CNY Solidarity Coalition members and supporters:
Below please find our legislative action team’s weekly ACTION ALERTS.
But first, a shout-out to all of you who’ve been tirelessly calling your elected representatives since January. Thanks to all of you, we won two great victories on the health care front this past week. In DC, Rep. John Katko stuck with his pledge to vote against TrumpCare, and the bill was withdrawn on Friday because House Republicans had insufficient votes to pass it. In Albany, State Senator Dave Valesky signed on as a co-sponsor of the NY Health Act, which would establish universal healthcare statewide. All of you who called, met with, or demonstrated against Katko and Valesky in recent weeks should join in the credit for these victories.
The struggle, of course, continues, so here are our suggested actions for this week. As always, we try our best to keep this info current, but will post updates as needed to the CNY Solidarity website, along with the various social media channels linked at the bottom of this message.
Monday (Mar. 27): 2 actions today (1 federal, 1 state)
No more secrets on Trump’s tax returns
Call Rep. Katko and urge him to co-sponsor H.Res. 186, which directs the Treasury Secretary to provide the House of Representatives with Trump’s tax returns from 2006 through 2015. The bill is scheduled for consideration by the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday afternoon. Katko isn’t on this committee, but we’re urging him to lend his support by signing on as co-sponsor. As always, Katko’s numbers are 315-423-5657 (Syracuse), 315-253-4068 (Auburn), or 202-225-3701 (DC). Here’s a recommended script. If you were at the Blarney Stone protest a couple weeks back (or watched it on video), please remind Rep. Katko that he said directly that he supported disclosure of Trump’s tax returns.
Support Universal Health Care
Our health care action team has been working closely with the Campaign for New York Health to support the NY Health Act. The campaign’s main focus at the moment is preparing for the April 4 “Health Care is a Human Right” Day of Action in Albany. If you’d be willing to help with data entry, sorting postcards to be delivered to State Senators, phone calls to help confirm attendance and organize carpools, or sign- and banner-making, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (315) 414-7720 or fill out this web form. The team is seeking volunteers during the day on Monday, Thursday, or Friday, and also for sign-making on Fridayevening. In addition, since Sen. Valesky has now co-sponsored the bill, the campaign is recommending calls to the relevant Senate Committee Chairs, asking them to support the New York Health Act (S4840): Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon: 516-739-1700 and Insurance Committee Chair James Seward: (607) 432-5524. If you live in Valesky’s district, you can say that your Senator has co-sponsored the bill, and you want to make sure that it comes to the floor for a vote.
Tuesday (Mar. 28)
Raise the Age
Please call your state senator, assembly member and the governor and ask that s/he support Raise-the-Age. Also, press her/him to include in the budget enough funds so this change can be phased in sooner than the planned time frame of 2019 & 2020. We should push for this to happen as soon as possible. NY & NC are the only states that try 16 & 17 year olds as adults. We’ve listed phone numbers here for the State Senators and Assembly Members who represent most of us, but if you’re not sure whose district you’re in, click here and enter your address to find out:
State Senator David Valesky: 315-478-8745
State Senator John DeFrancisco: 315-428-7632
Assembly Member William Magnarelli: 315-428-9651
Assembly Member Pamela Hunter: 315-449-9536
Assembly Member Al Stirpe: 315-452-1115
Governor Andrew Cuomo: 1-518-474-8390
Wednesday (Mar. 29): 2 actions today, both focused on education funding (1 state, 1 federal)
Support State Funding for Transportation to Public Schools
Please call your state senator, assembly member and the governor and ask that s/he allocate more funds for school buses for upstate metropolitan areas (Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, etc.). Students should not have to walk further than 1 mile to school! Syracuse needs about $4.5 million in additional funding to implement this change. The relevant phone numbers are listed under Tuesday’s action above.
Oppose diversion of federal education funds to private schools
Please call Rep. Katko and urge him to oppose the SOAR Reauthorization Act, which is an expression of Education Secretary DeVos’s “school choice” agenda. SOAR reauthorization would fund and expand, with your federal tax dollars, the District of Columbia’s private school voucher program. This program operates with little transparency or accountability, and Congress has refused to add protections against discrimination based on disability and sexual orientation. Every dollar the federal government spends on private school vouchers is less money available to invest in strengthening our public schools. This bill is moving fast and it is probable that a voice vote will take place this week. As always, Katko’s numbers are 315-423-5657 (Syracuse), 315-253-4068 (Auburn), or 202-225-3701 (DC). Here’s a suggested script: “I’m a constituent and regular voter, living in zip code _____. I’m calling to urge Rep. Katko to vote against HR 1387, the SOAR Reauthorization Act. I do not want my federal tax dollars used to pay for vouchers to private schools, especially schools that are free to discriminate. I support public schools, and I am opposed to this bill and other efforts to privatize our schools.”
Thursday (Mar. 30): 2 in-person actions (in Ithaca and Oswego)
Rally to Stop Deportations in Ithaca
At 4:30pm, the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition and Cornell Organization for Labor Action will RALLY in support of immigrant farmworkers and undocumented immigrants in the CNY community. Location: Bernie Milton Pavilion, Ithaca Commons. Show your solidarity with José Coyote-Pérez, a CNY community organizer, farmworker, and the father of four US children who has been held unjustly in the Batavia ICE detainment facility for the past month–DESPITE his ICE case being administratively closed last fall, DESPITE his possession of a working permit and a social security card. More information and petition here: https://www.cnysolidarity.org/2017/02/27/jose-coyote-perez/. For more info on Ithaca rally: email@example.com. If you’d be interested in arranging a carpool from Syracuse, please post toprotectCNYfromTrump@lists.riseup.net (or email Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re not on that listserv).
Attend Rep. Katko’s Public Forum
Rep. Katko’s public forum in Oswego, originally scheduled for last Thursday, has been rescheduled for tonight, 630pm at Oswego City Hall, 13 W. Oneida St., 2nd floor. More details here. This will be a panel discussion, but our hope is that there will be time for open Q&A at the end. If you’d be interested in arranging a carpool from Syracuse, please post to email@example.com (or reply to me if you’re not on that listserv).
Friday (Mar. 31): 2 phone-calling actions (1 state, 1 federal)
Support Transgender Rights
Please call your State Senator and ask to have the Gender Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) brought to the floor for a vote in the Senate. This bill would extend the state’s anti-discrimination laws to cover gender identity. The state Assembly recently passed it for the 10th time, but it has never yet made it through the state Senate. More details here and here. Most of us are represented by Dave Valesky (315-478-8745) or John DeFrancisco (315-428-7632), but if you’re not sure whose district you’re in, click here and enter your address to find out.
Support an independent investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election
Despite calls for an independent investigation led by an independent prosecutor, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), insists on holding hearings in secret, behind closed doors. Call Rep. Katko today and tell him that this issue is too important to be hidden from the full view of the American people. It should not be in the hands of partisan Members of Congress. As always, Katko’s numbers are 315-423-5657 (Syracuse), 315-253-4068 (Auburn), or 202-225-3701 (DC).
Saturday (Apr. 1): Take a day for yourselves and your family. (At least until further notice!)
Sunday (Apr. 2)
CNY Solidarity Coalition meeting
We will meet from 3-5pm at All Saints/Bishop Harrison Center, 1342 Lancaster Ave. in Syracuse. The first hour will be devoted to a full-coalition meeting; the second hour to committee meetings. If you’re willing to help with set-up or clean-up, please email Randy Wheat, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re hoping to schedule a meeting of a breakout group that has not already been meeting regularly, please email Sharon Goodfellow, email@example.com.
Save the date for these upcoming events in April:
April 4: Screening of 1984 at ArtRage, proceeds to benefit New Feminists for Justice and CNY Solidarity
April 29: People’s Climate March
Today and every day, be sure to follow us online and on social media!
Check out our website: www.cnysolidarity.org