Yesterday, May 8, would have been Ahmaud Arbery’s 26th birthday. In his memory, people all over the world participated in 2.23-mile runs and walks. On February 23, Ahmaud was shot and killed while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia, not far from his home. A video of the attack went viral on social media, prompting an outpouring of grief, sadness, anger and most importantly, action. Massive public outcry ultimately led to arrests being made on May 7. #JusticeForAhmaudArbery
There’s no excuse for the delay in Justice for Ahmaud. The following quote, which you’ll see an image of below, has also gone viral on social media:
The protests, phone calls, emails and social media posts all made a difference. Everyone came together to demand justice, but unfortunately, we’ve seen this all before and will be watching as the case unfolds.
We’re joining in on the call for the resignation of District Attorney Jackie Johnson and District Attorney George Barnhill who initially saw “no grounds for arrests,” for their gross mishandling of the case. Click here to sign the petition. Ahmaud Arbery’s killing was an act of white supremacy!
This week’s leader spotlight goes to Robert Perry in Central New York, who has been a volunteer with Citizen Action for about a year now. Robert has been helping out with social media at the chapter, as well as with other organizing events.
I enjoy the life of activism and making change in our communities.” – Robert Perry
Around the State
We’re showing love to teachers and support staff for Teachers Appreciation Week on May 4 through May 8. We’re thankful for teachers every day, and we know how especially challenging these times are for them. Teachers play a major role in our children’s lives, yet, they are consistently having to do more with less. The governor is proposing education cuts instead of raising taxes on the wealthy. At a time where our students’ success hinges on remote learning, we need our leaders in government to step up and demand support for teachers and families!
This week, we participated in the People’s Recovery virtual forum with Empire State Indivisible. Click here for some live tweets, including quotes and photos. All levels of government must work together to ensure a just stimulus that puts our families, our communities first.
Screenshot captured by Empire State Indivisible
On Thursday, May 7, we held the first of two Statewide Strategic Planning sessions with Citizen Action staff, members and volunteers from our regional chapters. The objective is to devise a strategic plan for winning justice in our communities with full organizational input from every region. The next session will be on Monday.
Our Southern Tier chapter released a Broome County Inmate and Family Guide, which can be found here. The chapter is working with local organizations like Justice and Unity for the Southern Tier to help keep the pressure on the Broome County Jail and call for the release of inmates as Covid-19 continues to spread.
On Tuesday, May 5, Citizen Action Campaign Manager Blue Carreker was a guest speaker on North-Country Matters to discuss the paid sick leave benefits that are currently available. There are three different paid sick leave laws operating right now at the federal and New York State level. Watch here as Blue helps to sort out which ones cover workers and how to access benefits.
Our Central New York chapter is still fighting for rent relief in Utica! The chapter launched a letter campaign and petition calling on the city to use the nearly $1.5 million in Emergency Resolutions Grants funding it received from the federal government to provide rent relief to tenants.
#GetCounted in the 2020 Census
The 2020 Census is happening now! The census counts every person in the United States, and the results shape how billions of federal dollars flow in for the next decade in our communities.
Mail your survey, or visit Census.gov to get yours done today! It takes less than 10 minutes and is fully confidential. Email Sheilah at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for help. We’re building a team of volunteers to make sure our communities receive the funding we need. There are many ways to help from home. Click here to join our team to make sure everyone is counted in this census!
Monday, May 11 at 6 p.m. — Join us for a digital workshop on Dog Whistle Politics! We’ll talk about the history of dog-whistle politics, how to unmask it, and how we can work together to defeat it. Sign up here. Let us know you’re joining here.
Tuesday, May 12 at 6 – 7 p.m. — We’re launching a new cooking and politics series called, “What’s Cooking? with Citizen Action,” which will feature live cooking and conversation on key current events.
The first event will focus on the federal stimulus package and feature special guest Sondra Youdelman, Campaigns Director for the national political organization People’s Action. The topic of discussion will be the need for a “People’s Bailout” that puts everyday families before giant corporations. Citizen Action’s Co-Executive Director Rosemary Rivera and Managing Director Charlie Albanetti will serve as the hosts.
Join the Movement
Citizen Action of New York is building power in communities across the state. Our members are the reason we’re able to do effective grassroots organizing and achieve justice for our communities. Our members give what they can when they can, and each contribution is directly invested in local leadership development. Click here to support.
There are many ways to get involved right now. Click here to contact a Citizen Action chapter in your area and ask how you can get involved locally.
“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” – Angela Davis