Sheriff Maciol’s No Good, Very Bad, White Supremacist Policing Legislation

Sheriff Maciol's No Good, Very Bad, White Supremacist Policing Legislation

Okay, IMVers are trying to breathe while hyperventilating about this Utica OD article.   Yes, it's true.   Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol has responded to the #BlackLivesMatter movement that has helped so many people to understand the racist history and practices of policing by.... proposing a package of ten bills that will shore up white supremacy against policing reform, bail reform, and accountability.  

What can we do?  We need to act now and swiftly and decisively to express our disgust at Sheriff Maciol for what he is doing. We are asking you to do three things today or as soon as you can:

1) Call Sheriff Maciol's office at (315) 765-2200 or email him and let him know what you think of his bills. Tell him if he used to have your support and vote and how he has lost it.  Tell him that you are appalled by his dog whistling, and his plan to use police to suppress the freedom to demonstrate in public and to criminalize almost any tense interaction with police, for which officers train constantly while the average citizen is completely unprepared.  Tell him that making tense interactions with police felonies hurts Black and brown people most, as we all know from #BLM, and that you are shocked at his vigorous efforts to shore up white supremacy in policing.

2) Call your two state legislators (especially important is Marianne Buttenschon who most likely will carry Maciol's package of bills to Albany as a sponsor).  Here is the script:

"My name is _______ and my zip code is _____. I’m calling to express my opposition to the policing legislation Sheriff Rob Maciol has proposed as reported in the Utica OD recently. This package of bills must be dead on arrival. Making “resisting arrest” and” failure to retreat” felonies criminalizes almost every tense interaction with law enforcement.   Actions taken against an officer, such as approaching an officer or swearing at an officer, can’t be considered a hate crime because being a police officer is not a protected class. The proposals will not make our community safer but would disproportionately impact people of color. As a supporter of the Movement for Black Lives, I must demand that you as my state representative publicly oppose this legislation with me. Thank you."

3) If you are a Democratic Party or Working Family Party member then call or email your town, ward, city, or county committee chair, and demand that previous and future endorsements of Maciol be withdrawn.  We must exert pressure on elected officials in or endorsed by our parties to stop their dog whistles and their retrograde defenses of white supremacy.

Ok, if you've done all the above, please don't stop. Ask your friends to take these actions as well, and then write a letter to the editor of your newspaper to express your concern about Rob Maciol's policing proposals.  Thank you for taking your #BLM actions to the next level!

If you prefer to write emails  and need a script, or want to see a summary of the proposed bills, please use this Dead on Arrival reference document for scripts and more information.  If you need to refresh on why Indivisibles are standing with #BLM to demand the defunding of police, that link is here.

Here's the final point: Maciol's proposed legislation does not make Oneida County, or any place in New York, a safer place for our families, community OR our police officers. It just gives the police the power to punish people of color and the poor and anyone without power.  That's it.  Let's stand up and say so.

Everything You Missed (or Need to Remember) about our July IMV Meeting

Thanks to all who attended our meeting on Tuesday. We had an excellent turnout, and many good discussions.  Some key points:
  • We thanked Betsy Briggs and Joelle Taylor, founding IMV Steering Committee members who stepped down recently from those roles. Both will stay involved in IMV and continue to share their passion for political engagement as members moving forward.  We will miss them both very much!
  • We recognized some first time meeting attendees. We love to see new faces and remain sad that we can't hand new folks their Democracy is not a Spectator Sport buttons.
  • Deborah gave the Treasurer's Report. We have raised over $6000 over the years, and have spent quite a bit of money very recently to gear up with stamps and other materials for the most important election of our lifetimes.  We still have over $3000 in our accounts.
  • We polled attendees about how they voted in the primary election, and also asked about interest in an outside picnic meeting for August.  More to come!
  • Jill Farnham-Us provided our ally update about Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica and Interfaith Matters, our allies on a number of causes over the years, including last summer's Lights for Liberty Vigil for the separated immigrant children and families.
  • Kathy Collett gave an update on the Indivisible Rural Summit she attended last month which had hundreds of participants from all 50 states, and showed the power of progressives in the reddest of areas.  She shared a bunch of links including RuralOrganizing.org.  There's hope for rural areas!
  • We had a good discussion about Race, Equity and Inclusion (REI). People talked about what they had learned over the past six weeks as issues around racism and #BLM surfaced in our community and across the country.  Here is a good resource about white allyship that was shared.  Here's an online event Monday by Anti-Racism expert Ibram X Kendi that may be helpful as well.  Locally, IMV encourages people to attend the JAM event at Kemble Park in Utica this afternoon (you need a ticket).
  • We discussed the challenge of organizing follow up on policing reform in Utica, and several folks volunteered to be part of a small group working with Freddie Hamilton on that effort.
  • We shared the request that IMVers continue to support Rebuilding the Village's Summer Youth Program through donations.  Our members have already contributed over $2000.00.  Sarah Reeske also set up a meal train to help with snacks for the kids.  Thanks for all the responses so far. There is still opportunity to help.
  • We heard from the Brinidisi campaign about the importance of phonebanking and other ways to help keep NY22 blue.

We hope to have a date soon for our August 2020 IMV meeting!

1199 SEIU health care workers holding silent vigil Monday

On Monday at Oneida Center for Rehab and Nursing (1445 Kemble Street, Utica) from 2:30-3:15, 1199 SEIU members will hold a silent vigil regarding the Center's refusal to provide hazard pay to all workers in the building and the failure to provide adequate PPE to workers. We encourage IMVers who can attend to add to their numbers, remaining masked and socially distant.  A little more detail:  Last summer 1199 settled their contract. So they have been focusing on getting our members the hazard pay they deserve. Management has offered to pay some, but not all, employees of Oneida Center hazard pay, and that's not good enough for workers on the front line in health care. Please join the fight for more PPE for essential workers and  hazard pay at Oneida Center right now!

IMV Activism 2020: We've Only Just Begun

Look out for an upcoming announcement about assembling Brindisi signs at Cherrywood, on Route 5,  socially distanced and masked.  It may be coming up next week when the signs and stakes come in.

Also, you may have heard that there are weekly Trump-Tenney rallies planned in New Hartford and elsewhere following recent events in Rome and Camden.  These have been attracting about 50 people to each of the Wednesday events.  Our best way to fight back is to build a strong Brindisi campaign by phonebanking and writing letters to the editor about how good Rep. Brindisi is at his job, and representing our values in NY22.  Send your letters to the Utica OD, the Rome Sentinel, and also smaller village and town newspapers.

We have a lot more work to do, and we encourage everyone to train on the technical tools that are going to win this election since we are not going to be knocking doors. Check out this inspirational work by some young people at Oneida Square.  They took on non partisan voter registration as a summer project, got trained by Diane Berry, and are now out registering folks in English and Spanish!   Fired up, ready to go!

This Week in Albany: Budget Justice and Democracy

The State Senate and Assembly will back in session starting on Monday.  This fight is big. We hope you have been following the daily asks to call legislators and tell them you want budget justice with an Ultra Millionaires Tax (UMT), support for critical social services, and guarantees and funding for a free and fair election by mail this fall.

Wednesday's Budget Justice press conference brought additional attention to the Budget Equity Act, and today’s NYT has a feature on AOC pressuring Cuomo on the Billionaires Tax. You can find more background on all the bills in the Fund Our Future package here.

Even if the Senate ends up finally passing a version of the HEROES Act by the end of July, New York state needs to take action because it's not going to be enough to help the most needy New Yorkers and our state budget for public schools and colleges, services for the poor and homeless, hospitals and municipalities, libraries and more.

Our Democratic legislators keep telling us every budget cycle that they are helpless, because the Governor in NY structurally has all the power for budgeting.  We have a moment next week to change that and start to give our representatives in Albany the power to weigh in on our state budget, including the revenue side, which the Governor refuses to lift a finger to change because his support comes from the billionaires.

So please, call your state assembly members and senators and ask them next week to fight for their rights and ours.  If you missed any of the calls to action last week, not to worry. It's not too late!  All the work and votes in Albany are happening next week.  So check out the resource and call now.  Here is everything you need to make a difference: https://www.nybudgetjustice.com/action-week.

If you are ready to push hard to make sure that everyone in NY can vote even in a pandemic in October and on Nov 3, then call as well as use the Indivisible email tool to advocate for the Let NY Vote bills.

Basically, we need to be on alert starting Monday, as things will move quickly.  Have your state rep numbers ready to go in your phone contacts.  You'll need their numbers!

Lots of work: Join CAFE Friday this morning and get it all done

We know we have asked a lot this week. Not sure where to start?  Need some encouragement?  Join the CAFE Friday today at 10 am and make your calls and talk through the action steps with fellow IMVers.  Link is in the calendar below. If you want to do postcards and letters either during CAFE Friday or on your own, then you'll want to pick up some supplies at your nearest Resistance Box. Look for the blue or gray storage tote on a front porch. Pick up and drop off at your convenience!

19 Proctor Ave, Clinton - Sarah Reeske
207 W Sycamore Ave, Rome - Jennifer Geiger
1647 St. Agnes Ave, Utica - Filomena Salsbury
6 Chestnut Street, NY Mills - Jerry Plows
2 Laurelwood Rd, New Hartford - Deborah Wilson-Allam
1 McCrone Ave or 750 East Monroe St, Little Falls - Vivian Ierace-Pring

We're still looking for Herkimer or Ilion & Barneveld or Holland Patent. It would be great to have one in Camden & another in Sherrill.  Please contact IndivisibleMohawkValley@gmail.com if you can host a Resistance Box on your porch in one of these areas.

Friends, keep up the good work!  You ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE with your actions. Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Visit our updated website indivisiblemv.org and let us know how you like it!
Follow us on Twitter using @indivisiblemv and of course our Facebook page and IMV Activism Group.

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