VOCAL Guide to Your Week: Special Prosecutor Victory & the Fight to End Homelessness!

This Week

  • Thursday, 7/16 @ 4PM: Take action to end NYC's crisis homelessness! Roughly 60,000 New Yorkers fill our shelters each night. Demand City Hall build new housing for the homeless and extremely poor. Where: 3rd Street between Ave A & 1st Ave, the site of the first public housing ever built. Travel: F to 2nd Ave, J,M,Z to Essex, 6 to Bleeker, B,D to Broadway-Lafayette. Contact: Fred Wright at 646-321-5282 or fred@vocal-ny.org.

Week in Review

  • Victory! Governor Cuomo announced the creation of a special prosecutor to be assigned when someone is killed by law enforcement in New York. We supported the campaign led by families of those murdered by the NYPD over the last 3 decades. Read more in the New York Times and Huffington
  • We rallied outside Governor Cuomo's office calling on him to sign legislation to provide emergency access to medical marijuana while the state develops plans for our broader medical marijuana policy. Checkout coverage on WRAL.com and Long Island News 12. were featured in Gay City News
    coverage of the Pride march.

"We don't want any more patients in New York state wondering what medical marijuana access could do to save their child's life," said Anna Saini with Vocal NY, one of the groups that organized the rally. "We don't want to wait another day wondering when we have the tools now. All we need is for the governor to take action." WRAL.com.

  • We continued to get press for our victory passing the Fair Chance Act. Check out coverage in Chelsea Now featuring Marilyn Scales. got coveraged in Capital New York responding to criticisms of the Right To Know Act, two pieces of city legislation to address racial bias and denial of civil rights from NYPD policies.

"Eighteen years after release from an upstate prison, Bronx resident Marilyn Scales has yet to secure a full-time job. There was always that formidable hurdle on each and every job application, which she chose to answer honestly. "As soon as I saw that question, ‘Have you ever been convicted of a felony?,’ that discouraged me. I felt hopeless,” she said during a July 5 interview at Union Square. The 52-year-old had done her time for drug dealing, but personal trials remained. Macy’s, Kmart and about 40 other businesses responded to her job application with silence." Chelsea Now.

"“We view this as another example of how elected officials are working harder for billionaires,” said Michael Kink, a member of the pro-labor, anti-hedge fund Hedge Clippers campaign. His organization, along with groups VOCAL NY and New York Communities for Change, plans to bring 200 protesters to East Hampton in buses for a rally in the access roads around Loeb’s home, where they will hand out “inequality awards” Capital New York.

What We're Reading

  • Medicare and Medicaid at 50. (New York Times Editorial) "Medicare and Medicaid, the two mainstays of government health insurance, turn 50 this month, having made it possible for most Americans in poverty and old age to get medical care. While the Affordable Care Act fills the gap for people who don’t qualify for help from those two programs, there are important improvements still needed in both
    Medicare and Medicaid.”
  • Albany lawmakers push for 35,000 new housing units to fight homelessness. (Daily News) "A bipartisan group of 133 state Assembly members is urging Gov. Cuomo to develop 35,000 units of supportive housing across the state to combat homelessness. The group sent a letter to Cuomo Thursday asking him to commit to develop the new housing — including 23,350 new units for adults, 10,150 units for
    families and 1,500 units for youths — by 2025.
  • Rikers Guard Busted For Allegedly Dealing Heroin With Bloods Gangleader. (The Gothamist) "Riding on the heels of yesterday's good Rikers-related news—that the city will no longer jail a percentage of non-violent defendants who can't afford their bail—comes this little ditty: a Rikers guard was arrested yesterday for her alleged involvement in a Queens heroin ring run in part by a
    Bloods gang leader.

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