Two days later, organizers held the same sign again at a people’s public safety rally in City Hall Park, where VOCAL-NY organizing director Jawanza James Williams explained that it was just another way of reclaiming the term “defund.” Read More
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“It’s imperative that we get these funds to groups that are currently operating successfully right now, but we also need to ensure that there is a process for the development and funding of new programs because many cities and other areas have no programming at all for either community-based gun violence intervention or survivor services,” …
President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Eric Adams promoted increased federal support for police and a crackdown on illegal guns to fight crime on Thursday, policies that risk aggravating a divide with liberals who seek an overhaul of U.S. law enforcement.
But Jeremy Saunders of the progressive social advocacy group VOCAL-NY said, while the cops have been out in force, the increased services for homeless New Yorkers have not materialized.
“He’s publicly talking about investing money in police and investing his personal time in police, while cutting these services,” Saunders said. “We don’t need big investments in law enforcement. We have a massive police force. We have an army of cops. We barely have a platoon of care providers.”
Advocates and landlords don’t expect a flood of evictions right away, as the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program still provides some eviction protection.
Still, Joe Loonam, housing campaigns coordinator for advocacy group VOCAL-NY, warned that the state is setting the ground for a homelessness crisis over the next year.
New York once led the nation in innovative and effective solutions to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and yet our city and state leaders have failed to make these spaces a reality for our communities. It’s time that changes. On World AIDS Day, we urge Governor Hochul and Mayor-elect Adams to recognize the role harm reduction can play in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Some leaders in law enforcement and politics remain concerned for public safety and hope for changes to New York’s bail reform laws next session. Advocates for bail reform fear rollbacks will halt their intended progress.
D’Juan Collins, a Manhattan resident and member of VOCAL-NY, advocates for criminal justice reforms ever since being charged with drug possession in 2007, before the state’s new bail laws existed.