Action this Week – June 21, 2019

Success in Albany: Green Light, Climate Change Protections, and More

As this update is prepared, the state legislature is completing its 2019 session, with historic successes.  The Climate and Community Protection Act underwent some compromise revisions that weakened economic and racial justice provisions, but passed as the Climate Leadership and Community Protection ActThe Governor is expected to sign it any day.

According to NY Renews, a coalition of more than 180 groups statewide including IMV, “We won the strongest emissions reduction standards in the country in the face of immense resistance from the powers that seek to preserve the status quo.”  On the other hand, not all the protections for low-income and black and brown communities and workers that we wanted made it into the final bill, so there is still more work to do.   .

Other end of session victories that resulted from our calls, coalition activism, and lobbying include the Green Light Bill, which the Governor signed this week, and a tenant protection bill.  In the weeks to come it will be critical that we all check in on the votes of our state assembly representatives and senators and let them know what we thought of their performance, and what we expect them to get done in early 2020 before they stand for election again. We know that one of our top priorities will be continuing the momentum on the NY Health Act.  We’ll have more updates on key legislation in next week’s email.

Bottom line?  If you called Albany, you made a difference. Thank you for every call you made!  Special thanks to members of IMV’s Climate Change Work Group who made multiple trips to Albany to advocate and rally with NY Renews.

Progressives didn’t crush the IDC in the State Senate and gain a Democratic trifecta in NY State in 2018 just to have those legislators or the Governor water down their efforts under pressure from big money donors.  When some of them tried, we pushed them, and got some bills over the line.  We’ll continue to connect with them when they come home, and be ready to press them again in January 2020!

Positively Rome Pride Rally a Success

More than 150 people attended the first ever LGBT Pride event held in the city, a rally on Friday at Bellamy Harbor Park with music, speakers, food trucks and a celebratory, welcoming atmosphere.  IMV collected emails and phone numbers from nearly 100 potential new members at the event, some of them not yet connected to political activism.  Many of the attendees, who were from Rome as well as small communities around the Mohawk Valley and beyond, said they had never been to a Pride event before.

IMV member Leigh Loughran was the primary event organizer of the Positively Pride Rome Rally along with Cam Tien and several others.  Leigh is currently on the Rome Central School District Board and is running for Oneida County Legislature, 7th district. Cam is running for re-election as First Ward Councilor in the City of Rome.

Utica Pride Festival on Sunday

If you missed the powerful rally in Rome, it’s not too late to celebrate Pride Month locally.  Interfaith Matters, MVCC, and the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica are holding a Pride Festival on MVCC’s Utica campus this Sunday, June 23rd, rain or shine, beginning at 1 pm.

Support Education & Racial Justice Activists in Utica

If you care about quality education for all children, please support the Education Justice Committee, co-sponsored with Citizen Action, by attending the Utica City School District Board of Education meeting next Tuesday at 7:00 PM at 106 Memorial Parkway.  Non-Utica residents are encouraged to attend to support our Utica members in their quest for more responsive schools that strive to hire a racially and ethnically diverse teaching and administrative staff.  For more information, contact Deborah WIlson-Allam at or Dawn LaGuerre at or 315-266-7548.

July IMV Progressive Potluck Picnic July 9th

IMV’s July meeting is a Potluck Picnic on July 9th at Sherrillbrook Park in New Hartford.  We have invited the candidates who addressed us during the spring about their 2019 campaigns, and look forward to hearing from them. Bring a dish to pass, and enjoy an evening for launching a season of supporting Democratic and progressive candidates for city, town, and county office.

There is no place where you can make more of an impact in your progressive activism than in these local races. A perfect example of this is the election of Herkimer Village Justice, won this week by Kim Fiato, who had the active support of several key IMV volunteers, including champion and IMV Steering Committee member Betsy Briggs. Just a few hours of calling or postcards, some help with a fundraiser, a few evenings knocking doors, and you could be the difference for turning our town, city, and and county government bodies blue.

Join us at the picnic, enjoy some good food and fun, and meet candidates you can believe in!

Time to Sign Up for Indivisible NY State Convening!

Sarah Reeske and her NY Indivisible leader colleagues are holding a Convening for Indivisible groups across the state on Albany on July 27 and 28.  The goal of the convening is strengthening relationships among Indivisible activists. During this Convening, activists and organizers will be laying the framework to collaborate and build collective power in New York and prepare for 2020.  IMV wants to be well represented at this event, so please sign up now!

Justice Works: Sign Up for Citizen Action’s Statewide Conference

IMV also encourages attendance at Justice Works, a statewide conference of organizers, activists, and leaders fighting for justice, teaching and learning, and building a movement.  The event sells out every year, and is hosted but the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York and Citizen Action of New York. The event is held Saturday, July 20 & Sunday, July 21 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany, NY, Register at  Register soon. The Conference fills up quickly.  There is a lower registration rate if you can attend for only one day.

Be on Indivisible’s Next National Activist Call

If you want to know what Indivisible is working on for policy priorities, organizing efforts, and planning for 2020 elections, then the best way to find out is to join the monthly National Activist Call.  Because of Fourth of July holiday, July’s call will be the second Thursday of the month, so sign up now for the Zoom call on Thursday, July 11th at 8:00 pm.

Indivisible’s 2020 Playbook and the Debates

Indivisible also has a new “Grassroots Playbook” on their website:  The Playbook is described as “everything you need to know to make your voice heard during the 2020 Democratic primary.”  Check it out.  Indivisible is encouraging everyone to host or attend debate watch party next week on June 26 or 27.  Right now there are no local parties posted (you just need a TV screen to host a debate party!).  If you want to host, sign up here now.

When you watch the debates, use Indivisible’s debate watch guides and be thinking of who you would be willing to knock doors for. If you knocked hundreds of doors canvass for Anthony Brindisi, or made hundreds of calls for him, or slogged through rain and sleet and snow to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) for him,you know that you only do that for someone you really believe in.

Millions of Americans will watch these primary debates for pure entertainment, but WE watch because we plan to do the hard work to make sure one of those candidates wins the White House in a landslide and has a Democratic majority in Congress to lead our country into a brighter future of social justice, democracy, and peace.  So, watch the TV on June 26 and 27 if you can, but remember that…

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

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