Traffic data with updated stats

Traffic data with updated stats

Top 5 municipalities per county in # of tickets issued

 

Dutchess County

Municipality Name # of tickets given 2016-2019 for V&T 375-380-a
Town of Poughkeepsie 9,037
Town of East Fishkill 3,917
City of Poughkeepsie 2,971
City of Beacon 2,552
Town of Hyde Park 2,361

Orange County

Municipality Name # of tickets given 2016-2019 for V&T 375-380-a
Town of Wallkill 7,945
Town of New Windsor 6,637
Town of Newburgh 5,692
City of Middletown 5,281
Town of Woodbury 4,806

 

Ulster County

Municipality Name # of tickets given 2016-2019 for V&T 375-380-a
Town of Ulster 6,525
Town of New Paltz 3,534
Town of Saugerties 3,429
Town of Llyod 3,377
Town of Wawarsing 2,606

 

Click on the image below to download the Brakelight Trifold.

Car with light out and text saying Why Fix Brakelights
POR QUÉ REEMPLAZAR LUCES DE FRENO DE VEHICULOS

WHY WE’RE FIXING BRAKE LIGHTS

 

Getting pulled over for a broken tail light is one of the most common reasons that people are forced to interact with the police. Because of rampant racial profiling, a traffic stop could be a simple annoyance for some, but a potentially life threatening situation for others. Small traffic infractions are often used as pretexts for unwarranted searches; to target individuals with harassment, expensive fines, court appearances, and arrests. An undocumented person could be detained or face deportation. In some cases— as with Philando Castile and Walter Scott— traffic stops for a broken brake light can lead to murder at the hands of the police.

 

Our brake light clinics help avoid unnecessary interactions with the justice system by checking and repairing bulbs for our neighbors. We hold these clinics at different locations throughout the community, providing a simple fix for what could lead to much bigger problems.

 

OUR POLICING AND PRISON SYSTEMS ARE DEEPLY UNJUST 

 

1,127 people were killed by police in 2020.1

120 of those people were killed after police stopped them for a traffic violation.

 

Our country has a militarized police force that incarcerates its citizens for petty offences in order to perpetuate an authoritarian state. In the U.S. there are 2.3 million people behind bars and 4.5 million people on parole or probation.2 Instead of confronting the underlying issues of poverty and racial oppression that lead individuals to be targeted by the justice system, our prison system continues to grow.

 

As the Democratic Socialists of America, we stand against police violence and mass incarceration. By changing brake lights for free, we aim to take small but significant action to protect one another from state-sanctioned violence at the hands of the police. We want the brake light clinics to start a conversation in our communities about our police and prisons, to get us thinking and organizing together for a democratic, equitable system that respects the freedoms of every individual.

 

  1. policeviolencereport.org
  2. www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2020.html
“Democratic Socialists gather to help Poughkeepsie residents”

“Democratic Socialists gather to help Poughkeepsie residents”

This past Sunday, we fixed brake lights, fed our neighbors and discussed how capitalism hurts the community. We heard from houseless people with mental health issues not getting the care they need and from neighbors who lamented the lack of jobs and opportunity in Poughkeepsie. We are fighting for a radically different economy that puts kindness and our community’s welfare above that of the desire of billionaires to buy another yacht or penthouse. We want an end to the artificial scarcity of capitalism so that houselessness, hunger and poverty are a thing of the past. Thanks Mid-Hudson News for the write-up:

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Mid-Hudson Valley Democratic Socialist Association is increasing its presence in the region with outreach programs such as a “Brake Light Clinic” they held in Poughkeepsie on Sunday.

The group of volunteers hosted a coat giveaway last month at the Earline Patrice Mansion Square Park that provided dozens of free coats to those in need.  On this most recent Sunday, several DSA volunteers gathered in the parking lot of the Exempt Firemen’s Association to offer free brake light repair for cars along with food and clothing distribution at no charge.

Read the full article

Standing in Solidarity with Decarcerate the Hudson Valley

Standing in Solidarity with Decarcerate the Hudson Valley

The Mid Hudson Valley DSA and its members support the project of decarceration, prison abolition and any efforts to reduce funding for the carceral system and policing in our communities.

We are proud to be a partner of the Decarcerate the Hudson Valley and stand firm in our resolve to advance the fight for racial justice and an end to the prison industrial complex. This coalition signals that New York is ready to bring abolition forwards now.

While we have seen real decarceral success in the Hudson Valley since 2019 – with a 36% reduction in the number of people jailed pretrial – mass incarceration continues to be a crisis. Each day, there are over 13,000 Hudson Valley residents languishing in county jails and state prisons.

New York is one of three states that prohibit private prisons. We support the next step of banning investment in private prisons and urge the NY State Assembly to support Brian Benjamin’s Senate Bill S5433A.

But standing against private prisons is not enough. Private prisons make up only 8.2 percent of the US prison population and simply closing private prisons is a cheap way to avoid addressing the need for structural change.

State and federal prisons also exploit prison labor. New York State paid prisoners 65 cents an hour to make hand sanitizer this year under state-owned brand Corcraft. We demand the abolition of all state-owned prison labor.

New York also houses thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement often for years, a practice the the UN defines as torture. Most sentences that lead to solitary confinement are for non-violent conduct and black people represent 57% of people held in solitary confinement. Young people, people with mental illness, and gender non-conforming people are disproportionately likely to be put in isolation.

We support the HALT Solitary Confinement Act and reject Governor Cuomo’s attempt to cloud the issue and maintain the status quo.

Over one in five NY State prisons are over the age of fifty, a number that has risen while the overall prison population has fallen. We also stand in solidarity with RAPP in demanding that elderly prisoners, most of whom are Black and Latinx, be released on parole as they pose no threat to the public to live out their days with their families.

However, prison reform cannot address the structural inequalities and racist history of the carceral state. In the words of Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “we want a society that centers freedom and justice instead of profit and punishment.”

Local and county governments in the Hudson Valley spend over $856 million each year on the carceral system. This includes nearly $406 million on jails alone. This is a misuse of public funds and communities need a voice in that money can be redirected to support instead of destroy.

We support the abolitionist movement in proposing a dismantling of the systems of oppression and imagining a world free of cages. We stand in support of the Critical Resistance vision of a “genuinely healthy, stable communities that respond to harm without relying on imprisonment and punishment.”

The Hudson Valley and New York State can evolve into a community that rejects the carceral state in favor of support and care for our communities. We’re excited to work with Decarcerate the Hudson Valley towards the vision that a better world is possible.

Garden Giveway

Garden Giveway

Our Garden Giveaway was a great success! On Saturday October 10, we enjoyed the public park and community while learning more about our neighbors’ shared struggles and desires for a better future.

10/3 Newburgh Brakelight Clinic

10/3 Newburgh Brakelight Clinic

Another successful brakelight clinic helping people reduce their interactions with police.

Police responses to traffic violations like broken brake lights demonstrate one way that working class people are criminalized in our society. There are plenty of reasons why people don’t fix their brake lights: they may work a lot, be busy caring for family or simply can’t afford to. Yet this minor traffic violation can result in fines, harassment or arrest. For black and brown people and those without papers, a police stop poses a distinct threat. An undocumented person could be detained or face deportation. In some cases— as with Philando Castile and Walter Scott— traffic stops for a broken brake light can lead to murder at the hands of the police.