A wide array of advocacy groups – asking for everything from affordable housing to the DREAM Act and workers rights – crowded the second floor of the Capitol Thursday to call for budget funding within earshot of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office as he met with legislative leaders behind closed doors.
The crowd chanted “Governor one-percent, who do you represent?” and “What does Democracy look like? This is what Democracy looks like.”
Each issue was represented during a press conference in the War Room: Ocynthia Williams, a parent leader representing the Alliance for Quality Education, led the crowd in singing a Pete Seager song; Marcy Suarez, representing Make the Road New York, called for the DREAM Act for all her fellow dreamers; Karen Scharff, executive director of Citizen Action New York, said Cuomo’s budget is full of tax breaks for wealthy New Yorkers; Joselyn Mendoza from Make the Road called for the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and rights for the LGBT community; Mauricio Jimenez from Make the Road said the Department of Labor needs to do a better job of enforcing wage theft laws; the Rev. Frances Rosenau, an associate pastor at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, called income inequality a moral issue and should be addressed in the budget because it is a moral document.
Following the press conference the crowd moved out of the War Room and volunteers sat outside the Governor’s Office in a demonstration of civil disobedience.
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