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new york update – august 12, 2021

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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In this issue…

Next Steps for #LessIsMoreNY

Overview of #LessIsMoreNY

On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned, and rightfully so. We stand with the brave women who, in the face of great personal risk, came forward to share their stories. It is through these stories that a historic change has come to New York. We now stand at a crossroads. New Yorkers are struggling through a devastating pandemic, systemic racism, gross economic inequality, and much more. We welcome the incoming governor, Kathy Hochul, and call upon her to stand with all New Yorkers in the fight for equity, health, & justice.

What does this mean for the #LessIsMoreNY Act, the transformative parole reform bill passed in June? The bill must be signed into law by the governor. With approximately 35,000 people on parole in New York, and about 5,000 people currently incarcerated for technical parole violations, it is urgently important for Less is More to be signed into law now. So long as Cuomo is governor, we must push him to sign this bill. If not signed before Hochul becomes governor, then we’ll be pushing her to sign the bill. To decarcerate and transform how New York handles technical violations of parole, the governor — whoever it is — must sign Less is More!

Here’s the latest and what’s next:

#LessIsMoreNY Rally outside of Gov. Cuomo’s NYC Office
  • Recent Actions: On July 15th, the #LessIsMoreNY Campaign held a rally outside of Gov. Cuomo’s Manhattan office to demand Gov. Cuomo sign the Less Is More parole reform bill (S.1144A (Benjamin) / A.5576A (Forrest) into law. Speakers at the action shared the effects of being impacted by parole in New York, described the arduous and often arbitrary parole process, and reflected on the immense consequences of being incarcerated for a technical parole violation – like missing a curfew, or being late for a parole appointment – can have on an individual, their family, and their community. Check out the press release from the July 15th action!

Phone Zaps: Since the #LessIsMoreNY Act passed the NY legislature in June, we have held 4 #LessIsMoreNY Phone Zaps. We have been holding the Phone Zaps over Zoom so we can be in community together and take collective action as a group. Over the last few months, #LessIsMoreNY Phone Zaps have been sponsored by Katal, Unchained, Sankofa Reproductive Health and Healing Center, BLM Syracuse, John Jay Institute for Justice and Opportunity, and A Little Piece of Light. Join us next Wednesday, August 18 from 11:30-12:30 pm on Zoom to urge Governor Cuomo to sign #LessIsMoreNY!

Our member, Mrs. Della, speaking on the July Campaign Update Call

Campaign Update Calls: Throughout the summer, we have kept up with our monthly statewide #LessIsMoreNY Campaign Update calls. During these calls we shared updates about the #LessIsMoreNY Act and campaign, discussed next steps in the fight to get it signed into law, and provided details about how to get involved. We spoke about the urgency of getting #LessIsMoreNY signed into law as right now there are more than 35,000 people on parole in New York subject to incarceration at any moment for non-criminal technical violations, like missing an appointment. We also spend time talking about the thousands of people — overwhelmingly Black and Latinx — who are currently incarcerated for non-criminal technical violations of parole in New York. To join our next Campaign Update Call, sign up here!

Facebook Live featuring Unchained, A Little Piece of Light, and Katal
  • Facebook and Instagram Lives: We have held Facebook and Instagram lives over the last few months to inform New Yorkers about this transformative parole reform and to provide individuals action steps to help support the campaign. During these lives, we have had people on parole and family members of those on parole discuss the impact re-incarceration has for the individual, their family, and the larger community. We must support people coming home, not needlessly send them back to jails and prisons! Check out the latest Facebook live and Instagram live here. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get notices about our LIVE sessions!

Take action with us!  We must continue to keep the pressure up and demand Gov. Cuomo sign this bill immediately. If he does not do so before Kathy Hochul becomes governor on August 24th, then we’ll be pushing Gov. Hochul to sign the bill. Right now, you can take our immediate online action tools to call on Gov. Cuomo to sign the bill, take action here:

Check out and share the new Less is More fact sheets:  We’ve got some new fact sheets that explain the bill which passed the legislature and goes over each provision. Check these out and let us know if you have any questions!

Host a presentation about #LessIsMoreNY: Would your organization, group, or agency like to have a presentation about the #LessIsMoreNY  campaign? Please contact Yonah Zeitzat

Together,  we can get this bill signed and transform parole in New York — let’s do it! 

Sign up for the Katal Connecticut Update

We announced in March that, after nearly 5 years, we’re ending the Katal Weekly Update, and moving to two separate email updates — one for New York, another for Connecticut. If you’d also like to keep up what we’re doing in Connecticut, please click here to sign up for the Katal Connecticut Update!

For printing and distribution, Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

Keep practicing social distancing, wear your mask, wash your hands, and check in on your neighbors. 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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