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Katal New York Update- June 29, 2023

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Summer Outreach to Shut Down Rikers

Katal’s Outreach team hitting doors in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, on June 21, 2023

This week, we are door-knocking in Manhattan and Brooklyn to speak with community members about the ongoing crisis on Rikers Island. The conditions at the massive jail complex are horrific and life-threatening, both for the people incarcerated and those who work there. 

The Adams administration has failed to address the problems at Rikers, and their current public safety approach is to lock up ever more Black, brown, and low-income people there. This is only making the situation worse and even deadlier. Since Adams took office in January 2022, New York City’s jail population has increased by nearly 750, and 22 people have lost their lives in city jails.

Due to the Department of Correction’s mismanagement and outright lack of care – and the administration’s unwillingness to address the longstanding problems plaguing the city’s jail system, we are calling on the federal courts to step in. Until Rikers is closed, the federal courts must appoint a receiver to take over and improve conditions for people who are detained or employed there. New Yorkers deserve safety and justice, not criminalization and the violence of Rikers.

With support for receivership growing in the past month, we’re demanding that the New York City Council swiftly pass a resolution introduced by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, calling on the federal courts to immediately appoint a receiver to improve the conditions at Rikers. Take action: Contact your Councilmember and ask them to cosponsor this resolution!

Katal’s outreach and canvassing team are hitting the streets throughout the summer. If you’d like to get involved or if you have any questions, please reach out to Melanie@katalcenter.org or by phone at 516-588-0127.


Fighting Back Against the Regressive City Budget

The NYC budget deadline is tomorrow, and Mayor Adams has proposed substantial cuts to essential services like education (DOE and CUNY), senior delivery services, social services, adult literacy programs, and universal 3K, all while maintaining the bloated NYPD and DOCs budgets. The mayor recently announced that he will cut $17 million from reentry programs. Instead of cutting vital services, the Adams administration should stop sending people to the deadly Rikers Jail at an enormous price tag of $550,000 a year per person

New Yorkers deserve better. We’re demanding that Mayor Adams CUT the budgets used for criminalizing and caging people, SHUT down the Rikers Island jail complex, and INVEST in real community safety: housing, health care, education, and jobs. 

Take action: Sign our #CutShutInvestNY petition!


Intro to Katal–Get to Know Us!

Join us next week on Thursday, July 6, from 5 to 6 p.m. for our Monthly Intro to Katal meeting. Since our founding, we have been unwavering in our mission to foster leadership and develop organizing capabilities to dismantle mass incarceration, mass criminalization, and the war on drugs. We have diligently worked on legislation to further decarceration efforts throughout New York State and ultimately shut down Rikers. Together we can bring about meaningful change.

Join us next Thursday to learn more about our history and current campaigns, and to discuss ways you can get involved! If you know any friends, colleagues, or family members who would like to participate, please share our flyer and registration link with them.

Got questions? Reach out to Melanie@katalcenter.org or by phone at 516-588-0127.


Katal Quotes of the Week

These are some of the quotes we’re thinking about this week.

“Don’t sit around and wait for the perfect opportunity to come along – find something and make it an opportunity.” — Cecile Richards in Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. . . . Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


For printing and distribution, download the Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

We can’t do this without you. Please support our work to build leadership and organizing capacity in Connecticut, New York, and beyond. 

Join us: web, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!
Email: info@katalcenter.org • Phone: 646.875.8822

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