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Katal New York Update — March 21, 2024

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Victory! NYC City Council Overrides Mayor To Advance Safety and AccountCity Council Receivership Resolution Re-Introduced by NYC Public Advocateability

The New York City Council must past Resolution 183 to improve conditions on Rikers and save lives flyer showing skull and crossbones.

At the end of last month, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams re-introduced a city council resolution—Resolution 183—that calls on the federal courts to appoint a receiver. This is the same resolution that was introduced last year (Reso 669) — it needed to be reintroduced with this new Council. Council Member Sandy Nurse, chair of the Committee on Criminal Justice, is the first sponsor of the resolution. We currently have 13 sponsors on the resolution and we’re making a big push to get the previous sponsors back on the resolution and add new co-sponsors. Check out this press release about the re-introduction. 

Take action here to contact your City Council Member to sign on as a co-sponsor of Resolution 183!

Over 70 community and advocacy groups, along with political leaders and public safety officials, are calling for an independent receiver to take control at Rikers to improve conditions and save lives until the city shuts it down. Check out this supporter list to see all the elected officials and community groups who support the call for an independent receiver at Rikers. To add your group to the list, sign up here.

If you’d like to join us for a meeting with council members—and meet with your own council member—let us know. We will help! Just email Melanie at melanie@katalcenter.org.


Next Wednesday, March 27: Shut Rikers Phone Zap

Shut Rikers phone banking session flyer showing cellphone with skull and crossbones being zapped by lightning.

Join us next Wednesday, March 27th, from 12-1 pm for our Shut Rikers Phone Zap via Zoom! Click here to RSVP. We will be calling City Council Members to demand they take immediate action to end the suffering and violence unfolding at Rikers. The City Council must swiftly pass Resolution 183, which calls on the federal courts to immediately appoint an independent receiver to take over Rikers and improve conditions until it is shut down.

Join us on Wednesday, March 27th, from 12-1 pm for our Shut Rikers Phone Zap!

No prior experience is needed. If you know any friends, colleagues, or family members who would like to join this phone zap, please share with them this registration link: katal.info/phonezap

Got questions? Reach out to Melanie at melanie@katalcenter.org.


Mental Health Rally at City Hall

Mental health rally in front of City Hall

Yesterday, we joined the Correct Crisis Intervention Today-NYC coalition, WCJA, and other community groups ahead of the New York City Council Committee on Health and the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction joint Budget and Oversight Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2025 Preliminary Budget to demand that the city end it’s reliance on incarceration to deal with mental health issues. Rikers has become the city’s largest mental health facility. More than 50 percent of people incarcerated there have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and 20 percent have a severe mental health diagnosis. Yet, they have little or no access to meaningful care while they are locked up at Rikers.

Here’s a quote from Katal member Kevin Valentine discussing the need to invest in support and care, not incarceration:

“Everyone in our society deserves access to mental health care. Having that access could prevent so many individuals from cycling into the carceral system in the first place. I know that it would have helped me tremendously with my situation to have someone to talk to and help me cope with what I was going through before coming into contact with the criminal legal system. My life could have certainly turned out so differently. Rikers Island has no business being the city’s largest mental health facility.”

Check out the full statement here.


Katal Quotes of the Week

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

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali

“Love is an action, never simply a feeling.” –bell hooks


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Katal works to strengthen the people, policies, institutions, and movements that advance equity, health, and justice. Join us: web, Twitter, Facebook! Email: info@katalcenter.org Phone: 646.875.8822.

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