Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Condemns NYS Legislative Leadership for Failing Marginalized New Yorkers When They Need Them Most

June 3, 2022

CONTACT: Mariah McGough,, 203 470 9979


Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Failed to Hold Votes on Bills Addressing the Crises of HIV/AIDS, Homelessness, Mass Incarceration and Preventable Overdoses

ALBANY, N.Y. — As the  New York State legislative session comes to a close, and state leadership failed to prioritize legislation that would help New Yorkers in crisis in every corner of the state, VOCAL-NY released the following statement:

“New York State leadership turned their backs on marginalized New Yorkers when they needed them most. They chose to overlook our demands to reform housing, incarceration, and overdose prevention, instead condemning many of us to suffer in the shadows, on the streets, in shelters, and behind bars. We have no doubt that the intersecting crises New Yorkers are facing, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, will only get worse. 

The lack of action by Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins does not reflect the support our policy demands had this session – both from the public and from state lawmakers. It simply shows that state leadership is out of touch with the most urgent issues facing New Yorkers, favoring issues that they think will win them points this election year. They should be ashamed. 

Despite our disappointment, the tireless work VOCAL-NY leaders put in this session won’t go to waste. We will fight as long as it takes to ensure we have laws on the books that provide care and compassion. We’ll continue to demand accountability from law enforcement and correctional officers that abuse our communities on a daily basis, because no one should be above the law. Governor Hochul must take action now — we urge her to use executive action to authorize Overdose Prevention Centers statewide, and use her power of executive clemency to free those who are wrongfully convicted and those left waiting on parole justice.”


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