Tag: westchester

~ In Memorium ~ Let’s Take a Page Out of Their Books

Two amazing Westchester women passed away in the past 6 months, Renata Schwebel and Marcy (Marcella) Kahn.

I want you to know their names because, like so many other women of their generation, they did not receive the recognition they deserved. Renata and Marcy  committed themselves unequivocally to education, the arts, politics and women’s reproductive rights – and they helped change the face of Westchester.

Marcy, as an active member of the Westchester League of Women Voters, pressed for reapportionment. They fought for the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1964 “one-person, one-vote ” decision, and won in 1969, when the state Court of Appeals upheld their governance plan. They moved the County from a government by a Board of Supervisors to one governed by a Board of Legislators.

Renata and Marcy did not have to be asked to take action; they did what was needed  because they were driven to act.

Both of these women also made significant annual donations to WCLA PAC because they knew the power of our Bright Yellow ProChoice Voting Guide and its impact at the voting booths. They knew that if you cannot control your own body, you have nothing.

While it is always a struggle, without their contributions this year, we will come up short.  We need your help and we need it now.

We have two asks of you:
1. Please  Donate to WCLAPAC.org today.
2. And going forward, in honor of these two women, and all of those who fought for our rightsdon’t wait to be asked – ACT!

Below are links about Marcy Kahn and Renata Schwebel and the history of the districting of Westchester County.

Thank you for your generosity.
Onward,
Catherine

p.s. A special thanks to Jean Pollak who was President of the Westchester League of Women Voters at the time.
Marcy Kahn
Renata Schwebel
Westchester Districting

Hate Right Here in Westchester

– What we feared is indeed the new reality –
This White House is in the hands of
anti-Semitic misogynistic white supremacists.

Dear Pro-Choice Voters,

Donald Trump and his closest advisers have turned the clock back to a time where discrimination and hate were an accepted, common trait of American life. They began before the General Election with hate mongering intended to stir the base and intimidate everyone else. Beginning with the Muslim ban to reinstating and expanding the Mexico City Policy* to trampling on LGBT rights**, Trump was laying the groundwork for the resurgence of the KKK and Nazi demonstrations and violence we saw this weekend.

But make no mistake, this ideology of hate and the intimidation tactics the Trump administration employs are not limited to Charlottesville or the South. It is right here in Westchester County and being spirited forward by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

On August 17th,  Astorino vetoed the Immigration Protection Acta bill that was in total compliance with federal law and that had passed the Board of Legislators 10-5.  The goal of the bill was to stop local law enforcement from acting as federal immigration officials, thereby protecting county resources and building trust in our communities. 

Why did Astorino do this?

You need look no further than the praise Astorino’s veto received from Trump’s AG Jeff Sessions.

Remember this is THE Jeff Sessions who said the KKK is “OK”*** and used a Supreme Court case permitting the racial segregation of swimming pools to justify the Muslim ban.

This was not Astorino’s first attempt to please Trump. Back in the fall, when swastikas and racist graffiti started appeared around Westchester, Astorino blamed Obama and Clinton supporters, telling both leaders to calm their supporters – just as Trump blamed those who were demonstrating peacefully against the Nazis and KKK in Charlottesville.

Only you can put an end to this hate mongering by our elected officials here in Westchester.
And that is by VOTING – And if you are not registered, do so: Register Here


*Here’s What Donald Trump Did  Trump’s Mexico City Policy **Trump Tramples on LGBT Rights

***Jeff Session: Comments on Race

Trump Administration Cites Segregation

 

 

Astorino – NOT an Equal Opportunity Advocate!

A few simple words from Astorino about his family speak volumes on his views on women.

Astorino has called Albany a “cesspool of corruption” “where he’d never allow his two daughters to work.” (Click here to read Newsday, 3/7/2014)

What about his son? Astorino has two daughters and a son. Is he saying it’s okay for his son to work there but not his daughters? Does he think boys are stronger or smarter than girls? That girls can’t handle what life throws their way, but boys can? That girls should be sheltered but boys are tough?

No wonder Astorino opposes the Women’s Equality Agenda, and comprehensive reproductive rights including abortion – all of which help women have control over their own lives.

This statement was made on the statewide stage by a man who wants to be governor of New York State where we have been at the forefront of fighting for equal opportunity for all people.
_______________________________________
REMEMBER Astorino’s anti-woman record:
â–ªAstorino has opposed abortion under any condition.**
â–ªHe vetoed a law that would have given women safe access to reproductive health centers.
â–ªHe opposes comprehensive sex ed and cut funding to those programs.
â–ªHe supports abstinence-only education, and has won an award for it.
â–ªHe gutted all funding to community health centers that serve women and their families.
▪Astorino has called the reproductive health component of the Women’s Equality Agenda, which would bring abortion legislation in New York into the 21st century and take it out of the penal code, the equivalent of “infanticide.”

Will Westchester Medical Center Be Forced To Ban Abortions?

I didn’t know who to vote for… so I didn’t vote.

 I have heard these words repeated over and over again since the November 5th Election. Why?  Because the over 85,000 voters in our database who have relied on finding the bright yellow ProChoice Voting Guide in their mailboxes every year – the guide that explained both who to vote for and what Choice means on a County level – did not receive it! This year, there was no ProChoice Voting Guide mailed out to our Westchester voters because we simply did not have the money.

The results are clear and Westchester has paid the price. In 2013, pro-choice candidates lost in astonishing numbers. County legislative seats that should have been wins for pro-choice candidates were losses. In District 10, (part of New Rochelle and Eastchester), the pro-choice challenger who took on the incumbent who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman, lost by 485 votes. In District 14, (part of Yonkers and Mount Vernon), the pro-choice challenger who took on an 18-year incumbent who votes against women at every opportunity including her historic vote to deny women safe access to reproductive health care, lost by 890 votes. And there are more districts just like these two. These are races in which our ProChoice Voting Guide would have made the difference between winning and losing!

2013 stands in sharp contrast to 2012, when our support for pro-choice candidates resulted in unprecedented victories, and we elected our endorsed candidates at all levels of government. Ninety-one percent of the candidates WCLA – Choice Matters endorsed, won! Those wins could not have happened without you or our ProChoice Voting Guide. (Please make a contribution today!)

 Did you know that in odd year elections like this one, approximately seven out of every nine voters are women, and of those seven, five are over the age of 50? Not your typical internet and social media users. Reaching this target population requires more traditional avenues of communication – yes, snail mail – the U.S. Postal Service. And the postage costs just keep going up.

Anti-choice extremist County Executive Astorino said repeatedly, “County elections have nothing to do with abortion.” That could not be farther from the truth, but people believed him because there was no voting guide to refute him. County government plays a very significant role in reproductive rights and the implications can be huge. Just look at Albuquerque, New Mexico. That municipality just voted on an initiative to ban abortions after 20 weeks. That could happen here.

Reproductive rights is absolutely a County issue.
▪The people we elect decide the County budget. Departments relating to women and families comprise a large portion of that budget. ▪The County Executive nominates and the County Board of Legislators (CBL) confirms appointments to the Westchester Medical Hospital Board; thus the Board’s elected officials ultimately control whether the hospital will continue to provide abortions. ▪The CBL decides whether inmates will get pregnancy tests, abortions, and prenatal care on request and without delay. ▪The County Health Department decides which clinics will provide services and whether they will provide reproductive health services, counseling, and referrals for abortions. ▪The County Executive appoints, and CBL votes to confirm commissioners important to the pro-choice issue including Health, Social Services, and Corrections.

Last year, those elected officials gutted all funding to the community health centers which directly impacted women. Funding for comprehensive sex education is gone, and instead, the County Executive, who is winning awards from abstinence-only organizations, vetoed a bill giving women safe access to reproductive health centers.

Sadly, WCLA – Choice Matters forecasted election night results. We put our voting guide on line but that only reached a limited number of people. In contrast, our mailed bright yellow ProChoice Voting Guide reaches the all-important target audience – women – who are rushing between work and other responsibilities, and those that do not live on the internet. The mailed voting guide provides, literally, an  in-hand education that can and does go from the mailbox to the voting booth.

Make a gift to Choice Matters to support our work.

In 2014, all seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and New York State government are up for election: Congress, Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, and the New York State Senate and Assembly. This election matters. Last year, we watched as a turncoat Senate Democrat turned his back on his constituents and aligned himself with the anti-choice Republican leader. Together, they blocked the Women’s Equality Agenda from coming to the floor for a vote. They made us realize how much New York has in common with Texas.

If we are not able to distribute our ProChoice Voting Guide to our database of over 85,000 Westchester County residents, November 5th, 2013 will serve as a precursor of elections to come.

But you can stop that from happening by contributing to WCLA – Choice Matters today.

Choice Matters has been standing strong since 1972! That’s 40+ years!
Choice Matters has interviewed hundreds of thousands of female voters, identified those who are pro-choice, and added them to our database. We do this every single week, each and every year. It’s our amazing database and our mailed ProChoice Voting Guide that make us victorious. We’ve always understood this.  But we just didn’t have the money to print and mail out our voting guide this year – and pro-choice candidates lost across the County. We cannot afford to let that happen again next year.

Your support today will make it possible for us to send our ProChoice Voting Guide and newsletter which informs the public about Choice, elected officials’ reproductive rights actions, challengers’ positions, and our critical endorsements. This voting guide newsletter scares some candidates and elected officials, and rewards others, because it holds them accountable for their actions.

 Your generous contribution of $25, $100, $250 or more will help Choice Matters’ ProChoice campaign continue to identify and educate households across the county and state.

 Choice Matters is a mighty pro-choice organization with a proven strategy. That’s because you, our donors, have given us extraordinary support. We hope you will continue to do so because we need your help now more than ever. Your contribution, whatever you can afford – large or small – will make a difference.  Every dollar truly counts.

 Please mail your contribution today or you may securely contribute on line at www.choicematters.org.

 Supporting Choice Matters is the most valuable action an advocate for Choice can take.

 Thank you!

 

The 2013 Pro-Choice Voting Guide

The New York State Board of Elections issued an opinion prohibiting 501(c)(4) organizations, such as WCLA – Choice Matters, from “endorsing” or saying we “support” a candidate. To comply, our endorsements will now be made by WCLA PAC.

WCLA PAC will make its endorsements based on the candidate ratings made by the Board of Directors of WCLA – Choice Matters. Any messaging must come from WCLA PAC. Therefore, WCLA PAC will be the voice used to comment and share information during this election season.

To that end, WCLA PAC will have its own website which you will be able to access through a link on Choice Matters’ home page or by going directly to: http://wclapac.org/ (It is still under construction!)

Donations
We need you to make a donation!
You can do it on the website or you can mail it to:
WCLA
235 Mamaroneck Ave, #103
White Plains, NY 10605

WCLA PAC will use the contributions for election-related items, such as to build out its website, political outreach and to mail, if possible, voting guides to those unable to access the web. For more information, call: 914.946.5363

Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds, I regret to inform you that Choice Matters and WCLA PAC are unable to mail our newsletter and yellow voting guide county-wide this year. Mailing the newsletter and voting guide out to over 80,000 Westchester residents costs $32,520. We were not able to raise that money.

We will put the newsletter and voting guide on our website. You can print it there.

Any additional dollars we raise will be used to mail out copies to those who do not access the web.

We know that this is a terrible loss. So many of us rely on the bright yellow ProChoice Voting Guide and newsletter arriving in our mailboxes every year. And so many of us do not have the  time or opportunity to use the web. Unfortunately, the power of the pro-choice vote will be greatly diminished on Election Day, November 5th.

Hopefully, with your help, we can start raising funds now for next year when New York goes to the polls to vote for Governor, all of the State Senate and Assembly, and for all the members in the House of Representatives!

Noam Bramson vs. Rob Astorino – The Facts

The lines have been drawn for this November’s elections and everything is at stake. Every seat in Westchester County government is up for grabs — including that of the County Executive. One can honestly say that November will determine the fate of  our County for years to come. This year’s election will be about values and a vision for the future and it will determine whether we recognize the rights of all people or only those of a select few.
The candidates in the County Executive’s race are set. It will be a matchup between Democratic nominee New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and Tea Party favorite incumbent Rob Astorino.
Westchester voters have a clear choice between a social progressive, Noam Bramson, and a far right extremist, Rob Astorino, who is way outside the mainstream.Bramson supports a woman’s right to choose and marriage equality.
Astorino adamantly opposes both. Astorino also opposes abortion in cases of incest, rape or to save the life of the woman. He has even gone so far as to deny women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health centers – for which he received accolades from the NYS Right to Life Committee. (Read it here!)

Astorino also opposes comprehensive sex education, cutting all funding in the County budget to Planned Parenthood’s educational programs. This past fall Astorino was honored for his anti-Choice extremist positions by a Bronx-based organization, Program Reach, that developed an abstinence-only sex education program and councils pregnant youth from an anti-abortion rights perspective. (Read it here!)

Bramson supports NY SAFE, the legislation passed by Governor Cuomo and state legislators that is aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill while respecting the rights of legal gun owners.
By contrast, Astorino refuses to say whether he supports or opposed common sense gun safety laws. We do know, however, that Astorino believes that County property should be used for hosting gun shows. As soon as he took office four years ago, Astorino revoked a ban on gun/sniper shows that had been in effect since shortly after the shootings at Columbine.
To get a clear picture of the economic difference, click here.
You can also check out Astorino’s Numbers Game.
Bramson supports the Women’s Equality Agenda (WEA) proposed by Governor Cuomo. The Agenda is a 10-point proposal that will “break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and inequality based on gender” and ensure that all of New York’s 10 million women, including Westchester’s 496,016, get a fair deal.
Click here to read more about the Agenda.
By contrast, Astorino refuses to mention the Agenda – as though if he ignores it, maybe all of us women will go just go away…?

It is time for the Women of Westchester to join the Women for Westchester forces and demand that Astorino make his position on the WEA clear.

To join Women for Westchester (W4W) write to: Catherine@WomenforWestchester.com

It’s not the snow-the ground is moving under your feet

Do You Feel the Ground Moving?
That’s the safety net being ripped out from under your feet
right here in Westchester County.

The Bad News
County Government at its Worst

Westchester’s present County Executive, Rob Astorino, and his gang of nine are playing fast and loose with the county budget, borrowing money to pay for tax certiorari – a practice that led in part to Nassau County’s huge financial difficulties – while simultaneously launching a full fledged attack on our county’s intricate support system that took decades to build. The results of Astorino’s callous actions are unimaginable, and they are happening right here to Westchester’s women and our families.

Astorino is a Tea Party extremist who is advancing an anti-woman, anti-family agenda similar to that voiced by GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and former Senator Rick Santorum. His focus is on gutting programs that serve working families, and borrowing money when he needs to, so that he can claim he isn’t raising taxes. Astorino has little regard for the working families of Westchester and the services we rely on. Further, as County Executive, he has a great deal of power to adversely impact women’s health care – and he’s determined to do just that. He has already vetoed a bill that would have allowed women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health centers – while cutting funding for childcare, food pantries, afterschool programs, health centers, and much more. Please keep in mind that Astorino is making these cuts that have a horrific impact on living, breathing children while, at the same time, is adamant in his opposition to safe access to reproductive health centers and to abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.

To compound things, if that’s possible, at a time when we know that the mentally ill need treatment and care, not guns, Astorino and his seven minions closed all of Westchester’s mental health centers, without even implementing a transition plan for the clients.

The Good News
2013 is Election Year for all elected offices in Westchester County Government.

 

Three candidates for County Executive and one for the Board of Legislators have already stepped up to the plate to take on Astorino and his anti-choice right-wing legislators who are out of step with Westchester’s women and families.

The three candidates – Noam Bramson, Ken Jenkins, and Bill Ryan – are vying for the opportunity to defeat Rob Astorino and, once again, make Westchester a county were women are treated as equals and all people – regardless of economic circumstance – have the opportunity to succeed. (See below for information on Bramson, Jenkins, and Ryan.)

The candidate for the Board of Legislators, and truly a friend to Choice Matters, is Rachelle “Rocky” Richard, a real fighter that everyone would want in their corner.

Rocky is telling traitor Bernice Spreckman it’s time to pack her bags and go home. Spreckman used Choice to get elected, seeking and getting our endorsement for more than a dozen years; but then, the first time we needed her support, Spreckman voted against women of all ages – she voted against safe access to reproductive health centers for the women of Westchester simply because Astorino told her to. For political expediency, she turned her back on all of us who voted for her, slamming the clinic door in our faces.

In sharp contrast to Spreckman, Rocky is an accomplished professional in government, community and public affairs with more than 25 years of experience. Rocky has successfully organized and managed community engagement as well as grassroots advocacy throughout Westchester. For the past seven years Rocky has served as the Chief of Staff to the Yonkers City Council President.

For those of us who truly care about Choice, Rocky is what we want every candidate to be – proud to stand up for comprehensive reproductive rights.

Meet the Good Guys
Noam Bramson, Ken Jenkins, and Bill Ryan

Three candidates with distinctly different backgrounds

Noam Bramson has served as the Mayor of New Rochelle since January 2006 and was reelected most recently in 2011 with a record-breaking 79% of the vote. Prior to becoming Mayor, Noam served for ten years on the New Rochelle City Council. Since 1992, Noam has worked as an aid to Congresswoman Nita Lowey on both government and political challenges. Noam describes the election as a contest of fundamental values, and on his literature he prominently displays, he stand[s] confidently for a woman’s right to choose, marriage equality, inclusion, and Westchester’s mainstream values.

Ken Jenkins is Chairman of the County Board of Legislators. He won his 16th District legislative seat for a second full term on November 4, 2009. Vowing to restore funding to county programs he called vital and to find creative solutions to the problems the county must face, Ken has pointed out that property taxes and fees for county services have gone up, while our quality of life has gone down, making the point that, Our county government is not doing more with less; it is doing less with less and shifting the burden to you in other ways.

Bill Ryan has served as the County Board Legislator from the 5th District for 15 years, including six as Chairman of the Board. Prior to he County Board, Bill served in the New York State Assembly (91st A.D.). In July, Bill was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties, and continues to serve on NACo’s Large Urban County Caucus where he is one of 35 officials representing over 140 million people in America’s 100 largest counties, on matters before the federal government. Bill is running for County Executive because Westchester has always been a great place to live, [and] for the past three years, the flawed plans, policies and decisions of the county executive have put that greatness in jeopardy. Bill has always been a vocal supporter of comprehensive reproductive rights, declaring he believes a woman’s right to choose is absolute and should not be subject to legislation.

National News

North Dakota Personhood Measure Passes State Senate
Catholic Hospital Takes Surprise Stance in Lawsuit

January 22nd – A Day to Say Thank You

Forty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision, Roe v. Wade. That decision declared that women have the constitutional right to have an abortion. This single court decision has saved the lives of many, many women.

Before you do anything else today, turn to your mother, your grandmother, your aunt, and say, “Thank you. Thank you for fighting so that I may make my own decisions, so that I may have a healthy family if and when I choose to have one.”

Without these brave women and men — the women of J.A.N.E., the clinic escorts, the Dr. Tillers, and so many more — we would not be here to fight another day.

I wish I could tell you we have won and our rights are secure but the fact is that Roe v. Wade only fueled anti-choice extremists in their war against women’s reproductive freedom. These attacks on our rights are frightening: Clinics being bombed; abortion providers disappearing in 87% of the counties in the U.S.; anti-choice legislators fighting to make Kansas the first “abortion-free” state in the nation. Simply watch this video from the Rachel Maddow Show to catch a glimpse of what is playing out on the national stage.

Your support today shows that you understand we must keep fighting.

In New York State we have the opportunity to make history as we did in 1970. In his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Women’s Equality Act, a 10-point plan that would break down barriers to a woman’s full participation in society and advance her health and well-being. A hallmark of this agenda is a state law protecting every woman’s right to choose safe, legal abortion care here in New York, especially if her health is in danger.

But Westchester is not Albany. Right here in Westchester County, we face anti-choice extremist County Executive Astorino who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life. He even vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities. Surrounding himself with seven anti-choice legislators, all of whom voted against safe clinic access, Rob Astorino has brought the War on Women and our Families home to Westchester–and his seven allies are helping him target the most vulnerable. They have cut funding for childcare and afterschool programs that would have enabled women to work; and four of them even voted to cut transportation for seniors. Astorino’s 2013 budget cuts $3 million in county funding to three neighborhood health centers.

Unless we change the make-up of Westchester’s county government their laws and budgets will be the ones we live by. Remember these are the people who do not think women deserve safe access to reproductive health care.

2013 – What Lies Ahead

Wow, what a year 2012 has been. On the one hand, we had pro-choice victories across the country and in New York, with women’s rights candidates winning big. More women will serve in the US Senate in 2013 than ever before. You did this. We did this together.

But on the other hand, there was no time to enjoy our victories. With the elections barely over, zealots in Michigan and Ohio slashed access to birth control and abortion, and passed some of the harshest anti-choice legislation in the country.

Those actions were taken on a state level. On a local level, our rights are also far from safe.

Right here in Westchester County, we are facing very strong opposition to safe, comprehensive health care. Westchester’s local county government is headed by an anti-choice extremist who supports every anti-woman, anti-family idea voiced by former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Westchester’s own County Executive opposes abortion in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.

This County Executive has a great deal of power to adversely impact women’s health care – and he’s determined to do just that. He has already vetoed a bill that would have allowed women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health centers – all of this while cutting funding for childcare, food pantries, afterschool programs, health centers, and much more. (Click here to read Westchester Budget Neglects County’s Most Vulnerable Residents by Rev. Noelle Damico, member of the United Church of Christ Metro Association.)

Take a good look at these budget cuts. They all directly and adversely impact women and the way we can care for ourselves and our families. These cuts are being made by an ideologue, and his cohorts, who claims to care about the fetus, but clearly spurns the child and the woman who raises it.

Unfortunately, County Executive Astorino and his gang of nine have brought the war on women home to Westchester.

We must organize our outrage and prepare now for the 2013 elections. We cannot go backwards again.

This is why I am asking you to make a special end-of-year contribution today. With your support, we will continue to move Westchester, New York, and our nation forward.

Please contribute for our critically needed work in 2013.

WCLA – Choice Matters together with our WCLA PAC are your local pro-choice advocacy organization. We protect women’s rights locally, state-wide, and nationally by making sure we elect pro-choice candidates who will fight for us. Choice Matters and WCLA PAC are the oldest and the only local organizations that send you a voting guide and tell it like it is.

We need your help.
Please, consider contributing today.
Thank you.

Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget

Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget
–Line items may be different but the effect is the same—

Protect the top 2% while trampling on the middle class and working poor, with a bull’s eye being placed squarely on the foreheads of working women.

One week ago, anti-choice County Executive Astorino with the support of nine minions passed a 2013 County budget.

This budget illustrates yet again the true meaning of the right-to-life agenda: care about the fetus when it’s in the womb, and the minute it’s born, it’s on its own. The cuts to Westchester’s public health care and childcare systems are of historic proportion, targeting the most vulnerable and least able to fight back among us.

Four of Choice Matters’ previously endorsed legislators voted with Astorino in support of his anti-woman anti-family budget. By supporting this horrific budget, these four legislators – Virginia Perez (17 CLD), Mike Kaplowitz (4 CLD), Jim Maisano (11 CLD), and Bernice Spreckman (14 CLD) – have publically declared their support for the County Executive’s priorities and his War on Women and our Families.

This is not hyperbole. Their votes to pass the budget rather than to fight for their constituents will have devastating affects on working women and their families.

– Astorino’s Priorities, and those of his minions who voted in support of the budget –

►Astorino clearly thinks protecting your friends and fans’ employment is more important than the good of the County.
Astorino has preserved 56 patronage jobs, at a cost of $5.4 million dollars to tax payers; and he is holding 44 positions vacant should he wish to fill them within the coming year,

while at the same time:
â–ºHe has cut 100 important jobs that serve the residents of Westchester.
Over half of these jobs are in social services, such as social workers and eligibility examiners who help those applying for assistance. The result is that the time between applying, receiving approval, and then actually getting the services, such as food stamps, aid to dependent children, public assistance, etc., will grow exponentially. And, as we all know after the past 5 years, the number of people needing help just simply to feed their families has grown at an unimaginable rate.

The other half of the jobs cut include probation personnel, paralegals, and over 80% of the engineering and architectural staff who are essential to overseeing infrastructure improvements—that means bridges, roadways, waterways, parks, anything and everything.

►Astorino, with the support of Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano and Speckman, cut $3 million dollars in County funding to three neighborhood health centers. Let’s remember who uses the health centers. It is not Astorino and his cronies. It is the ever-growing number of working poor who cannot, just because funding is cut, go somewhere else. Many women rely on these clinics for contraceptives, pap smears, and cancer screenings, among other things. Their children go for check-ups, immunizations, and so much more.

This cut to neighborhood health centers is clearly a politically motivated action by a man who has done nothing to prepare the County for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act which starts to take effect here in Westchester in 2013.

Astorino’s attack on our health care is driven by ideology. Astorino opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life, and vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities.

He opposes the Affordable Care Act and is against recognizing contraceptives as part of preventative care.

By supporting this Paul Ryan-like budget, Virginia Perez and Mike Kaplowitz, as well as Jim Maisano and Bernice Spreckman, have aligned themselves with Astorino’s ideological war on women and our families.

â–ºAstorino, with their support, cut funding for childcare programs that would have enabled women to work. The budget raised the family share for subsidized childcare to unaffordable levels.

The Astorino budget caps the number of Westchester kids ever to be allowed to be served by the Title XX program at a level reached last spring. Title XX is program that helps people earning less than the poverty level to have access to childcare funding. (As I said, Astorino is anti-abortion and anti-child, especially if they are the children of the working poor!)

This nightmarish budget also cut all funding to a program that has provided technical assistance to childcare providers and visits to legally exempt providers so there would be some reliable quality of services. Basically, this program has made facilities safer, and because of this administration, it can’t anymore!

â–ºAstorino, with the support of Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano and Spreckman, cut all the funding to the Food Patch ($72,000) and to the Food Pantry ($72,000).

Women now won’t be able to work because of having no childcare; we won’t be able to access health care in real time; and we won’t be able to feed our families with the help from the pantries which we will now need more than ever because we can’t work without childcare.

This is the ideological agenda that Virginia Perez, Mike Kaplowitz, Jim Maisano and Bernice Spreckman support.

It is time to hold our legislators accountable. All of the County legislators and the County Executive are up for election in 2013. Let’s remind Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano, and Spreckman that we do not vote for traitors!