VOCAL Guide to Your Week: Pride Week, Marriage Equality & More!

This Week

  • Monday, 6/29 @ 11:30AM: Pack the steps of City Hall to support the Right To Know Act, city legislation to continue to address racial bias by the NYPD and strengthen New Yorkers' civil rights during police encounters. Where: City Hall steps. Travel: 4,5,6,J,M,Z trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall; or 2,3 trains to Park Place. Contact: Brandon Holmes at 917-361-9865 or Brandon@vocal-ny.org.
  • Tuesday, 6/30 @ 4PM: VOCAL-Westchester Monthly Membership Meeting. Where: Urban League of Westchester, 4 Wilson Place Mount Vernon. Contact: Anna Saini at 646-409-4164 or anna@vocal-ny.org

Week in Review

  • Our City legislation, calling for an Office of Drug Strategy to replace drug war policies with a public health and human rights approach to drugs, had a council hearing. Checkout coverage from our rally just before we packed City Hall in Metro NY.

"Shantae Owens says he could have used a little more help getting on the straight and narrow during the 24 years he was addicted to heroin. “I think if I would have gotten into treatment in my teens, early adulthood, it wouldn’t have led to me having to deal with homelessness and all the other stuff that comes with it,” said Owens, 41 who is a member of VOCAL New York, a grassroots community organization. “They look at drug addiction as someone who is evil, a criminal, all the stigma comes up, so they don’t gravitate toward you, they push back from you.” Metro NY.

  • We continued to get coverage on our victory passing emergency access for medical marijuana on MyFox News, and two supportive opinion pieces calling for the Governor to sign the legislation in the Poughkeepsie Journal and Observer-Dispatch
  • Our very own David Goode got great coverage in the New York Times as a plaintiff in case against "source of income discrimination", a major form of housing discrimination in New York City's gentrifying neighborhoods where landlords refuse apartments to people who rely on public assistance, though they are able to pay the rent.

“I felt less than human, worthless,” Mr. Goode said. “And I felt ashamed, actually, like there was something wrong with me for having this subsidy and having HIV.” New York Times.

  • Our very own Marilyn Scales was featured in a piece in Take Part.com on our victory passing the Fair Chance Act through the New York City Council.
  • We responded to the news that the NYPD would funded to hire 1,300 new officeers in DNAInfo.

"These 1,300 new cops are going to have to do something. They are not just going to be walking around the neighborhood shaking hands," said Alyssa Aguilera, political director for VOCAL-NY."It's problematic that a community policing model is being rolled out without buy-in from the community." DNAinfo.

What We're Reading

  • Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide. (New York Times) "In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. “No longer may this liberty be denied,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the historic decision. “No union is more
    profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
  • Tentative Deal in Albany Would Extend Rent Laws; Key Issues Are Unresolved. (New York Times) "At the end of a trying session that has dragged nearly a week past its scheduled conclusion, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders reached a tentative deal on Tuesday on a range of knotty issues, including a new agreement on rent regulations covering about one million New York City


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