21 were arrested blocking the entrance to Governor Cuomo’s offices and Senate Chambers in Albany to demand progressive tax policies to end homelessness, income inequality and prepare for Trump cuts.
Albany, NY – 21 people were arrested calling attention to record homelessness and income inequality, and the need for the state to adopt progressive tax policies. For nearly three hours, 150 homeless, formerly homeless, faith and community leaders – representing over 88,000 homeless New Yorkers – blocked the entrance to Governor Cuomo’s second floor offices, and Senate Chamber one story above chanting “88 thousand and we ain’t leaving” and singing old gospels transformed into housing justice protest songs.
Protestors outside the Governor’s office held a banner reading “Cuomo: The Nation Is Watching”, and a handwritten sign reading “Cuomo, what kind of President allows record homelessness and income inequality. #NeverMyPresident” tapping into Cuomo’s Presidential ambitions.
Outside the Senate Chamber protestors held a banner reading “Albany End Homelessness”, and a handwritten sign reading “Senate GOP = Heartless. Tax Cuts for Millionaires, Budget Cuts for Hungry and Homeless Kids”, attacking the Senate Republicans for their Trump agenda in NYS; proposing tax cuts for millionaires despite US Census showing upstate cities
The protest was organized by the Albany Can End Homelessness in New York State campaign comprised of 43 faith and community groups across the state. The campaign has led an aggressive campaign with a series of protests ending in arrests during the state budget season calling on Governor Cuomo to tackle New York’s record homeless crisis, and adopt three progressive tax policies. The specific tax policies would generate ample resources to end that State’s historic homeless crisis, as well as to confront a myriad of other ills that have long plagued New York. As the state braces for the potential loss of billions of dollars in federal revenue brought by the Trump Administration and Congressional GOP, faith leaders and community groups have stressed the need for progressives revenue as ever more urgent.
The coalition has pointed to New York State’s record high homelessness as a true indicator of what Governor Cuomo and Senate Republicans value. While New York remains one of the richest states in the nation – home to Wall Street, a multi-billion dollar real estate industry, and some of the world’s wealthiest individuals – over 88,000 people sleep in shelters nightly. Further, cities like Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse are among the top 30 highest poverty rates of nation’s largest 589 cities. And child poverty is well above 35% in many upstate cities.
Faith leaders and community groups affirm that despite Governor Cuomo presenting himself as a progressive champion, the state’s glaring income inequality illustrates the Governor’s priorities and lack of commitment to truly address the needs of poor New Yorkers.
With over 88,000 people homeless across the state, New York is currently facing the worst homeless crisis on record. Between 2011 and 2015 the state’s homeless population increased by 41%. Read more about the coalition’s platform to support progressive tax policies and end homelessness: Albany Can End Homelessness in New York State. Find additional information on New York State’s homelessness in this 2016 report Rising Homelessness in New York State.
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