Dear Activist, 

It’s crunch time in Albany! We’re days away from the release of the Assembly and Senate one-house budgets, and weeks away from the April 1 New York State budget deadline. Our Political Director Stanley Fritz made a very good point during our lobby day pump-up rally this week: New Yorkers are not in the dark —  people know their power and have wielded that power greatly over the past year of this pandemic. From ousting Trump and rallying behind progressive candidates to save New York’s progressive Working Families Party, to turning out in droves for virtual and in-person actions, including eviction defense actions and so much more. 

Our lobby day was all about calling on our state leaders to support the Invest in our New York Act, a plan to raise at least $50 billion by passing progressive tax revenue bills. This week, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which provides billions to assist with rental and utility bills, extend unemployment insurance, increase SNAP benefits and provide relief to state and local governments. Now it’s up to New York state legislators to follow Congress’ lead on investing in our communities. They can tax millionaires and billionaires in New York to avoid making cuts this year and in years ahead. While we hear there are some revenue raisers being considered in the State Senate and Assembly budgets, the Invest in Our New York Act goes the furthest by not only making up for lost revenue, but also closing tax loopholes that have only ever benefited the rich. 

Around the State 

Statewide Lobby Day Success 

On Thursday, March 11, Citizen Action’s multi-issue Lobby Day took place! It started with a pump-up rally — like every good lobby day does – featuring Citizen Action staff, members and volunteers. Shoutout to our wonderful Movement Politics Director Jodi Risper who emceed the event and helped get everyone ready for our rally speakers. Shana Dahlin, Citizen Action state board member and Central New York chapter leader, spoke about the housing crisis. She detailed the growing threat of evictions due to joblessness and loss of income brought on by the pandemic, as well as New York’s lead poison crisis. More children test positive for lead poison in New York than any other state. Our amazing World View Organizer Sam Rini also gave a brief “how to lobby” training session. Click here to check out some of our live tweets from the event.

Rochester student and youth organizer, Sarah, spoke about the devastating impacts of the education funding cuts, and what it felt like to lose hundreds of educators during the school year.
Click here to read more in our Lobby Day press release. 

Rochester student and youth organizer, Sarah, spoke about the devastating impacts of the education funding cuts, and what it felt like to lose hundreds of educators during the school year. Click here to read more in our Lobby Day press release. 

Climate & Community Investment Act Art Action

On March 1, our Western New York chapter participated in the New York Renews Statewide Art Action. The rally was one of many happening throughout the state in support of the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA). There were a variety of art actions happening that week, which wrapped up with a virtual party on March 5. Western NY Community Organizer Christian Parra went live during the art action. Click here to watch the video on Facebook. 

Hardship Declaration Form is Available to Tenants 

New York’s Hardship Declaration Form is available to tenants who are at risk for eviction. Tenants can submit the form to avoid facing eviction or unnecessary court proceedings until at least May 1. Click here to access the Hardship Declaration Form.

“This eviction moratorium was won through relentless tenant organizing, but its protections are only as strong as its implementation. Tenants must be made aware of their rights in order to assert them, and landlords and judges must be held accountable in ensuring this happens.” – Rebecca Garrard, a tenant advocate and Campaigns Manager for Housing Justice. 


Federal Action Team

Our collective work to elect a new President and a Democratic majority in both the House and 

Senate has kicked open the door to change, and we’re ready to run (and/or dance) through it!

We’re part of a national network of people gearing up to stand strong for what we need from our federal government. New Yorkers are in a key position to move the national agenda because Senator Chuck Schumer has replaced Mitch McConnell as the Senate Majority Leader.

A bold relief package is a necessary first step toward an equitable and transformative recovery, and we won’t stop there – we’re building a Federal Take Action Team that we will activate when there are opportunities for real change on the federal level. Join us:

We can’t wait to build even more power with you!

Upcoming Events 

Saturday, March 13 at 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Western New York Men & Women of Color Committee Presents: Talking About Vaccines 

Western New York Citizen Action Men and Women of Color present Talking About Vaccines: “Ins and Outs of Making an Informed Decision.” Are you between the ages of 25 and 45? Do you know enough information about the vaccine to make a decision? Are you prepared for the vaccine rollout in July for your age group? Bring your questions and more. Click here to register: 


Shifting the Worldview to Create Community Safety
March 15, 16, 17 at 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Join us to discuss the motives and drivers of the criminal legal system, including mass incarceration and policing. With that understanding, we can begin to redefine safety in our lives and communities. Click here to register. 


March 18 at 4:30 p.m. 

How would your life improve if the state with the most billionaires actually invested in our communities’ needs? Join Citizen Action’s Central New York chapter to demand a state budget that taxes the rich to fund our schools, improve housing and fund all the services we need in the community! Click here to sign up. 


Letter to the Editor Workshop
Wednesday March 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Letters to the editors are a great way to make our voices heard on current issues impacting our communities. Join us for a letter to the editor writing workshop where we’ll do a brief narrative overview and then break out into groups to workshop our letters. Feel free to bring a draft or start fresh with a partner. Lastly, we’ll go over submission tips! 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. 

Stay Connected

Tweet us! For live updates, follow our statewide Twitter page. And if you’re looking for cool articles, memes and a little conversation, like us on Facebook here.


Closing message: 

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

In solidarity,