Archive for January, 2014

WORKING FAMILIES PARTY FUNDRAISER SET FOR JANUARY 30 IN UTICA

January 19, 2014

wfplogoonhermadAssemblyman Brindisi and Mayor Palmieri to Speak at WFP Event

The Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Counties Chapter of the Working Families Party announced today that it will be holding its first fundraiser on Thursday, January 30. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and Mayor Robert Palmieri of Utica will be the keynote speakers for the event.

Celebrating its 15 years of progressive victories in New York State, the Winter Party will be held on Thursday, January 30 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Varick Bar and Grill, 616 Varick Street, Utica. Tickets may be purchased either by contacting John Furman (315-725-0974), Jesse Lenney (585-414-4274), or Robert Muñoz (310-717-6648). Tickets may also be purchased online at the following link:

https://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1306/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=9122

John Furman, one of the local leaders of the party, said: “Founded in 1998, the Working Families Party has emerged as one of the most potent forces for progressive politics in New York State. In 2013, the election of Bill de Blasio as Mayor of New York City was a notable victory. We provided the margin of victory in local and state races, including the Utica mayoral race in 2011. Our local group in Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison Counties hopes to continue these victories in 2014.”

The Working Families Party platform supports living wage jobs, affordable housing, accessible health care, better public schools, and more investment in public services. It has been successful in organizing campaigns to increase the minimum wage, reform the Rockefeller drug laws, enact a Green Jobs Program, and restore funding for public schools in New York State.

The Working Families Party was organized by a coalition of community and labor groups including the Communication Workers of America, SEIU,  Citizen Action of New York, and neighborhood and community groups. The Central New York Citizens in Action (formerly the Utica Citizens in Action) as well as area unions such as the CWA and UAW helped to organize the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison WFP organization. The party has expanded to several states such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Oregon.

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Join us for the No More Excuses; Educate Every Student! Event – Albany, January 14

January 8, 2014

January 14th Flyer (Liz)-page-0

In New York State, education is under attack. For the three years that Governor Cuomo has been in office, AP, IB, and elective courses have been reduced or eliminated. Music, Art, Theatre, and sports programs have been reduced or eliminated. 35,000 educators and support staff have been cut statewide. New York State has forgone its constitutional promise to provide a quality education to all students.

Almost half of the 10,000 students in the Utica City School District live in families who have incomes below the poverty level. As of 2012, the district had the highest poverty rate (43.86 percent) of the 455 school districts in Upstate New York. However, despite its great needs, the Utica City School continues to witness major cuts to its budget due to declining state and federal aid. In the most current budget year 99 positions were forced be to cut, resulting in larger class sizes. Nearby school districts face similar challenges in reduced state and federal funding. Many of our districts in rural areas of Upstate NEW york continue to get shortchanged due to the inequitable state funding formula, limited property tax base, and lower relative incomes of residents.

The Central New York Citizens in Action is working with the Alliance for Quality Education to ensure that local school districts receive increased state funding. In fact ,we are one of the founding members of this important state-wide education advocacy organization.

Let’s take back the future for our children, our friends, and our family. Join us and 1,500 other concerned citizens in Albany on January 14th to tell the Governor, No More Excuses; Educate Every Student!

With the Governor’s budget coming out in January, this is the moment to raise our voices! We are calling on Albany to fully fund New York’s schools by investing $1.9 billion into education this year. This will not only ensure that there are no more classroom cuts this year, but will (for the first time during the Governor’s tenure) actually include money to improve schools in the Empire State. For more information about the #NoMoreExcuses demands, click here: http://bit.ly/2014AQE

The event begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center located in the Concourse of the Plaza. REGISTER HERE: http://bit.ly/1lzkpXj

Please contact us if you would like to travel together by means of a van or car pooling. We are looking for concerned parents, students, teachers, and residents to join the Central New York Citizens in Action group to establish a local coalition to fight for increased funding.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact your local Alliance for Quality Education Organizer, Liz Moran, at Liz@AQENY.org or 518.610.1828. Please feel free to contact John Furman at (315) 725-0974 or cnycitizenaction@gmail.com

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. Announces Release of Project Censored’s Most Undereported Stories of 2013

January 7, 2014
New Book published by Project Censored

New Book published by Project Censored

The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. today released the media watchdog group Project Censored’s 25 most significant news stories in 2013 that were overlooked or under-reported by the country’s major national news media.

The Central New York Citizens in Action is an independent advocacy and public interest research group. The organization works to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. “As an anti-censorship organization, we are pleased to release the ‘25 most censored news stories of 2013,’” said John Furman, president of Citizens in Action. “These neglected news stories need to be exposed. Our group is committed to promoting diversity in the media and developing strong nonprofit sources of news and information. We would like to commend Project Censored for their fine work in making the public aware of these underreported stories. We hope to create this year a list of underreported stories in Central New York.”

Every year since 1976, Project Censored, the nation’s oldest news-monitoring group – a university-wide project at Sonoma State University founded by Carl Jensen, directed for many years by Peter Phillips, and now under the leadership of Mickey Huff – has produced a Top-25 list of underreported news stories and a book, Censored, dedicated to the stories that ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of media bias and self-censorship. Today, Project Censored has expanded into a national media watchdog project in which academics and students from 18 universities and community colleges now review hundreds of submissions of overlooked and underreported stories each year. A panel of academics and journalists then selects the top 25 stories and organizes them into themed clusters.

The 2013 Project Censored list of the most underreported news stories includes stories that were deliberately ignored, given scant attention, or covered poorly. During this year’s cycle, Project Censored reviewed 233 Validated Independent News stories (VINs) representing the collective efforts of 219 college students and 56 professors from 18 college and university campuses that participate in its affiliate program and 13 additional community evaluators.

Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times, now available in bookstores nationwide, can also be purchased on the project’s website at http://www.projectcensored.org.Telephone: (707) 874-2695

The following are the top censored stories of 2013:

25. Israel Gave Birth Control to Ethiopian Immigrants Without Their Consent
In January 2013, Israel acknowledged that medical authorities have been giving Ethiopian immigrants long-term birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.

24. Widespread GMO Contamination: Did Monsanto Plant GMOs Before USDA Approval?
Monsanto introduced genetically modified alfalfa in 2003—a full two years before it was deregulated, according to recently released evidence…

23. Transaction Tax Helps Civilize Wall Street and Lower the National Debt
In February 2013, United States senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) introduced a bill to implement a new tax of three basis points (that is, three pennies for every hundred dollars) on most non-consumer stock trades.

22. Pennsylvania Law Gags Doctors to Protect Big Oil’s “Proprietary Secrets”
In communities affected by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” people understand that this process of drilling for natural gases puts the environment and their health at risk

21. Monsanto and India’s “Suicide Economy”
Monsanto has a long history of contamination and cover-up and in India another Monsanto cover-up is ongoing

20. Israel Counted Minimum Calorie Needs in Gaza Blockade
Declassified documents reveal that the Israeli military calculated how many calories a typical Gazan would need to survive, in order to determine how much food to supply the Gaza Strip during the 2007–2010 blockade.

19. The Power of Peaceful Revolution in Iceland
After privatization of the national banking sector, private bankers borrowed billions of dollars or (ten times the size of Iceland’s economy), creating a huge economic bubble that doubled housing prices and made a small percentage of the population exceedingly wealthy

18. Fracking Our Food Supply
The effects of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) on food supply and the environment are slowly emerging

17. The Creative Commons Celebrates Ten Years of Sharing and Cultural Creation
Creative Commons (CC) is celebrating ten years of helping writers, artists, technologists, and other creators share their knowledge and creativity with the world

16. Journalism Under Attack Around the Globe
Journalists are increasingly at risk of being killed or imprisoned for doing their jobs, a situation that imperils press freedom.

15. Food Riots: The New Normal?
Reduced land productivity, combined with elevated oil costs and population growth, threaten a systemic, global food crisis

14. Wireless Technology a Looming Health Crisis
As a multitude of hazardous wireless technologies are deployed in homes, schools, and workplaces, government officials and industry representatives continue to insist on their safety despite growing evidence to the contrary.

13. A Fifth of Americans Go Hungry
An August 2012 Gallup poll showed that 18.2 percent of Americans lacked sufficient money for needed food at least once over the previous year.

12. The US Has Left Iraq with an Epidemic of Cancers and Birth Defects
High levels of lead, mercury, and depleted uranium are believed to be causing birth defects, miscarriages, and cancer for people living in the Iraqi cities of Basra and Fallujah.

11. Bush Blocked Iran Nuclear Deal
According to a former top Iranian negotiator, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, in 2005 Iran offered a deal to the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom that would have made it impossible for Iran to build nuclear weapons.

10. A “Culture of Cruelty” along Mexico–US Border
Migrants crossing the Mexico–US border not only face dangers posed by an unforgiving desert but also abuse at the hands of the US Border Patrol

9. Icelanders Vote to Include Commons in Their Constitution
In October 2012, Icelanders voted in an advisory referendum regarding six proposed policy changes to the 1944 Constitution

8. Bank Interests Inflate Global Prices by 35 to 40 Percent
A stunning 35 to 40 percent of everything we buy goes to interest.

7. Merchants of Death and Nuclear Weapons
The Physicians for Social Responsibility released a study estimating that one billion people—one-seventh of the human race—could starve over the decade following a single nuclear detonation

6. Billionaires’ Rising Wealth Intensifies Poverty and Inequality
As a direct result of existing financial policies, the world’s 100 richest people grew to be $241 billion richer in 2012.

5. Hate Groups and Antigovernment Groups on Rise across US
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate groups and antigovernment groups, released a report showing that 1,360 radical, antigovernment “patriot” groups and 321 militias actively operate within the United States

4. Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Obama signed both the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, expanding whistleblower protections, in November 2012, and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) furthering these protections in January 2013

3. Trans-Pacific Partnership Threatens a Regime of Corporate Global Governance
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), branded as a trade agreement and negotiated in unprecedented secrecy, is actually an enforceable transfer of sovereignty from nations and their people to foreign corporations.

2. Richest Global 1 Percent Hide Trillions in Tax Havens
The global 1 percent holds $21 to $32 trillion dollars in offshore havens in order to evade taxes, according to James S. Henry, the former chief economist at the global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.

1. Bradley Manning and the Failure of Corporate Media
In February 2013, United States military intelligence analyst Bradley Manning confessed in court to providing vast archives of military and diplomatic files to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, saying he wanted the information to become public “to make the world a better place” and that he hoped to “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military in (US) foreign policy.