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Help us continue our Voting rights Success!

In May, Coalition Z traveled to Albany to participate in Voter Advocacy Day and lobby lawmakers to support key voting rights legislation that makes voting more accessible to a broader and more diverse group of constituents. Thanks to all of your hard work, we were able to generate momentum and get a ton of new sponsors to sign on to the four bills we lobbied for!

In order to build on our day of advocacy, it is imperative that we follow up with legislators and reinforce our commitment to the following four bills:

  1. The Voter Empowerment Act (A2278, S3304)

  2. Early Voting (A2064, S2950)

  3. The New York Votes Act (A5312)

  4. Preclearance (A5925)

For a description of the four bills for which we are advocating, see this document: https://dalton.myschoolapp.com/ftpimages/98/download/download_2320627.pdf. 

Calling, emailing and tweeting our elected officials in support of these bills will encourage them to vote in favor of enacting important new provisions. Below you will find a suggested script to follow when making contact. 

  1. Call

    1. “Hi Senator/Assemblyman/Assemblywoman______. I am affiliated with a student organization called Coalition Z that met with your office earlier this month as part of VoteBetterNY’s advocacy day for better voting laws.

    2. We are reiterating our support of:

1. The Voter Empowerment Act (A2278, S3304)

2. Early Voting (A2064, S2950)

3. The New York Votes Act (A5312)

4. Preclearance (A5925)

     c.  These important pieces of legislation will serve to empower all of your constituents, and in particular, will better enable traditionally disenfranchised groups of voters to engage in our democracy.

     d.  We urge you to sponsor these critical pending bills that will facilitate access to the polls for a broader and more diverse voting public.

2. Email

Hello [legislator’s name] 

I am affiliated with a student organization called Coalition Z that met with your office earlier this month as part of VoteBetterNY’s advocacy day for better voting laws. During those meetings, our group explained our support for the following pieces of pending legislation:

1. The Voter Empowerment Act (A2278, S3304)

2. Early Voting (A2064, S2950)

3.The New York Votes Act (A5312)

4. Preclearance (A5925)

New York State, a state that in so many ways is a progressive trailblazer, sits at an abysmal 46th in voter turnout among all 50 states. Indeed, over 2 million New Yorkers eligible to vote are currently left off of poll books because of punitive and restrictive voting laws. All four pieces of pending legislation listed above would serve to empower these disenfranchised groups of voters and allow them to engage in our democracy.  As a result, we urge you to sponsor these bills.

Thank you,

[Your name]

 3. Tweet

@[legislator’s Twitter handle] Please support The Voter Empowerment Act, Early Voting, The New York Votes Act, and Preclearance to protect our democracy!  

[tag @Coalition_Z and @NYCVotes]

 Here is a list of the legislators we suggest you contact:

Assemblymembers:

1. Vivian Cook, 518-455-4203, CookV@nyassembly.gov

2. Maritza Davila, 518-455-5537, DavilaM@nyassmebly.gov, @Davila Assembly

3. Richard Gottfried, 518-455-4941, GottfriedR@nyassembly.gov, @DickGottfried

4. Pamela Harris, 518-455-4811, HarrisP@nyassembly.gov, @harris4assembly

5. Latoya Joyner, 518-455-5671, JoynerL@nyasssmebly.gov, @JoinJoyner

6. Ron Kim, 518-455-5411, KimR@nyassembly.gov, @RonKim40

7. Joseph Lentol, 518-455-4477, LentolJ@nyassembly.gov, @assemblymanJoe

8. Nick Perry, 518-455-4166, PerryN@nyassembly.gov

9. Fred Thiele, 518-455-5997, ThieleF@nyassembly.gov,

10. Latrice Walker, 518-455-4466, WalkerL@nyassembly.gov, @AssemblyLWalker

 

Senators:

1. Simcha Felder, 518-455-2754, felder@nysenate.gov, @NYSenatorFelder

2. Brad Hoylman, 518-455-2451, hoylman@nysenate.gov, @bradhoylman

3. Liz Krueger, 518-455-2297, liz@lizkrueger.com, @LizKrueger

4. Andrew Lanza, 518-455-3215, lanza@nysenate.gov, @senatorlanza

5. Martin Malave Dilan, 518-455-2177, dilan@nysenate.gov, @SenatorDilan

6. Gustavo Rivera, 518-455-3395, grivera@nysenate.gov, @NYSenatorRivera

 

Let’s reinforce the impact of our trip to Albany and remind our legislators that our voices must not be dismissed. We can make a difference! Call, email or tweet today!

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Local Leaders: Stand up to Trump!

Local leaders -- council members, state legislators, mayors, etc., -- have a unique responsibility to act as a check to Trump's destructive climate policies. That's why Coalition Z is asking state and local officials to help save the Paris Climate Change Agreement from Trump.

In a new executive order that shreds President Obama’s climate policies, Trump has derailed American climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Trump has even threatened to pull out of the agreement entirely.

If the US fails to uphold its part of the bargain, then other nations will step back from their Paris commitments and the agreement could unravel. That’s why state and local leaders must step up to save the agreement and our climate –– before it’s too late.

Click here to ask your local officials to take a stand and save the Paris Agreement: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/local-leaders-save-the-climate-from-trump

Over the next few months, we will lobby city council members, state legislators, mayors, governors, and other officials around the country to sign the Pledge for Our Future. With the pledge as a starting point, we will build momentum for concrete climate legislation at the local level and send a signal to the international community that the US will meet its commitments –– even if Trump won’t.

Here’s the text of the pledge:

“I pledge to help the United States fulfill and exceed its commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement. I understand that it is essential for subnational actors to ensure that the US collectively meets and exceeds its commitments under the Paris Agreement, even if the federal government abandons emissions reduction policies. I will support and/or introduce policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bolster clean energy. I also pledge to push the subnational government of which I am a member to sign the Under2 MOU and join the Under2 Coalition, if it has not already done so.”

We’ve put together a quick toolkit to help you contact your local officials and ask them to sign it. Click here to get started: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/local-leaders-save-the-climate-from-trump

 

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Save the Plastic Bag Fee!

ACTION ALERT: As Trump and the Republican Congress prepare to gut federal environmental protections, we need states like New York to defend our environment! Tell Governor Cuomo to stand up to the plastic bag industry and its attempt to destroy New York City’s plastic bag reduction law.

Governor Cuomo is preparing to sign a polluter-backed bill that would overturn New York City's plastic bag fee. He is still undecided, and with an issue like this, phone calls can really influence the outcome. Call the governor and urge him to protect the environment!

Here's his number: 1-518-474-8390

Here's a sample script:

Hi, my name is _________ and I’m a New York City resident. I’m calling to urge Governor Cuomo to veto S. 4158/ A. 4883. This bill would overturn New York City’s effort to prevent plastic bag pollution, jeopardizing the right of local communities to pass environmental laws.
With Trump undermining federal environmental regulations, we need Governor Cuomo to be a national environmental leader now more than ever.


Every year, New York City spends more than $12 million to dispose of more than 10 billion environmentally-destructive single-use plastic bags. The New York City Council spent three years reaching a compromise solution to this financial and environmental problem. Please don’t let the state legislature overturn their solution. No one has to pay for a plastic bag if they bring their own bag. No one on SNAP or WIC will have to pay a fee -- they are exempt. And the City Council’s law mandates that the city give out free reusable bags.


I urge the governor to stand up to the plastic bag lobby, be an environmental leader, and veto S. 4158/ A. 4883. Thank you!

Once you've made a call, please click here to help us keep track of how many calls we have made. Thank you for taking action!

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Protect and Expand Women's Access to Contraception

Looking for a way to take action after the Women's March? We're lobbying state legislators to protect the Affordable Care Act's reproductive health care provisions!

Even as Trump takes aim at Obamacare and reproductive rights, the state legislature’s Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act would expand access to cost-free contraception for New Yorkers!

But Republicans in the State Senate are trying to kill this bill! Click here to email all 213 state legislators with one simple form and ask them to support this critical reproductive health care legislation:
https://actionnetwork.org/…/tell-ny-protect-and-expand-wome…

Then, call the Republicans on the Senate Health Committee who are blocking the bill! Phone calls are even more effective than emails: https://actionnetwork.org/…/call-ny-state-senators-support-…

Planned Parenthood has a Lobby Day to advocate for this bill scheduled soon, so taking action now will have extra impact! The bill has bipartisan support, so getting a few more legislators on board gives it a real shot at passing.

When you're done, fill out this form to report your action!

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Tell Speaker Mark-Viverito: Stop Protecting Lobbyists!

Right now, the City Council is considering a bill that would reduce the corrupting power of lobbyists. We have the chance to make sure that the city’s public matching program amplifies the voices of small donors, not those of lobbyists and special interests!

But a City Council staffer just told us that council Speaker Mark-Viverito is quietly trying to block this crucial bill. Momentum is building to force her to reconsider: first Mayor de Blasio announced his support for the bill, and now the New York Times has publicized the speaker’s secretive effort to protect lobbyists.

Here’s the problem that the bill, Int 0985, addresses: currently, the Campaign Finance Board matches donations of less than $175 at a 6-1 ratio. The excellent program is designed to bolster the power of grassroots contributors. But right now, lobbyists can “bundle” together money from small donors and still get that 6-1 matching -- meaning that your tax dollars are going to magnify the demands of special interests!

The New York Times calls this problem a “wormhole that hundreds of thousands of dollars flow through.” In the 2013 election, bundlers gave $2.7 million to city candidates -- and the public gave $1.2 million to match many of these special-interest contributions!

Council Member Kallos has stood up for small donors and introduced Int 0985. This progressive bill would end the matching of donations “bundled” by those in the city’s “doing business” database, such as lobbyists and companies holding city contracts.

The Speaker prides herself on her progressive reputation. She has the power to decide whether the bill gets a vote or not. If we show her that grassroots activists care about real reform for New York City, we can change her mind about Int 0985-2015. Send her an email while the momentum is with us!

For more information, here’s the New York Times story: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/nyregion/an-uphill-fight-to-curb-the-pull-of-new-york-citys-lobbyists.html

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