WESPAC fully supports this campaign and we will be reaching out to our community partners to sign on. This Town Hall scheduled for next Tuesday will be a great opportunity for us to learn more about the campaign as we move to promote this urgently needed fund for excluded workers:
Manager of Member Engagement- Hudson Valley
The New York Immigration Coalition
1132 Main St., Suite 1 & 2
Peekskill, NY 10566
(914) 482-1241 (cell)
Dear WESPAC Members, Friends and Supporters,
We hope this letter finds each and every one of you as well as possible in these very challenging times. This correspondence is WESPAC’s annual membership renewal and sign-on. Your response to this letter is one of our most important connections to current and future members, and a crucial source of support for the justice and peace work we do together. Membership is more than a one-time donation; it implies ongoing support and dedication to our cause and work.
Together, we have supported WESPAC through its 46th anniversary! Inspired by our rich history, and proud of our nurturing role, WESPAC continues to serve a unique role as a hub for progressive organizing in Westchester County. We connect people with each other, support a wide range of campaigns and strengthen movement building locally by developing long term relationships with grassroots leaders, workers and environmental groups.
We have been educating, agitating and organizing for a more just and peaceful world, an end to militarism and racism and a more fair economy that works for all. Our members are currently involved with criminal justice reform and police accountability, food justice work, fair housing, climate justice and safe renewable energy, immigrant protection, solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, an end to militarism and drone warfare and the struggle for justice, equal rights and human dignity for all the inhabitants of Israel/Palestine.
Dues that sustain our work are $100 per person annually, or $50 for students and persons with a fixed income. If you are able to do so at this time, please renew or sign up for your membership now by mailing your check to WESPAC Foundation, 77 Tarrytown Road, Suite 2W, White Plains, NY 10607. You may also make your online secure contribution here.
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 (914-449-6514). We look forward to seeing you virtually at our October Annual Meeting of Members (details to follow in September). Thank you all so very much. Contributions in any amount are crucial, sustain us and are always deeply appreciated.
Howard Horowitz, WESPAC Board Chair and Nada Khader, WESPAC Director
Please renew your dues here
This was a fabulous presentation today by Evan Pritchards and very well attended:
White Plains, formerly known as Quarropus, was once well known as a fossil-free transportation hub; the meeting place of three important watersheds connecting the mid-Hudson with the East River and Long Island Sound. White Plains and its neighbors today span seven strategically located waterways, and the portage routes where the Siwanoy and Weckquaesgeek peoples once carried their canoes from one to the other are still in place. By making and marking new trails, supporting local canoers with information and supplies, and a few other inexpensive and potentially lucrative changes, White Plains could add a new layer to its infrastructure that would make it the DIY “Venice of New York,” boosting business and recreational traffic in a way that makes a bold statement about America’s future. All we have to do is GET OUT THE BOAT!
EVAN PRITCHARD, guest on The History and Discovery channels, ABC and CNN, is a Mi’kmaq descendant, an award-winning historian, author of over seventy books, environmental activist, guest educator on Sloop Clearwater, founder of a Center for Algonquin Culture, and former professor of Native American Studies at Vassar, Pace, and Marist. This talk is based on his newest book Mapping Manahatoauc. (currently self published):
Here is the recording of an important webinar with South Dakota State Senator Red Dawn Foster on the work of Return to the Heart Foundation, an Indigenous-led grantmaking organization that empowers women-led initiatives throughout Indian Country. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=594420184612151 For Native Americans, Covid-19 has hit hard, from the growing number of infections in Navaho and Hopi Nations to the racism that the Lakota continue to face in protecting their borders. South Dakota State Senator Red Dawn goes into detail about how Native nations are staying resilient and how mutual aid can support their efforts.
For those of you who missed the presentation today, it was recorded in its entirety (one hour) and has been posted on our Facebook page and website. We had over 80 people attend the presentation. There is clearly much interest in this subject. For all of you who asked questions, I am forwarding to the presenters and you should be hearing from them soon. You can watch the presentation here.
The three presenters were:
Patti Wood is the founder and Executive Director of Grassroots Environmental Education, Inc., an award-winning science-based non-profit organization. A Visiting Scholar at Adelphi University, Ms. Wood lectures on the environment and related health issues in the College of Nursing and Public Health. She is the recipient of the 2016 national EPA Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Award, and is the author of “Helping to Heal,” a book for parents of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Doug Wood is the Associate Director & Chief Strategy Officer for Grassroots Environmental Education, Inc., and the Founder and Director of Americans for Responsible Technology. An accomplished filmmaker, Mr. Wood’s documentary films on environmental issues and children’s health have been widely acclaimed and used by organizations around the world to promote protective public health policies.
Dr. Devra Davis is the founder and president of Environmental Health Trust. She is the author of more than 200 studies and publications published in the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Scientific American and the New York Times. Dr. Davis was the founding director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the U.S. National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, and former Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
What a magnificent awards gathering the WESPAC Community had last night! Between the awardees and our keynote speaker, we were all transported to the realm of possibility and the world that we can make happen together! Take a listen: https://www.facebook.com/WESPACFOUNDATION/videos/747136596090336/?vh=e
The Antiracist Alliance, WCPR, the local chapter of NYCLU as well as WESPAC have worked together to put together this letter. We are asking for additional organizations, groups and congregations to please add your names if you support our list of specific reforms outlined in the letter. Now is the moment. If you agree, please sign on here June 5, 2020
A Call to Police Leaders
Communities across the country, including our own, are angered and appalled as we witness an unending stream of callous, disrespectful, and often deadly encounters between police and civilians. While many of these events occur elsewhere, both individual experience and published research reports tell us that there is not a community in Westchester County that is not afflicted by disturbing police-civilian encounters, racially biased policing practices, and a problematic lack of transparency by its law enforcement agencies.
This is a call for you to make a firm and public commitment to transparency, accountability, and a zero-tolerance approach to police misconduct.
While we are wary after decades of refusals to reform, we remain willing to partner with our law enforcement leaders who embrace the tenets of accountability, transparency, equal justice, and respect for all human life.
Below you will find a list of specific reforms that we wish to see implemented immediately here in Westchester. Achieving these recommendations will send a strong message to all members of our community that our leaders are committed to fundamentally redefining the relationship between our police department and our community. This is tough work, but if we commit to it, we can build a stronger community: one that is rooted in the fundamental ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In peace and commitment to partnership for the safety of all,
Residents and organizations of Westchester County (list is still in formation):
Blacks in Law Enforcement
Indivisible New Rochelle
Indivisible Westchester Districts 6 & 7
Indivisible White Plains
Indivisible Yorktown Heights
PISAB/The People’s Institute; for Survival and Beyond NY/Northeast
SURJ Westchester Coordinating Committee
Westchester Black Political Conference
Westchester Coalition Against Islamophobia
Westchester Coalition for Police Reform
Westchester for Change
Westchester Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for Nonviolence
We expect you, as leaders with authority and responsibility for law enforcement in Westchester County, to assume full responsibility for meeting the highest possible standard of accountability, transparency and equal protection to all residents and visitors to our county. Our specific expectations are detailed below.
Make publicly available the current policies and patrol guides of all law enforcement agencies under County jurisdiction, including but not limited to policies on: de-escalation tactics, implicit bias, use of force, department diversity, enforcement of low-level offenses, field interviews, search and seizure, use of surveillance technology, and the penalties for violating these policies.
Make public the training materials used for police officers: including hours spent training on de-escalation, implicit bias, and use of force.
Commit to collecting comprehensive data on all police stops – including the rationale for the stop and the race, ethnicity, age, and sex of people stopped – and making that data publicly available.
Pass legislation/Require officers making police stops to provide an identification card, state the reason for the interaction, and to state that you may not be searched without your consent without probable cause.
Pass legislation/Require a full, independent investigation into any police-civilian interaction that results in civilian injury or death.
Advocate for legislation that would make the measures outlined above mandatory throughout New York State, including Repeal 50-a, (the law which currently cloaks police officers’ disciplinary records in secrecy), the Right-to-Know Act, which requires officer identification during police stops, and the Police-STAT Act, which requires that police departments collect and report data on police stops so that they can be monitored for patterns of racial profiling.
We remain committed to working to advance racial justice and hold our police officers accountable, and we invite you to join us in this fight.
Greetings to all from WESPAC!