Communities & Focus Areas :

On December 15, we will launch the Justice Roadmap 2021 to call for bold legislative change to decarcerate jails, prisons and immigrant detention centers and address the harms of the criminal legal and immigration systems. 

Join us to demand that New York dismantle systems that criminalize, incarcerate and deport our communities and build a world where all of us can thrive

Big news today! New York State just became the largest pension fund in the world to take comprehensive climate action, including fossil fuel divestment. The $226 billion state pension fund will review and divest from the riskiest oil and gas companies within 4 years and decarbonize the entire fund by 2040. This came after years of campaigning by the DivestNY coalition. 

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In essence, New York State’s Comptroller, who is the sole custodian of of the states $226 billion pension fund has announced that his office will:

  1. Decarbonize the pension fund’s full portfolio by 2040 with interim targets

  2. Complete a systematic review of all fossil fuel investments within 4 years, including divesting from any companies which don’t have a plan to leave fossil fuels behind. This includes transitioning their business away from oil and gas production, servicing or transportation, and alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement”

  3. Engage in rigorous reporting including annual in-depth reports on implementation plus media announcements each time a review is undertaken and completed.  Hiring of new staff to implement the plan.

  4. Commit to a higher level of director engagement including voting against board directors at non-fossil fuel companies that aren’t taking climate action in line with the fund’s decarbonization goal.

Read more about the announcement in the DivestNY Coalition media release and this background document.

In the 8 year history of the divestment movement, this is the biggest announcement by a pension fund and amongst the largest by any financial institution. It goes beyond the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, legislation that DivestNY advocates had been pushing for years. And it’s all a real testament to the people-powered, inside / outside, lobby and advocacy campaign run by the multigenerational DivestNY coalition for years. 

We did this together – Please help us share the news!



Katie Schaffer, [email protected], 646-265-2044

Nada Khader, [email protected], 914-449-6514

Vanessa Agudelo, [email protected], 914-482-1241

Luke Grandis, [email protected], 917-702-8781



WHEN: December 9th at 11am


WHAT: Rallies outside of a county jail, state prison, immigrant detention facility and the Governor’s mansion announcing the launch of a new coalition: Decarcerate the Hudson Valley. The new coalition will be building power throughout the Hudson Valley to demand action by local and state elected officials to address the crisis of mass incarceration. Following the November elections, advocates and impacted people urge state legislature to act on a progressive mandate.

WHO: Formerly incarcerated Hudson Valley residents, families with incarcerated loved ones and advocacy organizations in the Hudson Valley including: Alternatives to Incarceration Coalition Westchester, Beacon Prison Action, Beacon4BlackLives, Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley, Call BlackLine, Center for Community Alternatives, Community Voices Heard, Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance, End the New Jim Crow Action Network – Poughkeepsie, Equitable Future, Inc., I Am Citizen, Irvington Activists, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, LIFE Progressive Services Group Inc, Newburgh LGBTQ Center, New York Immigration Coalition, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, Mid Hudson Valley Democratic Socialists of America, NYCLU Hudson Valley Chapter, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, Release Aging People in Prison – RAPP, Showing Up For Racial Justice Westchester Chapter, VOCAL-NY, WESPAC Foundation, Inc., Westchester Coalition for Police Reform (WCPR), Westchester for Change, Yonkers Sanctuary Movement.


  • While we have seen real decarceral success in the Hudson Valley since 2019 – with a 36% reduction in the number of people jailed pretrial – mass incarceration continues to be a crisis. 

  • Each day, there are over 13,000 Hudson Valley residents languishing in county jails and state prisons. (In October 2020, there were 2,200 people incarcerated in county jails each day and 11,152 incarcerated in state prisons.)

  • In addition, there are over 4,000 people subject to parole supervision in their Hudson Valley communities.

  • There continue to be stark racial disparities. 

  • Local and county governments in the Hudson spend over $856 million each year on the carceral system. This includes nearly $406 million on jails alone.



Thank you SO much to all who have already given to sustain WESPAC!  In order to meet our budgetary targets, we must raise between $8,000 and $10,000 at this holiday time.  A contribution in any amount will help sustain us during these challenging times.  You can make a secure donation in less than a minute with any credit or debit card using this link here

With our deep appreciation in advance,

As we launch into the holiday season next week, please consider supporting certified fair trade items as gifts for yourselves and loved ones.
Here in the office, we do have a few items available that I am happy to ship to you (photo attached):
Certain Days Calendar – Freedom for Political Prisoners – view here  $15
Colors from Palestine Calendar – $20
Soap made by women in Bangladesh – SERRV – set of two – $10
West Bank ceramics – rectangular and split dish – $22; large oval $32
Cushion covers, embroidered by refugee women in Lebanon – $25
Shawl, embroidered – $45
Handbags made in India, certified fair trade SERRV – small $40; large $70
Trivets (hot plates) from Uganda – $15
Organic Equal Exchange teas – all organic – black, jasmine green, peppermint and English Breakfast – all $4
Thank you!

Join us on Thursday, November 19th at noon for an interactive conversation where we learn about the challenges and joys of being a cacao grower in today’s world.  Lalatiana Andrianarison, one of the Beyond Growers, will join us after a two day drive from his cacao farm to  the capital (where the chocolate factory is located), a journey spanning over 800km.

We will speak with a team in Madagascar, an island country off the coast of East Africa who work with Beyond Good chocolate, a company committed to purchasing premium cocoa directly from farmers so that they can receive the best prices for their heirloom crop and avoid outsourcing their impact to a third party certification. 

ARA Board Diversity Speakers

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:

“Please save the date for our Excluded Worker Organization Townhall that we will be holding in partnership with the Fiscal Policy Institute next Tuesday, Sept, 29th from 6:30pm-7:30pm. Don’t miss this statewide exploration of New York’s need. RSVP for the town hall here. For more information about the Excluded Worker Fund, visit our campaign website here. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!
Thank you,”
Vanessa Agudelo

Vanessa Agudelo

Manager of Member Engagement- Hudson Valley



The New York Immigration Coalition

1132 Main St., Suite 1 & 2

Peekskill, NY 10566

(914) 482-1241 (cell)

September 10 – October 1, 2020

At this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, advocates, policymakers, law enforcement, and community leaders around the country have raised concerns about policing and public safety.
People want change. They want America to be better. That call for change is unmistakable, but the path forward remains unclear. It’s time to reimagine 21st century public safety and redefine the role of police in creating safe communities, together.
This September, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice are partnering to convene a series of six livestream conversations to reimagine the future of public safety and redefine the role of policing in America today.
These sessions will culminate in the release of a public report that will include substantive and innovative conclusions for communities to consider as they reimagine the future of public safety. The report will serve as a roadmap for local communities to follow as they work toward committing to policing practices that ensure equal justice for everyone. We must collaborate and create a blueprint for the future of public safety—and what that means for policing—together. (See press release.)

RSVP today to receive reminders ahead of each conversation! 
Each event will be streamed live on our Facebook and YouTube pages.