As several people testified, poverty is the “worst form of violence.” It is a “constant battle” against an enemy that demands sacrifices of our families, our parents, our children, of everything that we hold dear. And it terrorizes our communities in the places where we think we’re protected.
Adjunct and visiting faculty at Siena College are still working without a first contract, two years after they voted overwhelmingly to join Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 200United.
Siena adjunct and visiting faculty are fighting for a living wage and improved job security. Many struggle to make ends meet, teaching multiple classes at various colleges with no job security. These conditions impact not only the faculty and their families, but also Siena students, 40 percent of whom are taught by contingent faculty.
As people of faith, we can show solidarity with Siena contingent faculty by expressing our support for a fair contract to Siena's administration and reminding them of the moral imperative to treat workers justly. Click here to take action now by sending an email to Siena's president, Brother Ed Coughlin, and Board Chair, Mr. Howard Foote.
One online dictionary defines the word “brave” as ´ready to face and endure danger or pain.” At the Neighborhood Check-In: Southern Tier, New York State’s first contribution to the Truth Commission project of the New Poor Peoples’ Campaign, truly brave and heroic people endured great personal pain to raise their voices and share their stories of endurance, courage, and resilience. None of these amazing people are now living in comfort or luxury. They are still poor, they still struggle, and they still endure.
Earlier this month, Rev. William Barber of North Carolina's Moral Mondays movement announced that he is joining the leadership of the New Poor People's Campaign, which will continue the legacy of the Poor People's Campaign that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. launched almost 50 years ago.
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.”