Dear Activist,

This is an important time to make our demands clear to our leaders in Albany. Last week, Governor Cuomo unveiled his proposed spending plan for the year, totaling $178 billion. We expect one-house budgets from both houses of the Legislature soon, and we’re showing up in more ways than one to fight for our communities and make sure our priorities are funded. Our Co-Executive Director Jessica Wisneski released a statement in response to Cuomo’s budget proposals. Check it out here. There are over 100 billionaires in New York – Cuomo needs to tax them!

Our electeds must amplify our voices throughout the budget process. We will not accept the scarcity mindset that we don’t have the money to fully fund our schools or invest in housing and health care for all, among other basic quality-of-life necessities that our families need to thrive. Take a look at some of the ways we showed up this week!

Around the State

On Monday, January 20, as we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Citizen Action’s Capital District chapter saw a Times Union report about a local real estate developer – Anthony Gucciardo – who spent $10,000 on anti-bail reform billboards in the area. Amy Jones, our Capital District Community Organizer, called him out on Facebook and Rebecca Garrard, our Statewide Housing Campaigns Manager, called him out on Twitter for being a member of Under One Roof – a group of property owners backed by the real estate industry who want to repeal our historic new rent laws.

We’re calling on our state leaders to listen to those who’ve been most impacted by injustice, not the wealthy and well-connected. Rebecca and Erin George, our Statewide Civil Rights Campaigns Director, released this statement.

On Tuesday, January 21, buses rolled up to the Capitol with activists from across the state to put a halt to solitary confinement. The rally and lobby day was to support the Human Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act. #HALTSolitary #DemandJustice

We also joined our partners for a Budget Justice Press Conference to call out the budget crisis in New York and demand that our elected leaders stand up for average New Yorkers and make billionaires pay! #TaxTheRich

On Wednesday, January 23, our Binghamton members discussed tenants rights and heard from Rebecca about the new rent laws that took effect this summer, as well as the Good Causeand New York Homes Guarantee legislation we’re fighting for this year to prevent arbitrary and unjust evictions and ensure every New Yorker has a safe and affordable place to call home.

New Yorkers Against Extreme Inequality

On Thursday, January 24, we joined New York Communities for Change and activists from across the state to occupy Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign HQ in Harlem! We’re demanding that he commit to taxing billionaires like himself to fund housing, education, health care, and more! New York should work for all of us, not a select few.

Over the weekend

On Saturday, January 26, our Capital District chapter joined our partners – NYS Poor People’s Campaign, Labor Religion Coalition of New York State, New York State Council of Churches and Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia – for an Anti-War protest in Albany. Jamaica Miles, our State Organizing and Training Director, emceed the event.

Brittany DeBarros, from About Face: Veterans Against the War, was the guest speaker. She delivered an informative and emotional testimony.

The Capital District chapter also held its 2020 Open House on Sunday, January 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. Attendees were able to learn about the important work we’re doing in the district, our statewide campaigns and local issues, as well as meet our board members, enjoy some food and spoken word by D. Colin.

Upcoming events:

Tuesday, January 28 at the New York State Capitol

Marijuana Justice Lobby Day at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: We’re joining StartSmart in Albany to push our lawmakers to pass the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. Free buses from NYC to Albany will be available! More info here.  

Paid Sick Days Lobby Day: Blue Carreker, our Upstate Organizer for the NY Paid Family Leave Coalition, will be speaking at a Press Conference on forced arbitration at 11 a.m.

Protect Bail Reform Letter Writing Workshop – 6 p..m. at the Capital District office, 94 Central Ave., Albany, NY 12206. RSVP here.

Binghamton

Tuesday, January 28 at 6-9 p.m. – Broome County Land Trust Launch Party – Learn about the Broome County Land Trust’s “mission to bring a Justice-Centered Community Land Trust to Broome County. Food, drinks, music, and childcare will be provided. Email broomelandtrust@gmail.com if you have any questions or need transportation.” RSVP on Facebook.

Buffalo

Tuesday, January 28 at 6-9 p.m. – Demand Justice Committee Meeting – We need to fully fund our schools, ensure every child has a quality education, end the school-to-prison pipeline, end mass incarceration and criminalization, fundamentally transform the justice system and repair the harm done to our communities. RSVP on Facebook.

Kingston

Tuesday, January 28 at 6-8 p.m. – Police Accountability Community Forum – Join us to have all of your questions answered about Police Accountability in Kingston, and to take action. We need you to make police accountability happen! RSVP on Facebook.

Become a sustaining member

It takes people power to create lasting change. That’s why Citizen Action of New York is building power in communities across the state, bringing the voices of those directly impacted by the issues we champion to the forefront and investing in our community’s leaders to amplify our voices in the halls of the Capitol. Join us by becoming a sustaining monthly member today. Click here to support.

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Closing Message:

I was never a huge basketball fan, but like so many others I was saddened to learn of the passing of Kobe Bryant and 8 others, including his teenage daughter, after a helicopter crashed in California. This tragedy ground me in the present moment. I started to think more deeply about my values and did a little self-check. Am I on the path I want to be on? Questions of that nature. This was yet another reminder for me that we’re here for a good time, not a long time, and to “fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.”


As activists,
we’re fighting everyday to make the world a better place, not only for the people we love, but for our entire community. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but that’s a legacy to be proud of. Until next time, let’s continue to be kind and use every opportunity to show & tell those we love just how much they mean to us.