At the State Capitol, we’re down to the last few days of the state legislative session, which ends on June 10. There are exactly 7 days left of session after Memorial Day weekend. This week, the state Senate passed the START Act (Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together) and the bill now awaits the Governor’s signature. If signed into law, victims of human trafficking, both sex trafficking and labor trafficking, will be able to petition the court to clear their record of ALL offenses related to their abuse. The New York parole reform bills are still on the table and have been named top priorities by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. We’re gearing up for the final stretch to make progress on key issues before the close of session. Below, you’ll find a summary of regional events this week, and ways to plug into the movement in your area.
Around the State
One Year Since Police Killed George Floyd in Minneapolis
Along with communities across the nation, Citizen Action members are remembering George Floyd on the one-year mark of his death. While his killer, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty, we’re still demanding accountability for police misconduct in our communities. During the pandemic, the killing of George Floyd sparked a global resurgence of protests against police violence and in defense of Black lives.
Our New York City chapter joined Make the Road New York, VOCAL-NY, Housing Works, the NY Working Families Party and other progressive groups for a march at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Click here to read a statement from Christian Parra, Citizen Action’s Statewide Civil Rights Organizer. Click here for a video of the rally on Twitter.
Applications for Rent Assistance Open June 1
The Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) will be opening its application portal for rent relief on June 1! Anyone who received unemployment benefits since March 13, 2020, lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, owes overdue rent from on or after March 13, 2020, or is at risk of homelessness or housing instability, should apply. Undocumented New Yorkers are also eligible to apply. Find out more information!
Supporting Our Endorsed Candidates
With the June 22 primaries so close, our members have been working to help get out the vote for our endorsed candidates. Over the weekend, our New York City chapter canvassed communities in Queens Council District 32 in support of Felicia Singh.
The chapter also announced its endorsement of endorsement Kim Moscaritolo (ranked-choice #1) and Rebecca Lamorte (rank choice #2 ) for New York City Council District 5. Click here to read our full announcement, and here for a full list of our endorsed candidates!
Take Action Now
Ending Mass Incarceration An elder dies in New York prisons every two days. This is a crisis. We need New York lawmakers to pass the Elder Parole and Fair & Timely Parole bills to bring hope and healing to our communities. Click here to take action: http://bit.ly/ParoleJusticeNY
Tuesday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Transforming the Worldview
This workshop is the core of our worldview program at Citizen Action and we discuss the conservative dominant worldview and the progressive worldview that we want to replace it with. We look at using narrative, or story, as a tool for connecting with people and promoting change. Then we practice building a narrative that reinforces our progressive worldview.
Justice Works 2021 – Virtual Conference
Justice Works is New York’s premier conference bringing together hundreds of progressive organizers and activists from across the state to train, share, network, teach and learn with each other. Click here to reserve your spot now!
New York City
Saturday, June 5, 2021, at 12 p.m.
March for Parole Justice
Join hundreds of people from across New York State on June 5 for a march to demand Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart- Cousins pass the Elder Parole and Fair & Timely Parole bills. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, June 2 at 6 p.m.
Cookout with Candidates
Join our Rochester chapter for a free cookout and meet-and-greet with our endorsed candidates! Click here if you’d like to register on Facebook.
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.
Saturday, May 29 at 1- 3 p.m.
Eviction Defense Training
The eviction moratorium has been extended but there is still a lot of uncertainty and misinformation. Join us for this important conversation as experts from Citizen Action of New York and Housing Justice 4 All help us to understand this moment and what we can do to help our neighbors and our community!
This event will be held virtually. Register for the Zoom link and info. You can also join us on FB Live on the day of the event! Register for this event at bit.ly/ChemungEvictionDefense
Monday, June 7 at 12 p.m.
A National Call for Moral Revival on Monday
Join the New York State Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival on Monday, June 7, for our news conference and rally to demand a Third Reconstruction in America. Binghamton and New York State will join with states around the country and Washington D.C. to put our U.S. Representatives on notice. Drawing on the transformational history of the First Reconstruction following the Civil War and the Second Reconstruction of the civil rights struggles of the 20th century, today we need a Third Reconstruction to revive our moral and political commitments to democracy and the founding principles of the country. Click here for more information on the event Facebook page and here to register.
Thursday, June 3, 2021, at 11-12 p.m.
Clean Slate Rally
Join formerly incarcerated activists and organizers from across New York to call on state lawmakers to pass the Clean Slate Act (S1553A/A5399)! You’ll hear from speakers with Free the People WNY, Partnership for the Public Good, Citizen Action of Western NY and Evergreen Health. Each year, over 400,000 New Yorkers are arrested on criminal charges, with 2.3 million people in the state living with a conviction history. Legislators have an opportunity to address the numerous barriers people who’ve served their sentences face. Clean Slate proposes a 2-step process to end the perpetual punishment of a conviction record. The time to act is now. Click here for more information. Register for the rally here: https://bit.ly/clean-slate-action
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.
As AAPI Heritage Month comes to a close, I wanted to leave you all with a quote from an inspiring movement leader from the diaspora. Ai-jen Poo, executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance and director of Caring Across Generations, said:
“It’s precisely the people who are considered the least ‘likely’ leaders who end up inspiring others the most. Everyday people and everyday acts of courage eventually change everything.”