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(Following the publication of a new hepatitis C guide by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Addiction Treatment Forum has a new article on hepatitis C in opioid treatment programs that highlights VOCAL-NY’s Beyond Methadone report and advocacy campaigns.) Copied below are excerpts from the Addiction Treatment Forum article (view the full […]

Capitol rally against racially biased marijuana arrests

Most arrests for marijuana possession occur because of illegal searches that often follow stop and frisks, which helps explain why the overwhelming majority of arrests have been among Black and Latino youth despite higher rates of marijuana use among white youth. Governor Cuomo and the legislature are now on the verge of enacting major reform […]

End Unjust Marijuana Arrests in New York – Day of Action on June 12th

More NYC residents are arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana than any other offense, even though it was decriminalized in 1977. While white youth have the highest rates of marijuana use, the overwhelming majority of arrests are among Black and Latino youth, with the lasting consequences that can come with an arrest record. Governor […]

Brian Pearson

We joined Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and other advocates on June 7, 2012 to endorse the New York Voter Empowerment Act. Brian Pearson, a VOCAL-NY member from Queens who is formerly incarcerated, delivered the following statement during the campaign launch at New York City […]

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Cuomo Calls For Decriminalization Of Possession Of Small Amounts Of Pot In Public Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on lawmakers to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view. The new legislation would make the possession of 25 grams of marijuana or less, in private or public view, a violation subject to a ticket and fine rather than a misdemeanor, Cuomo […]

Metro: Gov. Cuomo proposes changing marijuana drug laws

VOCAL-NY leader Brian Pearson and community organizer Alfredo Carrasquillo are profiled in a June 5th article discussing the impact of minor marijuana arrests on employment. Read the full article by Alison Bowen here. Gov. Cuomo proposes changing marijuana drug laws  An arrest for small amounts of marijuana can lead to a criminal record – not to mention […]

PR: Gov. Cuomo Announces Support for Closing Major Loophole in State’s Marijuana Decriminalization Law; Bloomberg and Kelly Follow Suit

 Drug Policy Alliance | Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform and Alternatives | VOCAL-NY For Immediate Release:  June 4, 2012 Contact: Tony Newman (DPA) 646-335-5384, Kyung Ji Rhee (IJJRA) 347-712-0259, Alfredo Carrasquillo (VOCAL) 718-415-9254 NY Governor Cuomo Announces Support for Closing Major Loophole in State’s Marijuana Decriminalization Law; Bloomberg and Kelly Follow Suit Advocates Applaud Governor’s Leadership  Coalition Planning Massive Push […]

Jim and Sen Duane

[Download a fact sheet on the 30% rent cap AIDS housing bill here.] Contact: Jim Lister, 760.522.0458 | Jaron Benjamin, 718.864.3932 Statement on Senator Thomas K. Duane’s decision not to seek another term. Jim Lister, a VOCAL-NY leader who is a client of the HIV/AIDS Services Administration and a longtime West Village resident, issued the following […]

NYC Study Groups on “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”

We are excited to announce more study groups on Michelle Alenxander’s book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness this summer in the Bronx and Brooklyn. People who are formerly incarcerated and their family members are encouraged to participate. VOCAL-NY is co-sponsoring the study groups with the Campaign to End the New Jim […]

Knocking on Treasury Secretary Geithner’s Door for a Robin Hood Tax

VOCAL-NY knocked on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s door on Sunday, May 20th with other affiliates from National People’s Action and the National Domestic Workers Alliance to demand he support a Robin Hood tax and a thorough investigation of the bankers who caused the housing crisis. Although Secretary Geithner appeared to be home at the time, he declined […]

Tale of Two Cities: Racially-Biased Marijuana Arrests in NY

From VOCAL-NY’s statement with Drug Policy Alliance and Institute for Juvenile Justice & Reform Alternatives (IJJRA): On the day before Mother’s Day – over 150 moms, community groups, artists and faith leaders joined with City and state elected officials to demand an end to biased policing practices dividing New York City. The group marched from […]

Bloomberg’s Budget Breaks Promise To House Homeless People With AIDS

(This press release is in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget. For background on Bloomberg’s proposed HIV/AIDS cuts, see our fact sheet.) May 3, 2012 | Contact: Jaron Benjamin, 718-864-3932 (cell) Bloomberg’s Budget Breaks Promise To House Homeless People With AIDS; Delays Promised NY/NY III Units As Part of Plan to Cut $10 Million in Housing […]