Darin Robbins for Corning Alderman
For campaign updates on Darin Robbins' campaign for Mayor of Corning, visit the campaign Facebook page.

Model Legislation for Corning

Proposed by Darin Robbins, 2015 Candidate for Mayor, City of Corning

Bill of Rights Defense Resolution
City Referendum
Community Bill of Rights
Cooperative Business Act
Participatory Budgeting

Bill of Rights Defense Resolution

WHEREAS: The City of Corning is sworn to defend the constitutional rights of all persons in the community, and determined to further the free exercise and enjoyment of all the rights guaranteed by the Constitutions of the State of New York and the United States, and;

WHEREAS: Several state and federal statutes and executive orders including the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), Homeland Security Act of 2002, Military Commissions Act of 2006, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (H.R. 6304), and National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 now threaten such fundamental rights and liberties as freedom of speech, religion and assembly, the right to privacy, due process in judicial proceedings, equal protection of the laws, and protection from unreasonable search and seizure, now therefore be it

RESOLVED: That the City of Corning will affirm the primacy of the Bill of Rights in our society and that as a document it and the Constitution exists above all other laws enacted in the United States.

RESOLVED: That the City of Corning will instruct Corning law enforcement officers and all other City employees to preserve all the above mentioned rights for all persons by refraining from acting in a manner which infringes upon those freedoms and rights, even if authorized or requested to do so by federal or state law enforcement officials alleging authority under the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), Homeland Security Act of 2002, Military Commissions Act of 2006, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (H.R. 6304), and National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

RESOLVED: That the City Council urges all elected officials who represent the City of Corning to monitor the implementation of the above mentioned Acts and actively work for the repeal of those provisions which violate the fundamental rights and liberties stated in the Constitution of the United States and the State of New York.

RESOLVED: That the City Clerk shall communicate this resolution to all the elected representatives of the City of Corning in the Steuben County Legislature, the New York State Legislature, and the United States Congress, to the Governor and Attorney General of the State of New York, the United States Attorney General and the President of the United States.

City Referendum

WHEREAS: Democracy is the most vital component of our republic, having the potential to prevent our system of political representation from becoming an oligarchy. In the United States there is a long history of local direct democracy that has empowered the lives of citizens, and;

WHEREAS: Systems of direct democracy created and sustained by local communities practice principles of self-management, self-determination, and decentralization of power. Self-management avoids situations where one person or group has control over others. Self-determination allows individuals to make decisions on policies and action that directly affect them. Decentralization of power insures that decisions are made at the most direct and local level, and;

WHEREAS: Other States and communities have already established various types of direct democracy through systems of initiative and referendum, now therefore be it

RESOLVED: A referendum system shall be established where initiatives supported by city residents shall be placed on the ballot for a general election. Initiatives shall be presented with petitions carrying the signatures of residents who are registered voters in the city. Petitions having signatures of at least 2% of the number of city voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election shall be presented to the City Council for either outright passage or approval to be placed on the next general election ballot. Petitions having signatures of at least 5% of the number of city voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election shall be automatically placed on the next general election ballot. The petitions must be collected in the same year as the intended general election ballot, and shall be submitted 45 days before the general election. The City Council, or committee appointed by the City Council, shall oversee the design of the petitions, their availability, and their inspection upon submission.

Community Bill of Rights

WHEREAS: This local law is enacted pursuant to the inherent right of the residents of the City of Corning to govern and protect their own community. This includes, without limitation, the Declaration Of Independence’s statement that governments are instituted to secure the rights of people, and the New York Constitution’s recognition that “all power is inherent in the people”, and;

WHEREAS: This local law, among other things, confirms and reaffirms a Bill Of Rights which recognizes and secures certain civil and political rights of the residents of the City of Corning to govern themselves and protect themselves from harm to their persons, property, and environment, and;

WHEREAS: New technologies are being deployed in other states, and are likely to be attempted to be used within the City of Corning, to extract natural gas and oil through processes known as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, now therefore be it

RESOLVED: This local law establishes and codifies a set of rights in regards to the City of Corning, its residents, and its environment or ecosystems. These rights are:

1. Right To Water: All residents, natural communities, and ecosystems in the City of Corning possess a fundamental and inalienable right to maintain the sustainable access, use, consumption, and preservation of water drawn from natural water systems, springs, and wells that provide water necessary to sustain life within the city.

2. Rights Of Natural Communities: Ecosystems and natural communities possess the right to exist and flourish within the city. The residents of the City of Corning have the inalienable right to enforce and defend those rights to protect all ecosystems including, but not limited to, wetlands, streams, rivers, aquifers, and other water systems within the City of Corning.

3. Right To Self-Government: All residents of the City of Corning possess the fundamental and inalienable right to a form of governance where they live which recognizes that all power is inherent in the people, that all free governments are founded on the people’s authority and consent, and that neither individuals nor corporate entities and their directors and managers shall enjoy special privileges or powers under the color of state law which purports to make community majorities subordinate to them.

4. People As Sovereign: The City of Corning shall be the governing authority responsible to, and governed by, the residents of the city. The people at all times enjoy and retain an inalienable and indefeasible right to self-governance in the community where they reside.

5. Rights As Self-Executing: All rights delineated and secured by this local law shall be self-executing and these rights shall be enforceable against individuals, corporations, and governmental entities.

RESOLVED: This local law bans the commercial extraction of natural gas and oil, using the process commonly known as hydraulic fracturing, and further bans horizontal gas well drilling within the City of Corning. Those forms of extraction violate the civil rights of residents of the City of Corning by posing a direct and immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of residents within the City of Corning.

Cooperative Business Act

WHEREAS: Worker cooperatives follow the seven cooperative principles as best they are able. These principles are:

1. voluntary and open membership

2. democratic member control

3. member economic participation

4. autonomy and independence

5. education, training, and information for members and the public

6. cooperation among cooperatives

7. concern for community

WHEREAS: The operational requirements of cooperatives are defined in IRS statutes and regulations. The key requirements are subordination of capital, democratic control by members, and patronage distribution. Subordination of capital is defined as equity holding does not confer control or economic rights and that members receive economic benefits on the basis of what they do instead of what they own. Democratic control by members is defined as one member gets one vote. Patronage distribution is defined as the coop members are rewarded in direct proportion to their work contribution, and;

WHEREAS: The benefits of cooperatives to the community are numerous. There is an advancement of local economic stability and an increase of local circulation of capital, thereby increasing economic multipliers and the impact of community investment to spur locally oriented economic growth. There is also the developing, attracting, and anchoring of new productive capital in low income areas and neighborhoods. Finally, there is the expansion of investment opportunities and asset creation for low and moderate income residents, now therefore be it

RESOLVED: That the Corning Economic Loan Fund will be amended in the following ways:

Under section III. entitled “General Requirements And Terms”, add “All economic development loans must be made for cooperative businesses or other businesses that have employee ownership and democratic control.”.

Under section IV. entitled “Specific Loan Requirements”, section A. entitled “Economic Loans”, and the section entitled “Requirements”, add:

1. The business must operate as a worker owned and worker governed cooperative business and be defined as such in its articles of incorporation and/or bylaws.

2. At least 2 members of the cooperative must be Corning, New York residents.

3. Its principal place of business must be in Corning.

RESOLVED: That the Corning City Council, Corning Mayor, and Corning City Manager will actively work to help the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency to incorporate similar requirements for cooperative businesses in their policies of business development.

Participatory Budgeting

WHEREAS: The allocation of public budgets, especially local budgets, affects the everyday life of citizens in terms of the relationship between public spending and public services. Decisions made in the formation of budgets is one of the primary roles of democracy, and;

WHEREAS: The formation of a personal budget is the responsibility of private individuals in that these individuals are the owners of the resources being allocated. Since public budgets are the allocation of taxes paid by private individuals, the private individuals who pay taxes are the co-owners of the public services funded by those taxes, now therefore be it

RESOLVED: No later than March 1, a form shall be distributed by mail to all city residents who will pay city taxes that year, either directly through home ownership or indirectly through rent. The form shall have the list of city departments with a empty box or space next to each one. Each department listing shall also include at least three examples of public services overseen by that department.

RESOLVED: Taxpayers shall be instructed that they will have the ability to choose where 30% of their

subsequent individual tax payment of that year shall go in the city budget among the departments listed. Taxpayers shall be instructed to write in the empty boxes or spaces what part of that 30% they wish to be allocated, and they will be notified that they have the option to leave boxes or spaces empty. If taxpayers do not allocate all of the 30%, then the remainder shall be allocated by the City Manager in the rest of the budget formation process.

RESOLVED: Taxpayers will have until April 1 to return the forms, and the allocations made by taxpayers shall be considered binding in the overall budget formation process. The forms shall be designed by the City Council or by a committee designated by the City Council.

For more information, contact:

Darin Robbins for Mayor
78 Sterling Street
Corning, New York 14830
dcr420dcr at hotmail.com



Home | About the Green Party | Calendar | Email: info at steubengreens.org