New York is the most unequal state in the nation and yet we know our government officials – those elected by us to represent us—ignore realities most New Yorkers are experiencing. And worse yet, they try to convince us that what we are experiencing, what our communities are experiencing, is either not as bad as it is, or is somehow our fault.
To combat these false narratives, the New York Poor People’s Campaign has created a Poor People’s State of the State Report NYSPPC PPSOS ENG Final.pdf – Google Drive which proves, through research and facts, the true impact of poverty in our communities. They are collecting signatures on a petition Governor Hochul: End Poverty in New York State! – Action Network which calls on Governor Hochul to do the following:
- Publicly acknowledge the ongoing and interconnected crises of poverty in New York State.
- Convene an in-person meeting with the New York State Poor People’s Campaign, including New Yorkers directly impacted by poverty, faith leaders, and policy experts, to craft a policy agenda to meet the needs of ALL New Yorkers.
They are also compiling short video interviews from those most impacted by poverty, racism and/ or the effects of militarism and ecological devastation to submit along with the petition to Gov. Hochul and other officials. It is imperative that Gov. Hochul hears real stories from real people who are struggling.
And they’ve been hosting three events on Martin Luther King, Jr Weekend, in Albany, Long Island and Rochester. These events are to share their response to Gov. Hochul’s state of the state address and to amplify the voices of the poor and dispossessed in New York.
On Sunday January 15, the New York Poor People’s Campaign presented an afternoon of reflection and camaraderie at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish Center in Wyandanch. People in attendance were diverse, from all ages, ethnicities, races, belief systems with one critical connecting point: an understanding that common problems create common goals, and as NYPPC member Susan Steinmann attested, “everyone is just about one paycheck away from a catastrophe”. That sobering reality can happen at any time, so in thought as well as in deed, to understand our human connection encourages us to unite and work together. In fact, Tri-Chairs Jamel Coy Hudson and Kelly Smith defined the Poor People’s Campaign as a fusion movement—in an effort to reverse the direction of profits over all people.
Bringing Dr. King’s words to light, questions of changing direction, of having the moral vision and clarity to confront racism, extreme poverty, and militarism were raised. People lifted their voices together encouraged to sing the refrain, “And we won’t be silent anymore.” Monique Fitzgerald from LIPC and the Brookhaven Landfill And Remediation Group addressed environmental toxicity in communities where “thoughts & prayers” must be surpassed by environmental justice. Professor Camillo “Mac” Bica, representing Veterans for Peace Long Island illustrated poverty as being a tool of the wealthy, the exploitation of the poor as “serving a purpose.”
Now is a time to bear witness, to fight poverty, not the poor, and to understand that poverty must not be ignored and together we must not be complacent. Our government officials must understand that people renounce their myth of scarcity when it comes to alleviating – permanently – the pain and struggles of people.
Help show them that there is a new and unsettling force that is organizing and growing in strength and power, by signing and sharing the petition, sharing the report, and getting involved. Learn more at www.nysppc.org
(Video of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4upg3fw91igskm8/PPSOS%20MLK%20weekend%20event%20FINE%20cut.mp4?dl=0 )