Great energy this past week at our Tuesday Town Hall, our Saturday March for Truth, and our Sunday meeting, and congrats (and thanks!) to our newly elected Coordinating Committee members.
The weekly ACTION ALERTS from our legislative action team are below, but first, two preliminary items:
1) This email list is almost to 2,000 subscribers. This week, find a friend or family member who’d like to be added and help put us over the top.
2) Our state legislative action team (SLAT) has been planning a town hall, but State Senators DeFrancisco & Valesky have refused to participate, only agreeing to private meetings with small groups of constituents. SLAT has contacted Democratic Senator Neil Breslin from district 44 (Albany/Rensselaer) who’s willing to participate in an adopt-a-district town hall. He would be able to explain which bills would be able to pass in the NYS Senate if the IDC did not vote to keep Senate control in the hands of the Republicans. He can possibly come next week & we were looking at 6/15, 6/16 or 6/17 as possible dates. We need to have an idea of how many from CNY Solidarity would be able to participate in order to book a venue of appropriate size. Please indicate interest & availability to firstname.lastname@example.org w/ town hall in subject line.
And now, on to the ACTION ALERTS—a heavy focus on climate change this week (given last week’s news regarding the Paris Climate Accord), but we’ve got some health care and voting rights items too, and rest assured, we’re still monitoring immigration, criminal justice reform, and much more. As always, if you have suggested action items, send them my way.
Monday (June 5): 2 phone-calls today (1 state and 1 state/federal combo), plus an opportunity to support local public schools in Syracuse
CNY Stands With the Paris Climate Accord
Last week, Rep. Katko, who claims to be a moderate on environmental issues, praised Pres. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Please call his office today and express your concern (outrage?). Before you call, click here for some helpful info (which the Trump admin. removed from EPA’s website) about what climate change means for NY. Katko’s numbers are 315-423-5657 (Syracuse), 315-253-4068 (Auburn), or 202-225-3701 (DC).
Say NO to the IDC!
We rallied two weeks ago at Sen. Valesky’s Office, complete with “tombstones” & a mock funeral for all the progressive bills that are dying in the State Senate in Albany due to the actions of the IDC. The IDC is the “Independent Democratic Conference,” a group of elected Democrats in the NYS Senate 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 on a host of progressive issues. All 18 Democratic U.S. House members from NY have supported the recent statewide actions against the IDC, and now Senator Gillibrand has joined them. We’d like to hear from Sen. Schumer too. Please call his office today (202-224-6542 or 315-423-5471) and ask him to publicly call for the IDC to stop enabling Republican control of the State Senate.
Support local public schools
The Board of Education of the Syracuse City School District will hold a Community Engagement Forum on Monday, June 5, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Corcoran High School, 919 Glenwood Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13207. The Community Engagement Forum will be held in the Cafeteria. The public is invited to attend.
Tuesday (June 6): 2 phone calls today (1 state, 1 federal)
CNY Stands With the Paris Climate Accord, part II
It’s more important than ever that NYS work to counteract measures taken by our federal government that threaten our environment. Last week Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. This week we must demand that our NYS Senators vote for the Climate Change & Community Protection Act (S8005). This has passed in NYS Assembly, but is stalled in our Republican controlled NYS Senate. 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. As per usual, if you’re calling Valesky’s office, expect his staff to point out that he’s a co-sponsor of this bill. We recommend responding that that’s not enough and demanding that he withdraw from the IDC, which has joined with the Republican Senate leadership to prevent this bill from coming to a vote.
Say no to deregulating Wall Street!
Tomorrow, the House is scheduled to vote on the Financial CHOICE Act (HR 10), which would gut the federal regulations on Wall Street that were enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. Please call Rep. Katko and urge him to vote NO. Katko’s numbers are 315-423-5657 (Syracuse), 315-253-4068 (Auburn), or 202-225-3701 (DC). Recommended phone scripts available here.
Wednesday (June 7): today, we’re recommending 1 phone call and 1 letter to the editor
CNY Stands With the Paris Climate Accord, part III
From our climate justice committee: Following up on yesterday’s calls to Rep. Katko, we want to urge Onondaga County legislators to adopt the Sustainable Development Plan that was created with extensive input from various experts and stakeholders in 2010-2012. It is a broad and thoughtful document, covering areas such as: smart growth; transportation and land use; reducing carbon emissions; conserving rural landscapes, and livability. It affirmatively strives to be environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable. It’s been updated twice, but it’s never been formally adopted by the County Legislature. County Executive Joanie Mahoney told one of our members last week that she needs the Legislature to pass it, in order to speed the adoption of many of its measures. The President can pull the federal government out of Paris, but NY state is joining other states to commit to the Paris goals and targets. Similarly, Mayor Miner is one of 187 Mayors For 100% Clean Energy. Let’s get our County to take similar steps toward environmental justice and sustainability. Please call your county legislator today and ask them to vote to adopt the Sustainable Development Plan. To find your county legislator, click here and then click on 2012 District Maps (on the left-hand side of the page). Find your home on the map, identify your district #, then click here to find the name and phone number for your legislator.
Demand election reform now
From our voter registration task force: Today, please draft a letter to the editor (to a local paper of your choice) calling on the State Legislature to modernize our voter registration and election administration laws. In 2014, NYS ranked 47th nationally in voter turnout, with only 29% of voting-age residents voting. We recommend automatic voter registration of all eligible adults; same-day registration to allow citizens to register, update their registration info, and vote on the same day; and early voting, to reduce lines at the polls and lost work time for voters. Click here for a guide to drafting and submitting letters to the editor that we wrote back in February.
Thursday (June 8): 2 phone calls today (1 state, 1 federal)
Do you think your boss should get to decide what kind of contraceptives you have access to?
It’s more important than ever that NYS work to counteract measures taken by our federal government that threaten our health care coverage. Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to change the rules on contraceptive coverage mandates, allowing employers to opt out for basically any reason. This week, we must demand that our NYS Senators vote for the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (S3668). This has passed in NYS Assembly, but is stalled in our Republican controlled NYS Senate. 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. As per usual, if you’re calling Valesky’s office, expect his staff to point out that he’s a co-sponsor of this bill. We recommend responding that that’s not enough and demanding that he withdraw from the IDC, which has joined with the Republican Senate leadership to prevent this bill from coming to a vote.
No more profiteering out of the White House
Please call Rep. Katko today and urge him to sign on as cosponsor of the SWAMP Act (HR 2414). This bill requires the President, Vice President, President-elect, or any immediate family members whom the Secret Service is authorized to protect and who, while traveling, stays in a hotel in which that person has an ownership or financial interest, to reimburse to the Treasury: (1) any amount expended by the Secret Service for such protection, and (2) any amount expended for other costs incurred by the government pertaining to that stay. The bill is currently stalled in committee in the House and has no Republican co-sponsors. Why shouldn’t “moderate” John Katko be the first? Katko’s numbers are 315-423-5657 (Syracuse), 315-253-4068 (Auburn), or 202-225-3701 (DC).
Friday (June 9): 1 phone call and 2 meetings with legislators today
Overturn Citizens United now!
Rep. Katko has spent much of his time so far this year raising money from out-of-state campaign donors. Everyone knows that our current campaign finance system is out of control and morally indefensible. One necessary step in changing this system is reversing the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC. A proposed constitutional amendment to do so has been introduced in the House (H.J.Res. 31). It currently has no Republican co-sponsors. Why shouldn’t “moderate” John Katko be the first? Katko’s numbers are 315-423-5657 (Syracuse), 315-253-4068 (Auburn), or 202-225-3701 (DC).
Keep the pressure on our state senators
Two meetings scheduled with state legislators today, both at 333 E Washington Street:
1) From our health care action team: We’re meeting at 2pm on the NY Health Act with Senator DeFrancisco – constituents of his who are interested in attending this meeting should contact Ursula Rozum <email@example.com>
2) From our state legislative action team: We’re meeting at 3pm (with a 2:30 meeting prior to set agenda) on any NYS legislation of interest with Senator DeFrancisco & with either Senator Valesky or someone from his office. Constituents of theirs who are interested in attending this meeting should contact Paul Weichselbaum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Saturday (June 10)
Say no to hate!
Right-wing groups have planned a number of hate-based anti-Muslim demonstrations around the country for today, including one in Syracuse. At our meeting on June 4, CNY Solidarity agreed (by consensus) that the Coalition will draft and distribute a statement of solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers. In addition, we will inform our membership and encourage people to get involved with any of the 3 planned nonviolent response actions that we’re aware of. We’ll send out a separate message later this week with further details.
Sunday (June 11): No CNY Solidarity meetings or actions today, but some of us will be at the National LGBT Rights March in DC (CNY Pride is organizing a bus from Syracuse), and others will be attending Syracuse United: A Celebration of Refugee Success at Nottingham High School in Syracuse.
Save the date for these upcoming events:
June 13, 11:00-3:00: VOTING RIGHTS DAY of ACTION in Albany. Our state legislative action team has voted to endorse this event, and State Senators DeFrancisco & Valesky are 2 key votes needed in the Rules Committee to bring these bills to the floor for a vote. There’ll be an opportunity to meet with the senators but the names of anyone from Valesky’s district need to be supplied in advance. Carpooling to meet at Center for Peace & Social Justice at 7:30 am returning at 5:30 pm. (one car returns earlier) – Please contact Jonah Minkoff-Zern <email@example.com> to sign up.
June 15, 6pm: TNT Southside Info Session on Proposed City/County Merger, Southside Innovation Center, 2610 S. Salina St. in Syracuse.
June 17, 10am-5pm: CNY Pride (celebrate our diverse CNY LGBTQ communities at the Inner Harbor in Syracuse). Join Moms Demand Action who will be marching in honor of 49 victims of Orlando Pulse shooting.
June 21, 7pm: CNY Solidarity meeting, Bishop Harrison Center
Today and every day, be sure to follow us online and on social media!
Check out our website: www.cnysolidarity.org