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Rally in support of Immigrant Rights – Monday, February 20th

Rally In in support of Immigrant Rights – Monday, February 20th

Rally at the fountain in downtown White Plains (intersection of Main Street and Mamamaroneck Ave) from 12 noon to 1pm

List of Participating Organizations in the Westchester Social Justice Community:

Community Voices Heard:

Concerned Families of Westchester:

Food & Water Watch:

Hudson Valley Community Coalition:

Lower Hudson Valley Progressive Action Network:

Mount Vernon United Tenants:

Indivisible Westchester:

Prevent Gun Violence—Westchester:

Up and Up Action Initiative:

WESPAC Foundation:

Westchester for Change:

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Frontpage, Movement Building

WESPAC 2017 Awards Dinner

Please consider making an additional contribution to allow students and fixed income the opportunity to attend.


Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Movement Building

Indian Point to Close by 2021

Amazing news: Indian Point Power Plant to shut down by 2021!
We salute the founder of WESPAC, Connie Hogarth, for being instrumental in this movement and to all the members of IPSEC  the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (Marilyn Elie, Jeanne and Gary Shaw, and many others) who have worked for decades to shut down this aging, radioactive leaking nuclear power plant.
We thank you and love you:
Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Environmental and Food Justice, Frontpage

Protecting Civil Liberties and Public Safety in an Age of Terror


Protecting Civil Liberties and Public Safety in an Age of Terror

 Monday, November 14th from 6pm to 8:30pm
Tudor Room at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
78 N Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603

A panel discussion to address public concern about potential terrorist activity and to review procedures that are in place intended to keep us safe while at the same time respecting the rule of law, constitutional rights and civil liberties.  Panelists will explore why protecting civil rights domestically is important to fighting terrorism. 

Panelists include:

Mariko Hirose, senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union, with a focus on statewide civil rights and civil liberties impact litigation and on cases involving free speech, privacy, government transparency and criminal justice.

Chief Inspector John Hodges with the Westchester County Police Department’s counter-terrorism unit will review recent steps taken in regional security coordination and intelligence gathering.

Pace Law Professor Thomas McDonnell is an expert in international human rights, the law of war, and the war on terrorism.

The panel will be moderated by Pace Law Professor David Dorfman.

This event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Pace Criminal Justice Institute, WESPAC, the Westchester Coalition against Islamophobia and the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform.  For more information, please contact the Pace Criminal Justice Institute Director Lissa Griffin at [email protected].  Parking is available on campus for those attending this event.

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Criminal Justice, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building

WESPAC Community Potluck and Report Backs


WESPAC Community Potluck and Campaign Updates

Monday, September 26th at WESPAC, 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, 4th floor (intersection with Martine Avenue inside the Westchester Arts Council building)

Potluck at 6pm; Campaign updates at 6:45pm

We will hear brief reports from food justice, Friends of Turtle Island (solidarity with Indigenous Peoples), pipeline resistance, public banking, Indian Point, Middle East committee, refugees coming to Westchester, as well as updates from the Hudson Valley Community Coalition, Westchester Coalition Against Islamohobia, and the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform.  Local artists have also been invited to perform as part of the evening.

For more information, please contact [email protected] or call 914.449.6514.

Posted in Blogs, Director's Blog, Frontpage

Learning about Local Flora with Doug DeCandia

b10cc0fe-a01b-4748-b74f-ff9f40100b3eWednesday, September 28th at 4pm at Liberty Park in White Plains (end of Lake Street just before Silver Lake)

Local farmer Doug DeCandia will be taking us on an herb and plant walk through the trails of Silver Lake woods to share with us some of the traditional uses of these native plants. Youth from Family Services of Westchester will be joining members of WESPAC’s Food Justice Committee. Please RSVP at [email protected] Free parking at Liberty Park. The walk will end by 6pm. Please wear long pants and hiking boots or walking shoes.

Posted in Blogs, Director's Blog, Frontpage

WESPAC Membership Dues 2016

Dear Members and Friends of WESPAC,


Protesting NYS Gov Cuomo in his hometown of Mt. Kisco, NY. WESPAC was the anchor organization for this protest organized by the Freedom to Boycott Coalition of NYS of which WESPAC is a member. July 6, 2016. Photo courtesy of Pauline Park.

First, we would like to thank you very much for your support of WESPAC over the past year.

The last few years have been extremely important and also challenging times for our movements. WESPAC continues to play a crucial role locally and beyond. 

Over the past year, we have worked together to oppose racialized policing, supported the #BlackLivesMatter movement locally and hosted several prisoner writing sessions at our office, centrally located in downtown White Plains.  We have marched in Manhattan, Albany and Mount Kisco to demand that Governor Cuomo rescind his unconstitutional executive order blacklisting organizations that support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement which calls upon Israel to respect Palestinian human rights.  We have supported and marched with our immigrant rights allies to support better working conditions for New York State farmworkers, and we have marched with mothers and grandmothers from Harlem who led us to Albany to demand justice for the wrongfully incarcerated.

The only way we can continue our work is with your help.  Dues are $100 per person annually, or $50 for students and persons with a fixed income.  We are grateful for all levels of support and no one is turned away for lack of funds.  Volunteer hours are welcome in lieu of payment and can be arranged with the office.  Please make your tax-deductible contribution today securely at or by check to WESPAC, 31 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 403, White Plains, NY 10601.  We are asking for all dues to be received by September 30th.

WESPAC has been part of the leadership of the local campaign for police accountability in Westchester County.  We have hosted film screenings and presentations on a wide range of social justice topics from military occupation and mental health, to hosting a screening of Michael Moore’s latest film “Where to Invade Next” which brought in a full house.  We have also worked with young farmers and farmers of color to support a more just food system. We continue to promote Community Supported Agriculture and connect people across the county who believe fresh, local, quality produce is a human right for all.

With your participation and support, we can continue to provide the space and support for high school and college students as they develop their organizing skills and become the next generation of agents for progressive social change. Recently, students have come from White Plains High School, Croton Harmon High School, Columbia University, Purchase College, Pace University, Iona College and Trinity College. 

We are proud of the role we continue to play as a hub for grassroots organizing with a mission to strengthen movement building in the promotion of human rights and self-determination for all communities.  We need your support to make this cherished community institution stronger! 

Our next general meeting will take place on Monday, September 26th at 6pm at our office space located at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue (4th floor) in downtown White Plains at the intersection with Martine Avenue.

Thank you for supporting our work.  Together we can change the world.

For the WESPAC Community,

Teresa Delgado, WESPAC Board Chair and Nada Khader, WESPAC Director

 PS.   Every tax-deductible donation you make goes to support our critical work for social justice and peace.  Please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!       Facebook: Explore WESPAC            Twitter: @WESPAC_NY

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Movement Building

Solidarity Vigil with Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance


What: Solidarity Vigil with Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

WhenWednesday, September 14, 2016, 12pm to 1:30pm

Where: The Fountain in Downtown White Plains (Intersection of Main Street and Mamaroneck Ave), White Plains, NY 10601

Solidarity Vigil with Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance. We will also link to the resistance locally working to STOP the Spectra Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (AIM), which is planned to run next to the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Spectra AIM Pipeline is being built by the same company as the Dakota Access Pipeline.  We will have a few signs but please also bring signs.

Speakers: Ms. Betty Lyons (Onondaga Nation), President of the American Indian Law Alliance and Ms. Karenna Gore, Director for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, as well as local Westchester County residents who recently traveled to the Sacred Stone Camp in Lakota Territory [North Dakota].

Sponsors: WESPAC Foundation, American Indian Law Alliance, Center for Earth Ethics, Resist Spectra Pipeline, Friends of Turtle Island Committee-WESPAC. 

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Environmental and Food Justice, Friends of Turtle Island, Frontpage, Movement Building

WESPAC Plot at Bethel Baptist Community Gardens

Bethel Baptist

A big thanks to Sadie’s initiative at the Bethel Baptist Community Gardens in White Plains.  The WESPAC plot has produced dozens of pounds of fresh produce for the Open Arms Men’s Shelter in downtown White Plains.  Thank you, Sadie, and to all who have volunteered!

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Community Gardening, Director's Blog, Environmental and Food Justice, Frontpage

The Freedom to Boycott for Justice and for Human Rights

Freedom to Boycott

Letter to the Westchester Jewish Council from Howard Horowitz:

Dear Elliott, Shabbat Shalom,

I am writing to express my deepest concern and objection to the decision taken by WJC to actively endorse legislation that in its spirit and in its specifics is unconstitutional and an assault on free speech. The call for a legislated ban or boycott of businesses that want to participate in a voluntary boycott of Israel until it ends the occupation and the ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights is hypocritical, and is a blatant effort to silence dissent. You do not even distinguish between boycotting Israel and boycotting settlement enterprises on stolen Palestinian land.  As a respected member of the business community for over 40 years, and as owner of a business for over 30 years, I have the right to participate and have my business participate in a nonviolent movement without fear of recrimination from my own government. The problem here is the Israeli occupation and the settlements, which have been deemed illegal according to international law and which violate the moral code I believe you and I abide by. The occupation and the settlements, which are expanding as I write this, put Israel in grave danger and ultimately will spell a disaster  for the country.  From this perspective, participating in the BDS movement is a more “pro-Israel” stance than is the position you advocate.  Yet, I and others are threatened with legal and financial retribution from our  local and state governments should we see the violence of the occupation and the expanding settlements and want to register dissenting voice against it by participating in nonviolent action to stop it.

I am confident you are aware that this legislation emerges out of an organized intimidation campaign developed by the Netanyahu government and its supporters in Israel, and propagated by ZOA and AIPAC. As a citizen of this county and this state, I must conclude that that our local politicians are being held hostage and our legislators and governors have been put in a bind.  Has the state been blackmailed into making dissent illegal?  How many millions of Jews and others—including our immediate forefathers in the 1950s—have been persecuted by this form of McCarthyism? This is the realization of the worst fears of the Jews and of the Reform movement in particular; that is, the fear of Zionist and Israeli meddling in our internal affairs. Jewish history teaches us to beware and to be wary of any effort to silence dissent.  Given our collective history, any organization that claims to represent Jews and their organizations in our community must question not support the wisdom and efficacy of punitive legislation in a free society.

Israel is in the gravest of danger, not from BDS, but from its own actions and policies. There is real danger that Israel will succumb as a result of the ascendancy of the right wing, fundamentalist, religious dominated parties that have no tolerance and no love for the liberal democracy we want and claim Israel to be. This can only spell disaster for the country.   The people we so want to identify with in Israel—the secular, progressive, liberal religious segments of politics and society—need us now more than ever to just say “no” to draconian policies and legislation, including the legislation you have endorsed today. 

By your words and actions, you are also nurturing the ever-growing divide in the Jewish community and the ever-increasing alienation of Jewish youth. I have confidence the Reform movement will not long stand for this kind of undemocratic censorship by the powerful over the powerless.  We cannot be blinded by what we are being told is “kosher” pro-Israel-ism.  We are fed such hateful propaganda  that we refuse to see not only the truth of what is going on in Israel, but the tremendous harm it will bring to Israel and its future.  Do you really believe that to ban BDS strengthens the forces of progress, peace and justice in Israel?  If there is no BDS alternative for bad behavior, what tools do the forces of progress have to influence the behavior of the Israeli government not only toward Palestinians but towards secular, Jewish society in Israel? 

More and more American Jews are coming to understand the situation in Israel as I do.  There will come a day—and I hope it will not be too late—that Jews in the US will say “no” and withdraw support from and take real actions against the fundamentalists (with Netanyahu the false, friendly face of a government that is out of line with our values) who currently dominate the discourse and the policies in Israel. Once that happens, an Israeli government that is in line with our values will thrive and succeed. It is time to rethink what it means to be pro-Israel.  I hope you will understand what is at stake here.

I will close with this: I believe in “never again” and so I will not remain silent within my Temple, in the Jewish community and in the wider community nor refrain from expressing my opposition to this legislation and to the WJC’s endorsement of it. I urge you to convey to the Board of Legislators to let this legislation die quietly.   


Howard Horowitz

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building, Racial Justice