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Addressing the rise of White Christian Nationalism—and the New York State budget!


March is here, and that means the final weeks of negotiations over the New York State Budget, which is due April 1. At stake is whether and how New York will invest in housing, healthcare, education, living wage jobs, and other public goods—as well as whether the wealthiest people and corporations will pay what they owe. Keep reading for opportunities to take action now and in the coming weeks! Be sure to also follow our social media this month for updates and more calls to action.


In solidarity,


Rev. E. West McNeill

Executive Director



 

LRC co-hosts Religion in a Time of Crisis convening to address the rise of White Christian Nationalism


“As long as we have been a nation, there has been some prevailing strand of Christianity that has provided a sacred, legitimating canopy for power.” The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas


On February 13, Labor-Religion Coalition, the Kairos Center, and Broadway Community, Inc. co-hosted Religion in a Time of Crisis, a day-long convening of religious leaders (lay and clergy) from across New York State and beyond.


We started the day by grappling with the rise of white Christian nationalism and its implications for our democracy, religious communities, and the movement to end poverty. White Christian nationalism is not new, but it has been ascendant in recent years and today it is a political and cultural force we can’t afford to ignore.


In this context, it’s even more urgent for religious leaders and communities to directly confront the cynical uses of our scriptures and traditions to maintain and justify systems of domination. As Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas reminded us, the roots of Christian nationalism can be traced as far back as Constantine’s conversion when the Roman Empire co-opted Christianity for its own aims. For thousands of years, rulers have understood that religion can be extremely dangerous to them when it inspires and empowers people to transform their conditions and challenge power structures. On the other hand, they’ve found that religion can also be a powerful tool to leverage in order to justify and support their own power.


Read more about the Religion in a Time of Crisis convening and the rise of White Christian Nationalism in our latest blog post here.


Faith Leaders—Take action TODAY to prevent medical debt!


Healthcare should be a human right, and yet the U.S. healthcare system doesn’t treat it that way. Across the country, movements are growing to combat the consequences of our profit-driven medical system; in New York State, LRC is advocating for legislation to prevent our community members from facing debt and financial devastation so that they can access critical medical care. From 2015 to 2020, nonprofit hospitals in New York State sued more than 53,000 New Yorkers over unpaid medical debt, despite taking in over $1 million dollars in funding each year to provide medical care to low-income and poor New Yorkers.


Ensuring that all community members have access to essential healthcare is a moral issue. If you’re a religious or faith leader in New York State, take a minute to read and sign our petition to add your voice to the call for our legislators to take action this session to prevent medical debt!


Join the NYSPPC in calling on Gov. Hochul to craft a policy agenda that meets the needs of ALL New Yorkers!


New York is the most unequal state in the nation, with nearly 9 million of our community members being poor or low-income. Inequality has cost our state and our communities too much and hurt too many people in New York. We must end the concentration of wealth among New York’s elites, which depresses economic activity and has too much influence on our state government.


On behalf of the 8.6 million poor and low-income people in New York, the NY State Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival calls on Governor Kathy Hochul to do the following:


  • Publicly acknowledge the ongoing and interconnected crises of poverty in New York State, and;

  • Convene an in-person meeting with the New York State Poor People’s Campaign, including New Yorkers directly impacted by poverty, faith leaders, and policy experts, to craft a policy agenda to meet the needs of ALL New Yorkers.


Join the Labor-Religion Coalition in Albany in March—and save the date for the Moral Fusion Leadership Awards!


Our Homes, Our Power, Our Budget Day of Action—March 14th


On March 14th, LRC is joining the Housing Justice for All Coalition’s Our Homes, Our Power, Our Budget day of action in Albany! Join us as we advocate for legislative solutions to our state’s ongoing housing crisis, including Good Cause Evictions, the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), and the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). Policies like these actually meet the needs of the nearly 9 million poor and low-income New Yorkers by treating housing as a public good and preventing needless evictions and homelessness.


Join the Labor-Religion Coalition, the Housing Justice for All Coalition, and hundreds of other New Yorkers in Albany on March 14th to let Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature know that New Yorkers want basic tenant protections and access to permanent housing for our homeless community members!


Register here.



Fair Pay for Home Care Day of Action—March 27th


On March 27th, the New York State Poor People’s Campaign and the Labor Religion Coalition will be in Albany, mobilizing in support of the Fair Pay for Home Care Campaign. New York State is experiencing a dangerous home care shortage and we need to do everything in our power to keep our community members, including older adults and disabled people, safe. The solution: Pass Fair Pay for Home Care.


Fair Pay for Home Care would pay home care workers as skilled healthcare workers, raising the wage to 150% of the current minimum wage; it would also ban private insurance companies from stealing millions of dollars meant for home care. While last year’s budget included a small wage increase for home care workers, Gov. Hochul’s proposed budget eliminates that raise. This is unacceptable. Join us on the 27th to ensure that home care workers receive the wage they deserve and our community members have the care that they need!


Register here.



2023 Moral Fusion Leadership Awards—May 24th


The Moral Fusion Leadership Awards are back! Join us on May 24th at First Lutheran Church in Albany, as we take time to celebrate LRC’s work, as well as honor remarkable leaders from across the state who are making tremendous contributions to the struggle for economic, racial and social justice in New York. More information to come.

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