Now that the summer is over, the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State is back into the swing of things! Already this quarter, we've joined with allies to host two events in Rochester, achieved a huge milestone as part of the Fair Elections for New York Coalition, and have welcomed a new intern—and that's just the beginning!
We have a number of upcoming events scheduled for the remainder of the year, kicking off with a series of healthcare justice forums in late October and early November. We've also continued to update the LRC blog with new posts about ongoing labor actions, both in New York State and across the country—check it out here, and stay tuned for more new updates!
As we approach the end of the year and holiday season, please keep in mind that none of this work is possible without your support. The Labor-Religion Coalition is a small and nimble organization, with the flexibility to jump into movement work where and when we see fit. That's, in large part, thanks to the generosity of our supporters and community members. Heading into the 2024 election year, we'll need your support more than ever as we continue to fight for economic, racial, and social justice in New York State.
Rev. E. West McNeill
New York’s Small Donor Public Financing Program Reaches 100 Enrollees for 2024 State Elections
More than 100 candidates from across New York State have enrolled in the Public Campaign Finance program, a new program that matches small-dollar donations and provides a viable alternative to large donations from the wealthy and the corporate elite. With the launch of this new program and the buy-in from candidates, everyday New Yorkers are set to have a greater voice than ever in this upcoming election season. Even more exciting, is that included within the 100+ enrollees are candidates from across the state, including Nassau County, Rochester, the Hudson Valley, and New York City.
LRC Executive Director Rev. West McNeill had this to say about the Public Campaign Finance program hitting a new benchmark, “We are proud to be a part of the Fair Elections for New York coalition, and will keep fighting to ensure candidates use the public financing program to uplift the voices of small donors in the 2024 elections and beyond!” To learn more about this milestone, check out the coalition’s press release here.
LRC Joins Allies in Two Rochester-area Events
This past week, the Labor-Religion Coalition joined our allies in Rochester for two events. On Wednesday, October 4th, Rev. West McNeill joined the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice’s Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Dr. Chraron Hribar in leading a presentation about faith-based advocacy and grassroots anti-poverty work.
On Thursday, October 5th, Rev. West McNeill joined the Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals (RUNAP) and community members for a candlelight vigil in recognition of the risk patients face at Rochester General Hospital (RGH). For nearly one year, RUNAP has been sounding the alarm about unsafe staffing practices at the hospital: this week, they released a report tracking staffing levels during a one-week period in September, and found that 82% of total shifts reported on were reported to be unsafe. In addition to the candlelight vigil and release of this new report, RUNAP also announced a strike vote, set to take place next week. To learn more about the ongoing fight for safe staffing levels at RGH, check out the RUNAP website here.
LRC Joins the Nonviolent Medicaid Army's 2024 Week of Action
In late September, the Nonviolent Medicaid Army hosted its 2024 Week of Action! Across the country, movement organizations joined together to support NVMA's work against the ongoing Medicaid cuts and in support of medicaid for all. The Labor-Religion Coalition joined in actions across New York State, in Elmira, NY, and the Bronx.
In our most recent blog posts, Freedom Church of the Poor Member Becca Forsyth reflects on the People's Clinic in Elmira, and LRC Intern Deb Schwartz recaps an action in the Bronx at Lincoln Medical Center. You can find the Elmira recap and the Bronx recap here and here.
Support the New York State Nurse's Association in the Campaign Against Ellis Medicine
The New York State Nurses’ Association (NYSNA) continues its fight for safe patient care and fair contracts for nurses in New York State. If you saw our note a few weeks ago, you know that their latest fight is against Ellis Medicine, which continues to prioritize profits over adequate patient care and paying nurses a fair wage. Read on for a message from NYSNA and a link to their petition.
Ellis Medicine says they invest in nurses, but their actions tell a different story.
From trying to cut safe nurse staffing to cutting healthcare services, to suing patients over medical bills, to paying several executives over half a million a year, find out the FACTS about Ellis Medicine.
Nurses have had enough. We are fighting for our community hospital and our patients. Add your name to demand that Ellis Medicine invest in safe patient care, invest in nurses, and negotiate a fair contract NOW.
You can learn more about NYSNA's campaign against Ellis Medicine here.
Meet our new Intern, Deb!
In September, LRC welcomed a new intern, Deb Schwartz! Deb (they/them) is a second-year MSW student at Hunter College, where they are on the Community Organizing track, with a concentration in social policy. Before pursuing their MSW, Deb worked with People’s Action on electoral organizing and also worked on New York City Councilmember Krishnan’s successful 2021 campaign.
Prior to their organizing work, Deb worked for a number of years at various magazines, as a writer and editor, and in marketing. They’ve written lifestyle and reported for a number of outlets. Deb is Jewish and their spiritual practice is Zen Buddhism. They’re excited to use their writing and organizing chops to further LRC’s work over the course of this year!
Check out these upcoming LRC events!
On October 11, advocates across the country are taking action against health insurance companies. In Rochester, we will hear from patients and healthcare workers and together we will deliver a powerful message about the harm private health insurance causes to our health. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to stay up to date on plans for the day. For more information, contact Ursula, firstname.lastname@example.org, (315) 414-7720.
On October 26th, from 7:30-9:00 pm, Rev. West McNeill will participate in a public forum, Universal Healthcare—Why the NY Health Act Matters, at Riverdale Temple, 4545 Independence Avenue in the Bronx.