2017 Endorsements and Ballot Propositions

General Election: Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 (Endorsements listed below Ballot Prop Info)

Remember to turn your ballot over - the propositions are on the BACK of the ballot.

Proposal #1: Constitutional Convention - Vote NO

  • The Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter is urging a NO vote on Prop 1

It's not perfect, but our current New York State Constitution guarantees a lot of crucial protections. One such environmental protection is Forever Wild (Article 14), which protects millions of acres of forests, as well as important streams, rivers, lakes, and other drinking water sources. Our state constitution also guarantees many critical social protections, like collective bargaining, worker rights, and access to public education. All these protections could be compromised with a Constitutional Convention.

While it's easy to point to flaws, the fact of the matter is that we have one of the most progressive state constitutions in the country. A Constitutional Convention risks all of the guaranteed protections, as well as countless other important safeguards and rights we've won through hard-fought legislative battles and ballot measures. Meanwhile, a Constitutional Convention would cost taxpayers millions of dollars that could otherwise be invested in environmental protection programs.

The risk of losing critical environmental and social protections, and the potential for big money and extreme interests to exert undue influence over the process, are among the reasons that the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter opposes a Constitutional Convention and is urging a NO vote on Prop 1. (See Daily News piece by Sierra Club's Roger Downs and Mark Ruffalo on voting No on Prop 1). 

The Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter has joined the Vote No Coalition: New Yorkers Against Corruption. Learn more here.


Proposal #3: Land Bank - Vote YES

  • The Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter is encouraging a YES vote on Prop 3 

The Sierra Club has always staunchly defended Article 14 of New York State’s Constitution, the “forever wild” provision that secures the wildness legacy of the Catskill and Adirondack Parks, and keeps human development out of our most sacred natural areas. It could be argued however, that our fervent defense of Article 14 has sometimes had unintended consequences for the communities living within the “blue line” of New York’s wilderness parks. Many towns and villages surrounded by wilderness are forbidden in many cases from widening unsafe roads to accommodate bicycles, upgrading deficient utilities or repairing derelict bridges and dams, without first going through the process of amending the constitution.

For a municipality to even slightly encroach upon wilderness lands by broadening a narrow road or fortifying a bridge abutment, it needs approval from both houses of the legislature, in two successive legislative sessions and approval by NYS voters on the November ballot. These significant hurdles, while appropriate for major proposed intrusions into the wilderness, are often too costly and time consuming for small but necessary public works projects.

Proposal #3, before the voters on November 7th, seeks to find a reasonable balance between local infrastructure needs and safeguarding New York’s wilderness protections enshrined in the constitution. Proposal #3 seeks to amend Article 14, the “forever wild” provision of the New York State Constitution, by creating a 250-acre “Health and Safety Land Account” to assist local governments in the Adirondacks and Catskills for maintenance and safety of local roads and to expand public utilities, such as broadband, to rural communities within the parks.

Instead of having to go before the legislature and voters in a costly, multi-year process, municipalities would appeal to the DEC with their infrastructure improvement requests. Construction could begin upon completing a public environmental review. The acreage shaved from “forever wild land” protected by article 14 would be transferred to a 250-acre land bank, representing new wilderness to be entered into the preserve. For these projects, local governments will have to demonstrate that no other viable alternative exists and that impacts are minimal. Proposals for major intrusions into wilderness lands will still need a constitutional amendment and go before the voters.

Every year, the State of New York has the opportunity to enter hundreds of acres of once-private land into our state forest preserves and have those ecologically valuable parcels receive constitutional protection. But the prospect of more forever wild land hampering the maintenance of basic municipal infrastructure within the parks has fueled resentment and eroded local support for putting more protected wilderness “on the books.” If a majority of voters approve Proposal #3 on November 7th, it will go a long way to alleviate those local tensions and foster a more unified approach to protecting New York’s wilderness legacy.


Hudson Mohawk (Albany/Capital Region):
Albany City Mayor: Kathy Sheehan
Albany County Leg., Distrct 38: Victoria Plotsky

Iroquois (Syracuse):
Mayor, Syracuse: Juanita Perez-Williams
Onondaga County, District 7: Tom Buckel
Onondaga County, District 17: Linda Ervin
Dewitt, Town Supervisor: Edward Michaelenko

Long Island:
Suffolk County:
District 1: Albert Krupski
District 5: Kara Hahn
District 6: Sarah Anker
District 8: William Lindsay III
District 15: Duwayne Gregory
District 16: Susan Berland
Southhampton Supervisor: Jay Schneiderman
Brookhaven Supervisor: Peter K. VanScoyoc
Huntington Town Supervisor: Tracey Edwards
Huntington Town Council: Mark A. Cuthbertson
East Hampton Supervisor: Peter K VanScoyoc

Nassau County:
Nassau County Executive: Laura Curran
District 15: Michael Sheridan
North Hempstead Supervisor: Judi Bosworth
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor: Joseph Saladino
Oyster Bay Town Council: Eva Pearson
Hempstead Town Supervisor: Anthony Santino

Lower Hudson:
Westchester County Executive: George Latimer
Orangetown Supervisor: Thom Kleiner
Westchester County, District 1: Nancy Vann
Westchester County, District 7: Catherine Parker
Westchester County, District 9: Catherine Borgia
Westchester County, District 12: Mary Jane Shimsky

Mid Hudson:
Town Supervisior - Wawarsing: Leonard Distel
Ulster County - District 4: Lisa Hartmann
Ulster County - District 14: Andrew Zink
Ulster County - District 18: Doug Adams
Ulster County - District 22: Kathy Nolan

Amherst, Town Council: Jacqui Berger
Amherst, Town Supervisor: Brian Kulpa
Grand Island, Town Council: Cyndy Montana
Grand Island, Town Council: Celia Scapone
Niagara Falls, City Council: Andrew Touma

Erie County Legislator, District 4: Kevin Hardwick
Erie County Legislator, District 5: Tom Loughran
Erie County Legislator, District 7: Patrick Burke

Lockport, Town Council: Michelle Roman
Hamburg, Town Council: Matthew Kibler
Concord, Town Council: Jon Hamann
Concord, Town Supervisor: William Krebs
Cheektowaga, Town Council: James Rogowski
Cheektowaga, Town Council: Brian Nowak
Tonawanda, Town Council: Linda Chimera
Tonawanda, Town Council: William Conrad 

City Council District 5: Ben Kallos
City Council District 6: Helen Rosenthal
City Council District 7: Mark Levine
City Council District 15: Ritchie Torres
City Council District 22: Costas Constantinides
City Council District 25: Daniel Dromm
City Council District 26: James Van Bramer
City Council District 30: Elizabeth Crowley
City Council District 31: Donovan J. Richards
City Council District 34: Antonio Reynoso
City Council District 36: Robert Cornegy
City Council District 37: Rafael Espinal
City Council District 38: Carlos Menchaca
City Council District 39: Brad Lander
City Council District 43: John Quaglione
City Council District 45: Jumanne Williams

Mayor, Rochester: Lovely Warren
Rochester City Council - At Large: Mary Lupien

Susquehanna (Binghamton):
Mayor, Binghamton: Tarik Abdelzim