It’s hard to sum up the budget session in a single word, or even a few words, but let it be known: the grassroots threw down. Even with “old Albany” rearing its ugly head (shady lobbyists, backroom politics, etc.), we continued to make our voices heard and demand the big changes our communities have been waiting for.
As a result of the work of Citizen Action and its partners, we passed the most significant criminal justice reforms our state has seen in nearly half a century. And we forced our legislators to create a commission to implement small donor public financing.
There’s still a lot more work to do this session (next up: housing). But it’s important to recognize the huge role that grassroots activism has been playing so far this session.
AROUND THE STATE
The Fair Elections coalition held an emergency rally in front of the Governor’s Manhattan office to demand that public financing be included in the budget. With many of our Democratic legislators working to keep it out (fearing a threat to their reelection bids), it was grassroots pressure that forced their hand and led them to create a commission to oversee its implementation.
(My favorite sign of the week.)
Our Binghamton and Capital District chapters participated in #ReleaseTheReport rallies calling for Robert Mueller’s report be made public. Without transparency, there can be no justice.
STATEMENT ON THE BUDGET
A statement from our Co-Executive Director Jessica Wisneski on the New York State budget:
“People elected a new legislature with a desire to change the way business is done in Albany and pass legislation that for decades had been bottled up by Senate Republicans. This budget process confirmed that big money interests and corporate lobbyists have far too much power in the halls of the Capitol.” Read our full statement
THIS WEEK IN ACTIVIST HISTORY
On April 4th, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. King had traveled to Tennessee to support striking sanitation workers, who were being paid significantly lower wages than their white counterparts. The day before he gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.
The Long Island Progressive Coalition will be holding their 40th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, May 2nd. RSVP today!
Albany – Tuesday, April 9th at 11:30 am – Climate Justice Countdown – Statewide day of action for the Climate and Community Protection Act. Free buses leaving from all around the state. RSVP on Action Network
Kingston – Wednesday, April 10th at 5 pm – Listen to the Community Rally – Rally for housing rights and tenant protections at Kingston City Hall. RSVP on Facebook
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