The past week has been full of planning for our upcoming actions across all of our issues, from housing and child care, to climate action and civil rights. As activists and movement supporters, we’re aiming to apply pressure all of 2021, because it may be a new year, but our state is still struggling to overcome deep-rooted racial and economic inequalities. We’re still facing police brutality, childhood poverty and so much more. New York is a great state indeed, but we’ll be even better when we fully fund our schools, make quality housing a guaranteed right for everyone, support ALL workers, especially those who were excluded from federal Covid-19 relief when Trump was in office, and protect everyone’s basic human rights. Governor Cuomo is still choosing to protect billionaires instead. An editorial by the Albany Times Union speaks to why the Governor should tax the rich regardless of what the federal government does. Isn’t that Cuomo’s responsibility? To be the people’s champ? Check out this excerpt from the Times Union:
“Forget the myth of millionaire refugees. A state that can’t help its residents get through a time like this would be a place no one would want to live — poor, rich or in between.” Click here to read more. Click here to learn more about the “Invest in Our New York” campaign.
Around the State
Invest in Our New York Campaign’s Bronx Press Conference
The Invest in Our New York Coalition was in the Bronx this week with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, newly-elected Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Working Families Party Director Sochie Nnaemeka. At the conference, AOC officially endorsed the campaign and our member, Bereket, spoke about the increase in food insecurity in our state due to the pandemic. Click here to watch a video of Bereket’s speech on Instagram.
The Invest in Our New York Act would raise at least $50 billion in new revenue to avoid making damaging cuts to low-income communities in the wake of Covid-19. The package of bills would help stabilize New York’s budget for years to come by taxing our state’s ultra rich, millionaires and billionaires, and reinvesting that money back into our communities. Click here to watch the conference on Facebook or on Twitter, here.
Photo by Corey Torpie, AOC’s photographer
Our Southern Tier chapter joined D.A.R.O.C of Broome County, a coalition working to win police reform and accountability, for the launch of a letter campaign calling out the city for ignoring the community’s concerns with policing. The letter, which was sent to the Binghamton City Council and members of the official police reform committee, outlines the details of the coalition’s proposed police reforms. Click here to read the letter, and here for a video of the coalition’s press conference on Facebook.
Gov. Cuomo Must Fully Fund Our Schools
This week, New York parents and the Alliance for Quality Education held a press conference to share a letter they wrote to the Governor explaining why he must fully fund public schools! Unless Governor Cuomo taxes the rich to fund schools and other urgent priorities, school districts across the state will be left worse off than they were before the pandemic.
“Those of us signing this letter span all walks of life: transplants and lifelong residents, large families and single parent households, nurses and grocery store clerks, Upstaters and Downstaters. What we all have in common is a desire to raise our children in New York — but your ongoing underfunding of public schools is making it nearly impossible.” You can read more of the letter here.
Health Coverage Shouldn’t be Tied to a Job
The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of our healthcare system and why everyone should have access to quality care whether they’re employed or not. The New York Health Act, which would establish a single-payer health care system, has been around for years, passing the Assembly four times. It’s important now more than ever that we have comprehensive, universal health coverage — including long-term care — for every resident of New York. Click here to take action for guaranteed health care for all!
Early Childhood Virtual Advocacy Days Kick-Off
Tuesday, February 2 at 12:30-2 p.m.
Save NY Child Care 2021 – Join child care advocates from across New York for “Advocates Tuesdays.” The advocacy days will launch with a kick-off and press conference on February 2 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The event will feature state legislative champions, including Senator Jabari Brisport and Assembly member Andy Hevesi, chair of the Children and Families Committees in their respective houses, as well as parents, early care providers, union leaders, and employers. Members of the press are invited to join at 1 p.m. Click here for more information.
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
Buffalo Town Hall: How to Jumpstart the Black Economy
Join local artists and community leaders for an exciting conversation about the state of the Black economy in Buffalo, and what New York can do to help jumpstart it in the wake of Covid-19. Participants will hear from grassroot organizers on how we can build back the Black economy by taxing the ultra rich. Click here to register. See who’s going on Facebook.
Saturday, February 6 at 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Transforming the Worldview
In this workshop, we will discuss narrative building and dissect the dominant narrative that pushes individualism, free markets, and anti-government while using racism and sexism to maintain a hierarchy. We then discuss what a transformative narrative is and practice building our narrative. Click here to register.
Wednesday, February 10 at 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Capital District Open House
Join our Capital District Chapter for its annual Open House! This is a great opportunity to meet chapter leaders and organizers, celebrate last year’s wins, and discuss ways to win justice for our communities this year and create transformational change. There will also be a special, surprise activity! Click here to register. Click here to see who’s going on Facebook.
The Housing Solutions Town Hall will provide a virtual space for residents of NY to hear and share stories about the impacts of lead exposure and get involved in a new statewide campaign to end lead poisoning, review Good Cause legislation and what the passage could mean to our membership, and the need for a just and comprehensive solution to the COVID-19 rent crisis. Click here to register.
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.
“The moment anyone tries to demean you or degrade you in any way, you have to know how great you are. Nobody would bother to beat you down if you were not a threat.” – Cicely Tyson