For Immediate Release

March 20th, 2020

Contact:  Nada Khader at 914.449.6514
Bail Reform & the COVID-19 Pandemic in New York State 
WESPAC joins our community partners including Center for Community Alternatives, Citizen Action NY, FWD.us, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Robert F Kennedy Human Rights and Color of Change, in New York City who have issued the following fact sheet regarding bail reform and the COVID-19 pandemic in New York State.  With confirmed cases of the virus reaching both Sing Sing prison and our county jail here in Westchester County, we need to release any person who does not pose a threat to public safety in order to contain any potential viral outbreak, and we must insist more urgently than ever on no rollbacks to the bail reforms that were passed in 2019 that reduce the numbers of people detained pre-trial.
● COVID-19 will spread “like wildfire” in New York’s jails, putting incarcerated people, staff, and surrounding communities at risk. 
○ Jails are uniquely poor sites for stopping or containing viral outbreaks. Social distancing is virtually impossible in the close-quarters of New York’s jails. Hand sanitizer is contraband and access to soap, toilet paper, and handwashing facilities is highly limited. 
○ People in jail have disproportionate rates of chronic illnesses that make them vulnerable to the coronavirus. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 40% of incarcerated people suffer from chronic health conditions, including 20% with asthma (versus 11% in the general population).
 ○ Healthcare in New York’s prisons and jails is chronically inadequate even without a pandemic. In the five years from 2013-2018, 50 people died in New York State prisons from want of adequate medical care. In 2016, India Cummings died in the Erie County jail in a case ruled “homicide by medical neglect.” In 2017, Nassau County renewed its contract with a for-profit company to provide healthcare in its jail, despite state findings that inadequate healthcare by the same company led to the deaths of five people incarcerated in the Nassau County jail in 2015. 
● Bail reform rollbacks would exacerbate a public health crisis. 
○ New York State made the responsible decision to pass bail reform last session. As a result, there are nearly 7,000 fewer people being held in county jails on any given day. 
○ The bail law rollbacks proposed by the Senate Democrats and under consideration by the Governor will increase the number of people in jails and the length of time people will spend in jail. Rolling back bail reform would mean more people unjustly in jail without a trial, which is not only inhumane, but threatens further spread of coronavirus. 
○ Many of the people now spared pretrial jailing under New York’s bail reform law would have spent 1-3 days incarcerated pretrial under the prior system. These “short-stays” provide no safety benefit, while destabilizing families, and risking greater spread of COVID-19 in both jails and the surrounding community as thousands more people will cycle in and out of unsanitary, unsafe conditions and back into the community.
 ● It is not responsible to advance bail reform rollbacks in an “accelerated” budget process. 
○ Policy changes should be data-based and deserve a democratic process and thoughtful policy setting. Changes to the bail law will impact tens of thousands of people directly and will have dramatic and poorly understood impacts on the health of all New Yorkers. Pushing through bail reform rollbacks on an accelerated timeline, especially when they have been in effect for less than three months, is not responsible policy-making. 
○ In light of the coronavirus and the expedited budget process, there would simply be no way to debate these issues responsibly and democratically, and during a public health crisis, it would be devastating to subject more New Yorkers to the COVID-19 health risks of pretrial incarceration. 
○ Bail reform is working. Each day in February 2020, there were 6,800 fewer people incarcerated pretrial in New York’s jails than in February 2019. This is 6,800 people who are not exposed to heightened risk of contracting COVID-19, people who are not subject to the trauma of pretrial jailing or the violation of their constitutional rights. 
○ Nationally, healthcare advocates and others are calling for bail reform and decarceration efforts like we have achieved in New York. 
● New Yorkers need investments in healthcare, housing and other services
 ● Governor Cuomo needs to stop trying to put more people in jail by rolling back bail reform and focus on the real problem: A lack of meaningful access to healthcare, programs and services. 
1. The Marshall Project: “When Purell is Contraband, How Do You Contain Coronavirus?” 
2. New York Times: “Our Courts and Jails Are Putting Lives at Risk” 
3. Huffington Post: “Nearly 500,000 People Who Have Not Been Convicted Are In Jail At High Coronavirus Risk” 
4. Mother Jones: “To Arrest the Spread of Coronavirus, Arrest Fewer People” 
5. Syracuse Post-Standard: “Bail reform causes a big drop – 100 inmates – in Syracuse jail. Reason might surprise you” 
6. Justice Collaborative: “Explainer: Prisons and Jails Are Particularly Vulnerable to COVID-19 Outbreaks” 
7. The Guardian: “Calls mount to free low-risk US inmates to curb coronavirus impact on prisons” 
8. Mother Jones: “Correctional Facilities Are the Perfect Incubators for the Coronavirus” 
9. Prison Policy Initiative: “No need to wait for pandemics: The public health case for criminal justice reform” 
10. Human Rights Watch: “US: COVID-19 Threatens People Behind Bars” 
11. New York Times: “An Epicenter of the Pandemic Will Be Jails and Prisons, if Inaction Continues”  

Hello all,

I have been receiving lots of alerts from Westchester County Department of Health, Westchester County Government, electeds, nonprofit leaders and more about resources available to our community at this very intense time.

I have pinned a post to the top of the WESPAC Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/WESPACFOUNDATION/ regarding resources that are currently available.  I enter comments below the post as I receive more information about resources available.  This post will be pinned to the top of the page for the foreseeable future, so that members of the public can find in one centralized location what resources are available at this time.  Since it is a public page and public post, you are welcome to use the comment section to add additional information/resources as you become aware of them.
The good news is that China is reporting no new domestic cases of the virus and is sending doctors to Italy and Iran.  There is light at the end of the tunnel,

WESPAC’s investment advisor is Andrew Friedman with AJF Financial Services. In this one hour Zoom presentation, Andrew will discuss recent market turmoil, the importance of “systems investing” and the urgent need to protect ecosystems, that when disrupted by human activity, can cause serious disease. How can we use our money and investments to create the world we want to live in? This Zoom session will be facebook livestreamed. Andrew Friedman, President and Founder of AJF Financial Services, is a Certified Sustainable Investment Professional, Certified Financial Planner, a member of the Financial Planning Association and a Registered Investment Advisor. He will speak for the first half hour and then open up to questions. Instructions to join via Zoom:

Topic: Systems Investing
Time: Mar 18, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 467 689 904

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NYHC Co-Chairs NHC Rental Working Group
From Rachel Fee:
I am excited to announce that I am co-chairing the National Housing Conference’s Rental Housing Working Group with Buzz Roberts, President & CEO of the National Association for Affordable Housing Lenders. The National Housing Conference is getting ready for legislative success following the 2020 election. They are convening a series of working groups to make recommendations for the next major national housing legislation.
It has been over 50 years since our country came together to draft a comprehensive national housing act to address our housing crisis. It was proceeded by the National Housing Acts of 1937 and 1949. The National Housing Conference was a leader in all three of these initiatives. Given the nation’s growing problem of housing affordability, we are long overdue for comprehensive housing legislation.
In thinking about a path forward to improving our nation’s housing challenges, I believe that we need to invest in our public housing infrastructure; kick-start a massive production program and ensure that rental assistance makes housing opportunity a reality for those in need. To get there, here a few of my initial ideas:
  • Establish Federal Housing Supply Goals with Interagency Responsibility (HUD, Treasury, USDA, VA, IHC, others) including an annual report to Congress and taskforce for cost reduction. This will force coordination and strategic planning across tax and budget programs.
  • Move Section 8 & Section 9 funding to the mandatory side of the federal budget. This will end annual fights between discretionary budget priorities and underscore that housing is a human right.
  • Establish a new standard Basic Necessities Deduction for extremely low income households to increase residual income. For extremely low-income families, especially those living in high-cost cities, not enough is left over each month to meet basic needs beyond shelter.
  • Create a New Disposition Program for Underutilized Federally Controlled Property suitable for housing development. Post office redevelopment, infill on VA campuses and other examples already exist. Maximizing disposition opportunities will reduce development costs and create needed housing.
  • Exempt Private Activity Bonds Used to Finance HUD-Assisted Housing from State Volume Cap. This would make preservation possible for public housing, 202s, 811s and other HUD-assisted housing program.
We are still developing these and other ideas for consideration. What are your BIG ideas? Email me with your ideas here to improve and expand housing policy by March 6th.

Time is running out to win climate, jobs, and justice in this year’s New York State budget.

We need to act now.

Sign up to visit Senator Pete Harckham’s Peekskill office on February 28th at 2 p.m. to request climate, jobs, and justice in this year’s budget! We will meet at 1:30 p.m. at Dunkin’ Donuts, Crossroads Shopping Center, 1101-09 Main Street, Peekskill, NY, 10566. Parking instructions will be emailed to you after you sign up.

February 28th is the last time our legislators and/or their critical legislative teams will be in their district offices before they submit their budgets for final negotiations. We need to make sure they hear from us about how critical it is to include climate justice funding in this year’s budget.

FOR EXAMPLE — We’re asking for at least $1 billion now, and at least $7 billion per year by passing the Climate and Community Investment Act. What’s this?

The Climate and Community Investment Act will make polluters pay for the toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases they emit into our air. It would raise $7-$10 billion per year that would be invested directly into our communities. This money would fund:

  • Green jobs and infrastructure: Building utility-scale wind turbines and solar panels, making our buildings more efficient, updating our electric grid, expanding public transit upstate, and more

  • Community Just Transition Fund: Direct grants to community orgs to support community-led energy planning, reduce local emissions, and increase resiliency. 75% of funds go to marginalized communities.

  • NY Energy Rebate Fund: Direct assistance to low and moderate income families to reduce the burden of energy costs. Families are automatically opted in.

Impacted Worker Fund: Cash and job training to impacted workers, funds to replace lost tax revenue for municipalities and school districts, expanding economic development programs.

Join us to tell Senator Harckham on February 28th: we can’t wait — fund climate justice now!

We will make sure you’re prepared and trained with materials, talking points, signs, and leave behinds. Meet at 1: 30 p.m. at Dunkin’ Donuts, Crossroads Shopping Center, 1101-09 Main Street, Peekskill, NY, 10566, parking instructions will be mailed to after you sign up.

Senator Pete Harckham stood with us last spring when the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act was passed. Let’s make sure he does it again, and funds climate justice in this year’s budget and beyond.

In solidarity,

Lobby Lead for NY Renews

Dear Senator Udall and Representative Lowenthal,
The undersigned organizations strongly support the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act as a comprehensive
bill in Congress that adequately addresses the plastic pollution crisis. This bill shows a commitment to real
solutions by reducing throwaway plastics and encouraging producer responsibility while combating false
solutions such as incineration or a solitary focus on recycling.
The plastic pollution crisis has grown so massive that our waste management systems are unable to handle it.
Without reducing plastic waste or holding producers accountable, the burden falls on local governments and
taxpayers. This legislation provides the opportunity to create a circular economy of reusable products rather
than throwaway plastics made from fossil fuels.
Plastics generate greenhouse gases at every phase of their life cycle: fossil fuel extraction and transport,
refining and manufacturing, usage, waste management, and unmanaged plastic that permeates our land, water,
and air. In 2019, it’s estimated that plastic production and incineration emitted 850 million metric tons of
greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent to 189 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants operating at full
capacity, and this is a conservative estimate (CIEL et al., 2019). It is clear we cannot solve the climate crisis
without bold legislation aimed to mitigate plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution harms our environment and communities. Endangered wildlife eat and get caught in plastic
pollution each year, suffering and dying as a result. Microplastics contaminate our air and drinking water and
even the most remote places on Earth, from the Mariana Trench to the Arctic.
With the plastic industry’s plan to increase production of plastic by 40 percent over the next decade comes a
serious threat not only to wildlife and the climate, but also to public health and safety. Pollution from the
plastic industry exposes communities to chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, neurological damage,
endocrine disruption and other serious health problems. Petrochemical facilities that create plastic and
incinerators that burn plastic are often located in communities of color and low-income communities that bear
the brunt of their dangerous pollution. The plastic pollution crisis is also an environmental justice crisis.
This bill builds on a growing nationwide movement anchored in local battles to fight the plastic pollution
crisis. It will effectively reduce waste by phasing out certain plastic products, placing add itional
responsibility on manufacturers for waste management, restricting the export of plastic waste, and pausing
new plastic production. The United States must be a global leader in confronting the plastic pollution crisis,
and the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act charts the way forward. Senator Udall and Representative
Lowenthal, we thank you for your critical leadership on this urgent issue.
U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal
108 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
U.S. Senator Tom Udall
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
350 Butte County
350 Eastside
350 Eugene
350 Fairfax
350 Marin
350 New Orleans
350 Sacramento
350 Santa Cruz
350 Silicon Valley
350 Triangle
350 Wichita
350 Kishwaukee
5 Gyres
7th Generation Advisors
Adventures in Waste
Albany Berkeley Plastic
Reduction Working Group
Algalita Marine Research &
Alliance for a Green Economy
Alliance for Democracy (US)
Alliance of Climate and
Environmental Stewards
Already Devalued and Devastated
Homeowners of Parsippany
Altamaha Riverkeeper
Alter Terra
American Bird Conservancy
American Public Health
American Sustainable Business
AmPark EcoCore
Anacostia Riverkeeper
Anacostia Watershed Community
Advisory Committee
Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.
Apalachicola Riverkeeper
Art Parts Creative Reuse Center
Association of University Centers
on Disabilities
Atchafalaya Basinkeeper
Audubon Naturalist Society
Ayer Recycling Committee
Aytzim: Ecological Judaism
Backbone Campaign
Bag Free Wichita
Battle Creek Alliance
Bay Area-System Change not
Climate Change
Bayou City Waterkeeper
Beaver County (PA) Marcellus
Awareness Community
Beaverdam Creek Watershed
Watch Group
Bergen SWAN
Berks Gas Truth
Berkshire Environmental Action
Team (BEAT)
Berkshire Zero-Waste Initiative
Better Path Coalition
Better World Shopper
Beyond Plastics
Big Reuse
Black Warrior Riverkeeper
Blue Frontier
Blue Sphere Foundation
Boston Building Resources
Boston Clean Energy Coalition
Boulder Waterkeeper
Break Free From Plastic
Breast Cancer Action
Breathe Easy Susquehanna
Breathe Project
Bridgewater Green Committee
Brooklyn Bridge CSA
Buckeye Environmental Network
Bucks Environmental Action
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper
BYO Madison
Cafeteria Culture
Cahaba Riverkeeper
California Association of
Sanitation Agencies
California Environmental Justice
Coalition (CEJC)
California for Progress
California Product Stewardship
California Young Democrats
Environmental Caucus
Californians Against Waste
Californians for Western
CALPIRG Students
Campaign for Renewable Energy
Canton Residents for a
Sustainable, Equitable Future
Cape Cod Anti-Litter Coalition
Cape Fear River Watch
Carol L Lindsey, Consulting, LLC
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Coalfield Justice
Center for Environmental Health
Center for International
Environmental Law (CIEL)
Center for Sustainability at
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Center for Zero Waste Design
Central California Asthma
CEO Pipe Organs/Golden Ponds
CERBAT: Center for
Environmentally Responsible
Building Alternatives
Chelmsford Sustainability
Cherokee County Solid Waste
Chico 350/ 350 Butte County
ChicoBag / To-Go Ware
Christian Reformed Church
Office of Social Justice
Christians For The Mountains
Church Women United in New
York State
Circle Pines Center
Citizen’s Coalition for a Safe
Citizens for Water
Citizens Regeneration Lobby
City of Greenbelt
City of Winters
Clean Ocean Action
Clean Water Action
Climate Action Group of the
Unitarian Society of Northampton
and Florence
Climate Action Mondays
Climate Crisis Policy
Climate First: Replacing Oil and
Climate Reality CWPA Chapter
Climate Reality Project Los
Angeles Chapter
Climate Reality Project:
Pittsburgh & Southwestern PA
Coachella Valley Waterkeeper
Coalition Against the Pilgrim
Pipeline NJ
Colorado Medical Waste
Colorado Riverkeeper
Columbia Riverkeeper
Columbus Community Bill of
Common Ground Compost LLC
Community Advocates for a
Sustainable Environment
Concerned Citizens Against
Industrial CAFOs
Concerned Health Professionals
of New York
Concerned Ohio River Residents
Congregation of Our Lady of
Charity of the Good Shepherd,
U.S. Provinces
ConnPIRG Students
Conscious Container
Conservation Congress
Conservation Law Foundation
Container Recycling Institute
Cook Inletkeeper
Coosa River Basin
Initiative/Upper Coosa
Creation Care Action & Advocacy
from the Baltimore-Washington
Conference of the United
Methodist Church
Cruzan Enterprises
Damascus Citizens for
Defiance Canyon Raptor Rescue
Designs For A Better World
Do Good Soaps and Suds
Don’t Gas the Meadowlands
Don’t Waste Arizona
Earth Democracy Committee
Earth Ethics, Inc.
Earth Island Institute
East Yard Communities for
Environmental Justice
Eastern Region Association of
Forest and Nature Schools
EcoAction Arlington
Ecological Rights Foundation
Ecology Center
Ecosystem Strategies
Elders Action Network
Elders Climate Action
Emmanuel United Methodist
Church, Laurel MD
End of Waste Foundation, Inc.
Endangered Habitats League
Endangered Species Coalition
ENGN Civic Creative Center
Environment America
Environment and Human Health,
Environment California
Environment Maine
Environmental Action Committee
of West Marin
Environmental Advocates of New
Environmental Caucus of Florida
Environmental Health Trust
Environmental Justice Center of
Chestnut Hill United Church
Environmental Protection
Information Center
Environmental Stewardship
Advisory Board
Environmental Youth Council of
St Augustine
Equitable Health Solutions, LLC
Extinction Rebellion Kentucky
Fairmont MN Peace Group
Families Advocating for Chemical
and Toxics Safety (FACTS)
Family Farm Defenders
Feminists in Action
Florida Public Interest Research
FLOW (For Love of Water)
Frac Sand Sentinel: Project
FracTracker Alliance
Franciscan Action Network
FreshWater Accountability
Friends Committee on Legislation
of California
Friends of Merrymeeting Bay
Friends of the Earth US
Friends of the Kaw
Friends of the Wild Swan
Fund for Wild Nature
Garrettsville Board of Public
Gas Free Seneca
Genesis Farm
Geos Institute
Gila Resources Information
Global Alliance for Incinerator
Good Neighbor Steering
Grassroots Environmental
Great Egg Harbor Watershed
Green America
Green Party of Nassau County
Green Party of Seattle
Green Team, Unitarian
Universalist Society of Greater
Greenaction for Health and
Environmental Justice
Greenebank Consulting
Greenpeace USA
Guernsey County Citizens
Support on Drilling Issues
Gunpowder Riverkeeper
Hands Across the Sand / Land
Haw River Assembly
Hawai’i Institute for Human
Hawaii Public Health Association
Heal the Bay
Health Promotion Consultants
Healthy Gulf (formerly Gulf
Restoration Network)
Heirs To Our Oceans
Hesperian Health Guides
Home ReSource
Honeydew Advisors
Hull Family Foundation
iEat Green, LLC
Indivisible Georgia 04
Indivisible OC 48
Indivisible Pittsfield
Inland Ocean Coalition
Institute for Policy Studies
Interfaith Climate Action Network
of the Interfaith Council of CCC
Interfaith Earthkeepers of
Eugene/Springfield, OR
International Marine Mammal
Project of Earth Island Institute
Island Seafoods, Inc.
Its Easy Being Green
Jackpine Savage Guide Service
JamPac (Jamesville Positive
Action Committee)
Jewish Climate Action Network
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Just Salad
Justice Action Mobilization
Keep Massachusetts Beautiful
Klamath Forest Alliance
Labor Network for Sustainability
League of Conservation Voters
Lee Greener Gateway Committee
Levanah Farm
Living Rivers
Lonely Whale
Louisiana Bucket Brigade
ManaSota-88, Inc.
Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory
Marcellus Outreach Butler
Marin Sanitary Service
Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region
Mass Recycle
Mid-Missouri Peaceworks
Milwaukee Riverkeeper
Mission Blue / Sylvia Earle
Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper
Movement for a People’s Party
MSW Consultants, LLC
NAACP Berkshire Branch
National Advocacy Center of the
Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Stewardship Action
Natural Resources Council of
Nature Coast Conservation, Inc.
Neighbors of the Northwest
Branch of the Anacostia River
Network of Spiritual Progressives
New England Aquarium
New Jersey Highlands Coalition
New Jersey Tenants Organization
New Mexico Environmental Law
New Mexico Interfaith Power and
New Mexico Recycling Coalition
New York Climate Action Group
New York Heartwoods
New York Progressive Action
Network – Enviro Committee
North American Climate,
Conservation and Environment
North Country 350 Alliance
Northern Jaguar Project
Northwest Coalition for
Responsible Investment
NY Buddhist Climate Action
Ocean Conservation Research
Oceanic Global
Oceanic Preservation Society
Ogeechee Riverkeeper
Ohio Valley Environmental
Olympic Climate Action
Orange County Coastkeeper
Oregon Physicians for Social
OVEC – Ohio Valley
Environmental Coalition
Pasco Activists
PAUSE – People of Albany
United for Safe Energy
PDA, AZ Chapter
Peace Action New York State
Peconic Baykeeper
Pelican Media
Peninsula Interfaith Climate
People Over Pipelines
People’s Climate Movement –
Capital Region
Physicians for Social
Physicians for Social
Responsibility PA
Physicians for Social
Responsibility, AZ Chapter
Pinelands Preservation Alliance
Plastic Free Sharon
Plastic Oceans International
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Portland Community College
Post-Landfill Action Network
Presentation Sisters
Product Stewardship Institute
Progressive Democrats of
Project Coyote
Protect PT (Penn-Trafford)
Public Citizen
Public Laboratory for Open
Technology and Science
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
Quic Service Bike Shop
Rachel Carson Council
Rachel’s Network
Raritan Headwaters
RE Sources
Reach Out America
Reconstructionist Rabbinical
Recycle Across America
Resist the Pipeline
Resource Renewal Institute
RESTORE: The North Woods
Reuse International
Rio Grande International Study
River Guardian Foundation
Riverdale Jewish Earth Alliance
Safe Climate Campaign
San Antonio Bay Estuarine
San Francisco Baykeeper
Santa Barbara Standing Rock
Santa Cruz Climate Action
Santa Fe Conservation Trust
Save Our Shores
Save Our Sky Blue Waters
Save The Hills Alliance, Inc.
Save The River Upper St.
Lawrence Riverkeeper
Save Wolves Now Network
School Without Walls at Francis
Stevens DCPS
Sea Hugger
Seaside Sustainability
Seattle Aquarium
Seeding Sovereignty
Seneca Lake Guardian
Sequoia ForestKeeper®
Sierra Club
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’
Justice Team
Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt,
New York
Sixth Street Community Center
Slow Food DC
Snake Conservation Society
Snake River Waterkeeper
SoCal 350 Climate Action
Society of Alternative Resources
SocioEnergetics Foundation
South Asian Fund For Education,
Scholarship and Training
South Carolina Interfaith Power
and Light
South Shore Recycling
South Yuba River Citizens
Southern Utah Wilderness
Spokane Riverkeeper
Spottswoode Winery, Inc.
Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline
Stop the Algonquin Pipeline
Story of Stuff Project
Strategy Zero Waste Solutions
Suncoast Waterkeeper
Sunrise Movement Bay Area
Sunrise Movement Howard
Surfrider Foundation
Sustainable McDonough
Sustainable Ocean Alliance at the
University of Maryland
Sustainable Sharon Coalition
Sustainable Sudbury
Sustainable Upton
Sustaining Way
Tar Sands Action Southern
Tennessee Riverkeeper
Texas Campaign for the
Texas Environmental Justice
Advocacy Services (T.E.J.A.S.)
The 5 Gyres Institute
The Center for Oceanic
Awareness, Research, and
Education (COARE)
The Climate Mobilization
Hoboken Chapter
The Climate Mobilization-Santa
Barbara Chapter
The Enviro Show
The Great American Rain Barrel
The Lands Council
The Last Beach Cleanup
The Last Plastic Straw
The New School
The Rewilding Institute
The River Project
The Shame Free Zone
The Story of Stuff Project
The Wei LLC
Think Zero LLC
Town of Wellfleet Recycling
Toxics Action Center
Toxics Information Project (TIP)
Transition Sebastopol
Turtle Island Restoration Network
U.S. Public Interest Research
Group (PIRG)
Unexpected Wildlife Refuge
Unitarian Universalist
Pennsylvania Legislative
Advocacy Network (UUPLAN)
UO Climate Justice League
Upper West Side Recycling
Urban Bird Foundation
UU FaithAction NJ
Valley Watch, Inc.
Valley Improvement Projects
Vermont Public Interest Research
Group (VPIRG)
Vokashi, Inc.
Wabash Riverkeeper Network/
Banks of the Wabash, Inc.
Wasatch Clean Air Coalition
Waste Task Force
Waterkeeper Alliance
Waterkeepers Chesapeake
Weather Medic Inc
WESPAC Foundation
West 80s Neighborhood
Western Watersheds Project
White Rabbit Grove RDNA
White River Waterkeeper
Wholly H2O
Wild Nature Institute
WildEarth Guardians/Rio Grande
Willamette Riverkeeper
Winyah Rivers Alliance
Women Working for Oceans
Women’s International League for
Peace & Freedom, US
WWALS Watershed Coalition,
Yellowstone to Uintas Connection
Young Democrats of America
Environmental Caucus
Zanker Recycling
Zero Waste Arlington
Zero Waste Kauai
Zero Waste Marin
Zero Waste Society
Zero Waste Washington

Dear Federal Job Guarantee Champions,
On behalf of PolicyLink, the National Jobs for All Network, and the Modern Money Network, thank YOU for signing on to the Jobs for All Manifesto calling on our policymakers to enact a federal job guarantee.
This movement to fully realize our economic rights is gaining steam. More and more people across the country are signing on to demand the right to good jobs, fair wages and benefits, and the opportunity to provide for themselves and their communities through a federal job guarantee.
The momentum of the people is illustrated by the incredible traction the guarantee has in the media:
Essence: King’s Fight For Economic Justice Included A Job Guarantee
Sojourners: The Unfinished Work of the Civil Rights Movement
Spotlight on Poverty & Opportunity: Yes, We Can Have Good Jobs for All

Public News Service: Groups, Legislators Propose Federal Job Guarantee for All
Democracy Collaborative’s Next Systems Podcast: Job Guarantee Now!
Since our push in December, more than 100 new people and organizations have signed onto the Manifesto. We are thrilled that important thought leaders like john a. powell, activist organizations like the Debt Collective, and policy groups like the New Consensus (policy architects of the Green New Deal resolution) are championing a job guarantee, as well as progressive candidates for Congress including Paula Jean Swearengin (WV). Hundreds of people working for racial, economic, and environmental justice have all signed on to support this crucial policy to secure economic security and dignity for all.
We are asking you to help us spread the word share this bold and transformational vision of #JobsforAll. By March we want to break through to thousands of signatures, to show presidential candidates the ever-growing momentum for a job guarantee to secure all of our economic rights.
To do that we need you to share with your colleagues and networks.
Share: Share the articles above with your networks and on social media. Connect with three of your peers and colleagues to sign on and keep the momentum going. Send the Jobs for All Manifesto to your networks via email and ask them to read and sign. We hope to continue the momentum of support and signatures to show our elected representatives that we want them to move this bold solution forward.

Post: Use the Social Media Toolkit to tweet, post, and show your support for a federal job guarantee. Click through to the social media toolkit to get photos and posts to share on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – wherever you connect with your community to rally support.
Link: Link to the site in your work: www.jobguaranteenow.org
In this moment of tremendous economic and ecological upheaval, it is time to take bold policy action to secure an inclusive, thriving, and sustainable 21st century American economy.  

This is our right, and our future. Together we can make this vision a reality. 

In solidarity,

Sarah Treuhaft
Managing Director, PolicyLink

NY Democratic Lawyers Council does an outstanding job of election protection and advocacy for election security throughout the State, but right now, they are looking for an intern to focus primarily on Westchester County and the Hudson Valley.  This could be an excellent experience leading to good contacts for anyone (undergraduate or graduate student) interested in the burgeoning fields of election law, election administration, and especially election security, during a very exciting electoral year.  Here is the link, followed by the full NYDLC posting:


Democratic Voter Protection Intern – Westchester

New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) [voting rights]

Westchester, NY


Apply Now

Urgently hiring

The New York Democratic Lawyers Council is the nation’s longest continuously-operating Democratic Voter Protection organization. We are a coalition of lawyers and activists dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that: all eligible persons can register to vote easily, all registered voters are able to vote simply, fairly, and without intimidation, all votes are counted and all voting systems are open and reliable. NYDLC is the voter protection arm of NYS Dems and the point of coordination between New York and the DNC for voter protection operations.

We seek a motivated, passionate, and experienced organizing intern to facilitate the operations of our large volunteer membership in Westchester county. The organizing intern will:

*Phonebank to, meet with, and facilitate events for the 200 NYDLC members residing in Westchester county. Events include voter protection trainings, organizing meetings, legislative advocacy events, and fundraisers.

*Track capacity-building efforts in Westchester county to ensure that NYDLC has an adequate number of poll watchers trained for primary and general elections.

*Meet goals for number of volunteers trained, assigned, and deployed.

*Identify volunteer leaders for the county and work with them to develop and execute an effective poll-watching program for early voting and on election day for the primary and general elections.

*Assist Westchester county members with legislative advocacy projects as they arise.

*Develop positive working relationships with electeds, general election Democratic candidates, and county election personnel (Please note: NYDLC is strictly neutral in primary campaigns).

This internship is an average time commitment of 20 hours a week, with some weeks being fewer hours than that, but hours increasing ahead of early voting and election day.

The right candidate will have the following experience, capacities, and skills:

*Strong commitment to advancing voting rights.

*Some experience in community or campaign organizing, for example, on campus, or on a town or county level.

*Extremely well-organized and detail-oriented.

*Comfortable with public speaking, personable, helpful, and good at forming positive working relationships with diverse stakeholders.

*Have a healthy respect for data-driven organizing and understand the importance of updating volunteer databases with relevant information.

*Experience with Votebuilder and Nationbuilder strongly preferred.

Applicants must be willing to commit through mid-November, 2020.

This is an opportunity for the right applicant to work directly under statewide Democratic organizing staff. You will gain solid campaign, electoral, and legislative advocacy experience that will help you to stand out as a candidate for political campaign hiring authorities in the future.

This internship is unpaid, however expenses including mileage and gas are compensated.

Please respond to this posting with resume and a brief statement of interest.  Place “Westchester Intern” in the subject line.

Thanks, Vanessa


Professor Vanessa Merton
Faculty Supervisor, Immigration Justice Clinic

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
John Jay Legal Services, Inc.
80 North Broadway
White Plains NY 10603
914 422 4333 (office)
914 422 4391 (fax)
1 800 836 7223 (free call)
[email protected]


The formal title of Pace Law School is now

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.


I should like to be able to love my country and

still love justice.

                                                            Albert Camus


From Julie Weiner: There is good news for New Yorkers concerned about possible cyber interference in the 2020 vote count.  Governor Cuomo has called for automatic hand recounts in close elections.

Please call the governor (518-474-8390) to thank him for endorsing much-needed hand recounts in close-vote-margin elections.

Then contact your state senator and assembly person and tell them you support the governor’s call for hand recounts in close elections.  The state senate has already passed one such bill.  See NYSenate.gov “FIND YOUR SENATOR ” and NYAssembly.gov  “Who Is My Assemblymember?”

Automatic hand recounts in close-margin elections is already the law in many other states, as well as New York City and Ulster County. This legislation will give voters and candidates across the state equal rights to a recount.

More needs to be done to protect the vote count, including banning hybrid printer-scanners that can print over ballots after they are cast.  But routinely hand counting ballots in close-margin elections is an important first step to ensuring that our ballots are accurately counted.   Be sure to call the governor!  

(518) 474-8390

Cuomo calls for automatic recounts in close elections across NY state

DEC 16, 2019 | 3:50 PM

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo is calling for a recount.

Cuomo pitched legislation Monday as part of his planned 2020 State of the State address that would mandate automatic manual recounts in close elections across the state and lay out a set of standards for conducting the tallies.

Current law does not require vote recounts even in close elections.

“By establishing clear rules mandating when a recount should be triggered and a process for local governments to follow, we’ll boost confidence in the democratic process and take another step toward transforming our electoral system into a model for the rest of the nation to follow,” Cuomo said.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia already provide for automatic recounts, which are conducted if the margin between the top two candidates is within certain parameters.

Under New York City Board of Elections policy, a recount is mandatory when the victory margin is under 0.5 percentage points, which triggered a recount this summer that saw Melinda Katz topple Tiffany Caban in the Queens district attorney race.
Cuomo said a majority of county board of elections offices do not have specific requirements regarding recounts.

“Elections are the foundation of our democracy, and there can’t be any confusion when it comes to their outcomes — otherwise people lose faith in the process,” he said. “Right now decisions about whether to proceed with recounts in closely contested races almost always get bogged down in costly and unnecessary litigation because there’s a hodgepodge of standards around the state.”

While recanvasses — reviews of voting machine results to compare them to the numbers recorded on canvass returns — are fairly common, full hand recounts usually only stem from audits or legal challenges.

Cuomo’s proposal would make recounts mandatory in statewide races in which the margin of victory for a candidate or ballot proposition is 0.2 percentage points or less. All other elections would have to be closer than 0.5% for a recount.

Westchester Social Forum POSTPONED! After consultations with the Westchester County authorities, the Westchester Social Forum planning committee is postponing the March 29th social forum.

In addition, all meetings, forums and events that were scheduled for the WESPAC office are being postponed or turned into online meetings through early April. We will re-assess then. We are not yet sure about the WESPAC Dinner scheduled for April 30th and will re-assess in early April.

The more we can abide by social distancing and isolation, the less severe will be the peak of this virus. I encourage all other organizations and institutions to follow suit. Work/stay at home if you can and keep six feet from others for the next several weeks.

We need to figure out ways that service sector workers, hourly wage earners can take care of their families without needing to be forced to go to work. Community health and wellness first. Social distancing is hard. We can check on each other via phone calls, messaging etc.

I will keep you posted as plans develop, and as we are able to re-schedule.

I hope we all work together to minimize the harm of this virus and protect the most vulnerable.

Hoping you stay safe and healthy,