Now that the high of elections are over, it’s time for Democrats in the State Senate to form a majority, and to take action and responsibility for its people and the citizens of New York. On Tuesday morning, United NY stood with New York Communities For Change, Make the Road Action Fund, The Black Institute and several other community organizations to spur Democrats to make changes for the better for New York City’s working man as the fiscal cliff looms upon us. Many of the speakers spoke in favor of raising minimum wage and The Dream Act, and cautioning against the overwhelming role of money in the political system that influences decisions not in the best interest of the working poor. The speakers emphasized that a vote for the Democrats was a vote for change and progress for all and the time has come for the voice of the people to be heard.
“At a time when no one is talking about poverty, no one is talking about wages… what we need truly is affordable housing. We need them to stand up!” an impassioned Bertha Lewis of The Black Institute told the crowd, who went on to state that the future of the party is in the balance if the Democrats don’t work for a democracy. Robert Jackson of the State Assembly emphasized the need for Democrats to come together and work and communicate as one, detailing the downfall of Dems who splinter off. “Democrats are supposed to be the party of the 99%, the party of inclusion, not exclusion… We call on the elected Democrats to fight for what we elected you for,” pleaded Maida Rosenstein of UAW and Vice-chair of NYS CAP Council. She detailed the biggest needs of New Yorkers: health care, paid leave, living wages and best of all, good jobs.
One woman lamented the loss of her son’s day care program at school, expressing the burden of finding an alternate that would keep him occupied while she worked. This cut is just one of many that could come to pass that will affect thousands. Stuart Applebaum, President of RWDSU highlighted that “low-wage New Yorkers have suffered and Republicans have made countless excuses… all while giving out tax breaks to corporations and millionaires.” He advocated the increase in minimum wage to lift up workers and families surviving below the standard of living.” New York needs Democratic leadership to bring about a new model for job creation and economic development.”