CNY Solidarity Coalition members and supporters:
Great energy at yesterday’s meeting; it was wonderful to hear reports from so many fabulous working groups, including a new one devoted to criminal justice reform. Thanks to Most Holy Rosary for hosting us.
Below, please find the weekly ACTION ALERTS from our legislative action team. As always, we do our best to keep this info current, but we’ll post updates as needed to the various social media channels linked below.
Top target this week is State Sen. Dave Valesky, one of eight members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) in the state Senate, who have repeatedly prevented progressive legislation from coming to the floor for a vote. At the federal level, we’ve got action alerts focused on criminal justice, the education budget, and more. In addition to the issues highlighted below, keep an eye on health care this week; the CBO is due to announce its cost projections for TrumpCare on Wednesday, which may require the bill to come back to the House for another vote before the Senate acts on it.
Also, if you’d be interested in attending our electoral campaign workshops scheduled for June 1 and 8 at 7pm, please RSVP ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday (May 22): one on-line follow-up re last week’s “town hall,” and one phone-calling action
Provide feedback on Katko’s town hall
Time-sensitive item for this morning: If you attended or watched Rep. Katko’s town hall last week, click here to take the Syracuse New Times’ survey on Katko’s performance. The survey closes today at 12:00 noon.
Just say no to Sessions’s revival of mandatory minimum sentences!
From our new working group on criminal justice: In response to Attorney General Sessions’s recent order for federal prosecutors to charge criminal defendants with the most serious crimes possible, a bipartisan group of members of Congress has introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act (HR 2435 in the House; S. 1127 in the Senate). This bill would authorize federal judges to impose sentences below the statutory minimums where appropriate. Today, please call Rep. Katko (315-423-5657; 202-225-3701), Sen. Schumer (202-224-6542; 315-423-5471); and Sen. Gillibrand (202-224-4451; 315-448-0470) and urge all of them to sign on as co-sponsors.
Tuesday (May 23): One social media action and one phone call today
Expand the reach of our legislative monitoring efforts
If you use Twitter, choose one of the key congressional monitoring sites (Countable, Congress.gov, propublica.org, votesmart, etc.), pick one or two days per week to check it, tweet some key highlights regarding Katko, Schumer, or Gillibrand’s votes, and tag @indivisibleNY24 or @CNYSolidarity. We’ll retweet one another and expand our reach.
Support public schools!
Trump is scheduled to release his proposed 2018 budget today. Early reports have indicated that it will contain $9.2 billion in cuts to the Department of Education, including cuts to college work-study programs, public-service loan forgiveness, and programs that public schools use to reduce class sizes and provide mental health services. Meanwhile, it sets aside hundreds of millions of dollars to expand charter schools and private and religious school vouchers. Please call Rep. Katko today and demand that he defend public education from the Trump/DeVos agenda. Katko’s numbers are 315-423-5657 (Syracuse), 315-253-4068 (Auburn), or 202-225-3701 (DC). Click here for more details.
Wednesday (May 24): Rally at Dave Valesky’s office (or call if you can’t make it in person)
No to the IDC!
12-1pm: Rally at Sen. Valesky’s Office—Stop Blocking Progress. We’ll be outside the State Office Building, 333 E. Washington St. in Syracuse (next door to City Hall), where we’ll stage a mock funeral for all the progressive bills that are dying in the State Senate in Albany. Wear black if you can. For more info: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our demonstration is part of a statewide day of action targeting IDC members in the State Senate. The IDC is the “Independent Democratic Conference,” a group of elected Democrats who refuse to caucus with their Democratic colleagues, thus giving control of the chamber to the Republicans. This control allows the GOP to prevent votes from being held on essential legislation regarding voting access, criminal justice and police reforms, climate justice, protections for NY’s immigrant communities, reproductive health, unity against hate crimes, healthcare for all, depending public education, tax fairness for working families, labor organizing and workplace safety, affordable housing, and transparent and effective infrastructure investments.
Thursday (May 25): Two phone-calling actions (1 state, 1 federal)
Support Universal Health Care in NYS: NY Health Act
On 5/17, the NYS Assembly passed the NY Health Act (S4840) by a vote of 92 to 52. NY Health would provide universal, comprehensive health care to all New Yorkers without premiums, co-pays, deductibles, or limited provider networks. It would generate net savings of $45 billion. It is more important than ever that NYS work to counteract measures taken by our federal government that threaten our health care coverage. Call your NYS Senator today and demand support. Most of us are represented in the State Senate by David Valesky (315-478-8745), John DeFrancisco (315-428-7632), or James Seward (607-432-5524), but if you’re not sure whose district you’re in, click here and enter your address to find out.
Stop the rollback of environmental regulations
HR 5: Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 was approved by the House of Representatives in January. The Senate version (S. 951) was approved in committee last week and will now proceed to consideration by the full Senate. This bill would drastically overall the Administrative Procedure Act, which has been in place for more than 70 years, in an effort to make it harder for EPA, the FDA, OSHA, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other federal agencies to craft regulations protecting the public from harm. More details here and here. Please call Sen. Schumer and Gillibrand today and urge them to block the bill in the Senate. Schumer’s numbers are 202-224-6542 and 315-423-5471. Gillibrand’s are 202-224-4451 and 315-448-0470.
Friday (May 26): Two phone-calling actions again (1 state, 1 federal)
Protect First Amendment Rights
Please urge your NY Assembly Member to oppose any bills that penalize political free speech. One such bill (A3239) calls for the creation of a blacklist of companies, organizations and individuals who advocate for the boycott of Israel in support of Palestinian human rights. Tell your Assembly Member to oppose this bill. Most of us are represented in the Assembly by one of the following, but if you’re not sure whose district you’re in, click here and enter your address to find out:
- Assembly Member Pamela Hunter: 315-449-9536
- Assembly Member Al Stirpe: 315-452-1115
- Assembly Member William Magnarelli: 315-428-9651
- Assembly Member Gary Finch: 315-255-3045
Environmental justice, not fossil fuels!
President Trump has nominated Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to fill the two vacant seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If confirmed, the FERC would once again have a quorum and would be able to resume rubber stamping its backlog of fossil fuel project permits. FERC routinely strips people of their legal right to challenge pipeline projects until it is too late – until property rights have been stripped, forests cut, and people are forced to live next to explosive fracked gas pipelines and compressors.
Chatterjee currently serves as the top energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Powelson is president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and recently described fracking opponents as engaged in “jihad” against natural-gas extraction. More details here and here. Please call Sen. Schumer and Gillibrand today and urge them to oppose confirmation of both nominees. Schumer’s numbers are 202-224-6542 and 315-423-5471. Gillibrand’s are 202-224-4451 and 315-448-0470.
Saturday and (May 27-28): Since it’s a holiday weekend, CNY Solidarity will not meet. Take the weekend for yourselves and your families, and save up some energy for our Town Hall on Tuesday, May 30 at Camillus Middle School.
Save the date for these upcoming events:
May 30, 7-9pm: CNY Solidarity Town Hall in Camillus
May 31, 10am: Meeting with State Assembly Member Pamela Hunter, Center for Peace & Social Justice, 2013 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse. We’ll meet at 9:30 AM to set the agenda for the meeting. If you live in Ms. Hunter’s district (128) and would like to attend, please let Paul Weichselbaum email@example.com know.
May 31, 6pm: TNT Southside Meet the Candidates Forum for Syracuse Common Council and City Judge candidates, Southside Innovation Center, 2610 S. Salina St. in Syracuse.
June 1, 7pm: TNT Southside Meet the Mayoral Candidates Forum, Southside Innovation Center, 2610 S. Salina St. in Syracuse.
June 3, 12-1pm: March for Truth Syracuse. Part of coordinated national action focused on RussiaGate investigation.
June 4, 3-5pm: CNY Solidarity Coalition meeting, likely at Bishop Harrison Center.
June 11: National LGBT Rights March in DC. CNY Pride is organizing a bus from Syracuse.
June 13, 11:00-3:00: VOTING RIGHTS DAY of ACTION in Albany.
June 15, 6pm: TNT Southside Info Session on Proposed City/County Merger, Southside Innovation Center, 2610 S. Salina St. in Syracuse.
June 17, 12-5pm: CNY Pride (celebrate our diverse CNY LGBTQ communities at the Inner Harbor in Syracuse)
Today and every day, be sure to follow us online and on social media!
Check out our website: www.cnysolidarity.org