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🗳 Protest the BOE today 1pm / Block Party / Elect Marketa Edwards

Dear Mayor Madden
Dear Mayor Madden
Hello friends,
There is a critical situation regarding early voting in Rensselaer County. We are asking residents to join us for a protest at the Board of Elections TODAY June 11 at 1pm.
WHERE: Rensselaer County Board of Elections, 1600 7th Ave, Troy NY, 12180
WHEN: Today Friday, June 11, 2021 at 1pm
More on this protest below, as well as:
  • Recap on police radio encryption
  • Block Party this Saturday
  • Help Elect Marketa Edwards to City Council

more info:
more info:
Fight Against Voter Suppression In Rensselaer County
If you cannot join us in person, call the Board of elections at 518-270-2990 and tell them to STOP suppressing the vote in Troy Use all media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, etc. Call the media like Ken Crowe, TU, The Record. TELL THEM TO ADD ACCESSIBLE VOTING SITE(S) IN TROY AHEAD OF EARLY VOTING (which begins SATURDAY).
NY State Law mandated early voting in 2019. Further, an amendment was passed that stated at least one polling location must be located in the most populous city in the county. For Rensselaer County, this is Troy.
Earlier this month, the Attorney General sued Rensselaer County for not having a voting site located in Troy proper. The closest poll is the Armenian Church which is NOT accessible particularly via public transportation. Who does this impact? Those dependent on public transportation, those working long hours, those with children, and particularly Black, brown, working class, and poor voters.
The result of the Attorney General lawsuit: The judge deemed that the Board’s decision making was capricious, arbitrary, and unacceptable.
Unity House and Bethel Baptist Church were both proposed and would work particularly for accessibility and public transportation. Both the Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Jason Schofield and Democratic Commissioner Edward G. McDonough pushed back on this location.
The story is twisty, but here is the summary: the case was decided in favor of the AG, then the BOE filed an appeal after having been directed to submit a new plan. They were granted a stay, the AG appealed the stay and requested an emergency hearing, and at that hearing the court decided against the AG and kept the stay in place. For the purposes of the primary election, early voting will proceed tomorrow at the 3 locations currently listed on the BOE website, deemed by the State Supreme Court to be too remote and not providing equitable access.
This fight is not over! The BOE of Rensselaer County has refused to establish an early voting site in the heart of downtown Troy. They’re fighting hard to suppress the votes of working Trojans and it is up to us to show up, call in, email, text, tweet so that they hear from the public loud and clear.
Who does this impact?
Not having an accessible site for early voting impedes voters with children, voters with jobs, voters dependent on public transport, and particularly Black, brown, working class, and poor voters. This is a Voter’s Rights issue.
Who does it benefit to not have early voting?
We need to ask why they keep fighting the obvious—having a polling site in or near the center of Troy just makes sense! BUT candidates have banked on keeping these voters away from the polls. Democrats who want to keep out progressive Democrats. Conservative candidates. Folks like Steve McLaughlin (who is County Exec and running again for County Exec) to keep voters away who might prefer to vote for Gwen Wright.
Press release and more info:
Recap on police radio encryption
Here is a quick recap on Troy PD radio encryption: City Council held the first Public Safety Meeting of 2021, then in the following Regular Meeting voted down an amendment from Council Rep Anasha Cummings to condition turning on the police radio encryption on transparency and oversight safeguards.
Because Police Chief Owens was not at the meeting, the Mayor and several reps argued that those safeguards in the amendment should be voted on as their own legislation in a subsequent meeting. Then City Council proceeded to approve the DHS equipment funding without any of the amendment’s safeguards. Rep Cummings directly asked Mayor Madden to commit to ensuring the police wait on encrypting their comms until the legislation could be voted on, but also said “we’re not going to encrypt while we’re working on it, we don’t work in bad faith.”
Later in that same meeting, Rep Sue Steel swung the vote to approve another resolution making City Council the SEQR Lead Agency on the 1011 2nd Ave development proposal, against “universal opposition” as Rep Ken Zalewski described it. It was a doubly disappointing evening!
Block Party this Saturday
The Kiani Conley-Wilson and Marketa Edwards campaigns are throwing a joint block party in South Troy this Saturday. Come on out and meet the progressive candidates for City Council Districts 5 and 6 IRL. Hope to see you there, and please bring food to share if you can!
Kiani for Troy
Next Saturday, join @MarketaForTroy and me for a joint campaign block party!
We'll be talking with folks, sharing literature and voting info, and featuring tabling from a number of community groups. Plus, food, drinks, and music for a fun afternoon!
Help Elect Marketa Edwards to City Council
This is Dan Phiffer assembling this newsletter and I would like to encourage you to get involved in electing more progressive City Council reps. Because I am working on the Marketa Edwards campaign, I am going to share some ways you can help our campaign to win City Council District 6.
Here’s how you can help.
  1. First of all, make sure you vote in the primary. What is your plan to vote? Will you take advantage of one of the three disputed early voting locations June 12-20, or if you’re gonna wait until Primary Day on June 22. Put it on a calendar, then get out and vote.
  2. Make sure your friends and family vote. The research I’ve read says that the most effective thing that works turning people out at the polls is an SMS message from someone they know personally that includes the phrase “what is your plan to vote?” Take a few minutes and think about who could use a little nudge.
  3. Volunteer to canvass with Marketa or Kiani. In District 6 we have hundreds more doors to knock and we’re ramping up our canvassing operation. As Zhenelle LeBel put it: “If you aren’t sure knocking on doors is right for you, I can admit I felt the same and it took just one shift canvassing with Marketa to change my mind! There is nothing quite like meeting neighbors and seeing their enthusiasm for Marketa’s message. I am excited to do it again!”
  4. Donate to Marketa’s campaign. Any amount is welcome, every amount helps. Our campaign is funded by small donors like you, so please consider this as a way to show your support if you can afford it.
Naturally there are other progressive campaigns this election cycle that could also use your help, like Kiani Conley-Wilson‘s or D. Colin Charlestin’s or Gwen Wright’s County Executive campaign. The races in this election will likely be decided by vanishingly small number of votes, so your efforts here have real impact!
And because of election law, I need to include this text: Paid for by Marketa Edwards for Troy.
Hope to see you in the streets tomorrow, or at the block party on Saturday!
Dan Phiffer
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Dear Mayor Madden
Dear Mayor Madden

We are here to hold you to doing better, to support you in doing better, in understanding that all lives can’t matter until Black lives truly matter.

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