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Check out the Labor-Religion Coalition's April Updates!

Once again, the New York State Budget is late. Since January, the Labor-Religion Coalition has been advocating for a budget that invests in poor, low-income, and working-class communities across New York State, instead of once again catering the whims of the ultra-wealthy and corporate interests. Now, more than ever, we must continue to put pressure on the Governor and Legislative Leadership to deliver a just budget—one that invests in the resources and services our communities need to survive.

Read on for updates about our 24-hour Prayer Vigil, a report back from the Invest in Our New York Campaign's Day of Action for a Just Budget, and a note about the upcoming 2024 Moral Fusion Leadership Awards!

In solidarity,

Rev. West McNeill


NYS Religious Leaders Hold 24-hour Prayer Vigil for Lawmakers to Secure a Just State Budget

Earlier this week, the Labor-Religion Coalition, the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice, and faith leaders from across New York State held a continuous 24-hour Prayer Vigil for a Just Budget. Folks prayed for Governor Hochul and Legislative Leadership to negotiate and pass a budget that prioritizes the needs of poor and low-income New Yorkers. Two dozen faith leaders from all over New York State participated in the effort.

“Our community members’ access to adequate housing, healthcare, food, education, living wages, and clean air and water depend on the policies now being negotiated behind closed doors, so we have to come together in prayer and action,” said Rev. West McNeill, Executive Director of the Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS. “For too long the budget has been balanced on the backs of the poor. A truly moral budget must increase taxes on New York’s wealthiest people and most profitable companies, and make lasting investments in working-class communities.”

Despite having an April 1st deadline, the budget has still not been finalized. We ask that folks follow the Labor-Religion Coalition and the Kairos Center on Instagram as we share these prayers until we have a finalized New York State budget, and take action at home using this toolkit to pray for a just budget.

You can also take action by joining the Invest in Our New York Campaign for a Day of Action on Tuesday, April 9th—learn more and RSVP here.


IONY Day of Action for a Just Budget

On March 26th, the Labor-Religion Coalition joined the Invest in Our New York Campaign, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, the Alliance for Quality Education, and other allies in Albany at the Day of Action for a Just Budget. The latest in a series of actions planned by the Invest in Our New York Campaign, we once again called on the Governor and the Legislative Leadership to pass a just budget that taxes the wealthiest among us and invests in the resources and services poor and low-income New Yorkers need. The day was a huge success—over 100 New Yorkers traveled from across the state to part in this action!


We hope to see you at the 2024 Moral Fusion Leadership Awards in May!

The 2024 Moral Fusion Leadership Awards are quickly approaching! Less than two months are left until this year’s ceremony—have you purchased your tickets yet? This year, the Labor-Religion Coalition invites you to join us in celebrating our work over the past year, as well as honoring the following remarkable New York State leaders in the struggle for economic, racial, and social justice:

  • Rev. Myra Brown is the lead pastor of Spiritus Christi Church and the executive director of the Rochester Black Community Focus Fund, a public charitable organization created to provide direct support in housing, education, and economic opportunity to black families in the Rochester community impacted by racism’s history and current manifestations.

  • Ursula Rozum, Statewide Healthcare Organizer at Citizen Action of New York, was instrumental in passing the Fair Medical Debt Reporting Act in 2023, which prohibits credit bureaus from reporting on medical debt, and protects vulnerable New Yorkers from predatory medical debt collection practices.

  • Brandon Mancilla, Region 9A Director at United Auto Workers, has led labor fights throughout his career, including serving as the first President of the Harvard Graduate Students Union and as an organizer at the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys in New York City. In 2022, Brandon was elected UAW Region 9A Director in the first-ever direct elections for the International Executive Board.

  • The Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition (SBBCC) is a community of individuals and partner organizations committed to preserving Burdett Birth Center and its safe, respectful, midwifery model of maternity care. For nearly a year now, they’ve been fighting to save the only maternity ward in Rensselaer County.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we share more about our honorees' accomplishments!

If you can’t make it to dinner in Albany on May 22nd, you can still join the celebration by purchasing a sponsorship, an ad in our program, or donating in solidarity.


Schenectady Food and Poverty Speak-Out

Are you or your family members struggling to make ends meet? Are you concerned about your neighbors who don't always have enough food? Do you believe we can do better when it comes to ensuring everyone has what they need to survive and thrive?

Join us on May 1st to share and learn how poverty and food insecurity are impacting our community and how we can take action to end them.

In recent years, we saw how policy changes made a big difference. Emergency COVID-19 measures actually led to a big reduction in poverty - especially child poverty. But as those measures have expired, poverty is once again on the rise.

We can change that - and it starts by coming together. Please sign up below to join us on May 1 for dinner and to hear and learn from impacted community leaders as we share our plight, fight, and insights, and organize our community to end poverty.

Whether or not you can attend on May 1, we invite you to also consider submitting a testimonial about your experience with poverty and/or food insecurity.

ASL interpretation will be available.

Co-sponsored by Rotterdam Community Center, The Alliance for a Hunger Free New York, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS, and the Schuyler Center.

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