. West is best known as the first elected official in New York to perform same-sex marriages in 2004. As mayor, he has been a voice for a sustainable, affordable and just New Paltz, passing the first affordable housing law, achieving one of the best municipal financial ratings in the state while lowering taxes, unearthing a long-buried stream in Peace Park, rezoning downtown areas to be more friendly to pedestrians and small businesses, and promoting events to bring the community together.
This article from the Times-Herald Record talks with Green Party Mayor Jason West about President Obama’s sudden verbal support for gay marriage. Jason West brought national attention to the question of gay marriage in 2004 when he chose to conduct same-sex marriages as Mayor despite state law that prevented it. West was eventually charged with 19 misdemeanor counts of “solemnizing marriages without a license”, but the charges were later dropped.
In regards to Obama’s recent statements about same-sex marriages, West praised Obama’s words, but recognizes them as only words for now:
“I’m happy the president finally joined the 21st century and has recognized the civil rights of these Americans. But until he starts pushing for a federal law, the various Gay-Straight Alliances in any high school in the country are doing more to advance the cause than he is. They’re the ones in the front lines,” West said.
WASHINGTON, DC — Six Green mayors have signed on to a joint letter to President Obama from more than 100 mayors expressing grave concerns about the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
The mayors, representing communities across the US, voiced relief at President Obama’s decision to postpone the decision, as well as hope that the permit for the pipeline will be rejected when it comes up for review after the presidential election.
The Green mayors who signed the letter are Larry Bragman (Fairfax, Calif.), Bruce Delgado (Marina, Calif.), David Doonan (Greenwich, NY), Gayle McLaughlin (Richmond, Calif.), Jim Sullivan (Victory, NY), and Jason West (New Paltz, NY). (Mayor Bragman signed after the web site was published.) Continue Reading →
Jason West, Mayor of New Paltz, New York, speaks with Rachel Maddow on the topic of same sex marriage. Jason West became one of the most popular Green Mayors several years ago when he defied state law and chose to marry dozens of gay couples from the steps of city hall under threat of arrest. (Sorry but you have to wade through 2 minutes of Obama Propaganda to get to the West interview):
Jason West was Mayor of New Paltz New York from 2003 to 2007. An active member of the Green Party at that time, West was the first official in the United States to marry same-sex couples. He was arrested and charged with “solemnizing marriages without a license”. The charges were later dismissed.
After losing in a run at re-election West headed out west, to the University of California at Berkley to study urban planning, and later returned to New Paltz. This year he again ran for Mayor, and according to posts on his Facebook page, he has won that race, giving him a second but non-consecutive term.