Chaos at the Capitol
March 2nd, 2011
Sixteen were arrested today when group of chanting protesters blocked off an entrance to the Capitol. The group, made up of a number of progressive advocacy groups, including Community Voices Heard, oppose Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget cuts, supports a millionaires tax and attacks the Committee to Save New York, the pro-business group that backs Cuomo’s agenda as “The Committee to Scam New York.”
Here is a statement from the groups:
Governor Cuomo’s plan to pay for tax cuts for the richest New Yorkers by attacking hospitals, schools and social services is unacceptable. A cuts-only approach to our budget shortfall is a recipe for killing jobs and destroying an already frayed social safety net when people need it most. Governor Cuomo’s singular focus on budget cuts is tantamount to fighting with one arm tied behind his back — and that one arm is swinging only in the direction of those communities most in need.
New York has a revenue crisis, not a spending crisis. Let’s be clear – schoolchildren and teachers, patients with chronic illnesses, public workers who fight fires or clear snow from our street, and other ordinary New Yorkers are not to blame for our budget shortfall. We refuse to be scapegoats. We have a budget shortfal because revenue plummeted when Wall Street crashed our economy, which came after decades of tax cuts at the top. The solution is to ask Wall Street and the richest New Yorkers to pay their fair share.
When big money – Wall Street banks, landlords and corporations – dominate the debate, we all lose out. New York is already the most unequal state in the nation, and Governor Cuomo’s budget suggests he believes the role of state government is to help the rich get even richer by shifting the burden onto everyone else. But the value of our state government lies in its role creating vibrant communities where all New Yorkers can thrive.
We call on Governor Cuomo to show political courage by:
* Asking Wall Street and the richest New Yorkers to pay their fair share, beginning with a continuation of the millionaire’s tax and a new banker’s bonus tax.
* Fully funding healthcare, education, social services and jobs programs.
* Fighting for affordable housing through strengthened rent laws, protections for families facing foreclosures and policies that prevent homelessness among low-income New Yorkers.
* Taking steps to address the growing income divide in our state, including targeted policies that address the disproportionate impact on people of color, especially African Americans and Latinos, as well as LGBTQ people, women and youth.
* Ask his corporate allies, the Committee to Save New York, to invest the millions of dollars they have raised to wage a war against the poor, working and middle class into a fund to stave off budget cuts.
Groups participating in this action included CAAAV, Community Voices Heard, FUREE, Picture the Homeless, Queers for Economic Justice, and VOCAL-NY and was endorsed by Right to the City – NYC Chapter.By David King on March 2, 2011, 3:36 pm
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