Press Statements

Looking Ahead to 2024: Solving Ongoing Crises of Homelessness, Overdose and Criminalization by Building Safe and Thriving Communities

December 7, 2023

CONTACT: Mariah McGough,, 203 470 9979


Mayor Adams and Gov. Hochul Refuse to Invest in New York, New Report Shows it’s Forcing the Working Class to Flee

See VOCAL-NY’s 2024 Legislative Platform Online Here

NEW YORK — Ahead of the 2024 legislative session, VOCAL-NY today released its legislative platform. The platform comes as a new report shows that the millionaire class is undeterred by the current intersecting crises that hit low-income, Black, and marginalized communities hardest. 

The platform — which includes 12 different policies — underscores the politics of compassion and care, and uses three main themes to ground legislative demands:

  • Rapidly Scale-up a Sustainable Caring Infrastructure to Address the Housing and Overdose Crisis
  • Support Health-Based Approaches, Not Criminalization
  • Decarcerate and Hold Power Accountable

“Our communities need investment in services that are desperately needed for us to live dignified lives and heal from generations upon generations of racist neglect and mistreatment by systems of power,” said Ronald Dennis, VOCAL-NY leader based in Syracuse. “Taking money away from systems of incarceration and putting it into public education for the youth, effective mental health services, and affordable housing for all is what keeps our communities safe. If the people in power in Albany can’t get this done for the people, then we as a people should work on replacing them.” 

“When we’re in Albany this session, we need to see our lawmakers hold themselves accountable and deliver for their constituents,” said Annette Tomlin, a VOCAL-NY leader based in New York City. “We need housing vouchers, not housing vultures. We need adequate services to sustain our wellbeing and thrive. There are no excuses for mismanagement anymore. If lawmakers won’t make good on our policy demands, we’ll be sure to remember that when it’s time to vote.”

“Our city and state are facing intersecting crises of an extreme lack of affordable housing, mass homelessness, an unconscionable overdose crisis, and New Yorkers who are in need of care,” said Jawanaza Williams, VOCAL-NY Director of Organizing. “These issues are solvable with the same basic ingredients: adopting and adequately investing in interventions that provide housing and care, and the political will to make it happen. With the policies outlined in our legislative platform and elected champions by our side, New Yorkers won’t be forced out of the state based on affordability.”


The Governor and the New York Legislature must address the intersecting issues of substance use, homelessness, and public safety, and policy must address the root causes of these issues rather than criminalizing more people. New York must take the only moral and practical approach: double down on a politics of compassion and care, which will meet the material needs of our most vulnerable constituents by eliminating these intersecting crises and restoring the public’s faith in government.


Recent News

Scroll to Top
Skip to content