PCDO Resolutions

The PCDO has passed the following resolutions.

Resolution on Princeton University's Financial Contribution to the Community (6/22/08)

Resolution of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization

Whereas, if Princeton University paid property taxes as do other taxpayers, property taxes would be reduced by 24% to Borough taxpayers and by 15% to Township taxpayers; and

Whereas, Princeton University, with an endowment of over $15 billion, owns over 40% of the value of the real property in Princeton Borough and 14% of the value of real property in Princeton Township, and

Whereas, universities were originally exempt from taxes to lower the cost of higher education; and

Whereas, this exemption from property taxes is unfair in the case of wealthy private universities located in communities where high property taxes threaten fiscal and social well-being; and

Whereas, in 2006, if Princeton University were not tax exempt, it would have paid more than $35,000,000 in real property taxes, almost $28,000,000 more than it actually paid in 2006, and

Whereas, such payments from Princeton University to the Princeton community would reduce high property taxes; and

Whereas, Princeton University is constructing new buildings, acquiring property outside its central campus and preparing for the largest expansion in its history; and

Whereas, Princeton University’s expansion diminishes its host municipalities’ ability to depend upon guaranteed tax-paying real property; and

Whereas, other universities have undertaken extensive programs to ensure their host municipalities’ prosperity, thus acknowledging the interdependence of universities and their host municipalities; and

Whereas, Princeton University acknowledges that it, too, has a responsibility to its host municipalities by paying taxes on some of its residential property, and by making an annual payment in lieu of taxes (“PILOT”) to Princeton Borough and Township; and

Whereas, in 2006, the total that Princeton University paid for the municipal share of its property taxes and PILOTs was only $1,816,000 to Princeton Borough and $904,000 to Princeton Township; and

Whereas, in view of Princeton University’s growing endowment, increasing assets, rising income, and expanding physical plant, the University should contribute fairly to Princeton Borough’s and Princeton Township’s annual operating budgets;

Whereas, the Executive Committee of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization passed this resolution on the 1st of March, 2008;

Now, therefore, be it resolved, on this 22nd day of June, that the general membership of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization hereby encourages the Princeton community to:

  1. Engage in a community-wide campaign to remove the unfair real property tax burden on Princeton residents and businesses caused by Princeton University’s insufficient financial support of the Princeton community; and
  2. Urge our local elected representatives to negotiate with Princeton University to substantially increase its financial contribution and thereby provide tax relief to the citizens of Princeton; and
  3. Sign, and distribute for others to sign, a petition addressing these issues for delivery to the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Princeton, the Mayor and Committee of the Township of Princeton, the President and Members of the Princeton Regional School Board, the Mercer County Executive and the Mercer County Board of Freeholders, and the President and the Members of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University.

Approved by the general membership on June 22, 2008

Resolution Supporting Competitive Primary Elections (1/20/08)


Submitted by Anne Reeves, Beth Healey, Chad Goerner, Wendy
Benchley, Dan Preston; Grace Sinden, Jenny Crumiller, Mark Freda, Peter
Lindenfeld, Robert Turoff, Russ Weiss, Tony Cline, Andrew Koontz and Barbara
Trelstad.

WHEREAS, Competitive elections are essential for a healthy,
representative democracy; and

WHEREAS, Non-Competitive elections increase voter apathy,
reduce accountability and cause disillusionment with the Democratic Party; and

WHEREAS, Competitive elections increase voter participation,
increase accountability and lend vitality to the Democratic Party; and

WHEREAS, Competition tends to raise the caliber of the
winning candidates; a benefit to the Democratic Party and to the community; and

WHEREAS, Social dynamics among incumbents, party leaders and
PCDO members can be a powerful force against challenges to the status quo, and

WHEREAS, Voter demographics* virtually assure the election
of Democrats at the local level, and gerrymandering has reduced competitiveness
at the state legislative and congressional level;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the PCDO that we actively
promote competitive primaries within the Democratic Party and within our organization,
facilitating competition with concrete actions and by creating a social climate
where Democratic challengers at all levels are welcomed and encouraged.

* According to June 2007 voter registration records, 74% of
partisan voters in Princeton are Democrats and 26% are Republican

 

Promoting Higher Ethical Standards in Politics and Clean Government Reforms (4/15/07)

Promoting Higher Ethical Standards in Politics and Clean Government Reforms

 

Important “Clean Government” issues currently being debated at the federal, state, county, and local level that Democrats should support include:

Banning Pay-To-Play

-- limitations on awarding public contracts to political campaign contributors or requiring contractors to make contributions in order to become eligible for public contracts.

Campaign Finance Reform

-- Public financing of campaigns.

-- Limitations on size and sources of candidate contributions.

Election Integrity Reform

-- Accurate, tamper-proof machine balloting and tallying, including paper trail verification.

-- Required deployment of sufficient voting stations to ensure that voters in all election districts have an opportunity to vote without burdensome delays.

-- Improved voter registration and voter identification that does not impose discriminatory or burdensome requirements on citizens.

-- Statewide voter registration records (as required by new federal law).

Banning Conflicts of Interest

-- by office holders, staffs, and appointees.

Limiting Nepotism

-- appointment of spouses and other relatives to staffs and other positions. Exceptions should only be acceptable if relative is extraordinarily well qualified.

Banning Dual Office-Holding -- simultaneous election to more than one office at different levels of government, including the collection of multiple salaries and pensions.

Lobbyist Reform

-- registration and activity/finance reporting by government lobbyists.

-- required time gap between office holding or key staff positions and registration as lobbyist.

-- limitations on gifts and travel expense payments to officeholders, members of their staffs or government regulatory officials.

As revised, October 17, 2006

Democratic Party Message: A Challenge to America (2/25/07)

Submitted by the PCDO Identity and Message Committee, Debra Lambo and Peter Lindenfeld, Co-chairs

The Democratic Party Message: A Challenge to America

 

We need all people to be healthy and educated, and to lead productive lives,

and all children and elders to be cared for.

We need a free press, our votes and voices to be heard,

and honest and knowledgeable officials.

We need to work with others in the world,

to have a healthy economy,

to take care of our planet's environment,

and to reduce the widespread violence.

 

The Democratic Party is the party that cares about people.

People are our greatest resource.

We draw people together to solve the urgent problems

of our communities, our country, and the world.

Will we as citizens step up and take on the challenge?

  1. The Iraq War - We must terminate an occupation which costs American as well as other lives and injuries, and which continues to be sold to us with false pretenses. We support a speedy withdrawal of our forces and help for the Iraqis as they rebuild their country.
  2. National Security - Our recent military actions have made us less safe. The threats from international terrorism and from rogue states require a new era of alliances, based on mutual respect and a shared vision. Our national security has to be based on a national and global plan for the prevention of man-made and natural disasters and recovery from them when they occur.
  3. International Relations - Democrats believe that strong international alliances are the cornerstone of our foreign policy. America must stand ready to help those who seek to eliminate violence in the Middle East and elsewhere. A stable peace in the Middle East will be achieved only through negotiation, not through military action. Our strength must again rest on our moral authority.
  4. Health Care - Adequate health care is a fundamental right of all Americans. The current system places unfair burdens on too many Americans, including employers, health care providers, and the uninsured. A public program patterned after the successes of Medicare is needed to cover all Americans.
  5. The Economy - We must reverse the current disparity between the extremely wealthy and all other Americans, and address the challenges of entrenched structural poverty. Among the steps that we advocate are an increased minimum wage, a tax system that asks more, rather than less, from those at the highest income level, a reasonable estate tax, and a reduction of the national debt and its burden on our children and grandchildren.
  6. Education - America's ability to compete in the world economy depends on an educated citizenry. We must provide incentives for more and better education, especially in science, mathematics, literacy, and languages.
  7. Energy and Environment We must protect America's extraordinary natural resources, promote conservation, and invest in technologies that reduce our reliance on oil and other fossil fuels. We must continue to strive for cleaner air and cleaner water, and to protect our National Parks and wilderness areas. Global warming as a result of carbon dioxide and other emissions is a major threat which must be countered by national and international action.
  8. Social Security - The Social Security system must continue to meet its unconditional promise to deliver benefits.
  9. Immigration - Immigration policies must recognize the essential role in our economy of Americans born elsewhere. Our borders must be secure, but legal immigration and access to citizenship must be provided to those who lead productive lives in the U.S.
  10. Open and Ethical Government - The constitution, the bill of rights, and the civil rights laws must be protected and enforced. Elected officials must be answerable to the people whom they represent, and held to the highest standards of honesty. Each vote must be recorded accurately, and be subject to verification. We cannot allow the right to vote and access to the polls to be limited.

 

On the Iraq war

The withdrawal of our troops will enable the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country's future. The presence of foreign troops only exacerbates the country's internal conflicts. American and other lives are too precious to be wasted in a war without end. We must have a clear exit strategy, independent of any undefined and unattainable `victory'. We also ask for strict oversight of American funds appropriated for use in Iraq and elsewhere by private companies.

On National Security

We take great pride in our military defense force. We must not allow its strength to be eroded. War must remain the last weapon when our security is gravely threatened after all other measures have failed.

We need also to strengthen our police systems, and to establish a national plan for action by first responders and police in national emergencies.

Whether or not this is our aim, we have allowed the perception to grow that we are waging a war on Islam, and this has led to an unfortunate decrease in our security. It is imperative that we reverse this trend.

The greatest weapons that we have are our principles and our integrity. We can only lead by being the best that we can be.

On International Relations

Our military strength is a fundamental protection for our country. Its might has caused us to rely on it strongly, but we must not neglect the power of negotiation. We cannot be the police for the whole world, but our strength gives us the opportunity to be `honest brokers'.

On Health Care

The U.S. Health Care System is in crisis. One in six Americans has no medical insurance. Many citizens must choose between paying for medical care and basic necessities. Average spending for health care per person in the U.S. tops that of other developed countries, yet indices of public health in this country, such as life expectancy and infant mortality lag inexcusably. The fraction of resources spent on administration is much smaller for Medicare than in private insurance. We advocate the creation of a system of Medicare for all, financed by a trust fund like that for Social Security.

On the Economy

The U.S. economy has displayed a remarkable increase in worker productivity within the last decade, yet wages of workers and middle class incomes have remained stagnant or declined. The tax laws, as well as other practices, have allowed the rich to become richer, have left a greater fraction of the population to struggle just to stay at the same economic level, and made it more difficult for families with low resources to raise their standard of living. We support laws and regulations that reverse this trend and that protect workers as well as investors.
 

On Education

In the past the U. S. was a leader in science education, but it has now fallen far behind. The achievements of our students in quantitative and general literacy are inadequate. They must be raised if we are to regain our leadership in innovation and technology. We must attract more of our best students to the teaching profession, and invest more in our educational system. Student loans at low interest should be provided directly by the government.
 

On Energy and the Environment

Conservation of our energy resources is the simplest and cheapest way to decrease our reliance on imported oil and other fuels. In addition we must invest more in the development of renewable energy sources. We now know that global warming is a major threat to our civilization. We support measures to reverse the increase in carbon dioxide and other emissions that give rise to this effect. We must also conserve our other natural resources, including clean air and water, and protect the land that we hold in common for the good of future generations.
 

On Social Security

We oppose the privatization of the Social Security system, and the use of the Social Security Trust Fund to finance the national deficit. We favor the abolition of the cap on earnings subject to social security deduction, which unfairly exempts high income earners from our common social obligations.

On Immigration

Raising the minimum wage will encourage American citizens to take on jobs now performed by illegal immigrants. At the same time we can put pressure on governments and companies abroad to improve working conditions and to raise the standards of workers in their countries.

On Open and Ethical Government

A Democratic administration will minimize the use of secrecy in its relation with the general public. It will pay constant attention to the protection of our civil liberties and vigorously enforce the civil rights laws. We believe in a free and open press, and will see to it that the Internet remains equally accessible to all. We support the Geneva Convention which stipulates the rights of war prisoners, and oppose the use of torture or inhuman treatment to anyone in U.S. custody.

A fundamental tenet of our democracy is our right to vote and to have that vote counted. Our voting system must include verification, accountability and accuracy. Democrats will demand and supervise equitable access to polls. We will resist all attempts to legislate voting requirements which under the pretense of avoiding fraud create obstacles to access to the polls. We will demand legislation which modernizes election equipment and guarantees impartiality, legality and honesty in registering and counting every vote cast.

Resolution Supporting Marriage Equality (5-17-09)

 

The following resolution was endorsed by the PCDO at its May 17 general membership meeting.

WHEREAS the PCDO is committed to equality and justice for all people;

WHEREAS the freedom to marry is currently denied same-sex couples under New Jersey state law;

WHEREAS New Jersey’s civil union law has failed to provide the equality to same-sex couples that marriage would provide;

WHEREAS the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, formally appointed by the Governor, identified over 800 inequities that exist towards civil union couples that are accorded to married couples. 

WHEREAS a number of hospitals in New Jersey have refused to let civil union partners visit each other in emergency situations because they’re not married;

WHEREAS a number of employers in New Jersey have denied health care coverage to the civil union partners of employees because they’re not married;

WHEREAS New Jersey’s struggling economy needs the $248 million in revenue that an independent UCLA study says marriage equality would provide New Jersey;

and

WHEREAS Vermont found that its nine-year-old civil union law did not provide equality to same-sex couples, and never would, and has replaced its civil union law with marriage equality;

WHEREAS a clear majority of New Jerseysians recently surveyed say it’s okay for our public officials to change the civil union law to marriage equality* 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PCDO supports legislation to enact marriage equality in the State of New Jersey, and calls on our elected representatives, Senator Shirley Turner, Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, to vote for the marriage equality bill and to be at the forefront of the campaign for its passage.

*59% of New Jerseyians said it was okay for our public officials to change the civil union law to marriage, while 36% said it wasn’t okay. Zogby took the poll of 803 likely New Jersey voters from August 7 through August 11, 2008. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent. Though Garden State Equality commissioned the poll, Zogby collected the data independently.  

Submitted by Walter Bliss, Connie Camner, James Camner, Darlyne Crum, Jenny Crumiller, Jon Crumiller, Hendricks Davis, Piper Harris, Beth Healey, Jim Healey, Virginia Kerr, Shelley Krause, Liz Lempert, Sue Nemeth, Ann Neumann, Eve Niedergang, Dan Preston, Maggie Rose and Scott Weingart.

Resolution on Darfur Genocide (6/18/06)

Submitted by Judy Leopold, Beth Healey, Jim Healey and Jenny Crumiller

The slow reaction of the international community to the savage fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan, especially the brutal campaign against Darfur's tribal people by the janjaweed militias backing the Sudanese government, has been appalling. Sixteen months have gone by since a United Nations commission of inquiry documented the atrocities being perpetrated in Darfur, yet governments continue to calculate the most expedient political alliances and advantages.

Still, citizen pressure is making a difference. International efforts to halt the killings and mass expulsions in Darfur have made some headway, and intense pressures have pushed the Sudanese government and the largest of three rebel militias to accept a shaky peace agreement -- for which credit needs to be given to the Bush administration (especially Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick), the United Nations, and the African Union, all of whom have worked to put together a peace deal that would stop the terrible killing of the Darfurian people.

With the peace agreement signed, the following actions should be implemented:

  1. The UN should immediately establish a UN peacekeeping command, with immediate transfer of existing AU peacekeepers to be under the UN command.
  2. The UN should move immediately to recruit troop contingents from other countries — both from developing countries in Africa and Asia and from NATO countries — to expand that peacekeeping force and make it more militarily capable.
  3. The United States should announce its willingness to participate in the peacekeeping operation with logistical support units (e.g. helicopter and ground transportation, food service, etc.).
  4. Congress should make prompt payment of the US share of the Darfur peacekeeping dues.
  5. European governments and the United States government should immediately redouble their financial support for relief supplies, which have all but dried up in recent weeks.

We call upon the Congress and the President to move swiftly on the items that are within their jurisdiction to decide, and to join other countries in pressing for the items that require international action through the United Nations.

Resolution on Government Ethics (6/18/06)

Submitted by Marvin Reed, Russ Weiss, Anne Reeves and Jenny Crumiller

The Princeton Community Democratic Organization commends the efforts of the New Jersey Legislature and the Governor to reduce corruption in our government by creating a pilot project for public financing of elections. For too long the image of New Jersey has been tarnished by the corrosive effect of special interest money seeking influence on government decisions. Public campaign financing is the single most direct and effective way to deal with this problem. Therefore, it is the view of the PCDO that the New Jersey Citizens' Clean Elections Commission's Final Report of May 8, 2006 should be given priority attention by the state legislature and the Governor. The PCDO supports the expansion of the project as an important milestone on the road to clean elections and clean government in New Jersey.

Additionally, the PCDO urges the governing bodies of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township ban “pay-to-play” campaign contributions at the local level.

 

Resolution on Health Care (6/18/06)

Submitted by Toby Israel, Nancy Hall, Toshi Abe and Lawrence Kane

A Resolution of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization Relating to Health Insurance Reform in the United States.

WHEREAS, The PCDO believes that the current system of tying health insurance to employment is unsustainable; and

WHEREAS, Serious changes need to be made to address the rising costs of medical care and health insurance; and

WHEREAS, It is also unacceptable that, in the richest country in the world, 46 million of its population are uninsured; and

WHEREAS, Health care is an internationally recognized human right, not a privilege

BE IT RESOLVED by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization that we support the creation of a universal health insurance program.



 

Resolution on Impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney (6/10/07)

Submitted by Linda Gochfeld and Mary Ellen Marino Co-chairs, Impeachment Task Force

WHEREAS, George Bush and Dick Cheney, as President and Vice President, have sworn to protect the Constitution of the United States, but instead have acted so as to undermine the Constitution, meeting the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” which Constitutionally justifies impeachment;

WHEREAS, among their offenses are the following:

1. Making false statements to Congress and the American people in order to justify the Iraq War;
2. Invading a country which was not a threat to the U.S., incurring great and ongoing destruction of life, the loss of international support, and increased threat to our security;
3. Violating the Constitution and international law by imprisoning people arbitrarily and secretly without trial, and subjecting these prisoners to abuse and torture;
4. Subverting the Constitution and abusing Presidential authority by asserting a “Unitary Executive” principle of unlimited presidential powers, using “signing statements” to disobey hundreds of laws passed by Congress, and promulgating “counter-terrorist” laws which violate civil liberties;
5. Performing electronic surveillance of US citizens without court approval, violating the law;
6. Involvement directly or indirectly in widespread election irregularities, raising serious questions about the validity of their election and reelection;
7. Failing to enforce laws of fiduciary responsibility; allowing major corruption in military contracting, (e.g. no-bid contracts with Halliburton, Cheney's previous employer); failing to enforce laws protecting the environment, workers and consumers; and regularly appointing officials who are unqualified, either by virtue of experience or conflict of interest, thereby risking public safety and welfare as in Hurricane Katrina.

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party is the only organized opposition party in the United States, and thus has a special obligation to take a strong position in the face of these clearly recognized abuses by the Republican Administration;

WHEREAS, Democratic Parties in thirteen (13) states and numerous localities have now passed resolutions to support the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for these offenses;

WHEREAS, since these actions pose an imminent threat to our Constitutional rights, democracy and the rule of law, they must be addressed immediately by the strongest possible means, i.e. impeachment proceedings. If these crimes are allowed to continue unchecked, the future of democracy in America will be seriously damaged;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Princeton Community Democratic Organization supports Congressional action that will lead to the impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney for their offenses against the US Constitution and the American people.

Resolutions Supporting Criminal Justice Reform Legislation in NJ and US (11/22/09)

 
 
NEW JERSEY SECOND CHANCE  LEGISLATION:   PROPOSED  RESOLUTION
Approved by the membership on November 22, 2009 
 
 
WHEREAS, more than three decades of “get tough” policies have made the United States the world leader in incarceration but with no 
demonstrable gains in public safety; 
 
WHEREAS in New Jersey one out of every 35 adults  is under correctional supervision (either in prison, in jail, or on probation or parole) at a cost of more than $45,000 per prisoner for a budgeted amount of more than $1.5 billion dollars in fiscal year 2009; 
 
WHEREAS New Jersey now imprisons a higher percentage of non-violent drug offenders than any other state;   
 
WHEREAS people of color make up 83% of New Jersey's prison population but only 28% of the general population;
 
WHEREAS the average New Jersey prisoner is a high school dropout with a 6th grade reading level and a 5th grade math level, but only 2% of the corrections budget is devoted to education and job training; 
 
WHEREAS more than two-thirds of the 18,000 people released yearly from New Jersey’s prisons will be re-arrested within three years, reflecting prisons that do not rehabilitate, post-release penalties that impair job opportunities, and parole programs that fail to adequately support re-entry into society; 
 
WHEREAS studies have shown that alternatives to incarceration, including drug courts and community-based programs, cost less, improve public safety by significantly reducing crime rates, and free up taxpayer funds for investment in education and infrastructure; and
 
WHEREAS, New Jersey lawmakers, under the leadership of Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman, have introduced criminal justice reform measures designed to promote alternatives to incarceration, increase educational programs in prisons, eliminate barriers to re-entry, promote greater accountability in correctional practices, increase investment in community-based corrections, and create programs that strengthen families and respond to the specific needs of imprisoned women and mothers; 
 
NOW, THEREFORE, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization, believing that this legislation represents a constructive and long overdue response to the inequities, inefficiencies, and human costs of our current correctional practices, hereby expresses its support for these reforms, encourages our lawmakers to work vigorously for their passage, and encourages our lawmakers to continue to seek ways to improve the fairness and effectiveness of our criminal justice system. 
   
 
 
  PROPOSED RESOLUTION: SUPPORTING NATIONAL CRIMINAL
              JUSTICE COMMISSION ACT OF 2009, S. 714
 
WHEREAS the United States has 5% of the world's population but now houses 25% of the world's reported prisoners; imprisons
four times as many people with mental illness as are treated in psychiatric hospitals; has increased the imprisonment of drug offenders by 1200% since 1980; has reduced educational and rehabilitation programs available to prisoners; and has imposed restrictions and barriers on former prisoners that make it difficult them to find housing and employment so they can become productive members of society;  and
 
WHEREAS most people we imprison return to our communities,but more than half will be re-arrested within three years of release, reflecting a system that fails victims, families, offenders,and communities, and compromises public safety; and
 
WHEREAS mass imprisonment of illegal drug users, in particular,  has not curtailed drug use but has spawned transnational criminal activity, much of it directed by violent gangs and cartels; and 
 
WHEREAS the irregularities and inequities in our criminal justice system fall disproportionately on people who are poor, mentally ill, or members of minority groups, thereby disserving our country's commitment to fairness and equality under the law; and  
 
WHEREAS the current state of our criminal justice system cries out for careful study and re-examination; and
 
WHEREAS, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009, S.714 introduced by Senator Jim Webb in March 2009, will create a commission to undertake an 18-month searching review of the system with the goal of proposing reforms designed to responsibly reduce the overall incarceration rate; improve federal and local responses to international and domestic gang violence; restructure our approach to drug policy; improve the treatment of mental illness; improve prison administration; and establish a system to improve the re-integration of ex-offenders; and 
 
WHEREAS, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization believes this legislation provides an overdue response to issues of high importance to our community, to the state of New Jersey, and to the nation and accordingly believes that S. 714 deserves support,
 
THEREFORE, the PCDO respectfully resolves and encourages Senator Frank Lautenberg and Senator Robert Menendez to add their names to the Senate sponsors of S. 714. and to work vigorously to secure its passage.
 
Submitted by the Criminal Justice Committee, Virginia Kerr, chair; Beth Healey, Scotia MacRae, Mary Ellen Marino, Dan Preston, Jenny Crumiller and Mary Stevens
 
 

Resolution Supporting Legislation for Resident Immigrant Tuition Equity (Oct 2013)

PCDO Resolution

Supporting Legislation for Resident Immigrant Tuition Equity

A4225, S2479, and A3162

WHEREAS, currently first generation immigrants who are New Jersey residents, but are not U.S. citizens, are treated as foreigners and must pay out-of-state tuition to attend public institutions of higher education; and

WHEREAS, second-generation immigrants who were born in the U.S. and hold an American citizenship, but whose parents are not in the U.S. legally, are treated as foreigners and are denied financial aid even if they otherwise qualify for it; and

WHEREAS, out-of-state tuition to New Jersey colleges and universities is considerably higher than in-state tuition; for example Cumberland County Community College charges out-of-state students over three (3) times the in-state tuition rate; Rutgers University charges more than twice as much; and

WHEREAS, under A4225/S2479 (called the Tuition Equality Act), student applicants must demonstrate their residency by having attended a New Jersey high school for at least three years; and 

WHEREAS, under A3162 (called the Higher Education Citizenship Equality Act), U.S. citizen children of unauthorized parents residing in New Jersey will be eligible for state financial aid on  the same terms as other NJ residents, regardless of their parents’ immigration status; and

WHEREAS, it is inherently unfair to exclude young people who are raised as Americans and are New Jersey residents, from educational opportunity solely on the basis of their or their parents immigration status; and

WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of all New Jerseyans that all New Jersey resident students who excel academically and want to pursue higher education be given the same opportunities as all other New Jersey residents regardless of their immigration status; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that except for those among us who are Native Americans, we are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants; and

WHEREAS, young immigrants are New Jersey's future; without immigrants and their children New Jersey would experience loss of population and a shrinking economy; and by acquiring a higher education immigrants and the children of immigrants will have higher paying jobs and  thus pay higher taxes, increasing State and Federal revenues; and

WHEREAS, most of these young people are bilingual and will reinforce the state's competitiveness in an increasingly global economy, and

WHEREAS, the NJ President’s Council, on behalf of all the presidents of the state’s colleges and universities, has adopted a resolution in support of this legislation, and.

WHEREAS, 15 states have passed similar bills: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon,  Texas, Utah, and Washington State.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

That the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) supports the provision of in-state tuition to students who have attended high school in New Jersey for at least three years, and graduated, and who file to legalize their immigration status, regardless of the status of their parents, as well as access by these students to financial aid for which they otherwise qualify; and

That the PCDO supports the passage of A4225, S2479, and A3162 as amended; and

That the PCDO is very aware of the social, cultural and economic contributions of immigrants and the importance of integrating them into the social and economic fabric of our community; and

That the PCDO has concluded that it is important to the economy to provide equitable access to higher education to young immigrants raised and educated in the U.S; and

That the PCDO believes that an educated population is better prepared to be a productive population rather than a burden to society; and

That copies of this resolution are to be distributed to state and local leaders and agencies, including the Governor, State Legislative Officials, the Mayor of Princeton and Princeton Council, and the Princeton Public Schools Board, as listed below.

Dated Passed by Executive Board:  September 7, 2013_____  

Date Passed by Membership: _________________________       

        

_______________________________________

Jon Durbin, President

Princeton Community Democratic Organization

 

Governor Chris Christie

Senator Kip Bateman

Assemblyman Frank Ciatarelli

Assemblywoman Donna Simon

 

Mayor Liz Lempert

Members of the Princeton Council

            Bernie Miller, President

            Jo Butler

            Jenny Crumiller

            Heather Howard

            Patrick Simon

            Lance Liverman

 

Judy Wilson, Superintendent, Princeton Schools District

Members of the Princeton Schools Board

            Tim Quinn, President

            Andrea Spalla

            Dorothy Bedford

            Molly Chrein

            Dan Houghton           

            Afsheen Shamsi

            Rebecca Cox

            Martha Land

            Patrick Sullivan

Evelyn Spann

Adam Ainslie

KC Reed-Fischer

Resolution on Iran Nuclear Deal (Feb 2015)

 

Passed by the PCDO membersip on  February 8, 2015

 

Resolution on Iran

 

WHEREAS recent diplomatic efforts by the Obama Administration to find common ground with the government of Iran have been making progress toward reducing tensions and lowering the risk of nuclear proliferation; and

 

WHEREAS imposition of additional sanctions by the U.S. government on Iran at this stage would undermine those efforts; and

 

WHEREAS leaders of both parties should be supporting the Obama Administration’s initiatives on Iran for the benefit of the American people and in the interests of promoting peace

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Princeton Community Democratic Organization supports the Obama Administration’s recent efforts to seek peaceful solutions with the government of Iran, and urges our elected representatives to support those efforts.

Resolution on Cuba Embargo (Feb 2015)

Passed at the PCDO February 22nd, 2015 general membership meeting.

 

Resolution on Cuba

 

WHEREAS a half century of embargoes and attempted isolation of Cuba by the U.S. government have not achieved the stated aims of the policies; and

 

WHEREAS the Obama Administration’s recent actions to lower barriers with Cuba will benefit the people of Cuba and of the United States; and

 

WHEREAS leaders of both parties should be supporting the Obama Administration’s initiatives on Cuba for the benefit of the American people and in the interests of promoting peace

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Princeton Community Democratic Organization supports the Obama Administration’s recent efforts to improve relations with the government of Cuba, and urges our elected representatives to support those efforts.

Resolution Supporting Formation of the Witherspoon–Jackson Historic District (Jan 2016)

PCDO Resolution 

Supporting Formation of the Witherspoon–Jackson Historic District

 

WHEREAS the Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) Neighborhood has a compelling legacy that we should never forget in acknowledging the inhumanity of slavery and segregation; and

WHEREAS the formation of a Historic District will preserve this legacy by maintaining the structures, character, and streetscape of the W-J Neighborhood, augmenting the physical and cultural viability of a neighborhood that has been the home for generations of African-Americans since the 18th century, and later also a home for immigrants chiefly from Italy and Ireland, and most recently from Latin American countries; and 

WHEREAS present action is required to preserve the physical representation of the fundamental legacy of Princeton’s African-American community (as well as its Italian-American history) so that it is not lost forever, since the buildings and their distinctive porches are the memory-bank of a close-knit community that has survived through struggle and cohesion that is unique, nationally; and 

WHEREAS the formation of the W-J Neighborhood has been recommended by Wise Preservation Planning LLC, which was commissioned by the Princeton Historic Preservation Commission(HPC) to study the neighborhood and make recommendations; and

WHEREAS this neighborhood was found in 1994 by the State Historic Preservation Office (DHPO) to be eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places; and

WHEREAS a historic district keeps the existing zoning designations in place; and 

WHEREAS a historic district protects the character and scale of existing homes, and 

WHEREAS a Type II designation for a historic district allows not only for the preservation of the neighborhood but for renovation flexibility for its homeowners; and 

WHEREAS routine maintenance that does not change the house’s appearance from the street is  permissible without HPC review, and the HPC will work with the homeowner to find less expensive alternatives for more extensive alterations; and

WHEREAS the creation of a historic district will discourage “tear-downs,” and the HPC will work with the owner to suggest alternatives that might save the structure and still accomplish the goal of the owner to improve the structure; and 

WHEREAS a historic district, while not a “neighborhood association,” can nevertheless help to create community pride and a sense of unity in bringing diverse people together for a common purpose; and

WHEREAS developers and architects alike can participate in preserving the neighborhood’s critical important legacy, while still moving forward with creative projects; and 

WHEREAS a review of recent teardowns of historic structures in the neighborhood creates a genuine urgency for immediate action.

 

Now therefore be it resolved by the PCDO that: 

 

The Princeton Historic Preservation Commission and the Princeton Council should

  1. unanimously adopt the Wise report and the general historic district boundaries that it recommends; and 
  2. make a determination to adopt Type II Preservation Criteria; and

 

further, that the Princeton Council should move forward quickly to adopt an ordinance that will legally constitute the formation of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Historic District; and further, that the Secretary of the PCDO will forward a copy of this signed resolution, once it has been voted upon by both the PCDO Executive Committee and by the General Membership, to the Mayor and the Members of the Princeton Council, to the Chairperson and Members of the Princeton Historic Commission, and to the Chairperson and Members of the Princeton Regional Planning Board.

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PCDO Witherspoon-Jackson Resolution.pdf110.35 KB

Resolution Urging Implementation of Verified Voting for Mercer County (Jan 2016)

PCDO Resolution

Urging Implementation of Verified Voting for Mercer County

 

WHEREAS, numerous studies have documented failures and weaknesses of electronic voting systems, including the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Report GAO-05-956; and

 

WHEREAS, Princeton University Professor Andrew Appel has conducted research and gave expert testimony in court and to the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) membership that the Sequoia voting machines used by Mercer county are vulnerable to multiple forms of tampering and infection with vote stealing software; and

 

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey certified for the first time in 2015 voting systems that have a voter-verified paper record;

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

 

That the members of the PCDO respectfully urge the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and County Executive to include funding for new voting systems with a voter-verified paper record in the 2016 Mercer County budget; and That the PCDO asks that the Mercer County Executive, Clerk, Board of Elections, and Superintendent of Elections being planning for and procurement of the new voting systems begin as soon as they are budgeted, and that they be in operation county-wide before the June 2017 primary election; and That copies of this resolution are to be distributed to all relevant Mercer County officials.

 

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PCDO Verfied Voting Machine Resolution.pdf528.64 KB
resolution-on-verified-voting.pdf57.71 KB

Resolution in Support of a $15/hours NJ Minimum Wage (Jan 2016)

PCDO RESOLUTION 

IN SUPPORT OF $15/HOUR NJ MINIMUM WAGE 

AND RIGHTS OF WORKERS TO ORGANIZE

 

A RESOLUTION relating to the movement for a real living wage; calling for a statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour for work performed in New Jersey; and in support of the right of workers to organize. 

 

WHEREAS, inequalities continue to grow with the top 1% now taking 95 percent of all new income and President Barack Obama calling income inequality the “defining issue of our time.”

 

WHEREAS, the Fight for $15 movement began in 2012 with the walk out of fast food workers in New York City, but has since grown to include the demand for a real living wage for all and has taken root in communities across New Jersey and the United States.

 

WHEREAS, the movement to raise pay for workers, boost their purchasing power of the community, and strengthen the economy has inspired a renewed wave of union organizing among low wage workers.

 

WHEREAS, the New Jersey minimum wage of $8.38 an hour is a poverty wage for a single adult. Yet, three-fourths of those working at the currentminimum wage are over 20 years old and the majority are the sole providers for their families. 

 

WHEREAS, in 2015, Governor Christie has seen fit to raise the salary of his staff by 23%, despite opposing an even modest increase for New Jersey’s low wage workers.

 

WHEREAS, many workers and their families cannot fully participate in our state’s dynamic civic life or pursue the myriad educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities that constitute a flourishing life because many struggle to meet their households' most basic needs; now therefore, be it 

 

RESOLVED, that the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) hereby supports a minimum hourly wage of $15.00 and the right of workers to organize, and calls upon the New Jersey State Legislature and the New Jersey State Governor to immediately implement legislation aimed at this objective; and, be it further 

 

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be presented to Governor Christie; Senate President Sweeney; Assembly Speaker Prieto; Members of the NJ 16th District Legislative Delegation; Members of the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders; and the Mayor and Members of Council of Princeton, NJ.

 

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PCDO Minimum Wage Resolution.pdf703.32 KB