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Take action for healthcare justice TODAY—and other LRC updates!

Happy August! Though we are entering the final weeks of the summer, your friends at the Labor-Religion Coalition have been quite busy. Read on for our August Newsletter—which includes an announcement about a staff transition, some actions you can take today to join the fight for healthcare justice in New York State, and a note about the upcoming People's Assembly! In solidarity, Rev. E. West McNeill Executive Director


Rev. Joe Paparone, LRC's Lead Organizer, Transitions Away from his Role After nine years with the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, Rev. Joe Paparone has transitioned out of his role at LRC. Though we are saddened by his departure, we are deeply thankful for the work he has put into LRC's campaigns over the last nine years, and are excited to continue to share space with him as he retains his position as Tri-Chair of the New York State Poor People's Campaign. Before his departure, Joe graciously wrote a reflection on his time at LRC, which you can read here.


TAKE ACTION: Ask Governor Hochul to sign the Fair Medical Debt Reporting Bill! This past legislative session, Governor Hochul missed critical opportunities to help New Yorkers access healthcare by failing to support Coverage for All and backtracking on her commitment to addressing New York State’s ongoing home care worker crisis. Immigrant, elderly, and disabled New Yorkers will continue to suffer greatly without access, and Governor Hochul should be ashamed of not following through on her promises to marginalized communities.

After missing critical opportunities to help New Yorkers in need access healthcare this past legislative session, Governor Hochul currently has the opportunity to make a positive difference for patients in New York State. By signing the Fair Medical Debt Reporting Bill TODAY, Gov. Hochul can ensure that patients in New York State no longer have to worry about medical debt impacting their credit reports. To get this bull across the finish line, and to liberate us from the long-term financial punishment caused by hospital bills, we need Gov. Hochul to sign the Fair Medical Debt Reporting bill into law.

Take action TODAY by sending an email to Governor Hochul asking her to sign our bill immediately to get healthcare debt removed from our credit reports and to commit to doing more in 2024 to make healthcare available to ALL New Yorkers. You can also take action on social media by using this toolkit to pressure the Governor on Twitter and to encourage your own networks to take action.


COVID-19 Survival Strategies Survey from the Kairos Center This summer, the Kairos Center is launching a survey on survival strategies during the pandemic, when communities were compelled to provide for themselves and their communities in many and new ways. If you participated in a program or organized effort to provide for yourself or your community’s needs over the last 3 years, please consider sharing your experiences and filling out the survey. It will take approximately 20-25 minutes and is available in English, Spanish, and low-vision mode. To access the Spanish and low-vision modes of the survey, click the link above and then toggle them on or off in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.


Help NY Caring Majority Build its Advocacy Agenda The NY Caring Majority—a movement of older adults, people with disabilities, home care workers, and family caregivers working to end the home care crisis in New York State—is working to create a multi-year plan and wants to hear from you! Take 5 minutes to fill out this quick survey, which will be used to create a long-term advocacy agenda to transform New York’s home care system! NY Caring Majority is hoping to hear from New Yorkers, whether you’re a home care recipient, family caregiver, nursing resident, home care worker, or service provider. Filling out this survey will help NY Caring Majority ensure that its advocacy agenda is rooted in the meaningful and impactful changes that New Yorkers are looking for.


TAKE ACTION: Save the Burdett Birthing Center! Recently, Samaritan Hospital and Trinity Health Partners announced that they would be closing Burdett Birth Center. This closure would result in the complete absence of maternity care in Rensselaer County, and put additional pressures and stress on nearby hospitals that are not equipped to handle an influx of patients. The Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition has formed to push back against this attack on our community! Join our efforts to save Burdett—and access to maternity care in Rensselaer County—by signing this petition! Clergy and faith leaders in the Capital Region, please add your name to this letter, which will be sent to Department of Health officials who have the ability and power to stop this closure.


Save the Date! The New York State Poor People’s Campaign’s annual People’s Assembly will take place in Stony Point, NY, from October 20th to 22nd. Please stay tuned for more details! The People's Assembly brings together activists and leaders from across New York State to build community, learn together, and plan our next steps for 2024 as we build a statewide multi-issue, multi-faith, multi-racial, intergenerational movement to fight back against the interlocking systems of poverty, systemic racism, militarism, and ecological devastation. More information about the Assembly will be released in the coming weeks, but we hope to see you there!

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