Tag: election

News Alert: There will be NO ProChoice Voting Guide This Year unless…

There will be no bright yellow ProChoice voting guide in your mailbox this election year unless we can raise $33,000 by September 30th.

The implications of this are huge, and all are negative for the pro-choice community.

Anti-choice candidates will win, and pro-choice candidates will lose, because you will not know one from the other.

Albany will not pass the Reproductive Health Care Act and all funding to Planned Parenthood could be cut — and that’s only for starters.
 
All because — for the first time since we began our mailing decades ago — you will not have received your ProChoice Voting Guide.
 
The most effective way to reach voters is the US Postal Service mail, not email.

Unfortunately, no one—not Planned Parenthood, not NARAL, not the League of Women Voters—mails guides anymore because it is simply too costly.

And emails are not the answer.
Some people receive hundreds of emails every week, and some even hundreds each day. But, where an email doesn’t stand out, a Bright Yellow Voting Guide in your mail does.

Until now, WCLA – Choice Matters has always mailed because it is THE BEST WAY to communicate with voters.

We have over 90,000 pro-choice identified voters in our database!

Pro-choice voters rely on our ProChoice Voting Guide. They grab it out of their mail, read it in the car, or while having a quick cup of coffee, or even as they go to vote. With real-life schedules that start long before dawn and go late into the night, many pro-choice voters have no time to access a personal computer. Click Here to Help Save the Voting Guide

And don’t forget our seniors. Pro-choice seniors are the population most likely to vote, by a large margin. Many do not use computers. They value the mail, specifically the mailing of our Bright Yellow ProChoice Voting Guide, easy to see and to hold.

That is exactly why — despite the ever-growing cost of postage and printing — we have fought to mail the ProChoice Voting Guide every year.  Every year it has gotten harder.  And every year we’ve had to struggle to live within our ever decreasing budget going from mailing three newsletters a year, to two, to just the Voting Guide, cutting them down from 24 pages to 16 to now just 4.  There is simply just no where else to cut – except the Voting Guide itself.

Choice Matters trumpets the truth in its guide. We endorse only those candidates who are 100% pro-choice — and we expose the imposters. We endorse candidates based on their answers to our questionnaire, interviews, voting records, and who is best positioned to help protect and advance a woman’s right to comprehensive reproductive health care.
 
It has always been difficult to fund the newsletters and voting guide — and every year it gets harder.

And make no mistake about it, this comes at a terrible time.  There is an all out war being waged locally and nationally against women and the rights that we have fought for all these years since we won the right to vote.  From attempting to legislate forced vaginal ultrasounds, to battles to deny women contraception, to the veto of the Clinic Access Bill here in Westchester, to Albany’s failure to pass the Reproductive Health Care Act – everything is on the line.  Remember, if they win, we lose. We lose our control over our bodies and with it our  independence, socially and economically. This election –  with the state, congressional and presidential offices all up for grabs –  may very well decide our fate for decades to come.

This is not a story of the boy who cries wolf. It is a sad fact for the women of Westchester County and New York State, and the country.  This year, without your help, there will be no Bright Yellow ProChoice Voting Guide in thousands of mailboxes all over Westchester. We Need Your Help

We need your contribution to save our voting guide. Please donate today to help us mail the voting guide to all pro-choice households in Westchester County.

Tuesday June 26th – A Very Important Democratic Primary

Pro-choice Congressman Eliot Engel is being challenged in the Democratic Primary by an anti-choice extremist.

An outspoken leader on the issue of women’s reproductive rights, Engel has been  endorsed by WCLA – Choice Matters and other major pro-choice groups.

After the onslaught of attacks in Congress, we must keep this seat in the pro-choice column.

**Many of you may not know it yet, but your congressional district may have changed because of redistricting which occurs every ten years after the census.

Call the Board of Elections (914) 995-5700 or Choice Matters (914) 946-5363 if you have any questions.

Hats Off to a Legend, Suzi Oppenheimer!

“Suzi Oppenheimer”
A Name Synonymous with Women’s Rights
New York State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer has announced that she will be retiring at the end of 2012.We—the women of this state—will miss her greatly!Suzi has been at the forefront fighting for the women of Westchester and New York State for almost three decades.Suzi has battled tirelessly against Senate anti-choice bills, making all women’s needs her concern. Her floor speeches in favor of Medicaid funding are legendary. She has fought annually for family planning and teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Choice Matters has been proud to endorse Senator Suzi Oppenheimer in every election since her initial run for the New York State Senate. In 1982, she came close, making Choice a focal point of her campaign; in 1984 she closed the deal with the voters.

In 1984, when she ran against anti-choice Perone, Suzi made her position on government’s proper role in abortion clear, saying, “Government has no more right to decide whether a woman may have an abortion than it has the right to tell us where we can’t live, whom we can’t marry, or what religion we can’t practice.”  She stressed the need not only to protect our freedom of choice, but to protect the safety of abortion as well. “Abortion has been with us for thousands of years, and no law will stop it now. Since the Supreme Court has already affirmed the right of a woman to choose abortion, it is now our duty not just to protect that right, but to protect the health and safety of all women who do decide they must have an abortion.”

Suzi, we hold our glasses high in a toast to you.

You have set the bar very high, and we thank you for that too!

 

Westchester Residents Beware – Astorino’s Version of a Reformer

DISTRICT #3 has elected a truly ETHICALLY-CHALLENGED representative.
His name, and Astorino’s hand picked candidate who he labeled a reformer, is Michael Smith.
(Makes you question what kind of reform Astorino is looking for!!)

It is essential that as we move forward voters keep a very sharp eye on Smith.

Yes, Smith opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.

In addition, Smith has a very questionable history at best. He seems willing to do anything to win. Nothing is off limits. 

To win this election, Smith ran ads about Legislator Nonna that were intentionally misleading–that’s not just our opinion but the findings of the non-partisan Fair Practices Campaign who found him guilty. Smith also apparently ran an equally offensive and untrue recorded phone call to voters on Election Day to scare them into voting for him. And that’s just the beginning.

Smith, as Board President of Valhalla School Board, actively supported and fought for a contract
the New York State Controller found to be illegal as did the New York State Supreme Court.

Printed on the Valhalla Voice website, November 2, 2011
“Mike Smith’s record speaks volumes”

“As a taxpayer in the Valhalla school district I am still amused that Mr Smith is running as a tax cutter. He is anything but. In his first 3 years on the Valhalla BOE spending rose 21%. The increase one year before had been 8.8% so where were the cuts?

He is now opposing the $1 a year county lease for the children’s museum, but never opposed Valhalla’s $1 a year Easter Seals lease, the district lost $2.4 million on that deal.

When state auditors shut down the illegal Westhelp scam, Mike Smith voted to sue his own town to restart the illegal payments. He had no problem spending school district money on:

  • Matching Grants to the Valhalla Schools Foundation even though it is illegal to fund private foundations with government money.
  • Two full time salaries for Kensico School Principal
  • Pay his own expense at a private school
  • Donations to Easter Seals, another private foundation.
  • Summer trips to the Grand Canyon
  • Trips to the opera
  • Dinners at trendy NYC restaurants
  • Adult Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center
  • Ocktoberfest at Bear Mountain
  • A moonlight booze cruise on the Hudson 

Despite Mr. Smith’s denials to the contrary, the Booze Cruise was on his watch, in August of 2006
Here are quotes from the 2008 NY State audit of Mike’s Smith’s Valhalla school district finances:

“District officials did not maintain complete and accurate accounting records to facilitate the proper and timely monitoring of the WestHELP Grant. As a result, of the approximately $1.7 million expended for the Grant, approximately $456,000 was not expended in accordance with the Grant agreement, proposals or applicable laws”

“The [Valhalla] Board did not provide sufficient oversight over District financial operations”

“The District overpaid for the Business Administrator’s life insurance premiums by $38,500”

“Internal controls over payroll were not adequate”

“The District did not have adequate controls over the payroll process”

‘District officials did not implement an effective system of internal controls to safeguard computerized data’”

Smith has proudly said that he stands by the contract. That illegal support will now cost Valhalla School District residents over a million dollars. Smith’s willingness to stand by a clearly illegal contract should worry Westchester residents.

Meet Westchester’s Own Pro-Choice Male Brigade!

We Must Protect Our Rights and Westchester
by Electing Strong, Independent Leaders! 
Meet Westchester’s Pro-Choice  Male Brigade!!

DISTRICT #2
Bedford, Lewisboro, Mt. Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge & part of Somers.
Peter Harckham was first elected to the County Legislature in 2007 and has served as Majority Leader for the past two years. Harckham has proven himself to be a  strong ally who is able to work across party lines to build consensus without compromising the very values for which he was elected. Harckham is also endorsed by the NYS League  of Conservation Voters. His opponent promises to be a Yes-Man for Astorino and oppose sex ed and contraception for teens!
–DISTRICT #3
North  Castle, Pleasantville & Unincorporated Mt. Pleasant & parts of Briarcliff Manor, Sleepy Hollow and Unincorporated Greenburgh.
John Nonna has distinguished himself as a great legal mind and a friend to Choice. As a true public servant throughout his career—currently as a County Legislator, and previously as Mayor, Trustee and Judge—John Nonna has stood up for women’s rights.  Nonna’s opponent is an anti-choice extemist, seeking the Right to Life Party endorsement and opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman!In addition, Nonna’s opponent has no experience in government.
–DISTRICT #4
New Castle & parts of Somers & Yorktown.
Mike Kaplowitz has proven himself to be a strong supporter of the pro-choice community. His position as Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman made Kaplowitz keenly aware of the role the County plays in the fight to protect women’s reproductive rights. That understanding has served the women of Westchester well.  Kaplowitz’ anti-choice opponent is endorsed by Right to Life  Party and opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman and supports a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage.
–DISTRICT #5
The Village of Scarsdale & part of Harrison & part of White Plains.
Bill
Ryan has been an active and vocal advocate for Choice since his early days in the NYS Assembly. In his first campaign for the County Legislature, he pledged to continue fighting for a woman’s right to choose and he has done so without fail. Ryan has “more faith in women making the right decision for themselves than in government making it for them…” and believes, “a woman’s right to choose is absolute and should not be subject to legislation.” Ryan also serves on the Large Urban County Caucus in the National Association of Counties He is one of 35 county officials representing over 140 million people, living in the 100 largest counties in America, on matters before the federal government. Ryan’s opponent, although rated pro-choice, will not commit to supporting the clinic access bill that protects women as they enter and leave reproductive health centers. She says she’s a novice whose ideas are still cooking—but in reality, she has been politically active for years and served on Astorino’s transition team. Choice Matters’ choice is Bill Ryan!


New Pro-Choice Voices for the County Legislature!
–DISTRICT #1

Buchanan & parts of Yorktown, City of Peekskill & Unincorporated Cortlandt.
Michael Kane is a strong voice for reducing the size of county government responsibly. His commitment to women and families makes him particularly aware of the importance of childcare to working mothers, thus, his refusal to cut childcare funding irresponsibly because “every dollar cut from childcare costs Westchester taxpayers $3 more in food stamps, $5 in welfare, and $20 in shelter costs [because irrational childcare subsidy cuts force working women into unemployment.]” Kane’s anti-choice opponent is a rubber stamp for RTL Astorino’s anti-family anti-woman agenda.
–DISTRICT #6

Rye Brook, Port Chester, & part of Harrison.
Daniel Brakewood is committed to women’s reproductive health. As a current Port Chester trustee, Brakewood has proven himself to be an independent voice for his constituents. In contrast, Brakewood’s anti-choice opponent has said, even in his own literature, that he will be a [guaranteed] vote for [RTL] Astorino. That is not independent! Choice Matters endorses Daniel Brakewood.
–DISTRICT #10
Tuckahoe & Unincorporated Eastchester, & part of New Rochelle.
John Fitzpatrick
has served the people of Westchester as Mayor of Tuckahoe for two terms, Village Trustee, Planning Commissioner and Police Commissioner. He has made environmentally sustainable initiatives a trademark of his administration. He is pro-choice, fiscally conservative and an advocate for housing. Fitzpatrick’s opponent who is endorsed by the Right to Life Party, is an extremist who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman. She also supports a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage.

Did You Know You’re Supposed to Vote on Tuesday?

ALERT!

THIS TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 13th IS PRIMARY DAY!!

If you are enrolled in the Independence Party
& live in
Westchester Legislative Districts 3, 4, or 7 Come Out and Vote for:
John Nonna (CLD 3),
Michael Kaplowitz (CLD 4) and
Judy Myers (CLD 7)!!!


The Good Guys
Nonna, Kaplowitz and Myers are 100% pro-choice.
They
protect our women, children, and families.
They understand
the importance of our clinics, childcare, and health centers.

The Bad Guys
Their opponents are handpicked by Right to Life County Executive Rob Astorino.
Their opponents will be a rubber stamp for the extremist Astorino Agenda, and do not care about our clinics, childcare, or health centers.

The Good Guys
Judy Myers is the sponsor of the clinic access bill which will protect women’s safety and privacy as they enter and leave reproductive health centers and is supported by Kaplowitz and Nonna.

The Bad Guys
The opponents are Astorino’s puppets.
Astorino is creating a mini-me brigade.
Astorino  opposes the clinic access bill, so his handpicked  opponents do too–either they are committed to opposing the clinic access bill, or refuse to take a stand!

Nonna’s opponent is presently seeking the Right to Life endorsement.
Kaplowitz’s opponent is already endorsed by Right to Life, like his mentor Astorino.

Westchester’s Right to Life County Executive Rob Astorino is a rabid extremist, yanking funding away from working women and their children.  This is a man whose budget this year shows he only cares about those who vote for him. The rest of us–especially the working poor–are being thrown under the bus so that he can claim to meet budget promises. Trust me when I say we will all pay later in tax dollars for Astorino’s stunts.
Importantly, our County legislators decide many reproductive rights issues including prisoners’ rights, Medicaid expenditures, and more. The cost to your tax dollars will be huge if legislators do not understand these obligations, and only try to grab headlines, like Astorino likes to do, with penny-wise pound-foolish cuts.
Westchester cannot afford Astorino’s handpicked puppets–his personal mini-me brigade.

The Message Here:
Vote For Myers, Nonna & Kaplowitz

TUESDAY, September 13th!
Primaries have a very low turnout because few people realize the election is occurring.
Thus your vote will have a multi-fold impact!

TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO VOTE!

 

*CLD 3: North Castle, Pleasantville, & parts of Harrison,
Mt. Pleasant, Ossining, Sleepy Hollow and Briarcliff Manor.
*CLD 4: New Castle and parts of Yorktown & Somers.
*CLD 7: Rye City, Mamaroneck Town, Larchmont, & parts of Harrison, the       village  of Mamaroneck, New Rochelle and Rye Town



Congratulations to MaryJane Shimsky & You the Voters!

Choice delivered a resounding defeat to Nick DeCicco and his mentor Right to Life County Executive Rob Astorino.

Pro-choice, pro-family, pro-child advocate MaryJane Shimsky is the newly elected legislator representing the 12th County Legislative District. She will be up for re-election in November along with the rest of the Board.  (We will have to wait two more years before we can elect a new county executive!)

It is important to note that only 4,399 votes were cast. Every single one of those mattered.  Without our pro-choice voters we would not be celebrating today!

Celebrate the Meaning of Roe: Vote-Special Election Feb. 15 – Elect MaryJane Shimsky!

Roe v. Wade is under attack across the United States. Women are losing their/our constitutional right to privacy and to control our own bodies.
Empowered by the 2010 elections, states are working to pass damaging legislation. (Click here to read more.)
BUT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Vote in the Special Election
Tuesday February 15th

You Vote – You Choose
MaryJane Shimsky—a pro-choice, progressive, budget and tax-minded candidate, running on the Working Families and Democratic lines, who has fought for the residents of Hastings-on-Hudson and the Town of Greenburgh on such projects as Ridge Hill and Stew Leonards, and worked as the Director of Community Relations for Assemblyman Richard Brodsky;
or
Astorino’s next mini-me—anti-choice Nicholas DeCicco who refused to complete Choice Matters’ questionnaire. DeCicco, like Marcotte, will walk the Right-to-Life Astorino anti-choice anti-child anti-family walk, voting as he is told.
Say “NO” to Another Astorino Puppet
In November 2009, Westchester elected a Right-to-Life (RTL) County Executive, Rob Astorinio. We have been paying the price ever since.
Astorino may want to protect the so-called unborn, but he sure has made his position about the born clear: Astorino says, Throw them under the bus to every child and family in need. Astorino’s budget is the antithesis of family. He focuses on cutting all services that support working mothers, early childhood programs and corresponding housing support.
On his coattails, Sheila Marcotte won in the 10th County Legislative District and is doing exactly as her commander has directed–voting in lockstep with him against child care scholarships, low income daycare and funding for community healthcare programs, among others–voting against a safety net and costing taxpayers millions.
Astorino’s other puppets have done the same. Believe me when I say, we do not need and cannot afford another Astorino mini-me.
Worry About Funding!
Astorino’s Right to Life beliefs have already corrupted the budget process. Laws are not the only things at stake. Budgets decide who matters.

Remember it was Astorino who took a sledge hammer to child care funding, pulverizing it by taking away 4.3 million dollars—this after the most recent census data reported that 16.7 percent of Westchester children under 5 years of age are living in poverty, which is up from 9.6 percent in 2005—and added new positions for his political cronies. When those positions were cut by the County Legislators, Astorino hired his cronies anyway using empty lines on the budget!

SPECIAL ELECTION
TUESDAY
FEB. 15TH
Choice Matters
Endorses
MaryJane Shimsky
for
Westchester County Board of Legislators

Right to Life Committee Endorses Dan Donovan and Rene Atayan

A True Halloween Horror
Atayan wants to make the laws banning a woman’s right to choose and Donovan wants to enforce them!
By the time their done, women will have absolutely no control over their reproductive rights and, thus, also not over their economic, social, or political lives.

Atayan is running against staunch pro-choice advocate Amy Paulin.
Donovan is opposing 100% pro-choice ally Eric Schneiderman.

We need both Paulin and Schneiderman in Albany fighting for us.

 

Standing with Eric Schneiderman for NYS Attorney General

“We are thrilled to endorse Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General. From the frontlines at clinics to the courtrooms to the State Senate, Eric has proven his commitment to a woman’s right to choose. It is vitally important who the Attorney General is when it comes to freedom of choice. Across the nation, anti-choice attorneys general have abused their position targeting women’s reproductive rights: in Kansas harassing the late Dr. Tiller; in Virginia, working to close 20 safe clinics; and in Michigan trying to outlaw abortion. Eric will protect clinic access, stop harassment, and aggressively push for greater protections. New York needs Eric Schneiderman as our next Attorney General.” Catherine Lederer-Plaskett, President, WCLA – Choice Matters

Join Choice Matters in Endorsing Eric Schneiderman for NYS Attorney General – Click Here