Archive for July, 2014

CNYCIA Set to Protest the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision

July 22, 2014

 

CNY Citizens in Action to Protest Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision
Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Case Challenging Affordable Care Act

Local advocacy group CNY Citizens In Action is holding a demonstration against the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, and Hobby Lobby’s corporate policies regarding their workers’ healthcare choices.

 

The demonstration will be held on Thursday, July 24th at 6pm on the sidewalk alongside Hobby Lobby’s Commercial Drive location in New Hartford. CNYCIA members will be showing their opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the craft store chain to disregard portions of the Affordable Care Act, which state that their health insurance must cover contraception.

 

CNYCIA says that this decision sets several dangers precedents. “We feel that corporations are not people, and as such cannot prescribe to a particular religion,” says CNY Citizens In Action member Kevin Nugent. “Not only does this decision take us another step closer to labeling corporations as ‘people,’ this decision opens the floodgates in terms of what employers are now allowed to do based on their ‘religious convictions.’”

 

CNYCIA members also feel that this is another blow to women’s rights. “Women earn their insurance as a condition of employment,” says CNY Citizens In Action member Diane Berry. “The insurance plan belongs to the employee, not the employer. Women should be free to spend their insurance dollars how they see fit, without interference from their boss.”

 

Another point CNYCIA makes is that more than a million American women use contraception for health reasons other than preventing pregnancy. They argue that the CEO of Hobby Lobby is not a doctor, and does not fully understand the medical necessity of contraception.

 

Visuals will include colorful signs, banners and American flags. For any questions, please contact John Furman by phone at (315) 725-0974 or by email atcnycitizenaction@gmail.com or Kevin Nugent by phone at (315) 768-4115 or by email at knuge86@gmail.com.

 

WHEN: Thursday, July 24th from 6-7pm

WHERE: On the public sidewalk along Hobby Lobby’s New Hartford location at 4605 Commercial Drive

WHAT: Central New York Citizens in Action will be holding a protest outside Hobby Lobby to show opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Hobby Lobby’s internal corporate policies that led to the case.

WHO: CNY Citizens in Action is a local advocacy organization that works on social, economic and environmental issues. CNYCIA fights for the poor and middle class on issues like healthcare, wages, workers’ rights and education. CNYCIA advocates for positive change on the local, state and national level.

WHY: Hobby Lobby recently sued the federal government over a healthcare mandate that requires them to provide contraception coverage in their health insurance policy. The Supreme Court found that Hobby Lobby can’t be required to provide contraception due to the owner’s religious convictions. CNYCIA members feel this is a bad decision for a variety of reasons. The decision unfairly forces the owner of Hobby Lobby’s religion on workers by denying them contraception coverage. It also sets a dangerous precedent, as corporations may now attempt to sidestep laws that offend their “religious conscience.” In addition, the ruling establishes that corporations can subscribe to a religion, a trait formerly only given to human-beings.

Advertisements

CNY PROGRESSIVE ACTION NEWSLETTER – July 6, 2014

July 7, 2014

CNY PROGRESSIVE ACTION NEWSLETTER
July 6, 2014
Vol. 1, No. 10

 

NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL NEW YORK CITIZENS IN ACTION, INC. (ESTABLISHED IN 1997)

HEADLINES

NANO TECHNOLOGY CAN DRIVE EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT IN CNY

NANO IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD FORUM

CNY RESIDENTS TO ATTEND CLIMATE CHANGE
MARCH IN NEW YORK CITY IN SEPTEMBER

CNYCIA SEEKING BOARD AND ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

WORKER COOPS CAN BE A KEY TO LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

WORKER-OWNED CO-OPS GET $1 MILLION IN NYC SPENDING

CNYCIA TO OPEN ONEIDA SQUARE OFFICE IN UTICA

VIGIL TO HONOR BOMB TRAIN VICTIMS IN SYRACUSE ON TUESDAY
COURT RULES THAT NEW YORK TOWNS CAN BAN FRACKING

NANO TECHNOLOGY CAN DRIVE EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT IN CNY

NANO UTICA

As inequality rises, America is experiencing a profound demographic shift. For the country to grow and prosper, we must erase lingering racial and class divides and ensure everyone can apply their talents and creativity to building the next economy. Equity, inclusion, and fairness are no longer only moral imperatives—they are also economic ones. Equity is the superior growth model.

The development of nanotechnology at the SUNY Institute of Technology is great news for Central New York. More than 1,500 new jobs are expected to be created as part of the $1.5 billion Nano Utica initiative located at the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) on the SUNYIT campus in Marcy.

SUNYIT is the site of Quad-C, a $125 million, 250,000 square-foot technology complex which will house a consortium of leading global technology companies led by Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions Incorporated (ANSI), SEMATECH, Atotech, and partner companies including IBM, Lam Research, and Tokyo Electron.

The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is excited about the potential of this initiative in turning around our local economy. At the same time, it is important to ensure that this important economic development initiative benefits as many community residents as possible.

We would like to start a conversation about how the Nano project can help promote equitable economic development. Equity can be an economic driver that can build a fair economy: one in which everyone can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

We also need to begin a conversation regarding how the nanotechnology center can help to advance smart growth in our area and reduce sprawl. Smart growth is growth that serves the environment, the economy, and the community equally. It attempts to concentrate development into already-existing communities when possible, and it addresses the inherent interconnections between environmental protection, social equity, public health, and economic sustainability.

The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is urging community decision makers to consider the following policy recommendations with respect to the nanotechnology center development:

· Future nanotechnology development should include sites in the City of Utica, particularly on former brownfield sites, to maximize existing infrastructure and reclaim vacant buildings and land.

· A job training program in nanotechnology and related areas should be developed which targets low-income, laid off workers, and those facing barriers to employment.

· A plan should be developed to ensure that the new development in Marcy promotes smart growth and does not encourage increased sprawl. The plan should address workforce housing, sewer development, zoning, green space, and transportation.

· The State of New York should capitalize a neighborhood business development program that would mandate that a certain percentage of goods and services contracts be procured with community and worker owned businesses.

· The State of New York needs to make sure that community residents, particularly underrepresented persons, should be included in the planning and development of the nanotechnology center.

· Employers should respect the right of workers to form unions and negotiate collective bargaining agreements.

We believe that the Nanotechnology center can be transformed into an important economic development driver for low income and working class people. Anchor institutions like SUNYIT and Nano Utica have the economic potential to leverage their assets and revenues to promote local private sector development through such means as:

· Directing a greater percentage of their purchasing power toward local vendors based in the community.

· Hiring a greater percentage of their workforce locally.

· Providing workforce training for people needing assistance in the community.

· Incubating the development of new businesses, including social enterprise among nonprofits.

· Serving as an advisor or network builder.

· Leveraging real estate development to promote local retail, employer-assisted housing, and community land trusts.

· Using pension and endowment funds to invest in local job creation strategies and to provide community venture capital for nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and employee-owned firms.

We are urging community residents to start this conversation at the neighborhood forum on nanotechnology Tuesday night July 8th at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium of the DeSales Center at 309 Genesee Street, Utica. Please be sure to attend this meeting. Details follow in the next article,

 

NANO CORRIDOR

 

 

NANO IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD FORUM

‘NANO IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD FORUM’

WHAT IS NANOTECHNOLOGY?

WHAT ARE THE JOBS THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE NANO UTICA PROJECT, AND WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE FOR THEM?

WHO CAN I TALK WITH TO GET ANSWERS ABOUT THE PROJECT AND THE JOBS IT IS BRINGING TO OUR AREA?

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT, YOU’RE INVITED!

PLEASE JOIN US ON TUESDAY, JULY 8th at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium of the DeSales Center at 309 Genesee Street (the building with THE offices of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and other organizations.)

Free AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC; BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR QUESTIONS!

SPONSORED BY:
Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi
Utica Common Councilman Jerome McKinsey
The DeSales Center, Inc.
The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees
The Oneida County Chapter, NAACP
Mohawk Valley Latino Association

For more information, please contact Assemblyman Brindisi’s office in Utica at (315) 732-1055.

climate march

CNY RESIDENTS TO ATTENDCLIMATE CHANGE

MARCH IN NEW YORK

CITY IN SEPTEMBER

This is an invitation to change everything.

In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.

With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

In conjunction with other community groups, the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is organizing a bus or vans from the Utica-Rome-Oneida-Herkimer areas to participate in this important march on Sunday, September 21 in New York City. Please contact us if you would like to go or donate to the effort. We can be reached at 315-725-0974.

To change everything, we need everyone on board.
Sunday, September 21 in New York City. Join us.

CNYCIA SEEKING BOARD AND ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

 

The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is seeking members for our Board of Directors and Advisory Committee to help lead our social justice organization. We will establishing an office on Oneida Square in Utica to serve as a focal point for community organizing work on issues such as living wages, environmental justice, health care, protecting Social Security and Medicate, alternatives to austerity, education funding, and progressive economic development. We also hope to offer advocacy services to folks with housing, labor, benefit, and food issues. Please let me know if you are interested in joining our efforts. Our group respects people’s time and our meetings are up to the point and brief. We also do not expect a large time commitment. Our group particularly needs youth to lead our movement in the future. We are confident about our ability to make significant change in Central New York and would appreciate your help. Please call or email me for more information. John Furman (315) 725-0974/cnycitizenaction@gmail.com.

we own it

WORKER COOPS CAN BE A KEY TO LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Worker-owned cooperatives are business enterprises that are owned and governed by their employees. All worker cooperatives have two common characteristics: 1) member-owners invest in and own the business together, and share the enterprise’s profits, and 2) decision-making is democratic, with each member having one vote. Currently, there are over 300 worker-owned cooperatives in the U.S. operating in a diverse range of industries. While the majority are small businesses, with fewer than 50 workers, there are also notable larger enterprises.

Worker-owned cooperatives play a critical role in building community wealth for several key reasons:

· They create quality, empowering jobs for community members.
· Since most workers are community residents, worker cooperatives are more likely than other businesses to employ sustainable business practices that do not harm the local environment, and profits are more likely to remain and circulate within the community.
· As democratically run organizations, cooperatives help member-owners develop critical leadership skills and practice direct, grassroots decision-making.
· They allow employees to accumulate wealth and build assets through having an ownership stake in the cooperative.

The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is asking local economic development organizations to adopt worker cooperatives as a tool to create jobs and build a local democratic economy in Central New York. Please contact us for further details.

10 reasons coop rocks

WORKER-OWNED CO-OPS GET
$1 MILLION IN NYC SPENDING

New York City’s newly approved budget allocates $1.2 million for developing and supporting worker-owned cooperative businesses.

New York City’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year includes a new item that supporters of a fairer economy will want to celebrate: $1.2 million set aside for the development of worker-owned cooperative businesses.

The spending is a small fraction of the $75 billion budget, which the City Council approved on June 26.

But, according to a statement by U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, it’s the largest investment in the sector ever made by a city government in the United States.

Cooperative businesses are both owned and operated by employees. They focus on maximizing value for all their members as well as creating fair and quality jobs.

“This is a great step forward for worker cooperatives,” Melissa Hoover, executive director of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, said in a press release. According to Hoover the co-op funding received widespread support from city council members, which “shows that they understand cooperatives can be a viable tool for economic development that creates real opportunity.”

Here’s how the city’s newly adopted budget describes the program:

Funding will support the creation of 234 jobs in worker cooperative businesses by coordinating education and training resources and by providing technical, legal and financial assistance. The initiative will fund a comprehensive citywide effort to reach 920 cooperative entrepreneurs, provide for the start-up of 28 new worker cooperative small businesses and assists another 20 existing cooperatives.

“A healthy local government’s budget is balanced, transparent, responsive, and inclusive,” reads the opening statement of the 2015 Budget Summery. A healthy business runs quite the same way, and armed with this funding New York City worker-owned co-ops are set up to prove it.

CNYCIA TO OPEN ONEIDA SQUARE
OFFICE IN UTICA

The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is delighted to report that we will be opening an office at the Cornerstone Community Church on Plant Street on Oneida Square in Utica. The office will enable our organization to form coalitions with other progressive groups, hold meetings and events, and provide a space for community volunteers. We are seeking community volunteers and college interns to help us with organizing, community outreach, web and social media design, and public relations and issue work. We would also greatly appreciate donations of office equipment and supplies (e.g., computer, printer, copier, book case, chairs table, desk, supplies, paper). Please contact us at 315-725-0974 orcnycitizenaction@gmail.com if you would like to support our social justice work

lametiqu

VIGIL TO HONOR BOMB TRAIN VICTIMS IN SYRACUSE
On Tuesday July 8th, rise with Lac-Megantic
to send the message:

Keep Oil Off the Rails and In the Ground!
We will demand an emergency response plan for all communities in Onondaga County and to call for a complete ban on the bomb trains in New York State.

We will gather in Clinton Square on South Salina Street from 2:00-3:00pm in Downtown Syracuse, NY
on Tuesday, July 8 to remember the 47 lives lost in Lac Magantic last July.

Join the facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/287899678047935 for updates

Gather with us as we stand with residents in
Lac-Magantic to remember those lost in last year’s train explosion.
Together with grassroots activists across North America, including our very own Shaleshock CNY, CNY Against Fracking, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation,
Alliance for a Green Economy, Frack Action, the Iroquois Chapter of the Sierra Club and with ForestEthics, 350.org, Oil Change International and Sierra Club National
we join in solidarity for this week of action to stop the oil trains
and keep another disaster from happening in our communities.

Please see other events taking place internationally during the week of July 7th
at stopoiltrains.org

At a time when the urgency for climate action is at its greatest in history, we cannot fall into the oil industry’s distracting debates on the ‘best methods’ to transport fossil fuels. As our movement has blocked climate-killing pipelines across North America, big oil has moved at an alarming rate to transport oil by rail. Yet despite dozens of oil train disasters, the oil industry is seeking to dramatically expand oil by rail in the US and in Canada.

Lac-Megantic’s struggle is a grim reminder to us all:
Big Oil will stop at nothing to extract, transport, and burn every drop of oil in the ground. No matter the risk, no matter the cost to public health, safety, and the climate, the oil industry will jump at every opportunity to profit.

But now we say NO MORE.

No more exploding trains. No more tar sands. No more reckless endangerment of our communities and our climate!

See you on July 8th!

Please contact Linda DeStefano at ldestefano3@twcny.rr.com or Michelle Wolfe atmjw451@aol.com (with the Iroquois Group of the Sierra Club) for more information regarding the event
or if you’d like to be involved with further actions, research,
or organizing on the oil trains.

fracking

COURT RULES THAT NEW YORK
TOWNS CAN BAN FRACKING

The ruling is a boon to the more than 170 municipalities in New York that have already passed bans or moratoriums.

In a precedent-setting case decided on June 30 by the New York Court of Appeals, local communities have triumphed over the fracking industry. The court ruled that the towns of Dryden and Middlefield can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry, including oil and gas production within municipal borders.

Many cities and towns in New York had been waiting for the decision to establish moratoriums of their own.

“Today the court stood with the people of Dryden and the people of New York to protect their right to self-determination,” said Dryden Deputy Supervisor Jason Leifer. “It is clear that people, not corporations, have the right to decide how their community develops.”

“This decision by the Court of Appeals has settled the matter once and for all across New York state and has sent a firm message to the oil and gas industry,” said Earthjustice Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg. “For too long the oil and gas industry has intimidated and abused people, expecting to get away with it. That behavior is finally coming back to haunt them, as communities across the country stand up and say ‘no more.’ Earthjustice is proud to have stood with, and fought on behalf of, one such community.”

Many other cities and towns in New York had been waiting for the decision to establish bans or moratoriums of their own. The victory also gives legal authority to the more than 170 New York municipalities that have passed measures against fracking in their communities.

Today’s decision will also serve as inspiration for a growing number of localities in Colorado, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and California that are hoping to stop the controversial drilling practice.

“Town by town, New Yorkers have taken a stand against fracking. Today’s victory confirms that each of these towns is on firm legal ground,” said Helen Slottje, an Ithaca-based attorney whose legal research inspired New York’s local fracking ban groundswell and who was honored with the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize. “The oil and gas industry tried to take away a fundamental right that pre-dates even the Declaration of Independence: the right of municipalities to regulate local land use. But they failed. The anti-fracking measures passed by Dryden, Middlefield, and dozens of other New York municipalities are fully enforceable.”

In response to the court’s 5-2 decision, John Armstrong of Frack Action and New Yorkers Against Fracking said, ”We applaud the court for once again affirming the right of New Yorkers to ban fracking and its toxic effects from their communities. … But water and air contamination don’t stop at local boundaries, and Governor Cuomo must ban fracking statewide to protect our health and homes from the arrogant and inherently harmful fracking industry.”

The case in Dryden has attracted nationwide attention and taken on special significance. More than 20,000 people from across the country and globe sent messages to the town board, expressing support for the town through the course of its nearly three-year legal battle. An Earthjustice video depicting the town’s fight has garnered more than 80,000 views.

“We did it!” said Dryden resident Deborah Cipolla-Dennis. “This victory is for everyone who loves their town and will fight to the end to protect it.”

NEWSLETTER ARTICLES ARE NEEDED

Please submit your articles, news item, and calendar listings to cnycitizenaction@gmail.com.

CNY PROGRESSIVE ACTION is published by Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., P.O. Box 411, Utica, NY 13503-0411/315-725-0974 cnycitizenaction@gmail.com https://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Central-New-York-Citizens-in-Action/265689434204

We would like to credit YES magazine, Democracy Collaborative, and People’s Climate March for information for this newsletter.