I hope that you will consider joining me, and our fellow Reform Jews from all over New York State, for ADVOCACY DAY of the REFORM JEWISH VOICE OF NEW YORK STATE, as we lobby our legislators in Albany on MONDAY, MAY 6th. TO REGISTER ONLINE, GO TO RJV ADVOCACY DAY 2013. The two issues on our agenda are outlined below. They are Campaign Finance Reform and the Reproductive Health Act.
The Reform Jewish Movement supports public financing of political campaigns including support for state "clean money" initiatives.
There is a perception that elected officials in New York State are beholden to special interest groups and the campaign contributions these groups make undermine the public’s confidence in the expected impartiality and integrity of the decisions being made by state government officials.
The amount of money raised and spent on campaigns increases with each election cycle.
Campaign finance reform should include:
Reduced allowable campaign contributions that can be accepted by any candidate
A limitation on total campaign spending by any candidate who accepts public financing
A system of partial public funding, similar to the New York City system
A limitation on the amount of personal wealth any candidate who accepts public financing could spend in his/her campaign
Strong disclosure provisions
Penalties for violations sufficient to deter prohibited behavior and ensure compliance
An enforcement body sufficiently empowered and nonpartisan to punish violators efficiently and effectively
The Reproductive Health Act:
Guarantees a woman's ability to make her own personal and private health care decisions to control her own reproductive health in a manner that is best for herself, her family, and her future.
Ensures that a woman will have the right to abortion care if her health is endangered at any time during her pregnancy.
Treats regulation of abortion as an issue of public health and medical practice rather than as a potential crime, by taking abortion out of the New York State penal code.
Provides that abortion care can only be provided by qualified, trained and licensed medical providers acting within their scope of practice.
Guarantees everyone the right to use or refuse contraception.
Updates New York State law by codifying constitutional requirements and removing outdated provi-sions, in order to ensure that women's rights are protected in the future.
All other health care services are regulated through health laws.
Maintains existing "conscience clause" protections.
Seven in ten New York voters, including 70% who identify as Catholic support passage of the Repro-ductive Health Act.
The Reform Jewish movement has an unwavering commitment to the protection and preservation of women's reproductive rights and urges the passage of the Reproductive Health Act.
Every one of us has a personal stake as New Yorkers in these issues. Our legislators need to hear the liberal voice of the faith community. If you are interested in participating, please call me immediately at the temple, 718-638-7600 Ext 2, or E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org . This is our right and responsibility as American citizens. Each one of us can make a difference. I hope you will join me.
-Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman