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Katal New York Update — May 2, 2024

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Phone Zaps to Shut Rikers

On Tuesday, April 23rd, we went to Harlem to hold a Shut Rikers Phone Zap with the youth leaders at BrotherHood Sister Sol during their spring break. We went over our Shut Rikers campaign and our current push to get the federal courts to appointment an independent receiver to improve conditions at Rikers until it is shuttered once and for all. The youth leaders were particularly interested in learning about how to increase public safety in their communities without relaying on police and incarceration. 

Many of the youth leaders got to call their council members for the first time and talk about the things they want to see in their community. They were also able to ask their council members to co-sponsors City Council Resolution 183, which call for federal receivership at Rikers. 

If you’re interested in hosting a phone zap at your organization, please contact our Policy Associate Ricky Forde at

To see what these phone zap are like, join us next Wednesday, May 8th from 12-1 pm for our bi-weekly Shut Rikers Phone Zap via Zoom! Click here to RSVP.

As the crisis at Rikers remains dire, we’re making a big push to get more City Council members to sign on to Resolution 183, calling for federal receivership. We’ll be calling City Council Members to demand they take immediate action to reduce the violence and save lives at Rikers. Following our last phone zap, we were able to secure an additional co-sponsor, Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez, bringing our total number of co-sponsors to 17. 

During last weeks criminal justice committee hearing on the DOC grievance process, the council released data which showed from July 2022 to June 2023 there were nearly 1,400 grievances about sexual-related allegations filed by people incarcerated. Out of all these grievances, the DOC only formally resolved 15% of these cases. This underscores the need for the federal courts to step in and appoint an independent receiver to reduce violence, save lives, and address the deep-rooted mismanagement.

Join us on Wednesday, May 8th 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. 

Got questions? Reach out to Melanie at

Next Thursday, 5/9: May Monthly NYS Criminal Justice Reform Call

Our next NY Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call is next Thursday, May 9th, 2024! For our May call, our lobbyist will spend extra time going over the finalized state budget. We’ll go over what was included in the budget, what wasn’t, and how the rest of session is shaping up. We’ll also be joined by organizers, advocates, and community members working to advance criminal justice reforms in the final two months of the 2024 legislative session. 

Register to join us on Thursday, May 9th, from 12 – 1 pm.

If you have any questions about the statewide call or would like to be a presenter, please contact Yonah at

Next Thursday, 5/9: Intro to Katal Meeting 

Join us next Thursday, May 9th from 6-7pm for our Monthly Intro to Katal Meeting! You’ll get to learn more about our organizations history, our current campaigns, and ways you can get involved! RSVP here to attend. 

In New York, we are working to end mass incarceration and shut down Rikers. Under Mayor Adams, at least 31 people have died in city jails, violence has spiked, and the jail population is on the rise. The city must take immediate action to save lives and get back on track to shutting Rikers down. We’re fighting to make this happen and we hope you can join us!

Got questions? Reach out to Melanie at 

Katal Quotes of the Week

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

“Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn’t trust the evidence of one’s eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.” ― Edward W. Said, Orientalism

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download the Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

Katal works to strengthen the people, policies, institutions, and movements that advance equity, health, and justice. Join us: web, Twitter, Facebook! Email: Phone: 64 6.875.8822.

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