Friday, November 7, 2008


The long, seemingly endless election season has come to an end. Working families saw great wins and some unsettling losses in terms of supportive candidates, but the results of the Presidential election have made it clear that the people of this country want change. President-elect Barack Obama has outlined on his new website his agenda for the when the new administration takes office next January. High priorities on the list are matters of the economy, health care, and energy, issues that have become so important to working families across the country. His plans to support our workers, revitalize the economy, phase in reforms to our health care system, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil will be steps in the right direction to provide some relief to the tough financial problems faced by working families every day.

But our fight is not over.

According to the American Automobile Association, Western New York has the highest gas prices of anywhere in the continental US; only Alaskans and Hawaiins pay more per gallon. Congressman-elect Chris Lee wants the market to control our health care system, to deregulate business even further, and will cut government spending for vital social programs that working families here in WNY rely on. Though this was a long campaign cycle that left so many of us very tired of politics, we must still stay vigilant. It is our duty to make sure Congressman-elect Lee takes on our concerns and represents everyone here in the 26th districts - businesses as well as working families.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Deceptive Literature

We've received word from The Albany Project that a piece of literature is being circulated today that contain misleading information about Alice Kryzan's environmental policies. The piece contains no "paid for by..." information, which is a violation of federal election law. You can find out information about her actual positions on the Kryzan for Congress website, which also notes that she is supported by the NY League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club.

While WFW doesn't endorse any candidates, we always strive to get the truth about their policy positions out there so that voters can make informed decisions. Please pass along this note if you come across any of the misleading literature. We shouldn't let dirty politics confuse voters, especially not today!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rock The Vote!

Despite the cold, almost a hundred Western New Yorkers came out yesterday to Rock The Vote with us at the Albright Knox. It was a really fun event, and I think our message about voting and getting involved really came across well. Five different local bands performed: Type Relevant, Davey O, The Found, Redwater, and The Thermidors. There was a little something for everyone, ranging from jazzy hip hop to folk to rock to some classic sounding rock and roll. The music pulled in quite a few people from the park who hadn't heard about the event, even well after the dark and cold set in, which was great in helping to pass along the message.

It was a busy last weekend before the election, but a number of political figures took the time to stop by to talk to the attendees. Congressional candidate Dan Humiston stopped by early on in the event to chat with people. Chairman Len Lenihan of the Democratic Party really got the crowd geared up taking about how important this election is, and how critical it is for everyone to get out there and vote. Alice Kryzan's son Sam stopped by on her behalf (she was out campaigning in another county) to talk about how beneficial grassroots campaigning and the involvement of ordinary community members has been this year. Comptroller Mark Poloncarz and NYS Assembly candidate Jerry Schad also mingled with attendees at the event.

Check out some photos of the day's festivities below. You can see many more over at our Flickr photostream.


You can also watch video of some of the bands' performances below!

For those of you who were there, what did you think of Rock The Vote? Post your comments here!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Four Days Left!

With just four days left until the election, things are really hopping in the 26th Congressional District. Despite an attempt on the part of Chris Lee's campaign to block it, Alice Kryzan will now appear on the Working Families Party (no affiliation to us!) line next week. This gives Chris Lee the Republican, Independence, and Conservative lines, and Alice Kryzan the Democratic and Working Families lines. For those of you who haven't voted since 2004, please remember that the Democratic line is now ROW A, and the Republican line is now ROW B after the last gubernatorial election.

Since my last post, the Cook Report has also changed the rating of the 26th district to a toss up. This race has gotten so big that there's a story circulating about it on the AP wire! Thank you for all of your support so far, and keep doing all you can to educate voters and get them involved over this last weekend. We have plenty of volunteer opportunities, so please contact me if you'd like to help out.

Also, don't forget about tomorrow's Rock The Vote concert and rally! It's supposed to be sunny and crisp, a great fall day here in WNY for getting out and getting involved. Details are below.

Date:  Saturday, November 1, 2008
Time:  3:00 - 10:00pm
Place:  Delaware Park, on the steps of the Albright Knox Art Gallery
Details: Featuring local musicians Davey O, The Found, Redwater, The Thermidors, and Type Relevant. Speakers will include NYS Senator Antoine Thompson, NYS Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples, Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, Erie County Legislator Michele Iannello, Erie County Legislator Bob Reynolds, Buffalo Common Councilmember David Rivera, Congressional candidate Dan Humiston, Congressional candidate Alice Kryzan, NYS Assembly candidate Jerry Schad, Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan, and a representative from the ACLU. (Check the links in the right sidebar for last minute updates!) This event is free and open to the public and is an all ages show.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The 26th District in the News

Things are really heating up in these days before the election. Last week, there were two interesting bits of information about the Congressional race in the 26th district that I thought I'd share.

(1) Time magazine published an article listing this district as one of the top 15 Congressional races to watch - not that that should come as a surprise to anyone around here! (Note: Since it was written, Jon Powers has come out in support of Alice.)

(2) Larry Sabato of Rasmussen Reports changed his ranking of the race from "leaning republican" to "toss up".

In these last ten days, we need to work even harder to get our message out to the voters in the 26th district. The whole country is watching, so let's show them what progressive Western New Yorkers can do! Contact us using the links over to the right if you'd like to help out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Closer...and closer

Wow. Is it really already the latter part of October?!? The elections are closing in and volunteers are needed NOW more than ever! A big THANKS! to all of our volunteers so far! You've been wonderful and we really appreciate your help.

If you have even an hour to spare - we'd love to have you!

We are currently canvassing two days a week; Wednesday evenings begining aroung 5 or 6 pm and Saturday mornings about 10am. Phone banks are 6 days a week! Weeknights we begin calling about 5 and wrap up about 8 and Saturdays we are able to call throughout the day. Any time you can contribute is GREATLY APPRECIATED!


Working Families Win is also hosting a ROCK THE VOTE event at the Albright Knox. It's a beautiful location and we're hoping for an equally beautiful day! Come out and see us. It's November 1st, from 3-10pm. We'll have LIVE BANDS and SPEAKERS all day. Politicains currently in office and those running have been invited to attend with several already confirmed! It will be a great day of promoting civil participation I hope you can attend.


Please contact me (716) 471 - 7892 if you'd like more information or you'd like to have your band play or your business represented. I'll be more than happy to work something out.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Working Families Win has had a busy couple of weeks here in WNY! Last week, we went to a flu clinic hosted by the lovely women of the St. John's Nurse Ministry group. Yesterday, we were invited to attend a panel discussion of the Adult Immunization Coalition, where we discussed the burden placed on our health care system by wholly preventable, vaccinable diseases. WFW was asked to be a part of the committee/task force to handle some of these issues, so feel free to drop us a line if you have ideas or suggestions!

We've been working hard at our regular phone banks - check out the news section of our website for photos, stats, and other updates. And now that our literature has finally arrived from the printer, we'll begin our canvass efforts this weekend. Also, keep your eyes peeled for updates about a Rock The Vote® concert we'll be hosting on Saturday, November 1, just a few days before the election! We're still in the planning stages in terms of speakers and bands, but it will be held all afternoon at Delaware Park, just outside the Albright Knox.

In these last eighteen days leading up to the election, we need your help more than ever. If you'd like to participate in our phone bank, canvass, other GOTV efforts, or help out with our Rock The Vote® planning, please drop either Christy or me an e-mail, or give us a call at 716-908-0469 and 716-471-7892.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kryzan and Lee Debate.....FINALLY!

The debate occurred last night between 26th congressional district candidates Chris Lee and Alice Kryzan. There were no fireworks or explosions and at times it sounded strangely like the previous Presidential debates. Even so, the first question that always seems to be asked is, “who won?” Well, it seems that this question has never been so difficult to answer honestly than it has throughout this election year. It's a relevant question but, will we really have the answer before Nov. 5th?

So, what did we see? He's my summary of part of the debate - please let us know what you think and if you thought there was a clear winner. E-mail me at
If you didn't catch the debate on TV, watch it on - and check back for more on Lee's and Kryzan's answers to tough questions about jobs and trade and the economy!

It began tame and cordially as the candidates made their opening statements but it would soon become notably more intense in the studio as the questions from the panelists hit on every soft spot the candidates had. Bailing on ‘the bailout question’ bit Mr. Lee in the backside during the debate. He was criticized not only by Ms. Kryzan, who accused him of being, “MIA” for five days while, “Congress was in turmoil” over what to do; but also by a debate panelist from the Buffalo News, Bob McCarthy. In one of his questions directed toward Mr. Lee, Mr. McCarthy asked Lee, point blank, how he would have voted if he were, in fact, a member of congress. Staring directly back at his questioner, Lee answered, “I was for it.”

Alice Kryzan was questioned about her involvement in one of the worst environmental disasters of our time and region, Love Canal. She defended herself by defining her role in the situation as one who helped deal out money from a fund she helped ensure for the tenants. Their respective tense moments were handled very nicely by both candidates.

The question that provoked much of the mudslinging that occurred during the debate was about accountability. Bob McCarthy’s question began with a narrative about how he had tried to ascertain Mr. Lee’s stance on abortion and the bailout and wasn’t able to do this for either issue. (nailing Jell-o to the wall, if you will) This has also been Working Families Win's experience with Mr. Lee. Simple and complex questions alike, Lee has eluded them all. Chris Lee’s defense was that he had in fact, answered these questions but not in the way in which the interviewer had asked him to. He was asked to define his stance on abortion in two words. (presumably pro-choice or pro-life) He said that, “at the time” he was not able to do so…but still didn’t offer an answer.

We were happy that some of these questions were finally acknowledged by Mr. Lee, even if he didn't really answer them. WFW has been trying to get him to talk to us for months now. We're glad he's finally saying something. On the other hand, Ms. Kryzan has been very generous with her policy proposal information. During the debate, when Lee criticized Ms. Kryzan for not having a hold on the problems facing WNY and claimed that his website provided lots of press releases and links to information; she shot back that he, "..Must not have been reading my website" and then named several packets of policy related info on her site.

See for yourself:

Friday, October 3, 2008

WFW Unveils Local Literature

Happy Friday, everyone!

We've finally received a proof of our local literature comparing Alice Kryzan and Chris Lee on the issues. (The reverse side has information about polling places.) Click on the image below to see a larger version.

It really highlights Lee's resistance to taking any real position on the issues that are most important to the WNY region. The piece is currently in print, and we'll start our voter canvassing operation as soon as we receive it. Contact us if you'd like to be involved in our outreach efforts!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

5 Friends

Check out this PSA that's been making the rounds about voting and getting involved. (Warning for some language.)

Leonardo DiCaprio, will i. am, Tobey Maguire, and Forest Whitaker have created public service announcements to encourage American youth to register to vote. The non-partisan PSAs, produced by DiCaprios Appian Way, were created to engage and inspire young people to register and vote and participate in the upcoming election. Celebrities appearing in the PSAs include: Amy Adams,, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Bacon, Halle Berry, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Connolly, Courteney Cox, Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Jonah Hill, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Kiedis, Ashton Kutcher, Adam Levine, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Tobey Maguire, Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, Giovanni Ribisi, Ethan Suplee, Kyra Sedgwick, Michelle Trachtenberg, Usher, and Forest Whitaker.