I hope you’re doing well! So much has happened since our last check-in. We’re still going hard to defend our new pretrial laws. Republican lawmakers, district attorneys, prosecutors and law enforcement officials have been using tragic situations, cherry-picking data and blatantly lying about bail reform for political gain. The media has been using sensationalized stories to click-bait readers into fear-mongering campaigns and distorting the truth that bail reform is actually working. We won’t go back to a cash bail system that criminalizes poverty!
Citizen Action helped uncover a story exposing the racism driving the anti-bail reform movement after white supremacists and right-wing extremists began openly recruiting through a Facebook page moderated by high-ranking Republican lawmakers. City and State investigated and reported their findings in an article you’ll find here.
In other news, we began announcing our endorsements of candidates for New York State Assembly and Senate races! To keep up to speed on our list of endorsed progressive candidates, click here. We’re still making our budget demands clear in Albany before the budget is due in April. Take a look at some of our events and actions.
AROUND THE STATE
This week, we celebrated the one year anniversary of the launch of Housing Justice for All’s Good Cause campaign! We’re still fighting to protect 1.5 million households from unjust evictions and predatory rent hikes. We’re fighting for a NY Homes Guarantee that recognizes housing as a human right and ends homelessness. Hundreds of activists rallied in Albany to call on state leaders to listen to the nearly 80% of New Yorkers who want #GoodCause passed this year.
NY has the power to end homelessness.
We must reform our tax code to #MakeBillionairesPay what they owe and start fully investing in our communities.
On February 6, Rochester students joined Citizen Action and Alliance for Quality Education to attend the New York State Budget Town Hall in Yonkers with Senate Education Chair Shelly Mayer and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Steward-Cousins. We made clear our demands for fully funding Black, Brown and low-income school districts like Rochester, which is facing a budget crisis due to chronic underfunding and was forced to make mid-year cuts to teachers and staff.
We joined Stop New York Fracked Gas Pipeline at the Capitol to deliver a letter opposing the Albany Loop Pipeline/E357 to Governor Cuomo and the State Public Services Commission, and then for a rally in the War Room. Building the pipeline would undermine the ambitious goals for cutting pollution and moving to renewable energy that we helped win as part of the NY Renews coalition.
Our Buffalo chapter made their presence known at the recent Senate Republican Bail Reform Task Force hearing! Watch here and read the article here. Our newest community organizer in Buffalo, Christian Parra, expressed his frustration with the process. He said that the people directly impacted by the bail system were not granted the right to give public comment.
Our Buffalo community organizer, Christian Parra, also met with Attorney General Letitia James to discuss the issues facing our communities, from climate change and racial and economic justice, to relief support for Puerto Rico.
Governor Cuomo included no new state investments in child care in his proposed executive budget. The cost of child care in New York for one child is $15,000, which is unaffordable for low-income families. And due to the state’s consistent lack of investment in the child care system, fewer than 20% of low-income families eligible for child care subsidies are receiving them. This broken system increases economic insecurity and poverty among working families. Shoutouts to our Utica chapter members who traveled to Albany to rally for increased investment in child care and early childhood education!
Our Rochester chapter had a great turnout at the Transforming the Worldview workshop led by political education program manager Ravi Mangla on February 2.
Our Capital Region chapter, including local board member Cessie Alfonso, joined Albany County Legislator Sam Fein on February 8 for a packed kick-off event launching his campaign for State Assembly! Sam spoke about how we can build a state where everyone’s needs are met and our communities can thrive. By ensuring billionaires in our state pay what they owe, we can guarantee access to child care, expand tenant protections and invest in good green jobs. Click here to hear Sam’s speech.
Albany – Wednesday, February 12 at 1-2:30 p.m. – Pardon the Interruption – This is a group that is designed to add a layer of support to the existing services that are currently available to assist in facilitating a successful transition from incarceration to community supervision. RSVP here.
Tuesday, February 25 at 6 a.m.-6 p.m. – Good Cause Lobby Day – Buses will be heading to Albany from the Citizen Action office in Binghamton, located at 477 State Street, at 6 a.m. and will be returning to Binghamton at around 6 p.m. Food and Transportation included. More details here.
Monday, February 17 at 6 p.m. – Men of Color Committee Meeting – The Men of Color Committee will meet monthly in order to support one another and our community. We will be discussing the challenges men of color face in our society, and what we can do to promote success in our communities. RSVP here. Meetings will be at our office located at 1439 Main Street.
Saturday, February 22 at 12 p.m. – Women of Color Committee Meeting – The Women of Color Committee is about taking action to support women of color and their families. The committee will meet monthly in order to discuss what issues women of color in Buffalo are facing and what we can do to stand up against it.
Tuesday, February 28 at 6-8 p.m. – Circles Film Screening and Q & A #WisenUpKingston – Join us to watch “Circles,” a film about Eric Butler, a pioneer of the restorative justice movement, impassioned educator and mentor, and Hurricane Katrina survivor. Butler will be calling in to the screening via zoom for a Q&A! View the trailer here: https://www.circlesmovie.com/
Wednesday, February 12 at 2-3p.m. – Census 2020 Webinar – New York Civic Engagement Table (NYCET) is launching a webinar series for organizers interested in Getting Out the Count in New York State. NYCET will be going over newly launched resources that can help you and your organization get started with your Census initiatives. More info on Facebook.
Monday, February 10 at 6-9 p.m. – Housing Justice Strategy Session – Join us to strategize around next steps and brainstorm tactics we can use to move the New York Homes Guarantee campaign forward. We are fighting at the state level for a New York Homes Guarantee. Locally, we want expanded tenant protections and more investment in our communities. RSVP here.
Become a sustaining member:
Citizen Action of New York is building power in communities across the state. Join us by becoming a sustaining monthly member today. Click here to support.
Stay up-to-date on what’s going on with us daily! Click here to follow us on Twitter and get real-time updates. If you’re looking for cool articles, memes and a little conversation, like our Facebook page here.
“Be open to new ways of how to experience success and abundance.”
As activists, it’s important to remember that there are many ways to experience success and abundance. When we open ourselves up to new ways of experiencing success, we’re increasing our likelihood of life-altering experiences that can renew our minds and ways of showing up in this movement. It can help us be replenished by the divine flow of life as we bring in new insights to uplift and support one another.