Archive for March, 2016

Central NY Residents Call on State Legislators to Pass $15 Statewide Say Central New York can’t survive on poverty wages

March 25, 2016

 

Utica news conference

 

Utica residents said a minimum wage deal being negotiated in Albany that would have a slower phase-in to $15 for Upstate, or lower minimum wage upstate than downstate, is unacceptable. They called on State Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi to stand with upstate workers and pass a $15 minimum wage statewide.

“A $15 an hour minimum wage would boost the economy and put people on a path out of poverty,” said John Furman, President of the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. “Our state legislators need to make sure Upstate New York – the people they represent here in Utica – don’t get left out of this historic legislation.”

Central New York Labor Council, Citizen Action of New York, Utica Activist Coalition, Cornhill Community for Change, Mohawk Valley Freedom School, IWW, Love and Rage, Democratic Action Network, Herkimer-Oneida Green Party, and the Working Families Party joined together at a news conference today to send the message to the New York State Legislature that Upstate New York must not get left behind with a wage that’s under $15 or takes far too long to phase in.

At the news conference, the Central New York Citizens in Action released a study that concludes that “phasing in the minimum wage increase over 6 years to 2021 for the upstate areas as opposed to 3 years for downstate provides ample time for upstate businesses whose wage levels generally are 5% to 10% lower than downstate to adjust to the higher wage floor.” The study also states that “…upstate employers would not have a harder time adapting to a higher minimum wage than downstate employers.”

According to a study by the National Employment Law Project, a single adult in the Utica/Rome area will need an hourly wage of $17.32 to meet basic needs like food, housing and transportation by 2021, when a $15 minimum wage would be fully phased-in. In all regions of New York, from Long Island to Buffalo, workers will need at least $15 per hour by 2021 to meet the basics.

graph

“Poverty wage jobs are dragging the upstate economy down,” said Mr. Furman. “We can create thriving communities – but not on poverty wages. When workers here have more to spend, they’ll spend it at local shops and small businesses. That’s how the economy really works.”

About 1.7 million workers in Upstate NY would receive a raise under the Governor’s proposal. The phased-in $15 minimum wage increase will directly affect nearly 55,000 Mohawk Valley residents, and spur the reinvestment of $350.9 million into the region’s economy. Already in Utica, a single adult working full-time needs to earn a $14.86 wage to support their basic needs. By 2021, single adults will need a $17.32 wage, with couples and parents needing to earn even more. The typical worker would receive about $4,800 per year raise.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average worker who would benefit from increasing the minimum wages is a woman over 25 who works full-time, has some college education, and provides more than half of her household’s income. Only 5.3 percent of impacted workers would be teens; more than 75 percent are 25 or older.

Recent experience with minimum wage hikes do not reveal a negative impact on small businesses. Evidence shows that it actually gives advantages to small businesses, when they compete with big businesses to attract most talented employees. Large businesses, rather than small neighborhood ones, employ most New Yorkers making less than $15. In Upstate NY, the majority of small businesses are service related enterprises like restaurants that serve local customers and since they are on the same playing field, they can slowly adjust their prices to compensate for increased labor costs without suffering a competitive disadvantage.

Phasing in $15 an hour minimum wage would be a boost to the Upstate New York economy. Considerable economically sound research supports the conclusion that businesses can accommodate such an increase. A higher wage floor would generate significant cost savings due to reduced turnover and there is room for modest price increases to ease the adjustment without jeopardizing overall employment levels or profitability. Moreover, a $15 wage floor would boost consumer spending for over three million New York workers. It will aid struggling families, benefit one-third of the state’s children, reduce poverty, and will have positive overall economic consequences throughout New York State.

An increase in the minimum wage would reduce companies’ ability to shift costs to government programs, and would result in considerable savings at all levels of government in spending on various forms of public assistance as well as generate increased individual income and sales taxes paid by workers.

 

FF15_-15_now

Advertisements

March 24, 2016

cia lobby day fight for 15 albanyCENTRAL NEW YORK PROGRESSIVE – SPECIAL ISSUE

In this issue, we focus on the struggle to win a fair wage for New York. In the first article, we let our readers know of the importance of attending a news conference to show support for Governor Cuomo’s proposal to raise the wage. Readers are advised to contact their state legislators as soon as possible to ask them to support working people. The second article debunks myths about increasing the minimum wage.

News Conference to Support Minimum Wage Increase Friday at 10 a.m.

Local groups including the Central New York Labor Council and Central NY Citizens in Action will be holding an important news conference this Friday morning to support the $15 minimum wage proposal. Please do your best to attend. The news conference, which will start at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 25, will be held at the offices of the Central New York Labor Council, 287 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501. Please arrive at 9:45 a.m. Please let us know if we can list your group as a co-sponsor.
Some legislative leaders are talking about weakening a $15 minimum wage proposal that would make sure 3 million people across New York can afford to pay for the basics like food, housing and transportation.
There’s still time for the State Senate and Assembly to back a strong minimum wage that gets the whole state to $15, and gets there quickly. But time is running out. business lobbyists are working overtime to influence the legislature and weaken the wage increase. They’re using the same scare tactics that we see used every time a minimum wage increase is debated.
Please call your state legislator and ask them to pass the $15 minimum wage proposal.

Thank you for your support.

 

fight for 15

Community Coalition Calls on NYS Legislature to pass the $15 minimum wage by April 1.

Groups Release Report Showing Positive Impact on Upstate NY Economy

A coalition of community, labor, and public interest groups, along with concerned Central New Yorkers and local workers, will be releasing a report at a news conference showing the positive impact of passing Governor Cuomo’s proposal for a $15 statewide minimum wage will have on Central New York families and the local economies. Leaders will ask Senator Griffo and local legislators to support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to gradually phase in the $15 minimum wage by the end of 2018 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state.

The news conference, which will start at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 25, will be held at the offices of the Central New York Labor Council, 287 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501.
WHO: Event sponsored by the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., Central New York Labor Council, Utica Activist Coalition, Mohawk Valley Freedom School, IWW, Love and Rage, Citizen Action of New York, Working Families Party, and other local, state, and national groups

WHAT: Groups will ask the State Senate and Assembly to back the Governor Cuomo’s proposal for a phased-in increase in the minimum wage. They will also release a report detailing its positive impact of the on Central New York jobs, farms, businesses, and economy.

WHERE: Central New York Labor Council, 287 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501 (Corner of Genesee Street and Dakin Street, Downtown Utica, near Utica Public Library); parking in the rear of the building off Dakin Street, please use rear entrance

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 25
Please bring signs and banners.

bus photo

Tell your legislator: We need $15 NOW!

Last Tuesday, local residents joined thousands of working New Yorkers from across the state up in Albany to send a clear message to the Senate Republicans: we need $15 now and nothing less! [1]

Tell our legislators to pass a livable minimum wage in this year’s budget – the deadline is March 31!

The Fight for $15 is simple: No individual – and definitely no parent raising a child – can live on $9 an hour, New York’s minimum wage today. And no one who works hard every day should have to struggle to make ends meet. But that’s exactly what over 3 million people in New York who earn less than $15 an hour are forced to do. It isn’t right and it has to stop.

This year, we have a historic opportunity to take our economy back from poverty wage jobs – and the billionaire CEOs who have kept those wages low for decades – by passing a statewide $15 minimum wage.

$15 doesn’t just mean a better quality of life for hard-working people, it means we can build thriving communities. That’s because $15 will put more money in the pockets of the very people our economy depends on: Workers who’ll spend their wage increase at businesses right here in our community.

Last year, the State Legislature failed to pass a $15 minimum wage. But we can’t let another year go by without a wage that boosts working families and our economy.

We can build communities based on decent-paying jobs.
We have a historic opportunity this year, and we won’t let anyone stand in our way: Fight for $15!

Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, 214 Farrier Ave., Oneida, N.Y. 13421; phone: 361-4125; fax: 361-4222; email: mageew@assembly.state.ny.us

· Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, 235 N. Prospect St., Suite 101, Herkimer, N.Y. 13350; phone: 866-1632; fax: 866-5058; email: butlerm@assembly.state.ny.us

· Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, 5176 St. Route 233, PO Box 597, Westmoreland, NY 13490; phone: 853-2383; fax: 853-2386; email: tenneyc@assembly.state.ny.us

· Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, Room 401, State Office Building, 207 Genesee St., Utica, N.Y. 13501; phone: 732-1055; fax: 732-1413; email: brindia@assembly.state.ny.us

· Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, State Office Building, 207 Genesee St., Utica, N.Y. 13501; phone: 793-9072; fax: 793-0298; email: griffo@senate.state.ny.us

· Sen. David J. Valesky, D-Oneida, 805 State Office Building, 333 East Washington St., Syracuse, N.Y. 13202; phone: 478-8745; fax: 474-3804; email: valesky@senate.state.ny.us

· Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, 235 N. Prospect St., Herkimer, N.Y. 13350; phone: 866-1632; fax: 866-5058; email: seward@senate.state.ny.us

minimum-wage-new-york photo

Myth vs. Fact on a $15 Minimum Wage
for New York

Myth: There would be few benefits to a $15 minimum wage.

Fact: The benefits of gradually phasing in a $15 minimum wage for New York’s workers would be far-reaching, according to analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

3.1 million workers – about 36% of all workers in the state – would receive raises. 1.4 million would be in New York City, and 1.7 million elsewhere in the state.

The typical worker would receive roughly a $4,800 per year raise – going a long way towards rebalancing wages in the state.

 

Myth: The workers earning low-wages are mostly teens in entry-level jobs who don’t need to earn a living wage.

Fact: The typical worker earning less than $15 in New York is a woman over 25 with some college-level coursework who works full-time and provides on average half of her household’s income, according to analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

Just 5.3 percent of affected workers are teenagers. More than three-quarters are 25 or older.

52.7 percent are women.

Statewide, roughly half are persons of color. Within New York City, more than three-quarters are persons of color, and statewide, workers of color would benefit disproportionately from the increase. More than half of all Latino workers would receive a raise, and 40% of African American workers.

The workers who would benefit earn, on average, half of their family’s total income. More than a quarter (27 percent) of affected workers are the sole providers of their family’s income.

Of workers who would receive a raise, two-thirds work full time.

52.1 percent have some college experience. 19.8% have bachelor’s degrees and 9.4 have associate’s degrees.

32.9 percent have children.

 

Myth: Employers cannot adjust to a gradually phased in $15 minimum wage.

Fact: While business lobbyists like the New York State Business Council argue that New York employers cannot adjust to a $15 minimum wage by 2021, growing numbers of employers say that it will be manageable.

A growing list of businesses voices are supporting Governor Cuomo’s $15 minimum wage proposal. These supporters include trade associations like the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and the Long Island African-American Chamber of Commerce, as well as individual employers like Amalgamated Bank and Ben and Jerry’s.

Moreover, the president and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State — the trade association representing New York State’s single largest low-wage industry in which 550,000 of the state’s 3.1 million workers earning less than $15 work – has joined the Governor’s $15 minimum wage campaign as a campaign vice-chair (although the Retail Council has not yet endorsed a specific proposal). The fact that this major trade group is not opposing Governor Cuomo’s proposal and its leader is serving as vice-chair of the campaign highlights the significant business support the proposal enjoys.

A diverse range of business leaders confirm that transitioning to a $15 minimum wage is entirely feasible. “’Everybody in retail is dealing with an increase in minimum wage,’ said Popeyes CEO Cheryl Bachelder to CNN Money. ‘We will adjust to increased costs just like we have before. Life will go on. There’s been too much hubbub about it.’”

Marcus Samuelsson, owner of Harlem’s Red Rooster restaurant, put it this way to Crain’s last month, “You have to adjust. I have 160 employees—we adjusted to the health care law, and we will have to adjust to [a $15 minimum wage]. As a small-business owner, I know that change is something that comes constantly.”

As Rochester-based restaurant owner Dennis Kessler who teaches at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business told the Washington Post last year, “This $15 thing is being phased in over quite a few years, so I don’t think it’s going to have much of an impact. . . . People are going to have to pay a little more. It really isn’t too much more complicated than that.”

 

Myth: $15 is an excessive minimum wage for New York, especially upstate where living costs are lower.

Fact: Cost of living data shows that even in the least expensive regions of upstate New York, a single worker will need $15 or more by 2021 just to cover the basics – and workers downstate and workers supporting children will need even more.

For example, in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse – which are among the least expensive places to live in New York State – a single worker will by 2021 need $32,689 in Buffalo, $33,535 in Rochester, and $33,791 in Syracuse just to cover basic living costs at a modest level. These living costs mean that a single, full-time worker will need to earn at least $15.72 per hour in Buffalo, $16.12 in Rochester and $16.25 in Syracuse by 2021 just to cover the basics.

 

Myth: Economists believe that a $15 minimum wage is too high for New York.

Fact: In reality, more than 200 economists have endorsed a $15 federal minimum wage by 2020, finding that raising the minimum to $15 an hour “will be an effective means of improving living standards for low-wage workers and their families and will help stabilize the economy. The costs to other groups in society will be modest and readily absorbed.”

As Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explained in a recent address at the City University of New York that “there’s absolutely no reason to think that a fifteen dollar minimum wage will be a problem for New York.”

Two careful studies – one by researchers at the University of Massachusetts9 and a second by researchers at the Purdue School of Hospitality and Tourism Management10 – both show that fast food restaurants will be able to accommodate a $15 minimum wage through significant savings from reduced staff turnover and small price increases not much greater than recent experience.

Other New York economists such as Tom Michl of Colgate University and Christopher Gunn of Hobart and William Smith Colleges have similarly endorsed a $15 minimum wage as manageable and good for the state’s economy.

 

Myth: Research shows that increasing the minimum wage will lead to significant job losses, and so will hurt rather than help New York’s workforce.

Fact: The bulk of rigorous minimum wage studies show that raising the minimum wage boosts incomes for low-wage workers with only very small adverse impacts on employment.

As Bloomberg News summarized it, “[a] wave of new economic research is disproving those arguments about job losses and youth employment. Previous studies tended not to control for regional economic trends that were already affecting employment levels, such as a manufacturing-dependent state that was shedding jobs. The new research looks at micro-level employment patterns for a more accurate employment picture. The studies find minimum-wage increases even provide an economic boost, albeit a small one, as strapped workers immediately spend their raises.”

This is best illustrated by “meta-studies” that survey and aggregate the findings of scores of minimum wage studies. The two leading meta-studies—by economists Hristos Doucouliagos and T.D. Stanley (2009) and Dale Belman and Paul Wolfson (2014)14 — show that the vast majority of recent studies find minimum wage increases have little to no effect on employment levels or job growth.

Analyses by opponents such as the Empire Center and American Action Forum projecting significant job losses from a $15 minimum wage are not reliable because they use outdated research methods that produce inaccurate results.

The studies they rely on claim that small minimum wage increases, like the ones NY approved in 2006 and 2013, have killed lots of jobs. But the overwhelming majority of credible studies have concluded that any adverse impacts have been very, very small.

As Crain’s New York Business has reported, “The most credible recent research shows very little loss of jobs. Nor does it show worrisome price hikes.”

 

Myth: Even if more moderate minimum wage increases do not lead to significant job losses, a $15 minimum wage would be too much and would hurt workers and the state economy.

Fact: Some of the most respected economists in the country disagree.

State-of-the-art modeling of the impact of a $15 minimum wage conducted by University of California economists under contract with the City of Los Angeles found that, if phased in gradually over five years, a $15 wage would be manageable for employers and would raise business operating costs just 0.9 percent by 2019.

The University of California analysis found that a phased-in $15 minimum wage would increase business operating costs and prices — but that that negative impact on business would be offset by increased spending by workers receiving higher wages. Any net negative impact on jobs would be very small.

For workers, the analysis found that the benefits would be far reaching, raising pay for approximately 41 percent of the city’s workforce and delivering an average raise of nearly $5,000 per worker per year (in 2014 dollars).

 

Myth: In places like Seattle, which have passed $15 minimum wage increases, businesses have started to close.

Fact: The experiences of the first jurisdictions phasing their minimum wages up to $15 have been positive. In Seattle, the first major city to adopt a $15 wage, the region’s unemployment rate hit an eight-year low of 3.6 % in August 2015, significantly lower that the state unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, following the initial wage increase in April. In a front-page story titled “Apocalypse Not: $15 and the Cuts that Never Came,” the Puget Sound Business Journal reported on “The minimum wage meltdown that never happened,” explaining that Seattle’s restaurant industry has continued to expand and thrive as the $15 wage phases in.20 King County, where Seattle is located, is on track to break last year’s record for the number of business permits issued to food service establishments. And business owners who had publicly opposed the $15 minimum wage are in the process of expanding operations.

 

Myth: A $15 minimum wage for New York would far higher than past minimum wages in New York or other U.S. states by any standard of comparison.

Fact: In reality, a $15 minimum wage is not that high for New York, given the state’s high cost of living, higher-than-national wages, and decades of productivity growth.

For example, if New York’s 1970 minimum wage is updated to reflect both national price changes and the higher-than-national cost of living growth in New York, it would translate to $15.01 by 2018.21

Or updating New York’s 1970 minimum wage to reflect average worker productivity growth since then, it would translate to $21.40 today. Raising the minimum wage to $15 would ensure that workers share more of the benefits of that growth.

Using another benchmark that is sometimes used to compare minimum wages – the minimum wage as a percentage of the median wage for a full-time worker, known as the “Kaitz Index” – a $15 wage in 2021 would translate to 58% of New York’s median wage. That’s just slightly higher than the U.S. minimum wage was in 1968, when it was 55% of the median wage – a period when the nation enjoyed low unemployment and strong growth.

In fact, more than half a dozen U.S. states have had minimum wages at higher levels, as compared to their median wages: 62% in Florida and Vermont; 63% in Maine and South Dakota; 66% in Mississippi and 67% in Arkansas. There is no evidence that these minimum wage levels were excessive or cost significant numbers of jobs.

Note that economists use full time, full year worker median wages as the benchmark for comparing minimum wage levels historically among the U.S. states and internationally. Opponents of Governor Cuomo’s $15 wage proposal like the Empire Center have instead been using non-full-time median wage statistics, which are not those commonly used by economists, and which do not allow for historic comparisons with minimum wage levels in the U.S. in the past.

 

Myth: A $15 minimum wage would give New York a higher minimum wage than other comparable developed countries.

Fact: Other developed countries like Germany, France and New Zealand already have minimum wages comparable to or higher than the proposed $15 New York minimum wage, and the U.K. is now phasing its minimum wage up to an even higher level.

A $15 minimum wage for New York, translating to 58% of the median full time wage, would be comparable to the minimum wages today in other OECD countries like France (61%), New Zealand (60%) and Germany (58%).

Moreover, the U.K. is in the process of phasing its minimum wage up to the 65% level by 2020 under the Conservative Government’s new National Living Wage (which applies to workers ages 25 and older).

Comparing international minimum wages using current exchange rates, Australia’s minimum wage will be at least $15 U.S. by 2017 – and the country hasn’t had a recession in twenty years.

 

Myth: A $15 minimum wage would be unsustainable for New York’s small businesses.

Fact: New York’s and other localities’ past experience with minimum wage increases do not show a disadvantage to small businesses, and in fact, the increases level the playing field for small businesses, who have to compete with large businesses for the most talented employees.

In reality it is large companies, not mom-and-pop businesses, which employ most workers in New York earning less than $15.

Most small businesses are service industry firms like dry cleaners, bodegas and diners that serve local customers. When the minimum wage goes up, they and their competitors are all on the same playing field and can gradually adjust their prices to cover the cost without being put at a disadvantage.

New York’s experiences with past minimum wage increases, and the recent experiences in cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle with significant minimum wage increases, bear this out. There is no evidence that transitioning to higher wages have hurt small businesses or changed the mix of large and small businesses.

That’s why growing numbers of individual small business owners and trade groups representing small businesses like the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce are endorsing the $15 minimum wage.

 

Myth: A $15 minimum wage will cost the state and taxpayers a lot.

Fact: In reality it is low wages that are generating significant public costs for the New York taxpayers.

The state’s current low minimum wage means that hundreds of thousands of the 3.2 million New Yorkers whose employers pay them less than $15 per hour must rely on state safety net programs to get by. The resulting cost to taxpayers is $9.1 billion per year – with state and local government in New York paying $2.9 billion of that cost, according to a University of California analysis.

As a result, raising the minimum wage will save the state budget significant amounts in safety net expenditures. The largest savings come from the Medicaid program, where raising the minimum wage shifts many workers from 50% state-funded regular Medicaid health insurance onto Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansion Medicaid and the ACA exchanges, which are largely federally funded. In California, it is projected that a $13 minimum wage would save the state budget over $2 billion.

A recent Urban Institute report analyzed several policy options for reducing poverty in New York City and estimated the net fiscal savings (resulting from decreased need for public assistance and increased income and payroll tax payments) to all levels of government from an increase in the minimum wage to $15. The authors concluded that the dollar amount of the net fiscal savings was equal to 43 percent of the rise in workers’ aggregate earnings as a result of the minimum wage increase.

Such savings should, as discussed below, be used to help state-contracted human services programs cover the cost of transitioning to higher wages.

 

Myth: Human services agencies operating under grants from state government will have to lay workers off because they cannot afford to pay $15 per hour.

Fact: It is true that the state’s human services programs – many of which are operated by non-profit organizations with contract or Medicaid funding from state government to provide early childhood education, and to care for vulnerable children, the elderly, and the developmentally disabled – will need additional funding from the state to transition to a $15 minimum wage.

Unlike for-profit businesses, the non-profit organizations operating these programs cannot raise prices to help cover the cost of raising wages since they don’t charge for these essential public services. While these services are funded by government, for many years state support has not kept up with rising costs.

Women make up 82 percent of this workforce, which generally is highly educated and half persons of color. More than half are paid less than $15 an hour in jobs long under-valued despite the fact that many of these services allow clients to function better on their own, saving taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

The state will need to increase funding for contracts to non-profits or raise Medicaid reimbursement rates to help non-profit providers transition their wages up to $15.

Fortunately, the $15 minimum wage will generate significant budgetary savings, which the legislature should use, together with new appropriated funds, to finance this important investment. Such an investment will also improve the quality of human services provided in the state, as higher wages reduce the high employee turnover, which currently plagues these programs.

 

Myth: Raising the minimum wage to $15 will not help workers, since they will lose significant amounts of government benefits leaving them little better off than they were before.

Fact: The major safety net benefits that most of New York’s low-wage workers receive incorporate gradual phase-outs. This means that workers are always net significantly better off for each additional dollar that they earn.

Source: Fiscal Policy Institute

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 411; Utica, NY 13503-0411
Office: 500 Plant St.; Utica, NY 13502-4710
315-725-0974
cnycitizenaction@gmail.com
https://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. was developed from the Utica Citizens in Action, a multi-issue public interest association affiliated with Citizen Action of New York. It was founded in 1997 to address critical social, economic and environmental issues facing residents of Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison Counties. Members of our group worked to empower low and moderate income Central New York residents to participate in shaping the policies that affect their lives, such as economic justice, environment, housing, education, economic development, health care, public benefit programs, and consumer issues. Our projects include research and policy development, public education on a wide range of public policy issues, development of educational materials, community outreach and grassroots organizing, coalition development, training, and lobbying. Please join our email list by sending an email to cnycitizenaction@gmail.com with the subject heading – Join List. We also invite you to become a member of our group and attend our meetings.

CNY PROGRESSIVE ACTION NEWSLETTER – MARCH 10, 2016

March 11, 2016

march 15

CNY PROGRESSIVE ACTION

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

You can view newsletter on:
https://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com

HEADLINES

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR BERNIE AT THE UTICA ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE SATURDAY!!

CNYCIA LOBBIES IN ALBANY

BUS LEAVING UTICA FOR ALBANY
FIGHT FOR 15 RALLY ON MARH 15

CNYCIA SUPPORTS PROGRESSIVE NYS
LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

SEEKING VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS FOR THE CENTRAL

NEW YORK CITIZENS IN ACTION, INC.

bernie march

 

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR BERNIE AT THE UTICA ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE SATURDAY!!

Bernie Sanders Supporters will be marching this Saturday in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Utica!! The Central NY Citizens in Action along with the Herkimer Oneida Counties for Bernie group need your help to make our show of support for Bernie a success. We have a real shot at winning NY but we need your support to get the word out that Bernie offers the best progressive alternative. Here is the information you need to know:

1. The parade officially starts at 10 a.m. and will end about 12 noon. Bernie supporters need to line up on Genesee St. about 9:30 a.m. or earlier. We do not have an exact location but it should be between Burrstone Road and Clinton Place. All side streets in the parade and lineup area will be closed off. You should park outside of the area on the side streets. The streets between Sunset Avenue and Oneida Street will be closed to traffic to permit emergency vehicle access.

2. We are RED 30 in the parade line up. The parade will have a check-in desk at Newell and Genesee St. They will offer you directions there. Similarly, the parade will have volunteers along the line-up area to help situate everyone in the color sections. Each color section is headed by a Color Captain

3. Marchers should come early at about 9:30 a.m. because the parade will be starting at 10 a.m. Please look for our group and bring Bernie signs, buttons, and literature to hand out.

4. Trucks and cars for Bernie should report to Newell Street between 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. so the vehicles can be lined up. The parade will have a check-in desk at Newell and Genesee St. which will offer directions. The parade will have the entrance to the lineup area on Newell St. this year. If you are traveling from the north, the UPD is asking you to use either Oneida St., or Sunset Ave and circle back to Newell St. If you are coming from the south, just take the Parkway to Genesee St.

5. Due to safety concerns we are asking that you do not bring candy or beads to give out to the crowd. Alcohol is also prohibited. Please look at the forecast, and dress accordingly. And last but not least have fun!

cia lobby day

CNYCIA LOBBIES IN ALBANY

Central New York Citizens in Action members participated in the Citizen Action of New York Lobby Day on March 8. We had meetings with New York State legislators to urge them to pass legislation for a livable minimum wage, equitable school funding, paid family leave, and. campaign finance reform. Our members protested in front of the Senate Chamber to press the legislators to support raising the minimum wage of $15.00 for all workers in NYS. We also attended a news conference to urge the New York State Assembly to include $200 million to support a community schools program across the state.

fight for 15

JOIN CNYCIA ON MARCH 15 TO FIGHT
FOR 15 BUS LEAVING UTICA
FOR FIGHT FOR 15 RALLY

In conjunction with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and other groups, the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. will be sponsoring a bus from Utica to Albany on Tuesday, March 15 to send a powerful message to lawmakers: ALL workers deserve good jobs with at least $15 an hour. Bus transportation is free and lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact John Furman at 315-725-0974 or cnycitizenaction@gmail.com.
On February 27, the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. was a part of a group of local union members and activists who welcomed the Drive for 15 Bus Tour to Utica to call on state lawmakers to pass the Governor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 this legislative session. The phased-in $15 minimum wage increase will directly affect nearly 55,000 Mohawk Valley residents, and spur the reinvestment of $350.9 million into the region’s economy.

Among those attending the rally were George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, and the Chair of the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice, NYS Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito, elected officials, CNYCIA members, and low-wage workers who would benefit from the raise.

Many of the workers who would benefit most are working in the occupations projected to grow the most by 2022, including the homecare, healthcare and childcare workers who serve our most vulnerable populations, yet often do not earn enough to support themselves and their families. Right now, 56 percent of homecare workers in the state are on some form of public assistance, and 30 percent rely on food stamps to make ends meet.
Already in Utica, a single adult working full-time needs to earn a $14.86 wage to support their basic needs. By 2021, single adults will need a $17.32 wage, with couples and parents needing to earn even more.

CNYCIA SUPPORTS PROGRESSIVE
NYS LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

In conjunction with Citizen Action of NY, the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. announced our 2016 NYS agenda to promote progressive values and economic justice:

QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION

Support an investment of $2.4 billion as a down payment toward ending educational inequity and ensuring that all kids have access to a quality public education. No child should be denied the opportunity to succeed in life based on his or her family’s income, wealth, race or the zip code where they live. New York has record numbers of children living in poverty and far too many New Yorkers face hunger and homelessness. It is crucial that we invest in students’ futures by supporting high quality full-day pre-K, community schools, and restorative justice practices that keep students safe and in school. It’s time our state leaders stand up for kids by making a significant investment in our public schools.
Support Community Schools Act, A6791 and S5447.
Oppose the Education Incentive Tax Credit.

$15 MINIMUM WAGE
Huge corporations pay workers as little as possible in order to maximize their skyrocketing profits, and it has made New York one of most unequal states in the country. 3.2 million people in New York make less than $15 an hour. They work hard, play by the rules, but are still living in poverty. That is why we support a $15 minimum wage for all workers in all regions of New York State. There should be no carve outs, and all regions, including upstate, Long Island and New York City, should get to $15 at the rate in Governor Cuomo’s 2016 Executive Budget proposal and in Assemblymember Titus’ bill (A07257) and Senator Panepinto’s bill (S5602B).

The Legislature must also include the $50-$65 million in the state budget necessary for state contracted social and human service providers to secure the minimum wage increase in their sector.

FAIR ELECTIONS

Elected officials should spend their time working to understand the needs and concerns of their constituents, not fundraising for their campaigns. That is why we support passage of a comprehensive campaign finance reform package that includes:

A public financing option in the form of a $6 to $1 small donor matching funds system for all State Assembly, State Senate and statewide races;
Create a fair and candidate-service oriented enforcement unit for all campaign finance laws;

Close the LLC loophole that allows corporations to skirt the $5,000 limit;
Reduce contribution limits to candidates and housekeeping accounts;

Support A9281 and S03502, the Fair Elections Act sponsored by Speaker Heastie and Leader Stewart-Cousins, which implement a $6 to $1 small donor matching funds system for state-level elections.

PAID FAMILY LEAVE

New Yorkers shouldn’t have to choose between their paycheck and caring for their loved ones. The Paid Family Leave Insurance Act will help keep New York’s families healthy and secure by providing weekly benefits to workers to care for a family member, replacing two-thirds of their wages for up to twelve weeks, with strong worker protections.
Support A3879 and S3004, the Paid Family Leave Insurance Act, sponsored by Assemblymember Nolan and Senator Addabbo.

ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

Protect Residents from Losses Due to “Bomb Trains”: Citizen Action supports legislation (A7625, Fahy; S5751, Avella), to require railroad companies to submit information on their ability to cover crude oil accidents and the owners or operators of bulk petroleum storage and vessels to demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility (including insurance coverage). Trains that transport crude oil through New York and facilities that store it in the state are a major danger to residents, as demonstrated by a 2013 Quebec “bomb train” explosion that killed 47.

Divest from Fossil Fuel Companies: Climate change is among the greatest threats to the survival of the planet. The burning of fossil fuels is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the U.S. Citizen Action therefore supports legislation (A8011A, Ortiz; S5873, Krueger) prohibiting the State Comptroller from investing state retirement funds in the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel companies, and requiring divestment from these companies. A massive worldwide divestment campaign played a significant role in ending the oppressive apartheid system in South Africa.

FAIR TAXES

Support closing the carried interest loophole in New York State. State legislatures should pass legislation to “repatriate” revenue lost through the federal loophole. We can tax the carried interest income of hedge funds and private equity partnerships headquartered in each state and bring the money home for investment in schools, housing, jobs and clean-energy infrastructure. New York’s private equity firms and hedge funds take in $15.6 billion per year in under-taxed carried interest, according to conservative estimates. A state bill to recapture fair share tax revenue would provide an estimated $3.7 billion for New York’s needs.
Support Assembly Speaker Heastie’s Millionaire’s Tax.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM & POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES

As partners in the Raise the Age NY campaign, Citizen Action supports raising the age of criminal responsibility for children in New York to improve outcomes for children and promote public safety. We must have a comprehensive approach to raise the age of criminal responsibility so that the legal process responds to all children as children, and so that services and placement options better meet the rehabilitative needs of all children and youth. Support Governor Cuomo’s 2016 budget proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility.

Restore voting rights for New Yorkers who have been released from prison and are on parole. About 41,000 New Yorkers have completed their prison sentence but are still denied the right to vote because they are on parole. About 80% of people on parole in New York are African American or Latino. Voting is a fundamental civic duty and should be an essential part of the re-entry process for someone returning to their community. Support S2023A and A7634 sponsored by Senator Hassell-Thompson and Assemblymember O’Donnell.

The Police STAT Act would require public reporting of key policing activities that are not currently reported on, including the number and demographics of people killed each year by police in New York State (including deaths in custody), and demographic and disposition info related to minor offenses that result in summons, citation or arrest. Support A7698 and S6001, The Police STAT Act, sponsored by Assemblymember Lentol and Senator Squadron.

QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL NEW YORKERS

Coverage for Immigrants: Many immigrants have not benefited from New York’s success in expanding health coverage. New York should provide $10.3 million in the state budget to cover with state-only dollars the roughly 5,500 New Yorkers who are ineligible under federal law for coverage under the new low-cost Essential Plan because of their immigration status.

Reaching Those Without Coverage: New York should build on its success on getting people covered by providing $2 million in new funding through the state budget for community and small business-serving groups to reach the remaining 5% of New Yorkers that remain without health insurance. Priority funding should be provided to organizations that can serve communities with high numbers of people without insurance, including limited English proficient and rural New Yorkers.

Consumer Assistance with Health Coverage: New York should provide $4 million in the budget to ensure a strong Community Health Advocates (CHA) program, which is just enough to avoid program cuts. Through a central toll-free helpline and a network of 30 non-profits throughout the state, CHA has helped 200,000 New Yorkers since 2010, many previously uninsured, understand their coverage and resolve bill disputes and other problems with insurers.

Adequate Nursing Staff: We support legislation (A8580, Gunther; S782, Hannon) that would establish minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in New York hospitals and nursing homes, as California mandated in 2004. The research is clear that “safe staffing” ratios saves lives and improves patient outcomes.
Citizen Action

CONSUMER AND WORKER RIGHTS

Right to Recover for Medical Mistakes: Citizen Action supports “Lavern’s Law” (A285, Weinstein; S6596, DeFrancisco), which would begin the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases when an injured patient knew or should have known of a medical error, rather than when a mistake was made. The need for this change is shown by Brooklyn resident Lavern Wilkinson, who was not told of an x-ray revealing lung cancer for more than two years — too late to sue — and later died because her cancer was no longer treatable.

Construction Safety: We oppose a bill to lower the damages of injured construction workers under New York’s “Scaffold Safety Law” if the defendant can show that the worker contributed to his or her injuries (A3209, Morelle; S543, Gallivan). Under current law, property owners and general contractors are fully responsible for paying damages if inadequate safety equipment and other unsafe practices cause a worker’s injury, ensuring that owners and contractors have the responsibility for safe construction sites.

SEEKING VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS FOR THE CENTRAL

NEW YORK CITIZENS IN ACTION, INC.

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc.is an independent progressive social justice organization. Since 1997, Citizen Action has helped to win victories on increasing the minimum wage and ensuring affordable health care. The involvement of our members has been key to our success. That’s why we need your help. If you’d like to get involved, please call us at 315-725-0974 or email cnycitizenaction@gmail.com. You will receive a follow-up call from us who can discuss with you specific ways you can help out that best fit your time and interests. Volunteers are needed to research and write articles, promote the organization in the media, maintain the new website conduct surveys, and serve on the board and committees. Thanks again for your support of Citizen Action!

DONATE TO CENTRAL NEW YORK CITIZENS IN ACTION

Please support the work of Central New York Citizens in Action!
Your support today is an important investment in the progressive advocacy, education, research, organizing, and consumer protection work that we do to lift up the engine of our economy -hardworking Central New Yorkers and the families.
Please send your check to:
Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., P.O. Box 411, Utica, NY 13503-0411. Because we are an advocacy group, donations are not tax deductible.
Thank you for your support.

NEWSLETTER ARTICLES ARE NEEDED
Please submit your articles, news items, 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 Our Office is located at 500 Plant Street in Utica, NY at Cornerstone Community Church./315-725-0974315-725-0974 cnycitizenaction@gmail.com https://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/Central-New-York-Progressive-Action-659297800873928/?fref=ts

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 411; Utica, NY 13503-0411
Office: 500 Plant St.; Utica, NY 13502-4710
315-725-0974
cnycitizenaction@gmail.com
https://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. was developed from the Utica Citizens in Action, a multi-issue public interest association affiliated with Citizen Action of New York. It was founded in 1997 to address critical social, economic and environmental issues facing residents of Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison Counties. Members of our group worked to empower low and moderate income Central New York residents to participate in shaping the policies that affect their lives, such as economic justice, environment, housing, education, economic development, health care, public benefit programs, and consumer issues. Our projects include research and policy development, public education on a wide range of public policy issues, development of educational materials, community outreach and grassroots organizing, coalition development, training, and lobbying. Please join our email list by sending an email to cnycitizenaction@gmail.com with the subject heading – Join List. We also invite you to become a member of our group and attend our meetings.

CNY PROGRESSIVE ACTION NEWSLETTER – MARCH 3, 2016

March 3, 2016

CNY PROGRESSIVE ACTION NEWSLETTER
MARCH 3, 2016
Vol. 3, No. 3

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

You can view newsletter on:
https://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com

HEADLINES

CITIZEN ACTION LOBBY DAY MARCH 8

BUS LEAVING UTICA FOR ALBANY
FIGHT FOR 15 RALLY ON MARCH 15

BUSTING MYTHS ABOUT THE $15 MINIMUM WAGE

LOCAL SANDERS SUPPORTERS
ORGANIZING FOR NY PRIMARY

SEEKING VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS FOR THE CENTRAL

NEW YORK CITIZENS IN ACTION, INC.

2016 lobby day

CITIZEN ACTION LOBBY DAY MARCH 8

We’re Bringing the Movement for Justice to the NYS Capitol!
March 8, 2016 – 10:30 am – Albany

With legislators back in Albany, debating the issues that impact our daily lives, it’s time for local activists to bring our demands for a strong economy, racial justice and a vibrant democracy to the State Capitol. Please come to the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. and Citizen Action of New York Lobby Day March 8. Transportation will be provided from Utica, Rome, and the Mohawk Valley. Lunch will also be provided. Please call or email John Furman of CNY Citizens in Action at 315-725-0974 or cnycitizenaction@gmail.com to register.

We’ll talk with legislators about:

providing our schools with full and equitable funding
raising the minimum wage
passing paid family leave
ensuring everyone has access to health care
fixing our broken campaign finance system
police reform
taxing millionaires
fighting for climate justice
and more!

Join us to win a New York that works for all of our communities!

We will leave Utica at 8 a.m. Participants will gather at 10:30 am at 1199SEIU, 155 Washington Avenue, Albany. We expect that participants will depart Albany by 4pm. Lunch will be provided.

utica fight for 15 rallybus photo

JOIN CNYCIA ON MARCH 15
TO FIGHT FOR 15

BUS LEAVING UTICA FOR
FIGHT FOR 15 RALLY

In conjunction with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and other groups, the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. will be sponsoring a bus from Utica to Albany on Tuesday, March 15 to send a powerful message to lawmakers: ALL workers deserve good jobs with at least $15 an hour. Bus transportation is free and lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact John Furman at 315-725-0974 or cnycitizenaction@gmail.com.
On February 27, the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. was a part of a group of local union members and activists who welcomed the Drive for 15 Bus Tour to Utica to call on state lawmakers to pass the Governor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 this legislative session. The phased-in $15 minimum wage increase will directly affect nearly 55,000 Mohawk Valley residents, and spur the reinvestment of $350.9 million into the region’s economy.

Among those attending the rally were George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, and the Chair of the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice, NYS Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito, elected officials, CNYCIA members, and low-wage workers who would benefit from the raise.
Many of the workers who would benefit most are working in the occupations projected to grow the most by 2022, including the homecare, healthcare and childcare workers who serve our most vulnerable populations, yet often do not earn enough to support themselves and their families. Right now, 56 percent of homecare workers in the state are on some form of public assistance, and 30 percent rely on food stamps to make ends meet.
Already in Utica, a single adult working full-time needs to earn a $14.86 wage to support their basic needs. By 2021, single adults will need a $17.32 wage, with couples and parents needing to earn even more.

20150323 FF15 War Room Rally

BUSTING MYTHS ABOUT
THE $15 MINIMUM WAGE

MYTH: ECONOMISTS BELIEVE THAT A $15 MINIMUM WAGE IS TOO HIGH.
More than 200 economists have endorsed a $15 federal minimum wage by 2020, finding that raising the minimum to $15 an hour would boost living standards for low-wage workers and their families and help stabilize the economy. A $15 minimum wage is not that high, given our high cost of living and higher-than-national wages. In New York State, the living wage for a single adult is $18.47 an hour.

 

MYTH: RESEARCH SHOWS THAT INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE WILL LEAD TO SIGNIFICANT JOB LOSSES AND SO WILL HURT RATHER THAN HELP NEW YORK WORKERS.
The latest economic research is showing instead that raising the minimum wage boosts incomes for low-wage workers with little to no adverse impacts on employment levels. Bloomberg News reported that studies show minimum-wage increases even provide a small economic boost, as workers spend their raises.

 

MYTH: A $15 MINIMUM WAGE WILL COST THE STATE AND TAXPAYERS A LOT
The state’s current low-wages mean that millions of workers must rely on state safety net programs for support, at a cost to New York taxpayers of $13 billion each year. Raising the minimum wage will save the state budget significant amounts in safety net expenditures.

 

MYTH: A $15 MINIMUM WAGE WOULD BE UNSUSTAINABLE FOR NEW YORK’S SMALL BUSINESSES.

It’s large companies, not mom-and-pop businesses, that employ most workers in New York earning less than $15. Most small businesses are service industry firms like dry cleaners, bodegas and diners that serve local customers and when the minimum wage goes up, they and their competitors are all on the same playing field and can gradually adjust their prices to cover the cost without being put at a disadvantage. New York’s experiences with past minimum wage increases, and the recent experiences in cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle with significant minimum wage increases, show that there’s no evidence that transitioning to higher wages have hurt small businesses or changed the mix of large and small businesses. Growing numbers of individual small businesses, and trade groups representing small businesses like the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, are endorsing the $15 minimum wage.

MYTH: HUMAN SERVICES AGENCIES OPERATING UNDER GRANTS FROM STATE GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY $15 PER HOUR.

It’s true that the state’s human services programs, many of which are operated by non-profit organizations with funding from state government to provide vital services to needy populations, will need assistance from the state to transition to a $15 minimum wage.
Unlike other businesses, the non-profit and for-profit organizations operating these programs can’t just raise their prices to help cover the cost of raising wages, as their funding source is the state government. And for many years that state support has not kept up with rising costs.
The state will need to increase the size of public grants and contracts to these programs to help them transition their wages up to $15. The state will be able to do that as a $15 minimum wage will generate significant budgetary savings, which the legislature should use, together with new appropriated funds, to finance this important investment.

Please visit https://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com to get involved and learn more about the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice.

bernie picture

LOCAL SANDERS SUPPORTERS
ORGANIZING FOR NY PRIMARY

The Herkimer-Oneida County for Bernie organization is mobilizing to get out the vote for Bernie for the New York presidential primary.

The local campaign is recruiting volunteers for voter registration, phone banking and canvassing operations. Volunteers are also needed for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Utica on Saturday, March 12 Organizers are trying to get the Vermont Senator to make an appearance in Utica late March or early April.

The Central New York Citizens in Action and the Working Families Party support the Sanders campaign. For more information, please call John Furman (315-725-0974), Keith Rubino (315-360-2385), John Dzialo (518-222-2878) or email ElectBernieMidNY@gmail.com. The Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/1685466801730755/?fref=nf.
In order to vote in the Democratic Presidential primary on April 19, please keep in mind the following deadlines:

March 25th for postmark registration

March 30th for change of address

Please note that party enrollment changes will not take effect until after the General election, so a non-Democratic Party member cannot switch parties and vote in the Democratic primary this year.

SEEKING VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS FOR THE CENTRAL

NEW YORK CITIZENS IN ACTION, INC.

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc.is an independent progressive social justice organization. Since 1997, Citizen Action has helped to win victories on increasing the minimum wage and ensuring affordable health care. The involvement of our members has been key to our success. That’s why we need your help. If you’d like to get involved, please call us at 315-725-0974 or email cnycitizenaction@gmail.com. You will receive a follow-up call from us who can discuss with you specific ways you can help out that best fit your time and interests. Volunteers are needed to research and write articles, promote the organization in the media, maintain the new website conduct surveys, and serve on the board and committees. Thanks again for your support of Citizen Action!

 

DONATE TO CENTRAL NEW YORK CITIZENS IN ACTION

Please support the work of Central New York Citizens in Action!
Your support today is an important investment in the progressive advocacy, education, research, organizing, and consumer protection work that we do to lift up the engine of our economy -hardworking Central New Yorkers and the families.
Please send your check to:
Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., P.O. Box 411, Utica, NY 13503-0411. Because we are an advocacy group, donations are not tax deductible.
Thank you for your support.

NEWSLETTER ARTICLES ARE NEEDED
Please submit your articles, news items, 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 Our Office is located at 500 Plant Street in Utica, NY at Cornerstone Community Church./315-725-0974315-725-0974 cnycitizenaction@gmail.com https://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/Central-New-York-Progressive-Action-659297800873928/?fref=ts

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. was developed from the Utica Citizens in Action, a multi-issue public interest association affiliated with Citizen Action of New York. It was founded in 1997 to address critical social, economic and environmental issues facing residents of Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison Counties. Members of our group worked to empower low and moderate income Central New York residents to participate in shaping the policies that affect their lives, such as economic justice, environment, housing, education, economic development, health care, public benefit programs, and consumer issues. Our projects include research and policy development, public education on a wide range of public policy issues, development of educational materials, community outreach and grassroots organizing, coalition development, training, and lobbying. Please join our email list by sending an email to cnycitizenaction@gmail.com with the subject heading – Join List. We also invite you to become a member of our group and attend our meetings.