AQE and Working Families respond to IDC’s ‘Call The Roll’ video

Stephon Johnson | 5/25/2017, 12:44 p.m.
After being accused of halting progress of Democrats in Albany, the Independent Democratic Conference released a video to prove they ...
New York State Capitol Wikipedia

After being accused of halting progress of Democrats in Albany, the Independent Democratic Conference released a video to prove they support a liberal agenda.

“There’s been much information and grandstanding concerning on where the Independent Democratic Conference stands on key progressive issues,” said New York State Senator Jeff Klein in the video, where all who speak call for the 32 Democratic votes needed to push their agenda through.

“The Independent Democratic Conference is the only conference whose members are 100 percent pro-choice,” said New York State Senator Diane Savino. She also said that in the era of President Donald Trump, women need more protection now more than ever and said, “We need 32 votes to codify a woman’s right to choose and makes decisions about her own reproductive health.”

“Education is the hallmark of our democracy,” said New York State Senator Jose Peralta in the video. “And children who come to this country in search of their dream deserve every opportunity to succeed. The education of our children cannot stop after high school. Let’s make the DREAM Act a reality.”

But some aren’t buying the IDC’s video. Higher ups at the Alliance for Quality Education noticed something missing from the education agenda expounded upon by Peralta.

“The IDC is right,” said AQE Executive Director Billy Easton in an emailed statement. “We should call the roll, and when it comes to our public schools, the roll shows that the IDC has already failed. Any mention of K-12 education was noticeably absent in the IDC’s video, clearly because every member of the IDC voted against fully funding our public schools during state budget negotiations.”

Easton continued, “The IDC chose to join their Republican coalition partners and failed to fully fund the billions in foundation aid owed to our public schools as a result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. While underfunding our public schools, they voted for a large funding increase for privately run charter schools. Enough with the videos and the press releases already. The students of New York State need the IDC to rejoin the Democrats in the Senate and to stop blocking full and fair funding for our public schools.”

Working Families Party Director Bill Lipton told the AmNews that although it looks good on the surface, what the IDC puts out to the public means nothing if legislation isn’t passed in Albany.

“It’s good to see IDC members voicing support for critical progressive issues,” said Lipton in a statement sent to the AmNews. “But whether we can pass them depends on whether Democrats from both conferences can unite to build a functional progressive majority. As long as Trump’s Republican Party controls the state Senate, that will be impossible. We repeat our call on the IDC to immediately end their outrageous alliance with Senate Republicans and align with the Democrats.”