Bronx Green Party candidate for NY State Senate in 33rd SD speaks out on labor, workers’ rights; and on empowering communities of color, and immigrant communities in the Bronx; asserts “Green Party is only true opposition to democratic party machine”
At the South Bronx Community Congress held at Hostos Community College on Saturday, June 5, 2010, John H. Reynolds, the Green Party candidate for NY State Senate in the 33rd SD in the Bronx, spoke out forcefully and unequivocally on behalf of labor and workers rights; and on the need for empowering communities of color and immigrant communities in the Bronx.
“Poor and working class communities throughout the Bronx are under siege,” Reynolds said, “and we urgently need to put aside narrow partisan and personal agendas to build coalitions across long-standing racial, ethnic, and geographic divides in this borough so as to build a people’s movement that is capable of fighting back against devastating cuts in jobs and services.”
“Cuts in the MTA budget have already resulted in hundreds of layoffs which will directly affect the safety of the riding public, and the availability of free student Metrocards,” Reynolds declared. “These issues,” the candidate continued, “are not merely about labor and workers’ rights, essential as those rights are. This is about people’s rights! These cuts hit us not only where we work and shop and go to school—they hit us where we live! And, needless to say, these cuts will be disproportionately devastating to communities of color.”
Reynolds referred to the recent layoffs and firings of nurses, and on the lack of sufficient summer jobs for students as additional examples of the need for a fight-back strategy in which Greens can be, and ought to be, active participants and partners in building grassroots labor-oriented community organizations.
“Furthermore,” Reynolds went on, “we in the Bronx Green Party fully and unequivocally support the workers at Woodlawn Cemetery who are struggling to win respect and dignity on the job in a work environment where racism, harassment, and vicious abuse is rampant. It is shocking and outrageous to us Greens, as I am sure it is to all decent New Yorkers, that Woodlawn Cemetery management could permit such practices on the job, practices which one would have thought had long since disappeared, along with the racist Jim Crow culture of a previous era.”
Addressing immigrants’ rights, the Bronx Green Party candidate said that his party’s positions are simple and straightforward: “Stop the raids! Stop the deportations! Amnesty now! Legalization—because no person is illegal”
Turning next to the Community Benefits Agreements (CBA’s) which have been such stumbling blocks as far as providing livable wage jobs and real benefits to local communities in the Bronx; whether one speaks of projects such as the new Yankee Stadium, or the Kingsbridge Armory, Reynolds called for legislation that ensured that any publicly owned, or publicly financed or subsidized initiative, or project, must have a meaningful and enforceable CBA.
“Furthermore,” said Reynolds, “these CBA’s must be controlled by bona fide local community stakeholders, and not just by the politicians.”
Finally, echoing one of the main themes of the day-long South Bronx Community Congress, Reynolds concluded: “Above all, what we need now in the Bronx, now more urgently perhaps than ever, is unity and solidarity around demands for dignity and justice. Considerations of privilege need to be put aside in favor of the greater good of our Bronx communities. The corruption and self-serving behavior among our official representatives in Albany must end. For all of us in the Bronx, the watch word from this point forward must be:
“Uno para todos, y todos para uno!”
In this connection, Reynolds claimed, the Green Party truly is not an alternative but an absolute imperative. Only the Green Party, said Reynolds, stands in opposition to the corrupt, play-for-pay, business-as-usual in Albany; only the Green Party stands in opposition to the Democratic Party machine in the Bronx which enables the corruption in Albany.