Read our Resolution to the Town Board of Woodstock and sign it if you agree with the principles.
Directing state angencies and authorities to divest public funds supporting BDS campaign against Israel
Whereas, free speech is enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as well as in Article I §8 of the New York State Constitution; and
Whereas, political free speech and advocacy are guaranteed by the First Amendment and by Article I §8 of the New York State Constitution; and
Whereas, boycotts have long been recognized as a form of protected speech; and Whereas, boycotts have been used to give non-violent expression to political and moral
disagreements with established orders; and
Whereas, Governor Cuomo has signed Executive Order #157, which creates a Commission to compile within 180 days a list of all entities supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, and thereafter directs all “affected State Entities” to “divest their money and assets from any investment in any institution or company that is included on the Commissioner’s list pursuant to Section II above,” which, in this case, means to divest public funds from entities supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel; and,
Whereas, Executive Order #157 appears to support state-sponsored economic retribution for those that engage in the exercise of free speech; and
Whereas, the Woodstock Town Board makes no declaration in support or opposition to the BDS campaign and in fact acknowledges deep divisions on the matter; and
Whereas, the Woodstock Town Board does desire to support and protect its citizens against any and all abridgements of their civil liberties; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Town Board of the Town of Woodstock hereby questions the constitutionality of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order #157, it being believed after study of the issue that boycotts are constitutionally-protected political speech, and, as such, are part of its citizens’ rights as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by Article I §8 of the New York State Constitution, and therefore request the Governor to share before or by December 5, 2016 what legal basis or judicial opinion upon which he finds his action to be constitutional; and be it further
Resolved, that in the absence of a timely, cogent, and acceptable legal and judicial opinion in support of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order #157, the Town Board of the Town of Woodstock shall stand in opposition to Executive Order #157 and request that it be rescinded; and be it further
Resolved, the Town Board of the Town of Woodstock, in the absence of a cogent, legal and judicial opinion in support of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order #157, encourages any entity with standing, that is, any entity affected by Executive Order #157, to contest such order (if it is not rescinded) in a competent court of law to ascertain its constitutionality; and be it further
Resolved, a certified copy of this resolution shall be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, to Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, and to State Senator George Amedore.