OCCUPY FAITH NYC-Speak out for a Compassion-based Budget
- CUOMO ACTION ON FOR MARCH 7TH, NOON:
- Orientation Meeting on for Tuesday, March 6th, 10a at Judson Memorial Church
- For the action itself (3/7), gather at the NE corner of 39th St. & 3rd Ave. at 11:45a
- On "Parables of an Immoral Budget"
I just wanted to let you know that after weighing all the data, we're going to go forward with our action outside Cuomo's NY office on Wednesday March 7th at Noon, see below for more details. To coordinate all the pieces and prepare you for the press conference and action, we will hold an orientation meeting the day before on Tuesday, March 6th, at 10a at Judson Memorial Church. For those choosing to participate in Civil Disobedience, we will also have legal representation present to prepare you for this aspect of action.
In the meantime, here's what we need from you:
1. to RSVP for both the planning meeting (3/6), and the action (3/7); if you can't make 3/6 we'll make alternate arrangements for you.
2. to let us know if you're able to participate in civil disobedience on 3/7.
3. spread the word throughout your own networks (we're using this, in part, as a "building" action to invite more faith leaders inside)
4. invite your actual faith community members to join us on the day.
[all RSVP emails to occupyfaithnyc@...]
And remember: SAVE THE DATE! For more "Occupy Faith NYC" updates, watch for our "weekly update" email later today...
Parables of an Immoral Budget
Every year shrouded in secrecy politicians in Albany gather behind closed doors to cut deals around how the state will spend our money. They may not like to say it but they are deciding how caring a society we want to live in, how we will treat those with plenty and those without.
This year, as people of faith, we want to make the moral choices they make more visible. Governor Cuomo has proposed more than $20 million in cuts to services for the homeless in our city (http://www.99percentny.org/cuts-testimonials/?sec=hou). This at a time when the need for these services is actually increasing and a record 40,000 New Yorkers are facing homelessness (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/nyregion/ordinary-families-cloaked-in-a-veil-of-homelessness.html?_r=1&hpw).
The governor, like many politicians, say we have no money and that we need to live within our means. But there is money in our state. Using loopholes, corporations that make billions in profits in our state including Goldman Sachs, American Express, Verizon, News Corp, and Travelers Insurance pay less State tax on their profits than the 4% paid by family of four making 58,000. Just closing these loopholes for corporations could give us the money to help those who find themselves homeless. Many of these corporations benefited both directly and indirectly by government's bailouts when their profits were threatened. But now that people's livelihoods are threatened, we ask the homeless for sacrifice.
Our proposed action outside the Governor's NYC office would make this hypocrisy visible. Starting on March 6th (or 7th steering committee please weigh in), Occupy Faith clergy will demonstrate the immorality of the cuts to NYC housing needs, which are especially needed for LGBT youth in this city, by presenting the Governor with an ad hoc shelter of their very own: 5 made beds laid out in front his office at 633 3rd Ave. In addition to speaking opportunities, clergy will have the option of practicing civil disobedience by actually lying in these beds until removed by police. Partners for this action will include our friends from IAHH (Interfaith Assembly for Hunger & Housing) and Picture the Homeless.
If this action is empowering and useful for all interests involved, our second "parable" could focus on education, replacing beds with small school desks for the actual spectacle. This would happen later in March, but before "Occupy Seder/Passover." The hope will be to create actions that establish community and momentum within Occupy Faith, building our capacity as we head into the Spring.