Activist Check-in: New Yorkers Deserve Better

by | Aug 9, 2021

The state Attorney General’s report which found that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women has been the breaking news story out of Albany for the past few days. Impeachment is now the likely outcome since the Governor refuses to resign and denies any wrongdoing. The details of the report are disturbing and triggering, and since its release there have been resounding calls for the Governor to step down. As of Friday, a formal complaint against the Governor has been filed with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. With each passing day, it’s abundantly clear that Cuomo is unfit to lead. It’s unclear exactly how long he’ll be in office. Click here to read a statement from our Co-Executive Director Jess Wisneski calling for Cuomo’s  resignation. 

Also this week: In what was a slight sigh of relief for tenants and homeowners everywhere, the federal eviction ban that was set to expire on July 31 was extended to October 3. Now, it is on the state to be as efficient as possible in getting the rent relief payments out to prevent a massive wave of evictions and foreclosures. New York’s eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of August. Citizen Action members have been speaking out about the state’s inability to provide relief to tenants in a timely manner and the threat of eviction and unsafe housing that thousands of renters are facing. Below, you’ll find some info about our upcoming events and what’s happening around the state at our regional chapters. 

Around the State 

Calling out the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Buffalo 

After a 14-year-old was charged with possession of a weapon following an incident at Drew Science Magnet School in Buffalo, Citizen Action joined community leaders and the Alliance for Quality for Education to hold a press conference to call for holistic approaches to children in the court system.  Community leaders are calling for a holistic and restorative justice approach to situations like this to ensure that at-risk children are not criminalized before they can receive the help they need. The school-to-prison pipeline describes a system that criminalizes children through punitive and severe disciplinary actions instead of educating and supporting them through rehabilitative and restorative practices. The pipeline conditions children, disproportionately Black and brown children in underserved communities, to the system of mass incarceration. “Young students get so normalized into the criminal justice system that it just creates its own pathway right into prison,” said Demone Smith, chair of the Citizen Action Education Committee in Buffalo. 

Paid Leave for All’s Nationwide Bus Tour  

This week, Citizen Action took part in the Paid Leave for All’s nationwide bus tour. The tour was held to bring awareness to the need for a federal paid and family leave policy, with stops in Albany and New York City. Michelle Ming, our campaigns manager, spoke at the bus tour stop in Albany, joining Albany Mayor Kahthy Sheehan, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and many others. Paid family and medical leave is a critical policy to help American families, workers and caregivers, and to build our economy back better for all. Paid leave has bipartisan support from 84 % of U.S. voters, yet American remains the only industrial country without a national form of paid leave. 


Ways to Take Action Now

Child Care IS infrastructure. Even if caregivers are able to continue working despite a lack of reliable childcare, many have to work fewer hours, give up chances for promotion, or take lower-paying jobs.Congress: invest in vital childcare infrastructure! Click here to register. 

Upcoming Events 

Saturday, August 9 at 6- 8 p.m.
For the People Act Virtual Phone Bank 

Join us for a virtual phone bank to call voters across New York and talk to them about the importance of the For the People Act. We need all hands on deck to protect our freedom to vote!  Click here to register. 

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: 

Southern Tier 

Saturday, August 7 at 6 p.m.
Black August: New York Statewide Abolitionist Day of Action

Join our Southern Tier chapter and other community groups for a statewide day of action in support of the abolitionist movement and alternative to policing. This day of action will include multiple simultaneous anti-police actions in cities across New York. Join us! Click here for more information and here to find an action near you. 

New York City 

Saturday, August 14 at 12- 3 p.m.
Education Justice Block Party 

Washington Heights is where, in 1992, Robert Jackson and other parents filed the original Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit against the state of New York — kicking off the decades-long fight for adequate and equitable resources for New York’s low income Black and Brown children. We’re returning to where it all began, on August 14 for an Education Justice Block Party to celebrate this historic moment for New York’s public schools. Admission is free to the public. Sign up to join us!

Statewide Political Education  

August 10, 11 and 12, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 6 – 8 p.m. 

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: 

“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

In solidarity,