(Albany, NY) With the ACA and Medicaid in peril, hundreds of clergy and faith leaders are calling for the passage of the New York Health Act (A4738/S4840)—a bill that would implement a universal single-payer health care system covering all residents.
From our friends at CWA District 1:
40,000 workers at AT&T just announced that they will walk off the job Friday at 3pm ET/Noon PT if they haven't won a fair union contract by then.
This will be the biggest strike in the United States since 40,000 Verizon workers walked out last year, and may be the biggest strike of retail workers at a national company in U.S. history.Can you join striking workers at a picket line at a nearby retail store Friday, Saturday or Sunday? Please RSVP. We'll let you know if we reach an agreement and don't have to strike on Friday.
On Wednesday May 10th, community members and advocates from around the state gathered in Albany for a day of advocacy and action on prison and parole justice. As part of the day, a group of clergy and faith leaders delivered a letter endorsing the Challenging Incarceration platform, a holistic and comprehensive approach towards the radical transformation of the criminal justice system in New York.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on the call - for those who couldn't make it, you can listen to a recording here.
Special thanks to Laura Markle Downton of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and Scott Paltrowitz of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement and Challenging Incarceration for joining us and informing us on the issues and the actions.
In response to the final state budget approved yesterday, Rev. Emily McNeill, Acting Director of the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, said:
"A few important victories notwithstanding, the 2018 budget again fails to address New York’s first-in-the-nation inequality and persistent poverty.
“Rather than increasing taxes on millionaires and billionaires, Gov. Cuomo and the State Senate opted for the status quo. As a result, New York’s wealthiest will continue to pay less of their income in state and local taxes than the rest of us, and New York will have fewer resources to cushion the blow of federal budget cuts. The failure to raise revenue from those most able to pay will only perpetuate our state’s massive inequality.
“Also concerning is the power given Gov. Cuomo to make unilateral cuts in the future. This provision suggests New York’s response to federal cutbacks may be to balance the budget on the backs of poor, working and middle-class New Yorkers - rather than to use our resources to fill in the gaps.
“One bright spot in this flawed budget is New York has finally raised the age of adult criminal responsibility to 18. This is an important victory that will impact tens of thousands of youth and families.
“Another partial victory is the inclusion of $700 million more in Foundation Aid for disadvantaged public schools. While falling far short of the $1.47 billion the Board of Regents recommended, it is a significant improvement over what Gov. Cuomo had initially proposed.
“Finally, this budget includes $2 billion for supportive and affordable housing from last year’s budget that had been in limbo, waiting for a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ from the governor and legislative leaders. This represents a step forward, albeit a small one in the scope of New York’s homelessness and housing crisis.
“These victories were the result of grassroots leaders and activists, who tirelessly fought to have their families, their neighbors, and their own voices heard in the halls of power. Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS was honored to stand in solidarity and lend our support to these movements.
“The 2018 New York State Budget is yet another reminder of the critical work ahead of us. New Yorkers of faith and conscience cannot accept our current reality, in which 88,000 New Yorkers are homeless, 1 in 7 struggle with hunger, and half the children in Buffalo, Binghamton, Syracuse and Rochester are poor. We will continue to join labor and community partners across the state in fighting for a just and compassionate New York.”
Today hundreds from across our state came to Albany to demand that the legislature pass the New York Health Act - the bill that would guarantee healthcare to every New York resident.
There are lots of reasons to support universal, single-payer healthcare in New York. (For example, it would cost less!) But as a religious leader, I support the New York Health Act for moral reasons.
The New York State budget deadline has come and gone, but negotiations in Albany are continuing. Two critical issues hang in the balance: Raise the Age and funding for public schools.Gov. Andrew Cuomo and your state Senator need to hear from you TODAY! Call Gov. Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and your Senator at 518-455-2800.
Two actions you can take to help expand healthcare access in New York State and support direct care workers!