what should their platform be?

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Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Apr 02, 2009
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grinding towards something coherent perhaps,

i found this quote from nick eyle in an article about the minch lewis report

"The report recommends that the Common Council and the mayor look at alternatives to prohibition, including decriminalization, harm reduction programs, and prevention programs," Lewis said. "I hope the council will pick this up and hold hearings. I would also like to see a task force appointed -- the police department, county health officials, the housing authority, the board of education, and local nonprofits should all be involved," he said. "We need an alternative approach, something like the medical model," he added.

"Hearings are probably our next step," agreed Eyle. "If the mayor and the council decide to hold hearings, we will certainly testify. If they hesitate or balk, we will push them as best we can. Getting some press would help." Lewis held a Tuesday press conference announcing his report, but as of Thursday only the local Syracuse Post-Standard had run a story, under the headline "Auditor: Anti-Drug Tactics Flawed." "That's a start," said Eyle, "but this needs to be in the New York Times."

And even if the council did act, its powers are limited. But there is plenty the council could do, said Eyle. "This is a tremendous financial burden for the city, and the council could vote to make drug law enforcement the lowest priority just to keep the costs down," he said. "There is precedent for this in New York. During Alcohol Prohibition, the state legislature passed a bill that basically said it respected the right of the federal government to enforce the law, but New York didn't have the resources to deal with it. The city of Syracuse could do something similar," Eyle said.

full text here:http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/318/syracuse.shtml

i think this would fit nice under the criminal justice part
1. vote to make drug law enforcement the lowest priority.

here are some other exerpts for quick use:

"Public safety is a big issue," he said, "and that's why we were looking at the police department. I was the city's auditor, so this started with the budget process," said Lewis, who retired -- forced out by term limits -- effective Thursday. "We were looking at the amount of money we were spending for police, which at about $34 million a year was second only to schools. So we asked the police what they actually accomplished with that $34 million," he told DRCNet. "They supplied us with very solid statistics -- calls for requests for service, incidents, arrests -- and we found out they were arresting about 28,000 people a year, and about one-quarter of them were drug-related. We had to ask if we arrest 7,000 people a year for drugs and nothing ever changes, is this policy working? The answer is no."

The report had not started out as an indictment of the drug war, said Lewis. But as the numbers came in, they showed twice as many arrests for drug crimes as for any other offense -- nearly one-third of them on marijuana charges. "We started looking at statistics for the Police Department because public safety is so important," Lewis said. "But we were surprised to learn that twice as many people are arrested for drug-related incidents than for any other violation, and the violence in our neighborhoods is worse every year."

other stuff:

jobs: from my talk with sam sage it seems that the urban environmental science group (UESG)is in dire need of funding for their green jobs trainings, from the talk i really like the sound of the direction they are taking, instilling pride in hand crafts and striving for REAL sustainability.  i have not been able to find and web presence for the UESG tho.
  liz and mark were trying to get a deconstruciton companie started, they even got the COE to committ to covering the extra cost of deconstruction over regular demolition.  this would have created a lot of jobs and allowed the Re-Store to expand.  but the city basically stonewalled it over "lead remediation", requiring full lead remediation (even tho obviously regulare demolition does nothing about the lead.)  so this is one project that is chomping at the bit and needs some help throught the beaurocratic hoops, might be worth mentioning.

sustainable building codes/affordablehousing:
     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignity_Village (i want to live there)
ok ok, seriously:

The American Institute of Architects and the United States Conference of Mayors have joined forces to promote integrated/high-performance building design...

It is our mutual goal to encourage all of our nation's mayors to take a strong stance in favor of sustainability by adopting practices that meet 2030 reduction goals in their own communities. To that end, we developed this toolkit.

The toolkit provides an overview of green building issues, sample ordinance language that has already been used effectively in other cities, and real world examples of what other communities are already doing.


oops, their toolkit was taken down, im email to see if its around. here is another pertinent article: http://www.naturalbuildingnetwork.org/californiaproject.htm


    At the inception of the Natural Building Network, the co-founders agreed that one of our key missions would be to gather and share the informational resources needed to shift public policy and change existing building, planning and land use codes and regulations in favor of natural building practices.



sending email for more detailed info.


well im burnt out for now, but i have more info on sustainability code for food production (big archive of stuff on alchemical forum), and environmental education (doing gardens with students soon.)


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