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Katal New York Update- September 15, 2022

A group of people, some holding signs with the words less is more and Use less, save more, in front of a building.

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Tonight: Catch Up with Katal 

Join us tonight Thursday, September 15, at 6 p.m. ET via zoom for our Catch Up with Katal event. Hear our executive team discuss our successes over the past year and our organizational goals going forward. You’ll hear about parole reform, COVID behind bars, closing Rikers, training young organizers, and much more. 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

Rikers in Crisis– Another Person Dies 

Yesterday, news broke that yet another incarcerated person passed away at the Rikers Island Jail Complex. This is the 14th death of an incarcerated person on Rikers this year. This death occurred the day after the NYC Board of Corrections issued a scathing report that highlighted how staff errors and gross negligence contributed to most of the deaths this year. This is unacceptable. Following this horrendous news, we put out a statement from our member Sean about the recent death. Here’s an excerpt: 

“At this point, being on Rikers is almost like being handed a death sentence. Many years ago, I was incarcerated at Rikers Island, and it seems the conditions are only getting worse. I know that I could have easily been one of these individuals that now do not get a chance to reunite with their families and rebuild their lives. Words cannot describe how I feel after hearing that another human being passed away this morning due to the Mayor’s failure to take action.” Read the full statement here.

As conditions worsen at the jail complex and the death toll rises, Mayor Adams continues to do nothing to alleviate the ongoing crisis. We are calling on the mayor, lawmakers, judges, and district attorneys to CUT the number of people held on Rikers SHUT down the Rikers Island jail complex, and INVEST in real community safety: housing, health care, education, and jobs. To learn more, check out our #CutShutInvestNY fact sheet

If you would like to get involved in the fight to close Rikers, please reach out to Melanie Dominguez at

ICYMI: Rikers Op-ed in the Gotham Gazette 

Last week, our Director of Advocacy Yonah Zeitz wrote an op-ed in the Gotham Gazette about the crisis on Rikers. Instead of calling for a “plan B,” Mayor Adams should follow through with reducing the cities jail population and shutting down the Rikers Island Jail Complex once and for all. Without action, the suffering and dying on Rikers will continue.  Read the op-ed here

Katal Quotes of the Week

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

I Worried

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,


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.

Mary Oliver

Note: we’re reposting “I Worried” to correct a formatting error from our last update.

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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