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Summer is here! June updates from the Labor-Religion Coalition


It's officially summer, and we hope you are staying safe and cool wherever you find yourself during this heat wave!

 

LRC began this month on a high from our fantastic Moral Fusion Leadership Awards. THANK YOU to all of you took part - whether through sponsoring, attending, donating, or helping to spread the word!

 

It was an inspiring and uplifting evening, where we enjoyed great food and music and celebrated the leadership of Rev. Myra Brown, Ursula Rozum, Brandon Mancilla, and the Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition. We're so grateful for the generosity, commitment and support of so many people across our state!

 

Now the work continues. Read on for updates on healthcare organizing, the June 29th Poor People's Campaign mobilization to DC, and a Community Listening Session in St. Lawrence County!


In solidarity,


Rev. West McNeill

 

Nurses Continue the Fight for Better Care in the Capital Region

 

NYSNA nurses in the Capital Region, who have been fighting hard to address dangerously low staffing ratios, won a big victory last week when Ellis Hospital and Bellevue Women's Center nurses unanimously ratified a new contract. After overwhelmingly voting to approve a strike earlier this month, the nurses secured a contract that defends staffing standards and will improve wages and retention. 

 

Meanwhile, nurses at Albany Medical Center are continuing to organize for better patient care as they also negotiate a new contract. Albany Med nurses held a speak-out last week after the Department of Health opened an investigation in response to the nurses' reports of unsafe staffing levels. Community members can support the nurses by signing this petition to Albany Med. Stay tuned for more opportunities this summer to show up for Albany Med nurses!

 

Patients Over Profits: Next steps in healthcare organizing

 

The New York State legislature went home earlier this month having failed to meaningfully address so many of the issues impacting poor and working-class New Yorkers. However one bright spot across the 2023-2024 Legislative Session was progress made on protecting New Yorkers from medical debt. The #EndMedicalDebt Campaign - which we've been proud to be a part of - got medical debt removed from New Yorkers' credit reports last year. This year we won legislation that makes hospital financial assistance more generous and accessible, protects many patients from being sued, and more. 

 

Want to learn more about these wins and how to keep the momentum going? We encourage you to join the Patients Over Profits Statewide Organizing Call hosted by our friends at Citizen Action, next Wed. June 26 at 7pm on Zoom. RSVP here. 

 

Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly & Moral March on Washington, D.C. & to the Polls on June 29

 

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is gathering an historic assembly of impacted poor and low-wage workers, religious organizations, labor unions, and other advocates in Washington D.C. on June 29! 

 

We're uniting around a policy agenda that lifts from the bottom, rejecting the war economy and demanding living wages, voting rights, housing, healthcare, education, welfare, environmental justice, and more! RSVP here to join us in person or online! 



 

Community Listening Session on Child Poverty in St. Lawrence County


On June 11, we joined the Schuyler Center, the NYS Poor People's Campaign, and the St. Lawrence County People Project in convening a Community Listening Session on Child Poverty at Massena High School. We heard from service providers, educators, and community members about the devastating impact of poverty on young people, the barriers to meeting families' needs, and the creative ways communities are coming together to help one another.

 

Like the Food and Poverty Speak-Out we co-hosted in Rotterdam last month, this Listening Session will help to inform the forthcoming recommendations from the state's Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council. If you're in St. Lawrence County, we still want to hear from you! Please fill out this survey to share your experiences. You do not have to share your name or contact information to complete the survey, and you do not need to answer all the questions.

 

Stay tuned for more on the Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council and the fight to end child poverty in New York!

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