Sustainable Warwick founder Dr. Geoff Howard admitted, in a recent private meeting, that his organization is in fact used for political purposes, according to a witness.  At this closed-door gathering, Howard claimed that his real intentions are to secretly aid Liberal candidates for this upcoming Warwick Board of Education race (and all local elections), in direct violation of Sustainable Warwick’s tax exempt 501(c)(3) status and its purported mission.

On the evening of Wednesday, April 17, 2022, a monthly meeting of the  non-governmental organization (NGO) Sustainable Warwick was held.  Sustainable Warwick presently operates as a 501(c)(3) committee of the organization “Community2gether.”  Both organizations are based in Warwick, NY.

The meeting was held at the Warwick Community center on Hamilton Ave in the Village of Warwick, the site of the old “Hamilton Avenue School”.

Physically present in the room were Sustainable Warwick founders Geoff Howard, Mary Makofske and Bill Makofske, as well as Albert Wisner Public Library Assistant Teresa Vela-Hayes, and several others, including Dan Mack.  On the Zoom call-in screen were Sustainable Warwick members Michael Helm and Sonia Mason. 

When Dr. Howard took his turn to speak, he discussed Sustainable Warwick’s “Green Screen” initiative (Green Screen is a project which interviews candidates for all local political races).  Dr. Howard then made what an anonymous Warwick citizen in attendance found “shocking.” This citizen reached out to the Warwick Watch to explain why:

“Dr. Howard stated that Sustainable Warwick has become ‘deeply concerned about the Republican party trying to take over local politics.’ I found this statement and sentiment unsettling, coming as it did from a founder of this NGO speaking on behalf of the NGO” said the source.   As per the IRS website, a 501(3)(c) may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

The whistleblower continued “As a founder and director of a 501(c)(3) NGO myself, I am keenly aware of the directive to which such NGOs sign off in their petition(s) for incorporation: The directive that the 501(c) 3 organization take no part in political issues, including (but not limited to) lobbying for or against any political party or movement.”

“For disclosure’s sake,” they continued “I will be clear about my own absolutely apolitical stance; I would be equally alarmed were this NGO discussing their disapproval of the Democratic party. To my own non-partisan viewpoint, it doesn’t matter which side this NGO that operates in part on public funding is opposing; the fact that they are knowingly operating in defiance of NYS “Not For Profit” Law is what I found to be alarming….and actionable.”

As per the person in attendance, Dr. Howard continued. “His talk became increasingly more politically-pointed in his description of Sustainable Warwick’s influence, both actual and intended, in local elections.  Howard stated very clearly that because Sustainable Warwick is a 501(c)(3), they’re not permitted to take political action, so they have crafted their ‘Green Screen’ questions to show the Liberal candidates more favorably without directly showing the group’s political motivations.”

The source in attendance said that Howard continued to cite examples of how Sustainable Warwick’s Green Screen questions would “further the favorable lighting of their chosen candidates’ appearance and how this would positively affect these candidates’ positions in the upcoming Warwick Valley Board of Education election.”  The source continued “Dr. Howard reiterated that he sees Sustainable Warwick’s efforts toward helping the liberal candidates’ election successes as a critical and primary mission of the organization.”

The source is considering signing a sworn affidavit confirming their statements to the Warwick Watch.  In our commitment to protection and anonymity, we are withholding the citizen’s name until the affidavit is sworn to and signed and they are fully prepared to go public.  We thank them for their candor and their courage.