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Katal New York Update- September 1, 2022

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International Overdose Awareness Day

Protest outside Gov. Hochul’s NYC Office for International Overdose Awareness Day

We hit the streets yesterday for International Overdose Awareness Day, joining VOCAL-NY, Housing Works, and other community groups for a protest outside Governor Hochul’s NYC office to demand that she authorize Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs) statewide. 

OPCs use a harm reduction model to provide extra protections to people who use drugs. Through sterile syringes, fentanyl testing, trained staff to intervene in an overdose, and more, these centers save lives and ease the harms of substance use. Since opening the first OPCs in the country in Manhattan nine months ago, more than 400 overdoses have been reversed. The centers have saved hundreds of lives in New York City.

With the stroke of her pen, Governor Hochul can authorize OPCs and save more lives throughout the state. As part of yesterday’s protest, Yonah Zeitz, our director of advocacy, participated in an act of civil disobedience. Ten people were arrested for blocking Third Avenue, demanding that the governor take urgent action to #EndOverdose.

#LessIsMoreNY Panel at the APPA Conference

Kenyatta Muzzanni of Katal, Emily NaPier Singletary from Unchained, and Donna Hylton from A Little Piece of Light presented on #LessIsMoreNY.

This week, Katal presented at the American Probation and Parole Association’s 47th Annual Training Institute in Chicago. Our director of organizing, Kenyatta Muzzanni, joined other #LessIsMoreNY executive team members Emily NaPier Singletary of Unchained and Donna Hylton of A Little Piece of Light at the workshop Less Is More: A Legislative Pathway to Parole Reform. Kendra Bradner of the Columbia Justice Lab moderated the hour-long event.

The workshop covered the history of parole in New York State, the unique makeup of the #LessIsMoreNY Coalition, and the implications for Less Is More in other states. Kenyatta emphasized community organizing as a critical piece of getting Less Is More passed and signed last year by Governor Hochul.

To read stories about the impact of Less Is More, visit

NY Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call

Our summer hiatus is almost over. Our next NY Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call is next Thursday! If you’re interested in learning more about the primaries and upcoming elections, the 2023 legislative session, and the latest on reforming the criminal legal system in New York, you don’t want to miss this call. We’ll be joined by organizers, advocates, and community members working on every aspect of criminal justice reform in the state. The call will start with an insider report from our lobbyist about what’s happening behind the scenes. This fall we’ll also spend extra time on the calls discussing bail reform and its impact on the criminal justice landscape. Register to join us on Thursday, September 8, from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

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

Save the Date: Catch Up with Katal 

Join us Thursday, September 15, at 6 p.m. ET via zoom for our inaugural Catch Up with Katal event. Hear our executive team discuss our successes over the past year and our organizational goals going forward. Following the presentations, there will be a Q&A session. Register here to attend.

To learn more about Catch Up with Katal, contact Camryn at

Katal Quotes of the Week

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

“Hope it resemble a van Gogh when you paint me the villain.”—Nas, “40-16 Building”

“I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it? Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better? Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless. Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia? Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up. And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang.”—poet Mary Oliver, “I Worried”

Please support our work

We can’t do this work without you. Please support our work to build leadership and organizing capacity of people to self-advocate and take action together for systemic change.

Be safe as possible out there, and get vaccinated as soon as you can. If you want to get involved, learn more about our work, or just connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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

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