Red Citizen Action of New York logo.

​​Activist Check-in: Building Grassroots Power

by | Aug 4, 2021

Dear Activist,

Justice Works is in motion this weekend! Shout out to all the amazing Citizen Action staff and awesome volunteers who’ve contributed! Thanks to all of your work, we have a powerful lineup of speakers and workshops happening Saturday and Sunday. It’s not too late to join us for Justice Works: Register here. Justice Works is a time where we can hone our skills, develop as leaders, and hear from some of the most inspirational and powerful artists and movement leaders in our community.

As activists, there’s a lot that calls for our attention, whether it’s fighting to strengthen voting rights or end corporate greed, base-building through one on one conversations door to door, on the phone or at community events helps us identify the needs of our community and address those needs head-on by incorporating them into our strategies to win transformative policies. It’s the work that leads to building a bigger “we.” The best way to arrive at the future is together. Together, we can build a world that works for all of us. Read more about the base building happening this summer across the state below!

Also, I want to send a resounding congratulations to the New York Nurses Association and the nurses at Albany Medical Center! After a 3-year battle for a fair contract, NYSNA announced on July 2 that Albany Med nurses won a contract that gives them a stronger voice in patient care, protects their rights as union workers and their financial security. Citizen Action has been in full support of Albany Med nurses throughout this arduous battle. Nurses and their allies stood for what they knew they deserved and fought not only for their well-being but that of their patients. Read more about this unprecedented contract victory here.

Around the State

For far too long, the medical industry and Big Pharma have weaponized the healthcare system to get richer on the backs of poor and low-income people. The distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine around the world has been no different. This week, Citizen Action members and activists from all over joined our national affiliate, People’s Action, Resist and Rise, Justice is Global and others, for a protest and die-in outside of the German consulate and Pfizer’s headquarters in New York City to end the Vaccine Apartheid. Our co-executive director Rosemary Rivera, was an emcee, and Citizen Action member Bereket Ghebremedhin spoke as well. Click here to see a clip of Bereket’s speech on Twitter. Pfizer and German Chancellor Merkel must lift the patent restrictions on the Covid-19 vaccine to boost access to vaccines in the global South.

“Every day the government of Germany blocks the TRIPS waiver, people die.”- @BereketG1992

Building a Bigger We  

Citizen Action chapters are canvassing communities, phone-banking, and hosting events that bring directly impacted folks into the conversation. Organizers are canvassing around issues like child care, the threat of unjust evictions, and ending mass incarceration. In the Capital Region, community organizer Gabe Silva has been tabling at the local street market and encouraging people to sign up to testify at the Common Council’s next hearing on Good Cause. The legislation would end unjust evictions and guarantee good-faith tenants to a lease renewal. Next week is a big week as the city’s Good Cause bill is likely to be passed by the council. Good Cause eviction, although stalled in the state Legislature, is catching on in municipalities across New York. Read the New York Focus on a story about how upstate communities are taking action to end unjust evictions.

In the Southern Tier, community organizers Salka Valerio and Mary Clark have been organizing with tenants and housing justice activists to call out property owners who violate building codes and leave tenants to live with deplorable housing conditions. The chapter is also working on federal health care issues, and more. In NYC, the chapter has been canvassing communities around Good Cause eviction, is planning a fundraiser and has been growing a Staten Island branch. Our Hudson Valley chapter is about to host its first in-person education committee meeting after being virtual for There’s so much happening in all of our chapters.

Photo of Jason Salmon our regional director in NYC with NYC Regional Board member Jasmin Robinson & Citizen Action leaders on Staten Island

You can find out more and join us in our base-building efforts by reaching out to your local Citizen Action chapter. Links to their Facebook pages are below. You can also click here for our regional directory.

Capital Region

Central New York

New York City


Southern Tier

Western New York

Endorsement Announcement

This week, our Capital Region chapter announced their endorsement of Danielle Colin for Troy City Council, District 1. Danielle, who also goes by D. Colin, is a multidisciplinary artist, teacher and social justice activist. Click here to read our full announcement.

Danielle Colin, candidate for Troy City Council, District 1: “Throughout my professional life, I have worked to inspire, empower, and engage communities not only through the arts and education but also with the idea that we all need to be active participants in creating the progress we want to see. In this critical time, we cannot afford to vote politics as usual. My commitment and passion is for the people and our future depends on the hope and belief that change is possible.”

Ways to Take Action Now

The 2020 election saw historic voter turnout, an amazing display of democracy in action. Now there is a backlash to that turnout by conservative lawmakers. But we can fight back! Click here to send an email to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and urge him to pass the For The People Act to protect and expand the freedom to vote!

Upcoming Events

Justice Work is here! Join us for Happy Hour – a time for Justice Works New York attendees to meet each other in person, but it is also open to anyone who wants to join and meet other Citizen Action members. RSVP here:


New York City

Saturday, July 17 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Saturday is the 1 year anniversary of John Lewis’ death. Join the Good Trouble Vigil for Democracy to honor his legacy and fight for voting rights. Click here to RSVP.

Southern Tier

Thursday, July 29 at 5-8 p.m.

Social Justice Appreciation Cookout

Join our Southern Tier Chapter for a Social Justice Appreciation Cookout! There will be food, music and a raffle giveaway. The prizes included gift baskets, restaurant gift certificates, and more. Become a member for $36 today and get 3 free tickets. Raffle link:

Hudson Valley

Tuesday, August 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Kingston City School District Coalition Meeting

Join the KCSD Coalition for Equity and Equality in Education for their first in-person meeting! Food and childcare will be provided. Click here for more info:

August 10, 11 and 12 at 6 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Our political education workshop series is back with the Reversing Runaway Inequality workshop on August 10 and 12! In this workshop, we will examine the massive level of economic inequality we bear in America today and 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.


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:

“Freedom for my people is urgent

Oh, I watch them dig in their purses, huh

But I cannot be purchased, no

Pay up, but I cannot be purchased.” – Mereba

(click here to listen to New Come, a song by Mereba)


In solidarity,