This was another week pumped with action—mainly the celebratory kind. We’re stopping to smell the flowers—so to speak, sitting in gratitude for how far we’ve come. State lawmakers passed a state budget that fully funds Foundation Aid! And after a tireless fight that lasted more than a year, activists and advocates with the Excluded Workers Campaign saw a major victory: the budget establishes a $2 billion Excluded Workers Fund! New Yorkers who were excluded from emergency benefits like unemployment and stimulus checks during the pandemic will finally get the relief they need! Click here to read our President Ivette Alfonso’s response to the overall budget, and here to read our Co-Executive Director Rosemary Rivera’s statement, which highlights the rent and education victories. Curious about how the budget will impact you and your community? Don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Citizen Action chapter for more information and ways to get involved. Click here.
The work goes on, but as activists, it’s important to take a moment to reflect. To feel proud. To rest. The victories in this budget could not have been possible without our collective push for justice.
Around the State
Invest in NY Coalition Host Post Budget Press Conference
Our coalition partners with the Invest in Our New York coalition held a post budget press conference at the Capitol building on April 7. Elected officials and leaders from the Working Families Party, Alliance for Quality Education, VOCAL-NY and many other progressive groups, were present. The message: this is a budget that reflects the will of the people. New Yorkers pulled together under extraordinary circumstances to fight for a just budget. We will continue fighting for a New York that works for all of us. Click here to watch a video of the press conference on Facebook.
CCIA Statewide Week of Action
This week, Citizen Action joined with our NY Renews partners for the Climate, Jobs and Justice Week of Action. Gabe Silva, Citizen Action community organizer in the Capital Region, helped lead a rally and press conference at the New York State Capitol building on Wednesday, April 6, championing the Climate Community and Investment Act (CCIA) and federal THRIVE Agenda. The rally was one of many happening statewide, including in New York City, Long Island, Albany, Ithaca, and Buffalo. Click here to learn more about the CCIA.
ALBANY, NEW YORK – APRIL 07: New Yorkers take action in Albany for an economic recovery and infrastructure package prioritizing climate, care, jobs, and justice, call on congress to pass the THRIVE act on April 7, 2021 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network)[/caption]
New York has a Poison Lead Problem
New York has the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning than anywhere else in the U.S., with thousands of children testing positive every year. The impacts of lead poisoning can be felt all around our state.
Citizen Action is leading a coalition to pass legislation to end lead poisoning in New York, especially for children who can be irreversibly damaged by even the smallest dose. Our lead bill would make it mandatory for ALL counties in New York to regularly inspect homes that are likely to contain lead, and create a statewide database of lead violations so that they can be easily tracked and monitored, and support can be provided where needed. We’re currently doing outreach in communities impacted by lead in preparation for the launch of our Lead Free NY campaign. If you or someone you know has been impacted by lead poisoning and would like to share your/their story, click here to connect to a community organizer at a chapter near you.
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: cit.ac/federalaction
We can’t wait to build even more power with you!
Saturday, April 10 & Sunday, April 11 at 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Breaking the Cycle
One of Citizen Action’s core workshops, Breaking the Cycle, explores the drivers of the criminal legal system through a dissection of its history and current power players. During the workshop, we practice using our imagination and build our vision of what safety in communities can really look like. Register here.
Interested in more Political Education workshops? Check out the schedule below! Click here for more information and to register for upcoming workshops.
Thursday, April 15 at 3:30 p.m.
Parole Reform Rally + Press Conference
Join our Southern Tier chapter, Mothers On the Inside and Justice and Unity for the Southern Tier (JUST) to rally in support of the Fair and Timely Parole (S1415/A.4231) and Elder Parole (S15/A.3475) bills. New Yorkers deserve adequately staffed, efficient and impartial parole boards! We’re calling on Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo to support these two absolutely life-saving and necessary bills. Location: 60 Hawley St, Binghamton, NY 13901-3708. Click here to see who’s going on Facebook.
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.
“Bloom where you are planted”