Activist Check-in: We Must Invest in the Care Economy

by | Sep 13, 2021

Dear Activist,

As we work to overcome the ongoing pandemic and rebuild our communities, we’re questioning the dominant values that drive many of the policy decisions in our state and country. We’re examining the various spectrums of care that people need to have good quality lives, including child care, elder care, education, health care, and personal social and domestic services, and how we’re all impacted by decisions made in Albany and Washington. We’re thinking about the ways we can be better than we ever were.

There’s been a lot of talk about strengthening our care economy. When we say the ‘care economy’, we’re thinking about the work, resources and public goods needed to nurture and sustain people and ensure that everyone has a high standard of living. For many families, this starts with child care and paid family and sick leave, especially as the economy reopens and people are encouraged to return to the workforce. It includes strengthening long-term care for our elders, rebuilding local infrastructure to make sure our roads and bridges are safe for travel and investing in care for our loved ones living with disabilities. At Citizen Action, we have long been fighting to make sure all families have access to health care, affordable housing, lead-free homes, clean drinking water, and educational opportunities. While President Biden’s infrastructure plan is stalled in the Senate, and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan is still forming, we’re making our voices heard to ensure that no cuts are made to the plan and that our families and communities receive record investments that will allow us to not only recover from Covid-19’s impact but come back stronger than ever. Our vision for the care economy speaks to our core values — a society where our most vulnerable are taken care of, where all children can have a world-class education from childhood to adulthood, and where we invest in and put power back into the hands of everyday people.

Leader Spotlight

Citizen Action’s Leader of the Month for the month of September is Vanessa Rosser, who volunteers with our New York City chapter. Vanessa has been following Citizen Action for about two years now and became a member less than a year ago. “It is important to know that one can be connected to a mechanism that drives change. I enjoy being active with my citizen action chapter. I attend chapter meetings and participate on planning committees when my time allows. I have even done some canvassing. I don’t mind as long as it’s for a good cause!” she said.

Vanessa’s activism is fueled by her humanitarian values, and her passion to acquire knowledge and help keep others informed. She said she was taught that education and respect are the keys to understanding the world around us. She said while our walks and perspectives on life may be different, the one thing we have in common is that we’re all human. She also shared the following quote with us. “This quote is so very true, people will never forget how you’ve moved them,” she said. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

Around the State

On Thursday, September 9, our New York City chapter held its “People Powered Celebration.” The event, which took place at Ode to Babel in Brooklyn, included a happy hour and meet and greet with Citizen Action members and incoming New York City council members. In attendance were incoming city council members Pierina Sanchez (District 14), Althea Stevens (District 16), Crystal Hudson (District 35), Chi Ossé (District 36) Sandy Nurse (District 37), and Shahana Hanif (District 39). The main topic of the night was Good Cause Eviction, which would protect tenants from unfair rent increase and arbitrary evictions. The chapter is gearing up for a major Good Cause Eviction push, and is thrilled to have incoming council members who will be champions for housing justice.

ESCCC Hosts ‘Climate for Universal Child Care’ Virtual Panel

This week, we also joined the Empire State Child Care Campaign for a presentation and virtual panel of leading child care champions from federal, state and local governments to share their sense of “The 2022 Climate for Universal Child Care.” The panel focused on the need for a universal child care system that ensures living wages for providers, and comprehensive and high-quality programs that fit the unique needs of all families. A recording of the panel discussion can be found on ESCCC’s Facebook page, here. Click here to read the full press release.

Upcoming Events



Black Joy Cookout & Dance Party
Saturday, September 11 at 1-7 p.m.

Join our Southern Tier chapter, B.A.W.S.E and Keeping it Current for an end-of-summer celebration of Black Joy! We will also have information related to housing justice in the Southern Tier.

Free food. Masks provided and social distancing guidelines in effect. Open to the public! Click here for more information.

29th Jim Perry Progressive Leadership Awards

Tuesday, September 14 at 6-8 p.m.

Citizen Action of New York’s Capital District chapter will host its annual Jim Perry Progressive Leadership Awards on Tuesday, September 14 at 6 – 8 p.m. at The Linda on Central Avenue in Albany. The award is named in honor of the chapter’s founding member, Jim Perry, who was a gay rights activist both in the Capital District and statewide. Celebrate our 2021 honorees — get your tickets today at!

Transforming The Worldview
Tuesday, September 14 at 12-1:30 p.m.

Join our Political Education team for a discussion about the conservative worldview and the progressive worldview that we want to replace with it. During this workshop, participants look at using narrative, or story, as a tool for connecting with people and promoting change. Then, everyone will practice building a narrative that reinforces our progressive worldview. Click here to register.

Breaking the Cycle
Saturday, September 18 at 1-3 p.m.

Join this workshop to explore the motivations and drivers of the criminal legal system, including policing and mass incarceration. 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.

Ways to Take Action Now

Climate Action Can’t Wait

We can’t wait any longer to address the climate crisis. Congress has the opportunity to go big and bold on investing in climate solutions — and they need to hear from us how important it is that they act NOW. Take action:

Write a letter to the Editor

We’re looking for volunteers with an interest in writing letters to the editor on a variety of social justice issues from climate change to election reform. We host workshops and provide resources to help you write your letter. You can respond to this email if you’d like to be added to our LTE submissions group!  

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:

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Max Planck


In solidarity,