Albany, NY – In response to the end of the 2022 legislative session, Stanley Fritz, Political and Campaigns Director of Citizen Action of New York, issued the following statement:
“The 2022 session once again demonstrated that when we come together, we are able to hold our elected officials accountable and push them to prioritize the needs of everyday people. Despite legislative resistance, our state is stronger thanks to the thousands of New Yorkers from Buffalo to Long Island who showed up to demand better from our legislators.
“We appreciate our legislative champions who stood with us by pushing through critical legislation and literally standing shoulder to shoulder with us in the State Capitol and in the streets in support of racial and economic justice and an end to white supremacy.
“Together we were able to win major victories, including:
- The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, which protects voters against intimidation and voter suppression tactics that have disproportionately impacted Black and Brown New Yorkers;
- Addressing New York’s childcare crisis with a $2 billion investment and a bill to ensure consistent access to childcare, even if parents’ work schedules vary;
- Two health care bills to protect patients from medical debt, including a bill to prohibit nonprofit hospitals from placing liens on residences or garnishing wages for unpaid medical bills and a bill to ban hospital facility fees from being imposed in secret on patients.
“Unfortunately, despite the legislature’s demonstrated ability to quickly and decisively pass life-saving measures – such as stronger gun safety laws and abortion rights protections – that same appetite for action was nowhere to be found when it came to passing other crucial legislation. Passing up the chance to make real investments to address the unaffordability crisis millions of New Yorkers are experiencing means that many of our communities will continue to suffer the impacts of decades of intentional disinvestment.
“The failure to pass Good Cause tenant protections means that New York renters have no protection from the current crisis of predatory rent hikes and will continue to be at risk for homelessness. The failure to implement Solutions Not Suspensions will result in more students being funneled into the school-to-prison pipeline. The failure to pass the widely popular Clean Slate act means that 2.3 million New Yorkers will continue to face barriers to housing, employment, and other vital opportunities which would have meant true community safety. The failure to pass important climate legislation such as the Build Public Renewables Act and the Electric Buildings Act means that we are that much further from addressing the worsening crisis.
“While we celebrate the victories, we are definitely not done fighting for a New York that works for everyone. We will continue to hold our leaders accountable for delivering bold, visionary progressive legislation that will improve the lives of the millions of regular New Yorkers they represent, not just the wealthy few who funded their campaigns. And we will continue to push back on giveaways to billionaires and big business interests and fight to put those dollars back into the communities that need it most, especially Black, Brown, working-class, and immigrant communities that have been left behind too many times.”