Open Letter to Democrats: The progressive choice is independent this year.

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Sometimes the most progressive choice isn’t the democrat. This year, don’t vote straight D across the top – when you get to town supervisor, look for my name on the bottom row.

Lucas J. Cioffi, 39, is running for supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh. (Courtesy photo)

While the national poverty rate has decreased 18% since 2012, the number of people living at or below the poverty line has actually increased 18% here in Greenburgh. It’s hard to believe, but the poverty rate in Greenburgh is now close to 5% according to the US Census Bureau. That’s 1 out of every 20 people.

Just 90 days ago, Mr. Feiner supported Westchester County’s *regressive* 33% increase in sales tax which is hitting our poorest neighbors in Greenburgh the hardest.

At that time county sales tax jumped from 3% to 4% and applies to everything that each of us buys in our villages, the town of Greenburgh, and all of Westchester. Combined with the state’s sales tax rate, we are now paying over eight percent in sales tax.

Mr. Feiner is not the original author of this sales tax, but he promoted it even though it was timed to hit parents – including those living below the poverty line – as they are buying school supplies and clothes for their kids. Here it is in the words of the county executive who authored this tax increase: “August is not a big sales tax month, as you might imagine, if you’re not in a resort environment, but it does give us the front end of back-to-school shopping.”

CBS News writes, “In a high-taxed county, they raised the sales tax, and patted themselves on the back for doing it.”

Here in Greenburgh, we need to involve the community in community development. Mr. Feiner talks about land use advisory committees, but it’s been 28 years and he hasn’t gotten it right. Fairview is the fourth-largest African American community in NY by percentage, and it’s right here in Greenburgh. Their commercial strip now has countless high-end car dealerships and doesn’t even have a supermarket.

Funding for youth programs specifically for at-risk youth (our campaign calls them “youth with possibilities”) at the Department of Community Resources in Fairview was cut eight years ago. We need to give the community more of a say in the programming they need.

The solution to higher taxes is more transparency. Greenburgh’s last contract to clean water towers cost $5 million and they went forward with it even though the town only received one bid. Yonkers in contrast — for their last water tower maintenance contract — was able to get five bids and save $1.6 million between their highest and lowest bidders.

When living in DC from ’09-11, I supported President Obama’s Open Government Initiative by creating a series of conferences in partnership with NASA, the US Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Treasury, Department of Agriculture, and General Services Administration.

If you have any doubt as to which candidate you will support, videos from the League of Women Voters debate and the Hartsdale Neighbors Association debate are posted:

The final candidate forum is tonight (Monday, Oct 28) @ 7pm. Hosted by the NAACP, this forum will take place at the Theodore D. Young Community Center (32 Manhattan Ave, White Plains). Here is a link to the flyer.

If you live in Greenburgh — including Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings, Irvington, Tarrytown, or unincorporated (Edgemont, Hartsdale, Fairview) — this is the first time you can vote for a new town supervisor in a general election in over a decade.

Vote “Lucas Cioffi” Independent – November 5th. Please mark your calendars.

Lucas Cioffi
Candidate for Greenburgh Town Supervisor
Greenburgh, NY

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