The New York State legislative session ends on Thursday, June 10, which means we have about a month left to push bills we need to pass this year. Some major bills we want to see passed include the Good Cause eviction legislation, the Climate Community and Investment Act (CCIA), the Patient Medical Debt Protection Act and the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together Act.
We’re also looking forward to the upcoming primary elections on Tuesday, June 22. The last day to register to vote is on May 28, and thanks to the restore the vote bill that was signed into law this week, even more voters are expected to participate, strengthening our Democracy. The bill—which makes formerly incarcerated individuals automatically eligible for voter registration upon their release—took effect immediately. There’s still major work to do, but this is a huge victory and should be celebrated! Our chapters are still rolling out endorsements, but you can view a full list of endorsements for the 2021 primary election here.
Around the State
May Day Good Cause Day of Action
For International Workers’ Day, May 1, Citizen Action chapters celebrated with a Good Cause Day of Action, uniting workers’ rights and housing justice. Our New York City chapter held a Good Cause eviction bill teach-in and then canvassed communities to share literature and base-build. They were joined by Chi Ossé, who’s running for New York City Council District 36.
Our Hudson Valley chapter participated in a sleep out and speak out rally at Kingston City Hall to raise awareness of the region’s homelessness crisis. In Binghamton, Citizen Action members rallied at Riot Act’s May Day Bloc party and spoke about the need for Good Cause, where many tenants are living in deplorable housing.
The Good Cause bill will ensure that tenants can demand better living conditions without the threat of eviction. In the Capital Region, Citizen Action leaders rallied with nurses at Albany Medical Center and at Washington Park, where there were performances and speakers amplifying workers rights.
NY HERO Act Becomes Law
After a year-long fight, essential workers won the tools to empower and protect our communities for this pandemic and whatever comes next. This is a huge win for the health and dignity of workers and our communities. To learn more about this new law and how it impacts you and your community, click here.
Ways to Take Action Now
Tell NY Leaders: Pass Good Cause
Evictions threaten the health of individuals and communities and can keep families trapped in a cycle of poverty. They negatively affect job stability, disrupt education, and disproportionately harm Black, Brown, low-income, and immigrant people in ways that can last for generations. Evictions are a cause of poverty, not an effect of it. The solution is to pass the Good Cause Eviction bill and invest in our communities by protecting tenants, good landlords, and first-time homebuyers. Send New York State leaders a message: safe, stable, affordable housing for all New Yorkers is a human right.
Take the Alliance for Quality Education Parent Survey
We need your help to identify the top priorities for how the new federal funding and state Foundation Aid will be spent in your local school district! Click here to access a survey to help us determine what to prioritize when advocating for funding. Parent voice is incredibly important!
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.
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!
Volunteer Social Media Team
Social media can be a powerful tool for sharing our ideas and informing the public on issues that affect our communities. That’s why we’re looking to grow a volunteer social media team to help build a strong social media presence for each and every one of our regional chapters. To join the team, contact Karina Roman at email@example.com.
Monday, May 10
Protect & Expand our Democracy
Call Senator Schumer: Tell him you support the For The People Act
The For The People Act is reaching a crucial phase: tomorrow U.S. Senators will begin debating and amending the act.
There is a lot of pressure for Senator Schumer to cut important parts like public campaign financing, which limits the undue influence of corporations and the wealthy on our politics.
Here is just a sample of what the For The People Act does:
- Makes it easier to register to vote
- Eliminates barriers to voting
- Blocks partisan and racist attempts to suppress voting
- Ends partisan gerrymandering
- Limits the influence of corporations and the wealthy in politics
- Makes our elections more secure
- Much, much, more
This is the most important civil rights legislation of our time. Please make sure Senator Schumer hears your voice. Click here to take action!
Reversing Runaway Inequality
1-4 pm on Saturday 5/22 & Sunday 5/23
We will discuss both what the current inequality looks like and how it came to be. Our economic system was built on exploitation of Black and Brown people and, in order to achieve economic justice, we must understand and dismantle the racism inherent in the system. Click here to register.
Check out the rest of our upcoming Political Education workshops: https://citizenactionny.org/political-education-workshops/
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.