“Jazz funeral” mourns bills killed by IDC

Gazette photo by Thomas Giery Pudney
Activists from across the state mourn the deaths of crucial legislation on the Capitol Park West. A collection of groups are calling for Democratic unity and for the IDC to rejoin the mainline Democrats in the state Senate.

Critics of the Independent Democratic Conference held a funeral Wednesday for all the bills that died at the hands of the IDC this session.

The activists say that in a moment when New York state has the opportunity to be a national example of how to resist, from the activist perspective, the White House’s regressive agenda, the IDC conferencing with the Senate Republicans is costing New Yorkers, not just financially, but lives.

After a procession around the fountain and green in Capitol Park West, complete with a horn ensemble and a casket, “mourners” of the bills that the IDC claimed to support, then allowed to be blocked by the Republican Conference, eulogized the deceased legislation.

“The federal government is in complete disarray, the president is issuing discriminatory, regressive and backwards policy reforms that can hurt us in New York state,” said Rhea Mallett of Indivisible Rivertowns. “We need our New York state legislature more than ever. To provide a check to the craziness that is happening in Washington.”

“We need Democrats that were elected as democrats to vote democrat,” added Mallett. “Today we call for these eight senators to rejoin mainline democrats.”

The groups also laid out placards with portraits of the eight IDC Democrats and Sen. Simcha Felder, who is not a member of the IDC, but conferences with Senate Republicans, with stylized cotton candy hair and the heading “fake dems’.

“Dearly beloved, thank you for coming here  to mourn the death of the New York Health Act,” said Susan Kang, member of NoIDCNY. “Despite having the greatest number of Senatorial co-sponsors of its whole lifetime, today it expires.”

“Voting reform, you died alone by the side of the road after Governor Cuomo cruelly kicked you off the budget bus, a bus being driven by Senate Republicans,” said John Gromada of Rockland Citizens Action Network and one of the event’s organizers. “Why voting reform? Why do they brutally murder you every year just when it looks like you might grow and thrive.”

The event concluded with a march through the Capitol.