Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by war and injustice. Our newsfeeds have been flooded with reactions to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which over the past few weeks has caused hundreds of deaths, many of them children, and the state-sanctioned violence in Columbia.
For countless families and communities, justice comes too late. Right now, thousands of people await compassionate release in New York’s prisons. We’re still fighting to pass the Elder Parole and Fair and Timely Parole bills to reunite families and restore justice where peace has been taken away. To learn more about how to support the Releasing Aging People in Prison’s campaign, click here.
We can support the liberation of all people by respecting and celebrating our cultural differences. Citizen Action endorses candidates who share a vision of New York that works for all of us. The candidates we endorse come from diverse backgrounds and reflect the grassroots, multi-racial, multi-generational movement we’re building here in New York. We’re still rolling out endorsements for the upcoming primaries, but many of our endorsed candidates can be found here. The last day to register to vote is on May 28. Click here for more information.
Around the State
Fighting Against Good Cause Eviction Smear Campaign in Albany
The New York State Association of Realtors is spending thousands of dollars on citywide mailers and numerous video advertisements in an attempt to block progressive legislation to protect tenants from unjust evictions from moving forward in the city of Albany. In response, our Capital District chapter joined VOCAL-NY, United Tenants of Albany, Poor People’s Campaign and New York Council of Churches for a rally at their office.
New York’s Eviction Moratorium Extended Until August 31
When the statewide eviction moratorium expires on August 31, more than 1 million tenants will be at risk for eviction. There are currently 92,000 people without permanent housing in New York. We must pass Good Cause eviction to ensure all tenants have permanent eviction protections as we recover from the pandemic. We must also fund the housing access voucher program to help New Yorkers find and keep permanent housing. Housing Justice for All has 10 canvasses happening across the state that you can join to help us win Good Cause this year. Click here for more information.
Endorsements for Upcoming Elections
This week, our Capital Region chapter announced its support for a slate of progressive candidates, including Omar Sterling McGill for Schenectady County Legislature in District 1, and the following Albany Common Council endorsements:
- Sonia Frederick, 1st Ward
- Steven Negron, 3rd Ward
- Gabriella Romero, 6th Ward
- Violetta DeRosa, 7th Ward
- Owusu Anane,10th Ward
- Alfredo Balarin, 11th Ward
Click here to read our full announcement. In Rochester, Susan Hughes-Smith received Citizen Action of New York’s endorsement for Monroe County Legislature, District 14. Click here to read a quote from Susan in our full announcement here.
In NYC, our chapter leaders have been throwing down for our endorsed candidates! They’ve been phonebanking and canvassing communities before the primary elections on June 22. This week, chapter leaders joined Diane Morales at the launch of her economic justice plan. Citizen Action is throwing its full support behind Diane, who is the progressive frontrunner for New York City Mayor. New York City voters now have the option of choosing more than one candidate on Election Day, thanks to the new ranked choice voting system. Citizen Action announced several ranked choice endorsements, which you can view here on our endorsements page.
Citizen Acton leaders Symone Green and Jason Salmon with NYC mayoral candidate Diane Morales
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.
Public Policy and Education Fund Navigators Can Help you Access Health Care
We envision a world where health care is guaranteed for everyone, no matter their race, gender, citizenship status, or ability to pay. We believe in a system that provides affordable, quality health care, is culturally responsive, improves quality of life, and is accessible to all. If you could use some help navigating the health care system or know someone who could, click here to provide your contact info and a Public Policy and Education Fund Navigator will reach out to you personally or give them a call toll-free at 800-803-8508.
New York has a Poison Lead Problem: Share your Story
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 share your story.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, May 18th
We need to #PassTheCCIA in 2021! But the legislative session ends June 10th. So, we need to use our people power to build public pressure all across the state. Join local elected officials and leaders to make a big statement that we need to pass the CCIA this year! Click here to register. The CCIA (Climate and Community Investment Act) would raise $15 billions from corporate polluters to create good, green jobs, invest in frontline communities, and build a renewable economy for New York State. More information here.
June 8- 11, Pickup on June 13
Together We Bid: Online Auction
Our Rochester Chapter is holding an online auction! Stay tuned for more information on our Rochester Facebook page here.
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.
“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” – Assata Shakur