Albany, NY—In response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for his first 100 days of the legislative session, Jessica Wisneski, Deputy Director of Citizen Action of New York, issued the following statement:
“As Governor Cuomo stated in his speech today, actions matter more than rhetoric. Now, with a double blue legislature, Cuomo needs to deliver the change our communities have been waiting for by pushing for structural reform, and not settling for half-measures or patchwork solutions.
“We were encouraged to hear the Governor commit to strengthening our democracy with voting and campaign finance reforms. Delivering justice for our communities requires that Fair Elections be a day-one priority. Big money interests should no longer be allowed to call the shots in Albany. Governor Cuomo has long supported public funding of elections. Now is the time to pass a small donor matching program that empowers everyday people and restores faith in the democratic process.”
“Ending mass incarceration and racial discrimination must be the aim of any ‘true justice agenda.’ New York State must eliminate money bail, overhaul discovery law, reform the parole system, and end state-sanctioned violence. Risk assessment tools and mass surveillance programs only serve to replace one racist system with another. To overhaul New York’s pretrial system, liberty must be the rule, not the exception.
“We are encouraged by Governor’s commitment to marijuana legalization. It’s critical that we pass a legalization bill that prioritizes the Black and Brown communities that have been harmed the most by the senseless War on Drugs.”
“Cuomo called the Campaign for Fiscal Equity a ‘ghost from the past.’ But it’s a ghost that continues to haunt students and parents across our state. Funding inequities can’t be solved by local districts alone. New York must deliver on the $4 billion in Foundation Aid owed to New York’s highest-need districts.”