|The party in power is responsible for the priorities and favoritism it extends in the budget.
And those priorities are very questionable. During the last ten years, Local Aid has been cut 27%, which is effectively a 48% cut when adjusted for inflation. Environment & Recreation has been cut by 44%, and Education by 17% with inflation adjustments. Local property taxes are being relied upon to fund more than they were ever designed to fund and they represent an ever-increasing share of our town's budgets. These unsustainable trends were in place even before the economic collapse we are suffering through.
Republican and Democratic governors and legislators have long played variations of the same pay-to-play game, a business-as-usual approach which undermines the health of our communities. The FY 2011 budget was prepared in private by a hand-picked committee. Legislators were given only 24 hours to inspect it before voting on it. Meaningful public input was avoided.
But there is one chance to get them to listen: go into the voting booth on November 2 and vote for someone who isn't part of the system.
Isn't it time for a new party that does not accept the dictates of corporate contributions in its policies? Isn't it time to firmly tip the scales towards a secure green future? The green political approach that I and others represent will be different: fair tax policies that reverse the regressive burden; a rejection of 'trickle down' economics and 'trickle down' health care; direct effective investment in essential public services for communities, individuals, and businesses; responsible and sustainable stewardship of our infrastructure and the environment; promotion of green jobs in local economies, where ownership, wages, and profits are local. These are all within our reach now.
If you agree that it's time for a new party, you can make a little history by voting for me in the 4th Berkshire District or by supporting other Green-Rainbow candidates.