Central New York Residents Organize To Oppose Trump Agenda

Utica Counter-Inaugural Rally, CNY Contingent to March on Washington, Candidate Training Planned

A coalition of local, state, and national organizations announced today that they are launching the Campaign of Resistance against the Trump Agenda in Central New York.   Among the groups are Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., Citizen Action of New York, Public Citizen, Working Families Party, Central New York Solidarity Coalition, Cornhill Community for Change, and MoveOn.   Photo is attached.

Speakers at the news conference and rally today said that residents of Central New York will be hurt by proposed Trump policies.

  • Many Central New York senior and disabled residents rely upon basic safety net programs which are expected to be slashed. Medicaid is likely to be turned into a block grant to states and cut deeply.  Medicare is likely to be privatized and replaced with vouchers; Affordable Care Act will be repealed. SNAP/Food Stamps will be turned into block grants and funding will be sharply reduced.
  • Rates of poverty and unemployment are higher in Upstate New York than other parts of the country.  Tax and budget policies that favor the 1% at the expense of the rest of us will be put into effect, increasing inequality and condemning many to low wage jobs without benefits.
  •  Small businesses, farms, and working families are the engines for economic growth in our region.  Huge giveaways to corporations will hurt small business and increase taxes for the middle class.
  • The Trump infrastructure proposal will likely be a massive tax subsidy for private sector entities that will, for example, build a road and then own it/charge tolls on it.   This will put a cost burden on struggling households and take away public control over infrastructure like water, energy, and transportation systems.
  • The economic revival of Utica, where one in four residents is an immigrant, is threatened by Trump’s deportation proposals.  Immigrants, including 700,000 “Dreamers” (young people who have temporary legal status under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program) are threatened with deportation.

More than 40 people attended the news conference today.  Representatives indicated that they are planning to hold the following actions to block Trump’s proposed policies:

  1. Designed to inaugurate hope and stand up to the Trump Administration, the Utica Counter-Inaugural Rally/Teach In will be held between 1 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 21 at the DeSales Center, Inc., 309 Genesee St. Utica.  The event will consist of a rally, workshops on organizing and issues, music, films, speakers, potluck lunch, networking, and exhibits.
  2. Central New York Citizens in Action and other groups are helping to organize buses from Clinton, Syracuse, and Binghamton to take residents to Washington, D.C. for Inauguration Day protests.  Interested persons should call all 315-725-0974 or email cnycitizenaction@gmail.com.
  3. A community meeting sponsored by Central New York Citizens in Action will be held between 6 – 8 p.m. on   Monday, January 9 to plan future activities, organize committees, and  recruit volunteers.
  4. On January 12, the first of a series of workshops will be held to identify and train progressive candidates for local party and political office   Local groups are seeking progressive champions willing to challenge the status quo and fight for a government that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.  The Running to Win series is part of the Working Families Party candidate farm team training program that arms progressives with the strategies, tools, and skills needed to win elections. Topics include fundraising, canvassing, budgeting, speeches, and planning.
  5. Local actions will be planned for January 12 to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is seeking local citizens to provide stories of how they and their families have been helped by the Affordable Care Act and other health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.  Persons interested should complete a survey at www.cnycia.org.
  6. Days of action to protest the Medicare privatization, weakening the EPA and the National Labor Relations Board, slashing the Dodd-Frank Law and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, expanding private for-profit charter schools, privatizing government functions and deporting immigrants are in the process of being planned for the next several months.
  7. The Central New York Citizen in Action, along with its partners, will be conducting research to document the impact of proposed Trump policies on the lives of Central New York residents and to propose alternative policies that put people first.   Reports showing the loss of funding and services will be provided to the public, media, and elected officials.
  8. The groups are deploying a  rapid response team of citizen volunteers to hold Upstate New York members of Congress accountable, monitor cabinet appointments, appropriations, and legislation, and act as a watchdog for the interests of working people.  They will be mobilizing constituents to make newly-elected Representative Claudia Tenney (R-C-22) as well as Representatives John Katko (R-24) and Elise Stefanik (R-21) aware of how Trump policies will hurt Central New York.

Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Director, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign, said:   “We believe in a nation that is of, for and by the people. But President-elect Trump has shown his administration will be the opposite – he has proposed to fill his Cabinet with corporate CEOs, billionaires and big donors. We will join coalitions like this one in Central New York that are forming throughout our nation to resist the Trump’s administration’s corporate agenda, which will put profits over the planet and its people.”

Paul Lomeo of Central New York Citizens in Action stated:  “We are the vocal majority that will stand up to defend American values against the radical agenda of a reckless and vindictive President and an extremist Congress.  We are the Resistance. We accept the electoral laws that made a man chosen by a minority of voters President of the United States. However, we will fully exercise our Constitutional rights to protest his policies and educate voters on why we believe those policies are so wrong. CNY Citizen Action will serve as the organizer of this broad coalition of people. We have many concerns about the damage that awaits us. We cannot stand by idly. The time for mourning is over. Now, we resist and organize.”

Kari Procopio, local women’s rights advocate and member of Central New York Citizens in Action, called out lawmakers like Tenney to abandon partisan politics and support women, minorities, and the working class. “Tenney’s track record as our state representative proves she is out of touch with the real issues facing constituents,” said Procopio. “Our Campaign of Resistance doesn’t end with Trump. We will press Tenney to stand against his dangerous agenda and stand up for women’s health, equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, and policies that would benefit working women and families.”

The Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc. is a multi-issue grassroots advocacy organization affiliated with Citizen Action of New York.

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