By Rebecca Martin
2018 was perhaps the busiest yet for me at KingstonCitizens.org.
Some of the accomplishments include successfully supporting the creation of a new sister group TownOfUlsterCitizens.org; Organizing and leading a coalition of partners to assure a transparent process in the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) for the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center, a gas-fired peak energy power plant project in the Town of Ulster; Advocating for better meeting times for the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency (UCIDA) to accommodate more of the public to participate; Providing educational opportunities while petitioning for transparency in the legislative process for the Kingston Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission; and, encouraging the City of Kingston to complete its Comp Plan Zoning while also contemplating Charter Reform with the formation of a Charter Commission.
We’ve followed many issues, providing footage of more than 35 municipal meetings in partnership with The Kingston News to keep you all better informed – and so much more out in front or from behind the scenes.
The protection of the public good in the City of Kingston has been a daily part of my life for a long time. All of my efforts and those who have served as partners in any capacity have done so as volunteers, never receiving a dime.
In 2019, I look forward to taking a big step in the work with the launch of OurCitizens.org, a non-partisan organization committed to nurturing transparency in local government through citizen engagement and participation. With its Ulster County mission area, the goal is to nurture civics through lobbying programming for early learning (civics in schools), provide engaging and useful web tools and to eventually offer legal and planning support to help citizens ‘be the change they want to see’ in their local community.
I dream of lasting local civic engagement throughout the 24 towns, villages and city in Ulster County. To help people to get on their way, and then to get out of their way.
There will be many opportunities for you to help us to prepare citizens to “get involved, stay involved” next year, and we look forward to bringing that all forward.
Until then, here are highlights of KingstonCitizens.org’s work in 2018. Thanks for all of your support.