It’s been a busy few weeks at the Labor-Religion Coalition! After hosting the 2023 Moral Fusion Leadership Awards at the end of May, we jumped right back into our work—and are now in the final hours of the 2023 New York State legislative session! Read on for a recap of the Moral Fusion Leadership Awards—spoiler alert: it was awesome—and some ways to take action TODAY as the legislative session comes to a close. In particular, consider joining us in advocating to protect the new New York State Public Campaign Finance program and win medical debt protections in our state! In solidarity, Rev. E. West McNeill Executive Director
The 2023 Moral Fusion Leadership Awards Return—and are a Huge Success! Thanks so much to everyone involved in May’s 2023 Moral Fusion Leadership Awards! The event was a huge success and we are so appreciative of everyone who participated—whether that was through sponsorships, buying tickets, attending, or planning. We were moved by the outpouring of support for our exceptional honorees and in celebration of the work we’ve done this past year. As always, we’re thankful to have you standing by our side in the fight for economic, racial, and social justice in New York State! For an in-depth recap of the night, check out our latest blog post here. If you weren’t able to join us, you can still show your support for our work by making a donation here. Your gifts are critical in ensuring that the Labor-Religion Coalition can continue the fight to ensure that our communities have the resources they deserve, and we wouldn’t be able to do this work without you.
TAKE ACTION NOW: Stop lawmakers from trying to gut NY's small donor public financing program! In the final days of the legislative session, lawmakers released an 11th-hour bill that threatens to undermine New York’s new public campaign finance system, which incentivizes small-dollar donations from individuals over big contributions from corporations and the wealthy during electoral campaigns. This new program would make it possible for small candidates to run and win with the backing of our communities, and without the backing of big money. The program, which launched earlier this year, was set up through legislation that passed in 2019; lawmakers are currently trying to change the existing model at the last minute, despite that model being the result of a three-year-long public process. The changes they've proposed include allowing large contributions to also be matched and making it harder for potential challengers to qualify for the system in the first place. We must take action TODAY to ensure that the small donor public matching system is put in place in a way that works for the candidates that represent the best interests of our communities! Join us in this fight by contacting your elected officials using the email and phone scripts below. ☎️ Call our legislative champs and tell them NO CHANGES and NO DELAYS to public financing. (Find your senators' contact information here.) SAMPLE SCRIPT “Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a [constituent/concerned New Yorker]. I proudly support New York’s new small donor public financing program and am calling to urge [SENATOR’S NAME] to ensure the program remains strong without any last-minute structural changes to the law like the ones we see proposed in S7564/A7760 or any delays to its implementation. Last week, 40 grassroots organizations that represent New Yorkers expressed their support for the program in the wake of reports that the Legislature was considering significant structural changes to the system leading up to the introduced bills. We are counting on our representatives to keep the program strong for 2024 and beyond. Can I count on [SENATOR’S NAME] to commit to this? Thank you for your time!” ✉️ Email our legislative champs and tell them NO CHANGES to public financing. (Find senators' contact information here.) SAMPLE EMAIL Dear Senator [NAME]: My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a [constituent/concernedNew Yorker]. I am writing to express my strong support for New York’s new public financing program and to urge [SENATOR’S NAME] to ensure the program remains strong without any last-minute structural changes to the law like the ones we see proposed in S7564/A7760 or any delays to its implementation. It is critical that we create a system that uplifts the voices of all New Yorkers, especially those who are most marginalized and need the government to work for them. That is why 40 grassroots organizations representing New Yorkers across the state wrote to express their full support for the state’s program in the wake of last week's reports - which are now confirmed in the introduced bills - that the Legislature aims to make significant structural changes to the system, including changes to the program’s matching criteria. Can we count on [SENATOR’S NAME] to oppose such significant changes to the Public Campaign Financing Program, which will undermine the program’s objective to empower small donors, and support its continued implementation for 2024 and beyond? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, [YOUR NAME]
New York State Poor People’s Campaign: State of the State Follow-up If you haven’t yet read the NYSPPC’s 2023 State of the State Report, you can check it out here (in both English and Spanish), along with a study guide (currently available in English) that can be used in group settings to collectively discuss the report’s findings, share ideas and experiences, and build community. The NYSPPC’s primary initiative this summer is to continue to gather video interviews from members of our communities. Anyone can help support this critical work, and it's a key way we advance our strategy of 'Shift the Narrative by Shifting the Narrator'. Two key resources for this initiative:
Cell Phone Recording Guide
Are you planning to conduct interviews, or do you have a story to share? You can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch with further support. Stay tuned for more in-depth media trainings as well. Lastly, save the date for our next Poor People's Campaign Orientation - Monday, July 10, at 7 pm. We'll have a registration link out soon!